You are browsing the archive for Stats Archives - Transferweb.

Avatar of Lan Ngo

by Lan Ngo

College Transfer Q&A: What Can I Do To Improve My Chances?

January 15, 2015 in Admissions, All Transfers, Ivy Plus, Q&A, Stats

In forums, prospective transfer students often ask, “What can I do to improve my chances?” I’m going to take you through one such post and provide the same type of advice I would give to a student if I were providing a one-on-one consultation. The post comes from ElmerChelmo:

I am currently a first-year student (technically a sophomore) at a four-year public university. I’m looking at Rice University, UNC, University of Southern California, and Notre Dame, which I realize are crazy hard to get into. I am motivated and desperate though because simply put, I hate the school I attend. I get full tuition paid for, but I can’t get over the fact that I just hate everything about it. It’s just not for me.

“Hate” was mentioned twice. Be careful to avoid coloring your transfer application with your strong, negative emotions toward your current school.

It was my safety school my senior year, and I got rejected by a lot of top schools, which I should have realize were way out of my reach. I didn’t think going to my safety school would be bad, but experiencing it as a student there could not have gone worse.

An important–often unspoken–part of the transfer application process is expectations management. You will inevitably be let down if you label your reach schools as your match schools. If the “top schools” you had aimed for as a freshman applicant were “way out of [your] reach”, perhaps your safety school was actually your match school.

Choose a wide range of schools, and take the time to label them as accurately as possible (safety, match/just right, or dream) based on information gathered from school websites, collegeboard.org, and direct communications with the schools.

High School:
Couple ECs including Student Council secretary, Tutor, NHS, SADD, Cross Country, Book Club, and Track
Ranked 2/118
Don’t remember GPA
ACT 32
SAT Writing 800, SAT Reading 680, SAT Math 750
SAT Subject Math II 790, SAT Subject US History 790
AP US History (5), Calculus BC (5), US Government (5), English Language (5), Statistics (5), Microeconomics (4), English Literature (4), Environmental Science (4)
Worked at a restaurant as a busboy
Interned with a lawyer

The Common App allows transfer applicants to list up to 10 activities, including those completed in grades 11 and/or 12. Given the limited space, carefully choose which activities to include in your application. If you were very substantially involved in an activity prior to grade 11, consider including brief information about it in “Additional Information” in Common App. However, avoid dumping a list of superficial activities into “Additional Information”.

Of your high school activities listed, busboy sounds the most interesting, as many (or most) high school students do not work during the academic year. If you had to work to help cover living expenses, mention that in the description of this activity.

College:
Math & Stats / Information Systems double major
Calculus III (A), Probability (A), Physics (A), Physics Lab (A+), Business 101 (A-)
3.93 GPA (I’m really going to try harder next semester to get a 4.0)
I came in with 35 credit hours, last semester I took 14, next semester I’m taking 17
Information Systems and Analytics Club treasurer, Green Team member, Optimist Club (volunteer) member, Actuarial Science Club member
I’m going to try to do Habitat for Humanity to get more service hours

Cohesion in your application makes for a good strategy. For example, if you want to portray yourself as an expert in Math/Stats/Information Systems, align your activities as such. If your only reason for doing Habitat for Humanity is to gain community service hours, I would reconsider. Perhaps you can use your talents and skills in math to serve society, e.g., provide math tutoring. Do something you’re genuinely interested in.

I want to transfer so bad, and I can’t transfer to a school that is mediocre or only above average academically because I’m going to have to pay so much more to attend whatever school I go to so I want to make transferring worth it by going to a top school.

Take some time to think about why you want to transfer, as you will need to articulate your reasons very clearly in your application. You’ve provided a lot of information, but I still don’t actually know why you want to transfer. What would you gain from transferring? What are your goals? How would transferring align with your bigger goals? What do you have to offer to the school you transfer to?

By the way this is my first time applying to these schools. What kinds of things can I do to really improve my chances of transferring to these very exclusive schools? I’m talking about specific suggestions. Thank you in advance! [smiley face]

Additional information from ElmerChelmo:
Also I’m going to try to get another leadership position in either the Actuarial Science Club or the Optimist Club. Thanks again! [smiley face]

How does the Optimist Club fit into everything else you’re doing and your goals? Stay focused. While you have a great profile, I don’t know what your center of gravity or core is.

Reply from Camo:

You sound like you have a really good shot. Most top colleges consider 3.7-3.8 competitive so your GPA is pretty impressive (especially with the classwork).
Just did a quick check, Rice admits 17% of transfers, USC admits 29%, UNC admits 39%, and Notre Dame admits 25%. I think you’re probably at the top of the pool. Just perfect your apps and you’ll probably get in to a couple of them.

As we say whenever we post statistics on transfer admissions, take these numbers with a grain of salt. Knowing about a relatively high transfer admission rate might not be helpful for your context.

For example, the transfer admission rate for UNC Chapel Hill looks high at least in part because the university has a transfer program: “…[The] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, or C-STEP, to enable more community-college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina.”

Reply from 1sttimetransfer:

With your gpa and courseload you could probably get into top 20 schools for sure. So I think that is within your range.

Such a comment may provide a morale booster, but again, expectations management is important for reducing the stress involved in the transfer application process. Yes, you do have a great profile, as I mentioned earlier, but no one can tell you whether you will “for sure” get into “top 20 schools”.

My final suggestions: Be vigilant about potentially erroneous advice. Get more than one opinion, and analyze those opinions. Step back, look at your application as a whole in light of the data and evidence (both qualitative and quantitative) you’ve collected. Devise a strategy for tackling the transfer admissions process from there.

(Photo: Edwin Torres)

Avatar of Lan Ngo

by Lan Ngo

Transfer Admissions Rates For US News 2014 Added

September 29, 2013 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Four-Year Transfer Articles, Ivy Plus, Stats

duke

We’ve just added the recently released Fall 2012 transfer admissions numbers for some of the top schools in the US (the “2014” Top 50 National Universities according to US News). These are the stats for students who applied to transfer and start Fall 2012 term.

(US News releases its Top 50 every September, based on information from the previous fall. So these transfer stats for students transferring and starting school Fall 2012 is for the US News Top 50 rankings released September 2013.)

Check it out by clicking here, or by hovering over the “Statistics” tab at the top of the page and clicking on the first option in the dropdown menu.

Generally speaking, it looks like the trend of shrinking admissions rates continues this year. Here’s our quick analysis:

Fall 2012 transfer acceptance rates vs. Fall 2011 transfer acceptance rates

Some of the numbers that stand out include the transfer acceptance rate for Stanford.  The Fall 2012 acceptance rate decreased by about half, going from 4.1% in the previous year to 2.3%.

The transfer acceptance rate for Brown has also decreased by about half.  The acceptance rate for Fall 2012 is 5.6%, with 98 transfer applicants accepted.  Compare those numbers to Fall 2011 when the transfer acceptance rate was 11.2%, and 214 transfer applicants were accepted.

For U Penn, the numbers have not changed much.  The transfer acceptance rate for Fall 2012 was 9.4%, while it was 9.7% for Fall 2011.

Duke is an interesting case because the transfer acceptance rate increased dramatically, from 2.8% in Fall 2011 to 10.7% in Fall 2012.  This change reflects the fact that, for the entering class of Fall 2012, there was only one-third of the number of applicants compared to the previous year.  This large increase in the transfer acceptance rate stands in stark contrast to previous years: Duke only accepted 26 transfer applicants for Fall 2011 versus 74 the previous year, a 65% drop.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…

Conclusion: Transfer rates move a lot so apply to several schools

We think the key piece of information here is that transfer admissions rates fluctuate a lot more than freshman admissions rates. This is mainly because transfer space varies a lot each year depending on the spaces available given each colleges’ development plans and their own dropout/transfer out rates.

Based on that information, two important takeaways:

(1) Don’t let a single year’s acceptance numbers determine whether or not you apply to a school. Do the best you can, and if you’re a competitive applicant, you have good reasons for transferring, and you want to go the school, apply. You really don’t know if they’ll have more space or less space next year, and you don’t know how many students you’ll be competing against for those spaces.

(2) If you’re really interested in transferring, apply to several schools. For example, maybe you think you’re the perfect fit for X University, your top choice. And maybe you are, but unfortunately it turns out they just don’t have any space this year. You should’ve also applied to Y University, which is almost as good a fit, and which happens to have plenty of space due to a housing initiative they just started.

Overall, just use the stats as a metric to get a roundabout sense of how hard it may be to transfer to a particular school. Either way, if you have a good profile for a school and have good reason to transfer to it (such as any of the many successful real stories mentioned in the book), the stats shouldn’t affect your approach too much either way.

Question of the Day: Do you see any interesting patterns in the stats? Surprised that a particular school has a particular transfer admissions rate? Intrigued that a certain college’s transfer admissions rate changed so much? Let us know in the comments! We plan on following up with some of the schools to better understand their particular policies toward transfer admissions.

Photo: Danny Fowler

Transfer Admissions Rates for US News 2013 Added

September 27, 2012 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Four-Year Transfer Articles, News, Stats

Harvard gates

We just added the recently released Fall 2011 transfer admissions numbers for some of the top schools in the US (the “2013″ Top 50 National Universities according to US News). These are the stats for students who applied to transfer and start Fall 2011 term.

(US News releases its Top 50 every September, based on information from the previous fall. So these transfer stats for students transferring and starting school Fall 2011 is for the US News Top 50 rankings released September 2012.)

Check it out by clicking here, or by hovering over the “Statistics” tab at the top of the page and clicking on the first option in the dropdown menu.

Additionally – because we love you, obviously – we also put together a table comparing the transfer admissions rates for Fall 2011 and 2010 at the same schools. Click here to check it out, or hover over the “Statistics” menu and click on the second dropdown. It’s one thing to see what a college’s transfer admission rate was in a given year, but it’s also interesting to see how consistent (or not) the admissions rates are over a period of time.

Generally speaking, it looks like the trend of shrinking admissions rates continues this year. Here’s our quick analysis:

Transfer acceptance rates vs. freshman acceptance rates

18 of the 50 schools had higher transfer admissions rates than freshman admissions rates, while 31 of the 50 had lower transfer admissions rates versus freshman admissions (Princeton, which doesn’t take any transfers, is the remaining school).

Fall 2011 applications filed vs. Fall 2010 applications filed

The number of transfer applications filed for the Top 50 that we have data for (48 of the 50 schools) increased by 9%, to 182,729 from 167,498. In other words, about 15,000 more transfer applications for the Top 50 were filed for Fall 2011 versus Fall 2010. We don’t have the numbers for Rensselaer Polytechnic, which wasn’t in the Top 50 last year, so we can’t compare their numbers.

Fall 2011 transfer acceptance rates vs. Fall 2010 transfer acceptance rates

16 of the 50 colleges had their transfer admissions rates increase versus last year, while more schools (32 of the 50) became more selective.

While the number of applications went up 9%, the number of acceptances stayed flat, at 62,615 Fall 2011 versus 62,556 Fall 2010. So, 9% more applications fighting for pretty much the same number of acceptances equals lower transfer acceptance rates overall.

Duke only accepted 26 transfer applicants for Fall 2011 versus 74 the previous year, a 65% drop. Georgetown, Penn, Brandeis, Chicago, and Wake Forest all reduced the number of “yes” letters they sent out by 20% or more.

On the flip side, MIT and Stanford both more than doubled the number of transfer students they accepted versus last year. MIT accepted 44 transfers for Fall 2011 versus 18 for Fall 2010, and Stanford accepted 58 students versus only 25 last year.

The biggest change: transfer applications to Harvard more than doubled

Looking at the biggest changes, the number of people applying to transfer to Harvard more than doubled to 1,486 from 612 the previous year. We’re guessing this is because Harvard just re-initiated its transfer program last year, and it takes a little while for the word to get out.

Conclusion: transfer rates move a lot so apply to several schools

We think the key piece of information here is that transfer admissions rates fluctuate a lot more than freshman admissions rates. This is mainly because transfer space varies a lot each year depending on the spaces available given each colleges’ development plans and their own dropout/transfer out rates.

Based on that information, two important takeaways:

(1) Don’t let a single year’s acceptance numbers determine whether or not you apply to a school. Do the best you can, and if you’re a competitive applicant, you have good reasons for transferring, and you want to go the school, apply. You really don’t know if they’ll have more space or less space next year, and you don’t know how many students you’ll be competing against for those spaces.

(2) If you’re really interested in transferring, apply to several schools. For example, maybe you think you’re the perfect fit for X University, your top choice. And maybe you are, but unfortunately it turns out they just don’t have any space this year. You should’ve also applied to Y University, which is almost as good a fit, and which happens to have plenty of space due to a housing initiative they just started.

Overall, just use the stats as a metric to get a roundabout sense of how hard it may be to transfer to a particular school. Either way, if you have a good profile for a school and have good reason to transfer to it (such as any of the many successful real stories mentioned in the book), the stats shouldn’t affect your approach too much either way.

Question of the Day: Do you see any interesting patterns in the stats? Surprised that a particular school has a particular transfer admissions rate? Intrigued that a certain college’s transfer admissions rate changed so much? Let us know in the comments! We plan on following up with some of the schools to better understand their particular policies toward transfer admissions.

Photo: timsackton

Transfer Admissions Rates for US News 2012 Added

October 9, 2011 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Four-Year Transfer Articles, News, Stats

We just added the recently released Fall 2010 transfer admissions numbers for some of the top schools in the US (the “2012” Top 50 National Universities according to US News).

Check it out by clicking here, or by hovering over the “Stats” tab at the top of the page and clicking on the first option in the dropdown menu.

Additionally – because we love you, obviously – we also put together a table comparing the transfer admissions rates in 2010 and 2009 at the same schools. Click here to check it out, or hover over the “Stats” menu and click on the second dropdown. It’s one thing to see what a college’s transfer admission rate was in a given year, but it’s even more helpful – we hope – to see how consistent (or not) the admissions rates are over a period of time.

Generally speaking, it looks like the trend of shrinking admissions rates continues this year.

20 of the 50 schools had higher transfer admissions rates than freshman admissions rates, while 29 of the 50 had lower transfer admissions rates versus freshman admissions (Princeton, which doesn’t take any transfers, is the remaining school).

21 of the 50 colleges had their transfer admissions rates increase versus last year, while more schools (27 of the 50) became more selective. Harvard began admitting transfers again as of Fall 2010, so their rate went from 0% in 2009 to 2% this year. We could not get previous year data for George Washington University, which was not in the Top 50 last year, so we couldn’t track how their transfer admission rate changed.

Looking at the largest moves, Lehigh University’s transfer admissions rate shrank from 70% last year to 36% this year, while UC Davis’s increased to 66% from 37%.

Obviously the transfer admissions rates are a function of a large number of factors (the quality of the applicant pool, the number of students that choose to apply, the spaces available given the admitting colleges’ own dropout/transfer out rates, etc.). So, just use the stats as a metric to get a roundabout sense of how hard it may be to transfer to a particular school, knowing that the numbers can change fairly significantly, but not too dramatically in any given year. Either way, if you’re targeting a school and have good reason to transfer to it (such as any of the many successful real stories mentioned in the book), the stats shouldn’t affect your approach too much either way.

Question of the Day: Do you see any interesting patterns in the stats? Surprised that a particular school has a particular transfer admissions rate? Intrigued that a certain college’s transfer admissions rate changed so much? Let us know in the comments! We plan on following up with some of the schools to better understand their particular policies toward transfer admissions.

(Photo: kkoshy)

Transfer Deadlines Table Added (UCs coming up pretty soon)

November 6, 2010 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Four-Year Transfer Articles, Stats

U Toronto

We just added a table that goes through the transfer application deadlines (for both fall and spring entry, if applicable) for some of the top schools in the US (the Top 50 National Universities according to US News). We also threw in – because, you guessed it, we love you – whether or not the college uses the common application and the application fee for each college (though bear in mind all the colleges listed accept fee waivers for financial hardship). (Starting to use a bit too many parentheses here, but we chose the image above because we thought it was appropriately ominous given the subject of deadlines.)

Check the table out by clicking here or by hovering over the “Stats” tab at the top of the page and clicking on the last option in the dropdown menu. Note that the transfer application deadline for all of the University of California campuses is coming up soon. (Nov. 30!)

Important note: ALWAYS CHECK with the college’s website to make sure the data is correct. We made every effort to be accurate, but things change and we don’t automatically receive updates from the schools. There are also more details available at each colleges’ website.

Random P.S. One of our readers posted a very nice review of our book here, on the blog for a class she’s taking at the university she successfully transferred to. Thanks Hannah!

(Photo: bensonkua)