Reapplication to Top universities after studying in a CC or state university

I am an international student applying to the US in this upcoming regular cycle (Jan, 2022). Let’s take a university that gives generous aid to international students as an example - Duke University. I have a few questions.

  1. If I don’t get a financial aid package that I want from Duke and I instead go to a state university or a community college, and reapply to Duke in the following Early cycle let’s say (Nov,2022) and while I am in the CC or state uni, I get the desired financial aid to Duke and want to transfer, can I transfer with the aid and also get all my credits (not waste a a year)

  2. If I can transfer, will I have to wait till the end of the year/semester to transfer or can I do it mid semester

  3. Will it have any affect on my chances to getting a generous aid and admission to the top universities like Duke, compared to the new High school graduates applying

  4. If this transfer is possible, then isn’t there higher competition in every cycle for new high school grads as the already university going students with better EC’S and profile are applying along them to the universities?

1/ transfer of credits depends on the college you are transferring to. It is common for all credits to not transfer. The FA is effective once you enroll at the new university.

2/ If you apply for fall 23 admission, then you wait until Fall 23. To here is no starting in the middle of the semester.

3/ In general, chances for aid are better for freshmen.

4/ transfer spots happen because people leave the university for whatever reason. Transfer applicants are not competing with freshmen applicants. But at most places, transfer acceptance rates are lower than freshmen acceptance rates.


If I am ready to waste an year afterwards if I get the desired aid, would I be able to apply for a freshmen spot in the other uni (duke in this example) and compete with the freshmen applicant pool and also not be at any disadvantage?

To be clear, you need to get accepted before you get notified of any aid.

If you will have attended another college and will have earned a year’s worth of credit, you are ineligible to apply as a freshman at Duke.

If you take a gap year, you can apply as a freshman, but Duke will evaluate what you did on your gap year. You cannot simply attend another college and think you will just drop out of college A if accepted by Duke.

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Thank you. That clears it all.