Will transfering schools hurt my chances to get into colleges?

I came to the US in 2014, and since then I’ve transferred 3 times. (The first time is from a private to public, because we couldn’t afford the tuition anymore with my mom’s business failing. And then the next two times are because we moved, firstly from Santa Monica to Rancho Cucamonga, then from Cali to Vancouver WA.)

My GPA is kind of messed up because of different grading systems.The transfers also messed up my performance in some AP because I had to get into (and out of) classes half way. And most importantly, I couldn’t stay in an EC for very long. I did manage to get some leadership opportunities along the way, but I couldn’t really show any commitment nor did I achieve anything very impressive.

English is not my first language… So I apologize in advance if some of my posts are ill-written…

Hmmmm maybe I need to elaborate… [why is no one commenting…]

My unweight GPA is 3.86, ranked 20/450
(I had 3.9+ unweight and ranked 11/1106 before transferring into Washington state. Back in Cali I was told that freshmen GPA doesn’t matter, and then A- is the same as A. )

I got to Vancouver in February, about three and a half months before the AP test. But the new school doesn’t have AP Euro, so I was placed in AP World; and I was transferred into AP Bio. (Thus I got a 4 on both subjects last year, and I had to drop AP Euro)

I will be secretary of HOSA and Science Olympiad next year, Captain of Vancouver ARML team and president of our school Math club.
I founded international club (or cultural discovery club) in two schools, but didn’t stay long enough to see how it turned out in the end. (Hopefully the board carried them on… because American culture can sometimes be rly alienating)
I would have gone to state for AcaDeca if I’d stay, but apparently it’s not a thing in Washington.
As of volunteers, I never stopped; I did a lot with NHS, and some individual projects too. But the longest I’ve stayed in a any place is 60 hours max.
Never won any state level awards.

1420 in SAT–800 math, 620 reading. (IK it’s not that good, I took it in January… Planning on taking it again in August. Hopefully I can get my reading up this time)
Subject test-- 800 Math II, 800 Physics, 800 Bio E
I did rly bad on PSAT (1370 or 1330, I think)
Never took ACT.
AP–4 in Bio & World; 3 in Lang; 5 in Physics 1, C Mech, C E&M, APUSH, Psych, Calc AB & BC.
Planning on taking AP French, Chem, Econ, Com Sci A, Stats, Physics 2; and Multi Calc next year.

My aim has always been Ivy League schools (U of Penn especially),and I think with this stats they’re out of reach… And i think, a part of it is caused by these transfers. (Because these aren’t all that effected me; moving to new places is even harder on my life than the stats. And although I think my teachers maybe generally like me, I don’t think any of them actually knows me tht well to write a good recommendation)

Transfering schools because your family moved around will not be held against you, but it does complicate your application. Start early to figure out how to collect all your transcripts and such.

Keep researching colleges and find some to love besides Penn. You have a strong record – don’t waste it by only applying to reach schools when there are so many options out there for you.

What is your planned major? What did you like about Penn? Do you know your EFC and college budget?

My major is going to be physics and math. I like u of penn because they offer double majors and also a minor in actuarial math, and their finical aid. Plus my best friend got in there. idk the exact amount of my EFC, but im pretty sure tht it’d be low.

Physics and math are widely available. Try some of these schools for good aid as well.


Google: College dataverse colleges with great financial aid

The University of Washington is very good. You should take a close look at your in-state options (assuming that you will be there long enough for it to become in-state). When I was in a Master of Science program at a very highly ranked university, many of the students there had done their Bachelor’s degree at their in-state flagship universities (from schools all over the US, and in some cases from other countries as well).