Transferring due to harassment

I’m seeking transfer due to extreme bullying and harassment from my current institution. One reason I haven’t reported it is because it involves a very extreme scandal at a “top” university, and actually due to the stalking on a federal scale, the federal authorities are already fully aware but taking absolutely no action. In my application, regarding transfer reasons, should I include information about assault, harassment, bullying, stalking, retaliation at the current institution? The current institution is trying to turn my “whistleblowing” into a sensational news article, and I just want to get my degree without disruption from a smaller university program that actually has the resources to support all of its students and doesn’t scam them into failing. I feel very unsafe and have left the country overseas due to the stalking and extreme racism, but the institution I transfer to should be aware that there are several people currently harassing and trying to defame me for safety reasons. Could someone with more experience comment on this issue?

Are you enrolled in school right now? What year are you? Are you a US citizen or international student? Would your name come up in news articles about this situation if googled?

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No, I would enroll as sophomore/junior, US citizen, no

For how long have you been out of school? What is your college GPA?

Thoughts @Hanna?

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During COVID, since I prefer in person classes and don’t believe online classes justify the high cost.

Low GPA, the department and university environment don’t suit me, and receiving a higher GPA at a different institution would help with future studies and employment as well as building a network.

Should read:

should be aware for safety reasons that there are several people currently harassing and trying to defame me

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The more info you give, the more posters will be able to help you. How low is ‘low gpa’?

I am sending you a PM, look on your avatar up in the right corner and click the green circle with a 1 in it.

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I’m in “good standing” at the current institution and have been since beginning.

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@Transferee1 This sounds complicated. Hard to know what the story is but would imagine that the new institution would be 1) skeptical of your story and 2) not inclined to take on an international episode. If you are asking whether this information would hurt or help your chances of being admitted, I am pretty sure it would hurt them. (If at some later date you are found to be a hero, it might help, but that would be far in the future).

Sorry you are going through such a rough time and hope you stay safe.

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I don’t think they would be skeptical. As for whether they would be inclined or not, I think that the top universities can handle it. After all, they cover up admissions bribery scandals from wealthy families every year lol. I just wonder the degree to which I should include negative/controversial topics in an application and how it can be helpful since applications (to liberal arts programs at least) are supposed to be “stories”. Someone messaged me with a referral to a counselor who helps applicants with cases like these, but since it’s costly, I do appreciate online comments.

I am not a college admissions officer, but would fear having my institution come under suspicion or similar accusations from such a candidate. This is why whistleblowers need protection, they are retaliated against or shunned. Hard to see where this helps your application.

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I wouldn’t include it for that exact reason, but it would be helpful to include for explanation of lower grades. Otherwise, low grades without justification don’t help the application at all. I also think institutions differ greatly in funding and many universities simply don’t have the resources or are still misogynistic for lack of a better word and don’t want to invest the resources to address these student issues over investments in academic research.

First question I have is do you really want to return to the US? Would you feel safer or more comfortable attending school in your home country or perhaps the UK or Canada?

Second, universities aren’t as interested in “stories” when it comes to transfer applications. Especially one where it’s going to be a “he said/she said” situation. I would stay away from saying anything negative about your current institution. Most schools, in their review of transfer applications, are trying to assess among other things whether the candidate will perform well at their school, what the candidate will contribute to the school, how well the candidate makes the case that the new school will/can provide resources, opportunities, and so forth that the candidate has not been able to attain at their current school. Generally speaking, they’ll take a hard pass on acquiring a student with a sensational news story, international intrigue or a whistleblower. Many schools are also need aware for transfer applicants.

You should put together an application that presents you in the best possible light and advocates why the new school is the optimal place for you to achieve your academic, personal and professional goals. Leave the drama out of it. You’ll be competing with many, many highly qualified candidates. You don’t want to give schools a reason to put your application in anything other than the acceptance pile.

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I’m a US citizen, so yes, only if harassment stops. Although, UK universities have their appeal however and I will do research into them.

Second, universities aren’t as interested in “stories” when it comes to transfer applications. Especially one where it’s going to be a “he said/she said” situation.

There are successful admissions counselors who frame stories in the applicant’s favor. I think it’s reasonable not to focus on negatives, though. It must be different from regular admissions but not by much?

Generally speaking, they’ll take a hard pass on acquiring a student with a sensational news story, international intrigue or a whistleblower. Many schools are also need aware for transfer applicants.

There isn’t a sensational news story about me. Rather, they are retaliating and threatening to turn events into a news story drama. About being a “whistleblower”, this is a label put on me regarding private comments and messages and conversations between close friends and family about institution and workplace issues (without violating any work confidentiality contracts). For support from close ones. Because this is how socializing works: people talk about issues in their lives with each other and get advice. I had never worked full-time before. Powerful institutions take censorship too far to protect themselves after wrongdoing/mistreatment. I did directly bring up issues privately to institutions, but not outside to legal or official union organizations or news outlets, like actual “whistleblowers”. It’s a label to silence and prevent me from taking actual “whistleblowing” actions. It’s engaging in bullying behavior and scare tactics as retaliation against negative but truthful comments about issues. I do admit discussions shouldn’t be made about top secret critical work, but the issues related to work I brought up were not so important involving confidential data or intellectual property, and other issues related to the university were reported publicly in the news. And still unresolved, so that’s their own fault, and no actions would be taken if people continue to pretend it’s not an issue. I also believe I pick issues reasonably, like issues that put people in physical danger, issues against institution policy that violate academic integrity and credibility of a “top” institution, and issues that negatively affect my career.

You should put together an application that presents you in the best possible light and advocates why the new school is the optimal place for you to achieve your academic, personal and professional goals. Leave the drama out of it. You’ll be competing with many, many highly qualified candidates. You don’t want to give schools a reason to put your application in anything other than the acceptance pile.

I definitely agree. The issue is justifying lower grades. One route is to mention that they are circumstances outside of my control, and after filing a formal report, there should be legal support. It is the job of institutions to keep people safe. Another route is to state that a different program and career are intended to be pursued since the current one isn’t the best fit.

Put your best foot forward in your applications, make sure you have a few colleges on your list where the lower grades put you squarely within the rest of the applicant pool and see what happens. Your situation sounds very complicated- hugs to you- but I can’t see how going into detail (or describing/explaining low grades) helps your case.

If you are being stalked, have you found a lawyer to help you with an order of protection? Seems to me that’s more important than worrying about your future career right now. Make sure you are safe, the future will still be there.

Hugs.

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I don’t think that you should mention any of this. I understand that you don’t want to give more details here, but it is really difficult to think of any situation where a student would be a victim of “a very extreme scandal” at a top university, and be so afraid for their safety that they would flee the country. I’m not saying that what you are relating isn’t true. I’m just saying that any admissions counselor who reads this might think that you are having a mental health crisis, and not admit you. Your poor grades are also likely to torpedo your chances of transferring to a selective institution.

I would not mention any of this. Probably best for you to apply to schools that would accept you with the GPA you have, without any explanation. I have a feeling that any explanation that involves accusations against the former university will lead to rejection at the institution you’re applying for. It’s not right, it’s not fair, but it’s probably what would happen.

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I wish I could believe your advice, scandals happen and faculty retaliate or else they’re fired. It’s a #1 ranked program (unjustly so for undergraduates due to the extremely large size and lack of resources for everyone, not just a select few). They will do anything to keep it that way including threatening students. It’s a state university too, and I’m not from that state and don’t want to live there ever due to the bullying. It’s already one of the most controversial universities. Hopefully they consider every other part of my application over poor performance in classes that are way overloaded with students. I did have mental health issues, but the department actually encourages everyone to go on meds due to the prevalence of mental health issues (probably illegal advice, they are definitely not medically qualified), and who wouldn’t have anxiety or stress in such a situation. Horribly run undergraduate program for such a high rank. Why the federal government hasn’t stepped in yet is a total mystery (my guess is they intentionally bully people who speak up).

Not yet. I contacted police before who refused me a report. He wouldn’t file one for stalking so I left the country. It’s likely racial and gender prejudice. A lawyer is a good idea.

I would say you would be insane to mention it.

No organizations want to be involved with anyone who has even remotely been involved with scandal.

They’ll show you empathy, they’ll play nice - but in the end they won’t want you on their campus - it’s that simple.

Not to create a side thread but you can ask someone like Colin Kapernick - who did nothing illegal but did something controversial - fact is, he was in the news, just like your situation might get in the news, even if you weren’t.

A school will want to know -why would we want you? Why would you be good for this school?

Even mentioning drama would likely put you in the reject pile, short of a public university or community college - but I don’t think that’s where you intend. By the way, I would tell you the same thing for when you graduate and try and gain employment.

Organizations are risk averse. Sell yourself, move on from your past. If you have to say why you are leaving, you can simply say it wasn’t a good fit - and move on.

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Part of this is likely to hinge on whether the universities you’re applying to can understand what you’re talking about, ie., “as a student at NYU Abu Dhabi I was sexually harassed, the police thought it was totally fine* and the university didn’t let me complain” or “while attending HKU the new provost tried to force me to withdraw pro democracy blog posts” v. “I chose not to get vaccinated and not to wear a mask, and the university had me forcibly removed from campus when I tried to attend the classes I’d paid for”.
What’s your GPA (or equivalent depending on the system you attended ?) Wh2t field, subject, or major? Is the university located in a country with known human rights issues ? Why did you choose this university in the first place and would you be reconsidering attendingif the harassment hadn’t taken place? What universities would you be applying to (you can list 6 similar ones, out of whixh only 2 or 3 are really on your list)?

(* because it legally is, and reporting sexual assault means the woman broke the law on decency – Americans can get caught in that)

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