Ivy League

<p>Simply put, I want to transfer into the Ivy League. A bit of background: I originally went to UC Berkeley as a freshman to major in Mechanical Engineering. I completed one class, with a B, my first semester (the others were removed from my transcript), and withdrew from the university my second semester. I then took an entire year off school to go to rehab (yes, I was a heroin addict). I started back up at community college in southern california last year, got straight A’s, and just transfered into USC as a sophmore. </p>

<p>I like USC, it’s great, but I have the confidence in my academic ability to reach higher now. I don’t want to go back to Berkeley, bad memories, and not a good place for pre-meds. I am a Neuroscience major now, but I was thinking of English if I transfer again. So that leaves me with Stanford, Harvard, and Yale, which look very appealing and are in college towns that I want to live in. USC doesn’t have the safe college town atmosphere I am looking for (if you know what I mean, i.e. it’s in the ghetto). So, some questions:</p>

<li><p>How does the unit cap work at Harvard and Yale?</p></li>
<li><p>I have very little extra-curricular experience since high school, though I am volunteering in a few programs this semester, how important is this factor?</p></li>
<li><p>What do you think of the severely abused child to heroin addict to clean & sober student story? It got me into USC. I, in fact, think this is a great hook (though a controversial one) that the Ivy League schools listed will respect.</p></li>
<li><p>How bad does it look to medical schools that I may end up at a FOURTH institution? (Cal, CC, USC, ___)</p></li>

<p>Here are my stats:</p>

<p>GPA: 3.91
ACT: 32
SAT II’s: High 600’s on all three
-above two scores nearly 4 years old
HS GPA: 3.85 (weighted, several AP’s per semester)</p>

<p>HS extra-curricular:
-Raced shifter-karts (think extremely fast go-kart 120+mph) on a North American Pro-Tour for 5 years. Placed 2nd at World Finals, 4th in National Championship in 2001.
-Worked at karting shop and as private mechanic/tuner, lots of technical problem solving and such</p>

<p>College EC’s: None yet, will be volunteering as mentor and health teacher to middle school kids this semester, as well as at a hospital.</p>

<p>So I think that is it. I’d appreciate any responses. Thanks.</p>

<p>Your situation is such that no one is going to be able to accurately predict how admissions committees will look at your application. These schools are all very competitive to transfer into, as you well know. I think you definitely stand a chance - the numbers are there - but, your application is going to be really hit or miss. Either you gain the sympathy of those reading your application, or you will get outright rejected.</p>

<p>As an aside, have you ever been to New Haven? From your complaints about USC, it seems to me that you have never visited Yale. New Haven is not as idyllic as one might think!</p>

<p>I loled at the crack addict thing.</p>

<p>I don't think it looks good that you've switched schools that many times and and I think it will hurt your chances. Why don't you just stick out the last two years at USC then go to grad school? Do you really think there will be that much of an advantage to transfering again?</p>

<p>ahem... HEROIN addict. Hahaha, I've got to be able to make fun of myself, right?</p>

<p>I'm not sure what kind of advantage there would be to transferring, probably not much. It seems mainly to be a thing of prestige at this point, though I did find an environment like Berkeley more intellectually stimulating than USC, not to say I am some brilliant person in the midst of average minds, that is certainly not the case.</p>

<p>By the way, I have three years left at USC, I am only a sophmore.</p>

<p>I think I'll end up sticking to USC in the end, but the idea still keeps invading my mind to "transfer up". I really like the Neuroscience program here at USC, so that's a big plus for it, and though the campus isn't in the best of places, the actual campus and the atmosphere on it are great, much more relaxed than Berkeley. I just wanted to throw this out there to get a feel for what others think. And yeah, it probably would be excessive to transfer yet again, and there are always the medical schools at those places, though that is going to be a difficult task.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies.</p>

<p>"By the way, I have three years left at USC, I am only a sophmore."</p>

<p>Yeah, but you would be transfering next year, right? I don't believe you'd be able to transfer this instant.</p>

<p>I think you have transferred too many times at this point and are at too good of a school (USC) for the "transfer for prestige reasons" to get you into Harvard or Yale. I'm not really sure what reasons you intend to use in your essays, but I think the real reason (which you've informed us of) will probably show through. You've got some good stats and were obviously a good student to get into UC Berkeley out of high school, but I think you're shooting a little too high with Harvard and Yale. I would second the other person who said just go to Harvard or Yale for grad school, but if you really want to transfer now, you should always give it a shot.</p>

<p>Ok, I get what you mean snugglemonster.</p>

<p>And yeah, you guys are right. I really have no demonstrated NEED to transfer. I don't think taking a shot at it is worth the headache it'll probably create.</p>

<p>Look at Brown!!</p>

<p>Brown got harder to transfer into, though they may admit more in the future. Transfer admit numbers tend to fluctuate.</p>