Transferring from UCLA to a Private

Hi everyone,

So today I officially SIR’d to UCLA - after I learned that my financial aid appeal to Johns Hopkins was unsuccessful. I am absolutely heartbroken about Hopkins, but I know UCLA is a great school as well. Because I prefer small campuses with close professor interaction, I have a feeling that I might be uncomfortable here. I was wondering that IF I decided I didn’t like it at UCLA, how feasible it is to transfer to a private school, such as Johns Hopkins or an Ivy like Yale (just as an example) after the freshman year? Is it easier doing it after sophomore year?

P.S. it is not a concrete decision I’ve made that I want to transfer, it was an idea suggested by my parents that I thought might be a good one.

Sorry that you had to give up on your dream school for now. I know it hurts.

I don’t know the answer about transferring, but our UCLA tour guide said that professors are very accessible. He said that they are forbidden to do any work during office hours except for seeing students, even if no one shows up. He said he once went to see a professor during office hours whose class he was not in and told him he was having trouble with planning his future, and the professor spent the entire time helping him decide which direction to take and what courses he would need. He also said that there is enough research going on that everyone who wants to can participate, but not necessarily on popular projects that might be one’s first choice. Guess this is just one person’s word, but it is possible you could make enough connections so that you wouldn’t feel the need to transfer.


Thank you. It is nice to hear that the professors care about students, I will give them a try!

@rissanicole14 most schools do not meet 100% of financial need for transfer students, so if financial aid is a necessity, planning on transferring may not be the best option.

You should check the transfer stats of the schools you’re interested in. Sometimes it’s even harder to get in as a transfer - for example I think Stanford admits around 4-5% of freshmen, but only 2% of transfers. So if you weren’t admitted as a freshman to an Ivy, consider what would you do to make yourself even more attractive as a transfer while a freshman at UCLA?

@Emsmom1 after doing more research today, I have noticed transfer students on this website running into this issue. I was hoping that top schools with big endowments would be able to give me more finaid. Clearly I need to rethink this and look at stats for specific schools I’m interested in.

@anomander Yikes; after looking into admissions stats I do see the significantly lower percentages for transfer students. Looks like I will have to maintain a very high GPA, pursue great extracurriculars and get as close to professors as possible my first year to have a chance.

It’s very possible to know professors. One of my professors knows me by name and invited me to go rock climbing with him and I never attended office Hours. My math professor also knew me by name in a 300 person class and when I couldn’t get him for winter quarter for the next class I went to his office and he was able to get me in. My English professor wrote me a letter of rec. Just do well in classes and get to know them they are really nice people.

I suggest giving UCLA a chance and then means more than a semester or two and having an open mind. It takes a couple semesters to find your groove at a bigger school but the size shrinks once you know other students and start to get anchored in your major, including getting to know profs.

You should never worry about the school being too big. UCLA is a world-class university, granted it is huge but professors encourage their students to go to their office hours. I recall many of my courses my professors stated that nobody was coming to their office hours and sarcastically stated we must know it all and said “Please. come and see me if you have any questions.” Professors are ultra cool at UCLA, I never had a really bad experience with them. In office hours outside of our course work I I spoke to them about sports, music, what drove them to study in their field, my future goals and etc. Do not worry about UCLA’s size and the number of students, that is actually a blessing.You’re going to be fine and in a few years time, you’re going to be glad you attended and graduated from UCLA.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated in his 1933 inauguration speech, “…The only thing we have to fear is…fear itselef…”