Reapplying to same school as a transfer

TL;DR: I was gonna attend Cornell as a first-time freshman but chose to go to unc to save money first. What is the chance that I get accepted again as a transfer?

Hey everyone! This year I got into Cornell, UNC, and several other top schools on my list and while I was gonna choose Cornell, I choose instead to commit to UNC due to the high cost that Cornell would place on me and my parents if I went all four years.

I absolutely love UNC and can’t wait to attend this fall, but after 1-2 years, my parents are okay with me transferring since we can have enough savings to not go significantly in debt to attend and because it has always been my dream school.

Needless to say, what is the chance, say, I get accepted again? Are there any official stats on this? Thanks for answering!

First, it really isn’t a good idea to start off at a school with the thought of transferring already blooming in your mind. It keeps you from fully immersing yourself in the experience. You might like it enough to stay if you give it a chance!

Second, I’m not sure you would find any official stats for the situation you describe. Cornell does offer GTO to first year applicants provided they meet certain criteria. Other transfer students will be evaluated together based on their college record and admission granted based on availability of space. I have not applied to Cornell as a transfer but maybe there is a question asking if you previously applied on the application but maybe there isn’t. Either way, the longer you are out of high school and the more college classes you take, the less relevant your high school transcript is.


This is a parlor-game question- and it is hard not to wonder how unequivocally happy you are when you are already looking at bailing in 2 years!

The thing is, yes Cornell accepts Junior transfers- based in no small part on how many spaces they have available, but also reflecting your accomplishments over the next 18 months and your reasons for wanting to come to their school. If you are worried that they will bin any transfer application automatically b/c you turned them down once, luckily they don’t live in MS world.

But as @helpingmom40 points out it is a genuinely bad idea to start at a school with one foot out the door.


Getting in as a transfer is not a given, even though you were previously accepted. Cornell will want specific reasons for why you need to be at Cornell, and “dream school” isn’t going to cut the mustard.

If you decide to do this, you will need great prof recs and a high GPA, and you will need to show how you were involved in campus or community life. It’s hard to have all three components when you intend at the outset to transfer, because achieving those three things means being committed to UNC. By the time you’ve invested yourself in UNC, hopefully you will love it and not want to transfer.


Most transfers are admitted either to CALS or ILR. Are those majors of interest?


Unless UNC does not offer your desired major and Cornell does, stay at UNC & save your money for graduate school.

Transfer admissions to Cornell is tricky to assess due to the number of GTO outstanding & utilized.

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UNC actually does!! (i’m doing econ/business) but Cornell’s program with Applied Econ and Management I love alot as well since they have special focuses on entrepreneurship and sustainability. I wrote my supplement to them about my mission in becoming an investor focused around sustainability and collaborative investing/business since it’s really meaningful to me.

I definitely see where you’re coming from with simply saving money and doing the grad school route and I’m open to that too. I figure that I could just wait and see for 2 years how I feel about UNC ,and if I still have the urge to transfer, then I’ll go ahead. But I know that I’ll also be happy coming and graduating from here too. After all, the experience and gaining internships + networks will be more important than where I go so I’m trying to keep perspective with that too.

Thanks!!! :slight_smile:

Hey thanks for replying!! I got into CALS/Dyson so it would be my top choice. I figure that I could make it work out at UNC though so I want to give it a shot first. I guess I’ll see what happens :slight_smile:

Hey thanks for replying!!

My friends and family have told me the same thing, and on second thought, I really should just go in with an open mind and fully immerse myself. Others in the thread have told me that I should consider grad school as an option too which I might, but as of now, will just leave on a backburner.

The cornell app would ask if you applied before but I don’t believe they will ask for anything more on this part.

I’ll just make the most I can at UNC and have fun there and reconsider in two years if anything. :slight_smile:

Hey thanks for replying!!

And yeah I’m aware that simply it being a “dream school” isn’t good enough. I wrote my supplements on how their focus on making business collaborative and their program with applied economics and sustainability really suited my mission to be an investor focused around sustainability and ethical business which I think along with my teacher’s recs (I love them!!) and other things got me in.

I’ve talked to friends and family about it and I’ll definitely give UNC a shot. Sorry if I came off as like I wasn’t motivated to go, it’s more so that I feel so strongly about my base conviction abt Cornell, but I’ll just leave it on the backburner and go in with an open mind.

Again, Thanks for the advice!! :slight_smile:

Hey thanks for replying!!

It wasn’t my intention to sound that way at all so I apologize! I answered in other responses in this thread why I feel so strongly about Cornell but my family and friends urge me to give UNC a chance and I know I need to give it a chance so I will.

I did more research and it seems like I could apply to transfer in at any point during undergrad but I agree with helpingmom in terms of that I could really end up loving UNC so much I end staying :blush:. I’ll give it a shot and if not I’ll transfer, but I’ll make the most of it.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Another option may be to take courses at nearby schools (Duke & NC State) if you want to experience a different environment. Check to see whether or not UNC has cross registration agreements with Duke & NC State.

Also, you might attend another school as a visiting student for a semester or for a year.

Study abroad is another option to consider.

No need to go into debt for undergraduate study since you have an outstanding low-cost in-state option.

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I would agree with @helpingmom40 on this. It’s really not healthy to start college with the intention to transfer out. Also keep in mind that because you can afford something now doesn’t mean that’ll be true in a couple years. Right now you have a solid school, and even better, you can afford it. It sounds like Cornell is barely affordable…maybe. Barely affordable is like playing with a house of cards. It might work, but chances are, it won’t.

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