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Transfer Student odds for a Top 25 school

NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Hi, I was hoping if someone could help me figure out my possibilities of getting into a top school.

About me: I'm going into my sophomore year in a community college in Houston, Texas. I am a first generation college student from a family that originates from Central America (the highest education achieved from them is 9th grade). I grew up on the border of Compton and Paramount, California raised by a single mother. My family ended up moving to Texas in order to escape the gangs inn Compton and Paramount.

Major: Communications (but I am also interested in Sports Management)

Stats:

College GPA: 3.7
High School GPA: 1.96

Race: Hispanic/Indigenous to Central America (Guatemala)

Gender: Male

Home State: Texas (Originally from California)

SES: Poverty (Single Parent Household)

SAT/ACT: I have not taken an ACT or SAT, but will I will in August. My goal is to get at least a 1400 on the SAT and a 31 on the ACT.

Extra Curricular:
- Boxing
- Tutoring Spanish at my campus
- Part-time job in order to help support the family
- Building computers

Extra Information:

The schools that I'm considering applying to as a Transfer student: Stanford, UCB, UCLA, USC, UCSD, Rice University, Texas A&M College Station, University of Houston, UT Austin.

I spent my first year of college in and out of the hospital because my step-father had a terrible accident

I recently earned a 4.0 in my Spring 2019 semester.

I was suppose to take a 1 year gap between high school and college to mainly work, but that 1 year became 3. Luckily, it turned out to be a huge learning experience about life and the troubles of working at a dead end job.

My main goal is to make up for what I didn't do in high school. In high school I did not care about my education whatsoever until I realized later on in life how important it is. Now I'm taking advantage of this 2nd chance and I'm working hard to make the most out of it.

Replies to: Transfer Student odds for a Top 25 school

  • MrSamford2014MrSamford2014 Registered User Posts: 386 Member
    You have a very, very compelling personal story. You will need not only to refine that story so that it can be integrated into your application essays, but also (as part of those essays) to utilize the story in order to contextualize your low high school GPA.

    I would think that your odds are good at UH, but I don't know how UT and A&M evaluate transfer applications--in particular, whether or not they focus on CC grades rather than HS grades.

    It might turn out that private universities will have more flexibility in valuing qualitative factors (first gen college, URM, personal story of overcoming hardship and then succeeding academically at a CC) over quantitative factors (HS grades, tests scores) in a way that would work to your advantage. Rice would certainly be a great fit for you, given its location, its excellent financial aid, and its SM major. If I could, I would wave a magic wand to get you in; as it stands, you'll really need to focus on maximizing your SAT/ACT performance if you want to stand a chance. I suggest that you add Columbia University's School of General Studies (for returning and nontraditional students) to your list; the CC where my wife teaches has sent some interesting students there.

    I wish you the very best of luck!
  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I appreciate you replying @MrSamford2014 Rice university is definitely towards the top of my list of potential schools. I have this burning ambition in me to prove to myself as well as others that I am capable of hanging with the best despite my history and background. I'm definitely going to keep on working hard to have an overall better application by the time I need to start applying for these colleges. Colombia is an amazing university that I was originally interested in, but I specifically chose California campuses as well as Texas campuses in order to stay close to my family. If I told you I was home sick for California that would be a severe understatement.

    Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    Note that California public universities do not offer financial aid to out of state students, except for super competitive merit scholarships.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 5,047 Senior Member
    I would like to congratulate you on the huge improvement in your life. Your college GPA of 3.7 should be sufficient to get you into some good universities. Schools understand that some students start off as, well kids, and mature over time. Your time off between high school and college clearly has helped you, and your grades in college are proving this.

    To me your best chances are probably in-state in Texas. UT Huston looks like a good choice. I have heard very good things about UT Austin.

    The various Universities of California are likely to be very expensive since you are OOS. However, did you graduate high school in California or in Texas? If you graduated high school in California, then I actually don't know whether you would be in-state there.

    Stanford is obviously a high reach. I don't know much about Rice or Texas A&M but I think that both are worth an application.

    Good luck and best wishes!
  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @DadTwoGirls Thank you. I graduated in Texas (class of 2015) and I've lived here for a decade now. I am definitely considering the schools near by me in order to stay close to my family.

    Texas A&M is an easy school to get into compared to the rest of the schools in my list. Rice university on the other hand is arguably a top 15 school in the nation and the best university the state of Texas has to offer.

    It would be a blessing to be accepted into any of these schools. Even if I don't get into my top choices, I would be happy with whatever school takes me in. I am prepared to work hard at whatever school accepts me.
  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @ucbalumnus Yeah it's a shame that the public California schools don't offer any financial aid to OOS students. It's a bit of a bummer but I'm not discouraged. I'm still going to apply and just see what happens.

    I'm just going to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    edited May 16
    http://admissions.utexas.edu/explore/transfer-profile gives limited transfer admission statistics for UT Austin.

    http://www.uh.edu/undergraduate-admissions/apply/transfer/ indicates that transfer admission is assured at Houston with 15 or more college credits and a >= 2.5 college GPA, but some majors have additional requirements described at http://www.uh.edu/undergraduate-admissions/apply/transfer-majors-additional-requirements.pdf (though 3.7 college GPA should exceed any major's overall college GPA requirement; engineering majors also have college GPA requirements for specific subjects, and art and architecture also evaluate a portfolio/audition).

    UCs give a good amount of transfer admission information at https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/infocenter/transfers-major , but you need to be at the very top of the admit pool to have a possibility of getting the very few merit scholarships that are large enough or bring out-of-state financial aid.

    If your parents are divorced, and you are not considered independent for college financial aid purposes, that can make getting financial aid more difficult at some colleges including Stanford, USC, and Rice. See https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/2083835-faq-divorced-parents-financial-aid-and-net-price-calculators.html . Note: Texas and California public universities only require the finances of the parent you live with if you are not considered independent for college financial aid purposes.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    If you graduated high school in California after three years of attendance, you may qualify for in-state tuition and financial aid at California public universities through the AB540 provisions, as described at http://ab540.com/What_Is_AB540_.html (web site seems to focus on undocumented or DACA students, but US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to use the AB540 provisions).
  • 84stag84stag Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    edited May 16
    If you want to go out of state, your best bet is a top private university or liberal arts college. Why? Because you'll end up getting a free education. Most of these schools are "need blind," and will provide for all of your demonstrated need, up to the full cost of tuition, room, board, books, and incidentals.

    For example, you mention Stanford. If your family income is under $150k, your schooling won't cost you anything, and that includes no loans. So, don't let high tuition of private schools dissuade you. The truth is, the most daunting task is getting in as a transfer, not affording it once you're there.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,095 Senior Member
    84stag wrote:
    If you want to go out of state, your best bet is a top private university or liberal arts college. Why? Because you'll end up getting a free education. Most of these schools are "need blind," and will provide for all of your demonstrated need, up to the full cost of tuition, room, board, books, and incidentals.

    If the OP is not considered independent for college financial aid purposes and the OP's parents are divorced, getting financial aid at most such colleges will be difficult, since these colleges (other than Chicago and Vanderbilt) require both parents' financial information.
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