Where should I set my limits to?

<p>I'm a community college student and I'm looking for prospective colleges to transfer to. I'm a little unsure of the credentials schools are looking for because estimate GPA/SAT is for high school graduates. I did horrible in high school, but I picked up the slack in college and tried my best. I'm looking for a liberal arts school with a good science program because I intend on majoring in biochemistry. Here are my stats:</p>

<p>High school
GPA: 2.5
SAT: 1040</p>

<p>Community College
GPA: 3.9
Credits: 30
Degree: Biological Sciences
Significant Courses: Honors ENG 2, Honors Cultural Geography, Honors Western Civ, Colloquium, Biology I & 2, Chemistry 1 & 2, CALC 1</p>

<p>Extra Curricular & Awards
Deans List: Summer '07, Fall '08
Honors Program Scholarship - Full tuition to attend community College
Honors Club - Elected President of ~72 members. In the club we raise money for organizations in the area and create a community-driven environment where accelerated students can work together.
National Honors Society ( Phi Theta Kappa ) - Elected Vice President of Fellowship. Involved in community service.
Student Government Association - Elected Senator
Volunteering - Various volunteering/community service efforts for local organizations. </p>

Peer Mentoring - A job at school where I conduct workshops and teach orientation classes. It is directed towards students who come to the community college environment and need a little extra help to get to college level courses. </p>

I've looked at a recommendation that my Biology teacher wrote for a scholarship program, and it was excellent. In it, he stated my leadership qualities and my rank: #3 out of 50 in 2 of his classes. I came out with a 94% average when the average class mean was 64%.
My English teacher wrote a similar recommendation stating I had exemplary leadership qualities and was very goal oriented and determined to do well at everything I pursued.</p>

<p>Do you have any geographical preferences? </p>

<p>Any other preferences - campus culture (active Greek life or no? sports you want to play or no? spectator sport-heavy LAC or no?...) artsy or preppy or quirky or..., student body size?</p>

<p>What about cost factors?</p>

<p>Give us as much of an outline of your preferences as you can.</p>

<p>Congrats on what you have accomplished in the transition from hs to cc.</p>

<p>What state are you in? Are there private or public schools in your state which have formal or informal transfer agreements with your cc? Is there a Transfer Advisor at your cc? any good?</p>

<p>Are you a freshman? Planning to transfer after 2 yrs at cc?</p>

<p>I live in Pennsylvania, and I would like to attend a school in PA, preferably, but would not might the north eastern states either. </p>

<p>As for the campus size, I'd like it to be 2,000 - 15,000 students. I don't mind a Greek life, although I don't plan on participating in it. However, student social life shouldn't revolve around it. I don't really play sports except for club/intramural level, and most schools have that anyway. I'd like the student body to be diverse and open to many different types of people. But I would like them to be sophisticated and for the most part mature. </p>

<p>Cost will play little factor, because I'm sure I could get a decent amount of scholarships and financial aid and the rest I plan on paying off with loans. </p>

<p>Although there are transfer agreements with many schools in the area, they are all public schools that I do not really want to attend. I was hoping that I'd be able to shoot higher than that, but you may tell me differently. Most of the advisers at school try to gear you towards the partnership schools and that's not much help to me, so that's why I came here. </p>

<p>Currently, I am a sophomore and I plan on transferring after I complete 4 semesters of coursework.</p>

<p>Well, cost may play a factor. Because there is not usually much in the way of merit aid for transfer students. So you would need to look at what Pennsylvania or other northeastern schools offer merit scholarships to transfers. Also, if you are thinking need-based aid, then you will need to look for schools which meet a similar % of need for transfers as for freshman. Some do, some don't.</p>

<p>Don't want to be discouraging, but cost factors can be a little harsher for transfers.</p>

<p>When you say "shoot higher," can you give an idea of a school or two or three that you have your eye on?</p>

<p>Some possibilities that accept a decent % of transfers and have Biochem major: Duquesne, U Scranton, St. Joe's. Tougher to get into might be Muhlenberg...</p>

<p>Okay, I'll keep that in mind about the costs. </p>

<p>I was thinking Bucknell, Lehigh, Gettysburg, Franklin & Marshall, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, Boston College, University of Maryland..</p>

<p>I didn't want to necessarily give this list because I wanted people to judge based on my credentials rather than be influenced on my personal opinions on where I want to go. I don't even know if I want to go to those schools, but I'd just like to know what kind of schools I'd be able to go to. What should I consider reach, good match, and safety schools? (not from my list, rather out of the specifics I've provided prior)</p>

<p>Some of those would be reaches, some I'm not familiar with.</p>

<p>Here's what I would do if I were you:</p>

<p>Carefully research the cost element of schools that appeal to you - what are their financial aid/scholarship policies for transfers? (Usually right on their websites). Drop schools which just will not help financially.</p>

<p>Then, of those with transfer-friendly financial aid policies, include some with 60%+ transfer acceptance rates (some of the ones I mentioned) (should be safe). Then some with 30%+ transfer acceptance rates (more match-y). And then however many reaches you want. But don't include more than 1 reach which tends to have average SAT scores in the very high 1300s or more.</p>

<p>From your list, BC and Carnegie Mellon are reaches for just about anybody. Lehigh could be reach-y, but they do accept a reasonable % of transfer applicants (maybe in the 40% range?).</p>

<p>Would you be able to visit and interview at some of these schools? If you feel you interview well (I'm betting you do based on the way you present here), that might be a good idea. </p>

<p>You are right that it's hard to figure out "where you stand" because the stats on admissions are usually for freshmen and SAT scores are often used to gauge chances. Are you taking the SATs again? Or submitting your old ones? Or will the schools you apply to not require them for jr. transfer? Schools which had 20% or more freshmen with SATs in your hs range should be safe, because you have really stepped way up from that. Schools which had "some" in that range, but not many, would be match. Schools with none or almost none in that range would be reach.</p>

<p>One way to go about comparing your GPA to accepted freshman profile is to average you hs and cc GPA's, which would put you at about 3.2 and use that to compare to a college's freshman profile of acceptees. Just as a gauge; you probably won't be submitting your hs credentials and even if you do, I think the upward trend will mean they'll look at you more favorably than the 3.2 guesstimate.</p>

<p>These are all just rough proxies, because the data aren't out there for transfers the way they are for freshmen.</p>

<p>On College Board or on some schools' websites or Common Data Set, you can find the average college GPA for accepted transfers. That may help. </p>

<p>I believe you could succeed at most of those schools, even the reach-y ones. Some, however, in the biochem major, may be very intense (CMU for example) and might be more pressure than you would enjoy. But I don't know you, so that might not be an issue. Think about whether you want a really intense, high-pressure academic environment or more balanced and relaxed. If you are able to visit, sit in on some biochem classes and try to get a feel for the atmosphere and academic pressure the students are feeling.</p>

<p>Some schools have Transfer specialists within their Admissions Offices. I think you should try to speak, by phone or in person, with some of those. They are usually very very helpful. I believe Lehigh is one. Ask about cc transfers and what they are looking for and what makes a strong candidate.</p>

<p>I'm not a fan of the SATs, but maybe re-taking them would show your strength and make you a stronger candidate (just an idea).</p>

<p>Maybe as "ultimate safeties", apply to 1 or 2 of those publics which your cc has a great track record with. Whichever you like the best.</p>

<p>Do either of your recommenders come from a school that might be right for you? Do either of them have recommendations for where you should consider?</p>

<p>Finally, I'm not sure what type of schedule you are on - if you are a sophomore, will you have completed 4 semesters of work at the end of this term? If so, you may have missed the deadlines for transfer as a jr. for the coming fall? Or do you have another semester or more to go after this one?</p>

<p>Good luck. I wish I could be more helpful. But it is complicated to gauge chances when the cc record is so much stronger than the hs record.</p>

<p>Thank you very much, you were very informative. I'll do some more investigating, but the numbers you gave me seem logical and applicable. I'll take heed to the tips you gave me (such as visiting the schools, interviewing, etc.)</p>

<p>Unfortunately, I do not think I would fair well if I were to retake the SAT's, because a majority of the subjects are based on things that were taught in highschool, and I hardly remember any of it anymore. I'd have to go back and reteach myself all the trig and geometry and I don't really think I have the time to accomplish that. </p>

<p>But once again, thank you very much for your input. I'll try and see what I can do.</p>

<p>No problem re the SATs. I don't really like to advocate re-taking them, and - so long as you don't need to submit to the transfer schools - they won't hurt you.</p>

<p>SAT scores are such an "easy" way to gauge where you fit in the applicant/acceptee pool. But your scores, I'm quite sure, don't reflect your current abilities and motivation.</p>

<p>Also, if you've been reading the "crappy hs record, good college record" thread.... I think you might find some posters whose situation paralleled yours. They would be great individuals to PM - ask what they think most enhances your chances; how they figured out which schools were reach/match/safety.</p>

<p>Several of the students here on the Transfer Forum are really helpful. I think you'll notice them by their informative, generous posts.</p>