How simple is it to transfer from St. Johns to another college? Do most credits transfer easily? How difficult is it to get good grades at St. Johns? Is there extreme grade deflation? If so, would other colleges recognize its extreme grade deflation? Can you easily transfer to another really great college like reed or brown? Obviously the transfer process also depends on recommendations and essays, but I want a general understanding of the process.
Transferring from St. John’s isn’t particularly difficult. St. John’s transcripts list your courses as “seminar,” “freshman language tutorial,” etc., because that’s how they refer to them in their curriculum. But when the school sends a student’s transcripts to another college, it also sends along an explanation of how the SJC program works, and provides a guide for how each course breaks down into traditional credit hours. You can look at that document here: https://www.sjc.edu/application/files/1514/6825/8701/PDF_Parchment_Transcript_Support.pdf
I transferred to a state university after two years, and they transferred virtually all of my credits without any trouble.
Grades can be tricky. I got As in some classes while getting Cs in others, and even an F once (it was the one-credit freshman chorus class, which is Pass/Fail). Grading mostly boils down to the impression you make on your instructors throughout a semester. People who participate constructively in discussions every week and write good papers usually get As and Bs. Most instructors do skew low with their grading, however, since there isn’t much hard data for them to base it on. Your GPA will probably be lower than it would be at a comparable school.That doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t worth your while, though. The program itself is more challenging than what you encounter at most liberal arts schools, and if you apply yourself, you will come away from it a smarter, sharper, and far more insightful person.
As for other prestigious schools, one of my sophomore classmates transferred to Reed, so yes, that’s certainly possible. Many St. John’s tutors are alums of top-tier liberal arts colleges and prominent universities, so that can really work in your favor when getting letters of recommendation.