Improving my chances?

This isn’t a typical “chance” thread. I want to transfer because nearly everyone I know, other than the die-hard studiers that live in the campus library, don’t want to learn, and think of UCSB as only an outlet to party (everyone seems to flock to SB for its insane parties, like Deltopia, Halloween, etc etc).

SAT I (breakdown): 2150 (690 CR, 750 M, 710 W), but I will be retaking this during the summer, and can project a 2250-2300.
ACT (breakdown): didn’t send
SAT II (place score in parentheses): Math II (700), Chem (680), Bio E (730), USH (740), World History (740)
HS GPA: 3.7 UW, 4.2 W
College GPA: 3.7 (A- avg)
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): 10/273
AP (place score in parentheses): USH (5), Bio (4), Chem (3), Art Hist (3), Calc BC (4), AB (4), Eng Literature (3), Chinese (3)
HS Senior Course Load: AP Art Hist, Honors Physics, Calculus BC, Honors Economics, Honors American Government, European Literature, Naval Sciences 7/8, AP Chemistry
Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): None, unless the following count: Ningxia University Top Volunteer Award (1000+ jrs volunteer in rural Ningxia, China)

Extracurriculars (place leadership in parentheses): ROTC (Brigade Executive Commander, Battalion Executive Commander, Battalion Platoon Drill Commanding Officer, Battalion General Staff), SEE (Sustainable Environmental Engineering, does projects in rural China to enhance life with practical solutions), P2P Micro (peer-2-peer microfinancing/microloans for rural areas in China)
Job/Work Experience: worked for years with licensed electrician
Volunteer/Community Service: tutor, co-founder of SEE
Summer Activities: went to Ningxia for 4 weeks
Essays: Common App (decent, about my desire to transfer in spite of attending a major research university due to the general disregard in wanting to “learn for the sake of learning”)
Professor Recommendations: I asked my TAs to help out, because my professors of Chem, Math, and Writing teach 500+ student sized classes. 7/10 or 8/10

State (if domestic applicant): CA
Country (if international applicant):
HS type: poor, large public
College type: large research public
Ethnicity: Chinese-American
Gender: M
Income Bracket: >30k
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): first generation, worked as a child with father at construction sites during weekends

I am also applying to various other schools, such as:
UCLA, etc etc

The essays are highly specific to each school (i.e. Dartmouth because of its joint replacement tech research and how its resonates with my interests due to having a close friends receive a hip replacement due to her crushing it in a freak biking accident). How do you view my current stand as a prospective transfer? Yes, this is highly untimely because all transfer apps are already due, but this is more of a speculative post than a true “chance”.


What is your major? Are you a rising sophomore?

I can’t speak for any of the privates you mentioned, but I think some of them are reaches (Columbia, Vanderbilt, and UPenn seem to be more friendly to transfer students, while Harvard is near impossible to get into.) As for UCB and UCLA, I think you have a really good chance, honestly. Granted, I don’t know your major, how many units you have, or which prerequisites you have or will have completed, but other than that, your application seems extraordinary. SAT scores won’t matter for UC’s, though.

Thanks for commenting, @goldencub !

My intended major is mechanical engineering, and I am a rising sophomore. I currently have 64 credits (graduation requirement is 190 for the College of Engineering, and the typical MechE student at UCSB has roughly 48-50 credits after freshmen year). Most prerequisites (i.e. the Chem, Calculus, half of Physics, Intro to Computer Programming, etc), as well as a couple of humanities-related GEs (more than the normal student would take), have been completed.

UCB and UCLA don’t accept transfers until all GEs are completed (usually 2 years, + - ). As a result, I do think that UCB and UCLA are another set of applications reserved until next year.

Be wary of the unit cap. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I believe if you are coming from a 4-year, you cannot take over 105 quarter units… I’m not absolutely certain, I know it involves not taking upper-div courses or something. I do know that you cannot apply once you have too many units from a UC, so it makes sense to apply to UCB/LA this year, and plan classes accordingly. They only accept junior-level transfers.

@goldencub does the unit cap only apply for the UC system, or the entire transfer process in general?

Another question: does the phrase “2-years”, for transfer purposes, refer to the amount of credits you have taken, or does it literally mean years?

I can’t chance you, but I transferred this year for very similar reasons (was attending far too large a school with far too little interest among the student body) to my top choice school. I got in on the strength of my writing, and since I was writing on a similar idea, I’d be happy to look over your Common App essay if you were interested.

@russtransfer which uni did you spend freshmen year at, and where did you end up transferring?

+hearty congrats from a stranger over the internet for your successful transfer!

I only know that it applies to the UC system. Not sure about other schools. Two years refers to units essentially. You can’t really transfer as a senior from a UC, which you would be attempting if you waited another year while completing more units. Apply this year.

@goldencub thanks for the advice! I have another question (or series of questions):

does UPenn offer double majors for transfers? Say that I got into UPenn SEAS, would I be able to, say, apply for a econ major from Wharton?

@drewcheckmated Thank you! I spent my first two years at McGill University in Montreal (although I am American), and I’m going to Amherst in the fall.