FAQ about Transfers

<p>I have some questions about transfering and was I know they may sound "basic" but I figured someone could help me. You don't have to answer all of them, but if you could just answer some that would be appreciated.</p>

<p>I am probably going to my state school, Rutgers, if I dont get off the Kenyon College WaitList. I have to enroll at Rutgers in the mean time, but I don't want to stay there because I have always wanted to attend a LAC. I know people say "dont go to a school with the idea of transferring" but I cant help but feel that it is not a fit for me. I do not want to be in a lecture hall of 400 kids, etc. I know I should have applied to more safety LACs. Well, here are the questions:</p>

<p>How hard is it to transfer to competitive LACs?</p>

<p>Do you need to send your highschool GC/teacher recs along with a college rec? How can a professor/GC actually know you at a university with over 20,000 kids????</p>

<p>How do you get your transcript/old recs after you graduate? Do schools throw them away after you leave?</p>

<p>How soon is too soon to transfer...one semester?two? I have a decent highschool record (3.62 UW, 5.4/6.9W) with mediocre SATs, 1240. Does that mean I should stay longer to show improvement or could I transfer right away?</p>

<p>Do colleges want to see ECs from the college you attend? How can you possibly get involved if you plan to transfer right away????</p>

<p>Is Fin. Aid any different if you are a transfer?</p>

<p>What do you say in your essay stating why you want to transfer? My obvious reason would be I got rejected from a lot of my schools senior yr. and I am choosing Rutgers because I have no where else to go. I have always wanted an LAC, small classes, etc. Now, whether that is the right thing to say I don't know? Should I tell them I want an LAC and decided to try n improve my stats so I could get into them next yr????</p>

<p>Should I take my SATs again?</p>

<p>LAST QUESTION!::: lol
Is it true that the only way to transfer into an LAC is if a kid at the LAC in your grade transfers out? </p>

<p>Thanks guys, I know this is a lot of questions, but I am kinda upset about Rutgers and can't wait to get out of there to an LAC. Schools I like are Reed, Oberlin, Kenyon, Bates, Wesleyan, Bucknell, Scripps, etc. Any of these schools have good transfer rates?</p>

<p>Hey, I'm writing a paper but I figured I'd procrastinate a bit more and offer some info.</p>

<p>1) Competitive LACs are harder to transfer into because they usually have no problem keeping their current students. I'll post the actual stats later.</p>

<p>2) You don't have to send recs from high school teachers or guidance counselors, but you do have to send them your high school transcripts and some schools require secondary school reports. I have the same problem you will have, I go to UF (50,000 kids) and I had problems getting recommendations from my professors because I felt uncomfortable asking someone who I didn't know for a rec. I made it clear in my essays that this was the major reason I was applying as a transfer student to their schools, but I can't help but feel that I will be hurt by this.</p>

<p>3) Schools usually keep your records for several years after graduation, you could get transcripts the same way you did with freshman admission. If your school doesn't have them, the county surely does... but I don't think you'll run into this problem.</p>

<p>4) It depends on the school as to when you can transfer. Some schools accept applicants for spring semester, so you can apply after one semester theoretically. It would probably be best with your high school record to apply after the second semester, for the subsequent fall term, as you would have a semesters worth of grades and have some time to get involved. If you get rejected then, you could always work hard and try again the next year.</p>

<p>5) This is somewhat questionable. On the one hand, some schools put great emphasis on ECs. On the other hand, schools like Yale don't even put a spot for them on the application. My suggestion would be to get involved in something you like to do and go from there.</p>

<p>6) This also depends on the school. Most schools have financial aid policies that are identical to their freshman applicants. However, schools like Brown are need-aware for transfer applicants and cannot offer full aid to applicants.</p>

<p>7) The essay, some argue, is the most important part of the transfer application. This may or may not be true, but few would argue that it is not important in the process. Here is where you can show the school that you need them and they need you. You have a chance, with the essay, to show the adcoms how knowledgable you are about the school and how beneficial you would be to their campus environment, etc.</p>

<p>8) It depends on the school. A 1240 is not all that bad for transfer admissions, but if you feel that you can bring it up at least 100 points, it's probably worth taking again. Note that if you decide to take it again and really commit to doing well, you will take time from your collegiate studies which are far more important than SAT scores in transfer admissions.</p>

<p>Here are the stats of the specific colleges you mentioned:</p>

<li><p>Reed College - 77/196 </p></li>
<li><p>Kenyon College - 21/124</p></li>
<li><p>Wesleyan University - 127/362</p></li>
<li><p>Bucknell University - 69/117</p></li>
<li><p>Scripps College - 35/82</p></li>

<p>The others were not reported.</p>

<p>Well, I hope this helps. Sorry if the post is incoherent, I'm multi-tasking. Good luck at Rutgers, and try to make the most of it.</p>


<p>wow your post was great! i appreciate you taking time to respond. thankz!</p>

<p>No problem... it gave me a much needed break from this wretched paper.</p>


I have just gone through the exact same process you are about to embark on. Let me start with this, You CAN do it. I have spent an extremely large amount of time figuring out how to maximize my chances of acceptance and I think that I can and would be willing to help you develop a strategy. There are a few extremely important points that I would like to make sure that you understand (i.e. DO NOT write in your essay that you went to Rutgers because you had nowhere else to go!) and perhaps we should talk by email or IM.
First let me tell you what happed to me.
I graduated from a high school with 16 students in my class. My math and physical science teachers history is in engineering (actually he graduated from Rutgers which was the right place for him). He sparked an interest in physics and math in me and I was interested in pursuing an engineering education. My school (private) did not give standardized tests and thus I ran into great difficulty with the manner the SAT was given. The second time I took the SAT I got a 510 v 610m. I applied early decision for a CAL POLY, a state tech school in California (I am from upstate NY). I was rejected, which in retrospect I am very happy about, because they only looked at numbers, i.e. SAT, GPA, class rank. I then was planning on going to CU Boulder. But when I got my fin. aid. It was too much at the time for my family (though less than an LAC). So I was faced with the choice of going to one of three state schools or paying for boulder and going far away. I ended up attending Binghamton University, part of SUNY. I made the chose because of money, but did not like the school very much. My initial plan was to stay here for a year, then transfer to Cornell. After I put in my deposit and I was preparing to go to Binghamton, I started to convince myself that it was not such a bad place and maybe I would like it and want to stay. That was important because though I was planning on leaving, I need to be prepared to stay 1) if I liked it 2) because it is your whole life for a year! I had a very hard time adjusting once I got here (some of that was other emotional stuff that I think would have happened anywhere I went i.e. girlfriend, away from home..., but it did not help that I was in a place I did not like. The way that I dealt with being bummed out was by focusing on my school work. I was able to motivate my self to do well academically, because that was my ticket to a place that I would enjoy more.
My first semester I was in an engineering program. My intro to engineering class had 400-500 kids, my General chem. had 500, my calc 1 had well over that. Though the lectures are that big (and they are only that big for the science intro classes) there are also discussions and labs with 15-25 students. I also had a writing class as part of the engineering that had about 15 students and the prof. was able to get to know me.
During that first semester I started looking at where I wanted to transfer too and through a process I realized that I needed a smaller college and I wanted to study physics. I started to look at the LACs.
I figured out that I would put time in during winter break (you get about a month off) to work on my applications. The first semester was very difficult but I worked hard on my school work and found some clubs that I enjoyed being a part of. I did well in chem B+, in an acting class I took I got an A-, in my engineering class I got another A-, and I got a C in calc. That C worried me. Also, in engineering I studied a lot for each test and did well on the three tests throughout the year. By doing so I was one of 10 out of 400 students to be exempt from the final. In order to make the exception official I had to go meet with the professor. After that he knew my name and my face.
Over the winter break decided to apply to Bates, Bowdoin, Bard, and Hampshire (I must have a thing for B schools (I'm at Binghamton now)). </p>

<p>So that was my first semester. The key points are:
I worked hard to get good grades,
I got a C in calc but I passed and put my best effort in,
I was involved in a few clubs (Engineers w/o borders and Students for Peace and Justice. I mention what they are because they are service and political clubs which shows involvement in important issues)
I got a semester of great education for a great price (it was good to get some of those intro classes out of the way and not be paying a lot!)</p>

<p>Another VERY IMPORTANT THING TO DO. Even though you may be in a class of 500 students, most professors are required to have office hours. Many really want to meet their students and are glad to offer help.
GO TO THE OFFICE HOURS!! Go ask question, get to know the professor, get interested in the class and talk to the professor about it. SIT IN THE FRONT OF THE LECTURE HALL. Some professor will even encourage you to ask questions during lecture. Don't be afraid, do it. Offer yourself for demonstrations. </p>

<p>So these are good ways to get professors to know you and write you recommendations. Also many LAC's recognize that it IS hard to professors to know you in such a large situations. Often they will let you submit recommendations from discussion or lab leaders. These are often better because they may know you better. So DO WELL IN LAB TOO.
Also if you can get them, submit more recommendations that are required. Get high school teachers/councilors, employers, family friends (for personal rec. if appropriate), coaches.
I sent four recommendations: one from my Engineering professor (though he did not know me VERY well, he knew my face and knew I was exempt from his final and recommended me on that basis)
One from my writing professor (He knew me well because I talked a lot in class and talk to him after class sometimes)
One from my High school physics teacher
One from my high school councilor.</p>

<p>More later</p>

<p>1)How difficult is it to transfer from one top 10 university to another?</p>

<p>2)Do acceptance chances improve if you had been accepted earlier to the university but chose to attend another one?</p>

<p>3)How important is GPA for transferring to a top 10 school?Will a person who gets a 4.0 GPA by taking the easiest possible courses be more favourable than somebody with a say, 3.7 GPA who has taken higher level courses(by placing out of intro courses using AP's etc)?</p>

<p>4)Who will have a better chance of acceptance?A person with a top rank and 4.0 GPA at a not-so well known school or someone from top 10 school but with a lesser GPA and rank?</p>


<p>wow - im anxious to read the rest of what you have to say :) I am not happy about Rutgers but I am sure if I focus like you did your fresh. yr- i should be able to get into a great LAC. i am really nervous about going thru the process all over again. i hate college admissions.</p>

<p>Eddie: where did you get those stats? And is it number accepted vs number applied or number <em>enrolled</em> vs number applied</p>

<p>You can find them on Collegeboard.com, search the school and then click on the admissions tab. This is the exact wording used on the site:</p>

<pre><code>* Total number of transfer students who applied: 686
* Total number of transfer students who were admitted: 189

<p>(That's for Brown by the way; Good Luck)</p>


<p>Once I had my rec. squared away, I had to get:
a statement of good standing from college dean,
fill out the common app. and
do the essays.
Transcripts are easy. Just call or go to your high school and request them to be sent out. They should take care of it, but make sure to call several time and stay on their case to be sure they do, they have the responsibility to do it, so stay on their case. Your college transcript depends on whether you are applying 1st or 2nd semester. If you are applying after you second semester, the school will want your first semester transcript and may want some sort of grade estimate from you professors for semester two. If you really think about it and you know it is what you want and can find a LAC that you like that takes springs semester transfers, go for it. I think a lot of LAC's only take fall transfers but I may be wrong. Remember that when you get to Rutgers, you are going to go through a lot of changes as far as just adjusting to being in college. Don’t blame all of that on being in the wrong place. Try to figure out what you want after you are at Rutgers, things are going to change, you are going to change, let it happen. If you think it is the right thing to do....transfer after your first semester. Also consider sticking it out for the year and getting a year of cheap education. As far as having a semester of good work to show, that would help. The most important thing is to show that you can do well in college. The SATs are an attempt to predict how well you will do in college, but actually DOING well has more merit. But it is more important to be in the right place. I promise that if you are having a hard time, it will get better with time. But if you can do the switch after semester one and that’s what you want, do it.<br>
For the statement of good standing, find your college adviser and be really nice to them. Ask him/her about where to get that.
You can probably use the common application for most of the schools. That makes it a lot easier, just fill out one and photocopy.
THE ESSAY; You cannot have your essay laid out before you get to college because what you are going to want to say will change. I can’t tell you what to write but I will give you a few thought to keep in mind as you start your first semester.
LOOK for the GOOD THINGS IN RUTGERS. This may be hard and seem counter-intuitive when you want to transfer, but look for them. Start there. When you start to really reflect on why you want to transfer, think about the good things that Rutgers can offer you first. Then consider what you really dislike about the school (But I would be very hesitant to write about your dislikes). Next consider what the new school can offer you. What can you get there that you simply cannot get at Rutgers? Spend some time thinking about these things.
Now, Actually writing the essays. In my opinion, the admissions office wants to admit smart students who are at other institutions, and DOING WELL, but could maximize their educational experience at a new school. They want to hear a good reason for making the switch, a reason why you would develop the best at their school. You will be at a great advantage. You are at a very large state U. and want to be at a very small LAC. Focus on that. Focus on the interaction between student and teacher that their school can offer you. Show them that you really want to learn and if you could have close relationships with your professors, you would be able to truly take hold of you own education. (this may be to specifically a reflection on my own reasons for transferring....make sure that YOUR reasons are true to you...but this can give you an idea). Oh, and definitely don't tell them that you went to Rutgers to improve your stats so that you could try again for an LAC. Make going to Rutgers your choice and after you have chosen that and tried it, then you want a change.
I think that many peoples first reaction is to write about how bad their current school is and how amazingly wonderful the new school would be. I think this is the wrong path to follow. I would suggest NOT SAYING ANYTHING BAD ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL, rather explain why your school has given you good things, but the new school would give you many more good things that your school can't give you.
Top LAC's will only have a few spots (as little as 6-10) in each class. So transferring is very competitive. Make yourself stand out. Also because there are very few spot, you may get into one and not another simply due to how much room they have. </p>

<p>I am very sorry for writing so much, but I have spent the last year dealing with this exact situation and have just come out on top!</p>

<p>I have been accepted to Bates and Hampshire, and waitlisted at Bard. I am actually expecting to hear from my last school, Bowdoin, in the next few days. </p>

<p>Good luck on your year to come. Either way, you are going to spend some time at Rutgers, try to make the best of it while you are there. If anytime you would like to talk more or have questions, feel free to email or IM me at <a href="mailto:jack010100@aol.com">jack010100@aol.com</a>. Even if a year from now, you are filling out your application and have a question you think I could help with, email me. </p>

<p>Here are some QUICK ANSWERS to your questions because I wrote so much.</p>

<p>Transferring to top LAC is very competitive. Some schools have very few spots, some have more. But if you apply to a few schools, hopefully you can find your spot.
Some colleges do want high school rec. some don't. I think it is a good idea to send them either way because high school teachers/GC will know you well.
Go to OFFICE HOURS to meet and talk to your professors. That is the number one way to get a professor to know you.
Transcripts should be easy to have sent out. Just keep reminding them to do it (same with rec. letters, KEEP REMINDING YOU PROF. and TEACHERS TO DO YOUR REC. LETTERS)
Transfer first semester if you can, but second has its benefits.
Do get involved in EC at college, there is SO much to do on campus, get involved, for your record and for fun.
I don’t really know about Fin. Aid., I will find out in the next few weeks.
In the ESSAY, do not say bad thing about the school you are at. Say why the new school can offer you much much more. </p>

Again the best of luck