Good Transfer GPA

College Transfer Admission Criteria: What’s a “Good” GPA?

This question was inspired by an email we received from a reader.

So, what GPA do you need to get if you’re applying to transfer? The obvious answer is “get all As (and maybe even shoot for A pluses) so that the school you apply to will have no excuse to reject you.” Of course, it’s not that easy to get straight As (or it might be too late for you), so here’s another answer: it depends. Whether or not your GPA is good enough depends on which school and program you’re looking at. In this blog post, we go over the following:

  • Expected GPA from top schools
  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • GPA requirements under transfer agreements

Top-tier Schools Demand an Ambiguously “High” GPA

If you’re shooting for a top-tier school, expect extremely high standards in terms of grades and other qualifications. Let’s say you’re interested in Yale. Here’s what Yale’s “Who Makes a Good Transfer Student” web page says this:

Given the large number of extremely able candidates who wish to transfer to Yale and the very limited number of transfer spaces, no simple profile of grades, scores, and interests can assure a student admission to Yale.

Yes, the evaluation process is difficult and a little fuzzy, but a competitive academic record is still expected:

Successful transfer applicants present evidence of exceptionally strong college performance in demanding courses. The average GPA of admitted transfer students is usually 3.8 and above.

Minimum GPA Requirements

Some schools explicitly lay out their GPA requirements. Purdue University lists minimum GPA requirements for transfer applicants according to field of study. For example, you should have at least a 2.5 GPA if you’re going to apply to transfer into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program. For the minimum GPA requirement for other academic programs, visit Purdue’s Transfer Student Admission Criteria page.

Other schools similarly outline the grades you need to be considered for transfer admission. Check if the school you’re interested in does this. Note that meeting the minimum GPA requirement does NOT guarantee transfer admission.

GPA Requirements under Transfer Agreements

Transfer agreements between two institutions tell you exactly what you need to do to get from School X to School Y. Foothill College put together an extremely clear explanation of how their transfer agreements with other school work:

This page lets students know the exact minimum GPA they need in order to transfer to a particular school (or to be considered for transfer admission) that has teamed up with Foothill College. If a Foothill College student wants to transfer to UC San Diego, for example, she should have at least a 3.0 GPA. If your current school has transfer agreements with other institutions, they’ll probably work in a similar way. You can ask an academic counselor (if possible, a transfer counselor), about transfer agreements.

However, you can probably find the info you need by searching online. Let’s be honest: counselors don’t know everything, so it’s to your advantage to do your own research as well as consult school counselors. Let’s say you currently attend Delaware County Community College ( and you want to find out about the transfer agreements your college has with other schools. Do an advance Google search by using the “search within a specific site (:site)” function. What’s the point? You want to do an online search of info on transfer agreements published somewhere in the Delaware County Community College web space. That way, the info you obtain is more likely official than if you found it on a random website. In the Google search box type this:

transfer agreement

The second search result item should take you exactly where you need to go: Let’s try another one. If you currently attend Santa Monica College (, you can find transfer agreements by googling this:

transfer agreement

Again, it just so happens that the second item in the list of search results steers you to the exact page you need.

There are websites that are trying to compile as many transfer agreement documents as possible. It’s a noble attempt, indeed, but the compilations are a work-in-progress. There are just so many colleges and transfer agreements out there, but at least you can try the Google “:site” search.

Final Remarks

Looking up all this information can be a grueling process, but all your efforts will pay off! With careful research (and lots of introspection), you should be able to find a school that’s a better fit for you.

(Photo: Robert S. Donovan)


88 responses to “College Transfer Admission Criteria: What’s a “Good” GPA?”

  1. […] our last blog entry, we provided some specific details about transfer requirements at different schools. How did we […]

  2. Fcarrasco1985 Avatar


    I am trying to apply to Georgetown University. I am a non-traditional student. I am 26 years old and a sophomore at my Tier 2 university. Growing up my mom and dad were in jail and my family who raised me were addicted to drugs, couldn’t hold down jobs and we were often poor. No one ever inspired me or encouraged me to do well. I was just kind of pushed through the system and did well enough. Being as I didn’t care about school growing up, I did barely enough to graduate. In fact, my senior year, I almost didn’t graduate from highschool because I skipped so many classes. I had straight F’s in this particular class and when I found out I needed it to pass… I worked out a deal with my teacher that if I could get an A on the final, she’d let me pass the class. well… I got an A on the final… high score of the class. I applied to college at graduation and based on my SAT and extra curricular (I was very involved) I got into my current university. At the time, it was a tier 4. I was going to college only because its what everyone else did. I took a class here and there, I was a business major because it seemed to be the thing to be. Often, I would enroll in classes and have to drop out because I had to work (my family was really poor) or on one occasion because my house burned down due to a domestic dispute between my aunt and her abusive boyfriend. But I never really gave up on school.

    since then, about two years ago I became really motivated. I began to take classes again. I realized I wanted to be a double major in Psychology/Political Science since it was really my passion and I really want to go to law school one day. I got a good GPA and was even accepted into my school’s Honors college (my school has 40,000 students, and 1000 Honors College students… so its selective.) This semester, I am taking six classes and am slated to have straight A’s.

    some may argue that I had a high GPA because I only took a class or two at a time. some could look at my record and see all the DRs and how many times I was withdrawn from school because I didn’t take any classes. they could look at my highschool transcripts and wonder with what audacity I would even apply at Georgetown?

    I think based on this year, one would be able to see that I can excel at the university level taking a heavy course load. (I still work 35 hrs.) I am in the Honors College and have a 3.5 gpa. do you think I could get into Georgetown? I can prove the Jail thing and the fire… though I cant prove that my family was into drugs or how destitute we were.

    1. Chris Avatar

      Wow. What a story.

      First off, thank you for sharing that with us. Second, apologies that it took a few days for your comment to get here, it was stuck in a backlog of comments to approve and we’ve just adjusted to the new system.

      To answer your question, like we’ve said elsewhere on the site, it’s extremely tough to handicap a person’s chances at getting into any particularly university (especially since I don’t know what your essays look like, what you’re going to tell Georgetown about why you want to go there, etc.), BUT based just on what you’ve said here, it sounds like you’ve got a solid shot.

      One quick piece of advice: on your essay, just be honest (they won’t make you “prove” your family was into drugs, so feel free to discuss what happened and don’t think you can’t talk about anything you can’t technically prove). It sounds like you’ve been through a lot of serious stuff, but you’ve also achieved a lot: don’t be afraid to let admissions know the whole picture. Based on your writing here, it also sounds like you can write about your hardships without sounding like you’re asking for pity or anything like that, which is a trap that some students fall into.

      Best of luck with the process! We’d love to keep in touch to hear how things go for you.



  3. Aviator Avatar

    I have been highly motivated to go for masters since the middle of my undergrad studies and have done lot of research on how masters differs from UG studies, what advantage can I have etc. However, after reading a lot of grad schools require “High gpa” (Mine being equivalent to 76.5%) and my friends getting rejections with same gpa as me, I am rethinking my passion for going for masters. Does my percentage mean I cannot finish PG education in time ? Probably not. Then why do they put cut offs as high as 80% etc knowing when it never guarantees a person will finish his/her studies as the college wants. This is really depressing

    1. Lan Avatar

      I’m not sure what you mean by finishing grad school “in time” because you can apply to a master’s program regardless of the number of years since receiving your bachelors. As for GPA, the more competitive and well known the master’s program/school, the more important a high GPA is. That means that there are definitely master’s programs out there that don’t require as high of a GPA. Look for master’s programs that seem to fit your academic profile. Also, depending on the program, years of work experience in a related area might trump a not-so-great GPA.

  4. Hyunho Kang Avatar
    Hyunho Kang

    If you’re applying to UCLA and the minimum GPA requirement is 3.2. I have currently below it…so should i spend another semester at MSU(where i’m currently attending) and try to get over 3.2? If i don’t get over 3.2, is it ok to take one semester off to study SAT or TOEFL (Since i’m an international student) to show them i’ve improved on some tests?
    Should i still able to apply even if i don’t meet the GPA requirement??

    1. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      This is a tough one.

      Yes, UCLA’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.2, but to have a good chance at getting in you usually need significantly higher than the minimum. In our experience, it’s closer to 3.5.

      If you’re below the minimum GPA, getting better scores on standardized tests won’t offset that fact.

      But all isn’t lost! We really think most people are capable of getting a 3.5. The best book we know of on getting good grades in college is How to Become a Straight-A Student.

      Full-disclosure: I know the author and I’m in the book. But it’s without question the best book on doing well in college, feel free to look around.

      Hope that helps! Feel free to reply or post in the forum with more questions!

    2. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Like Chris implied, for transfer applicants, your college GPA is the most important. Getting a better SAT score isn’t going make your application stronger if you don’t have at least the minimum GPA. International students need to also pay special attention to the minimum required score for the TOEFL. For example, the minimum internet-based TOEFL score for UCLA international applicants is 83. Here’s information for UCLA international transfer applicants to:

  5. […] our last blog entry, we provided some specific details about transfer requirements at different schools. How did we […]

  6. Paul Avatar

    I am currently a sophmore at Drexel University were I maintain a 3.76 GPA. I am considering transferring, as an economics major, to John Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, The College of William and Mary, or a few other schools. What do you think my chances are, and if I am able to bring my GPA above 3.8 would that guarantee me a spot in at least one the schools I listed assuming fantastic admissions essays?

  7. Lan Avatar

    Hi, Paul. Thanks for posting a comment.

    Yes, work to bring your GPA as close to 4.0 as possible. However, understand that even a 4.0 GPA would not guarantee any transfer applicant a spot. In general, a 3.8 is often seen as a minimum requirement for the most competitive schools. Applying to a range of schools is a good idea to hedge your bets and give you options.

    A good way to get at least an idea of the competitiveness of your GPA is to examine the GPA of the of the transfer students that were accepted at the colleges of your choice. I explain this approach in this article:

  8. Chris Avatar

    I have a 3.55 at Brandeis (I’m a freshman). My high school GPA was 3.3-3.5 UW, and I got a 33 on the ACT. I want to transfer to Rice or Brown; do I have any chance whatsoever? Or should I wait until I’m done with sophomore year and raise my GPA? I’m taking easy classes second semester and should pull a 4.0 (3 of my 6 classes are on my school’s ‘top ten easiest class list) putting my GPA at 3.801. My recommendations should be good, as there was a professor whom I saw on almost a day-to-day basis, and am fairly close to. So, to rehash:
    1) Do I have a realistic shot at Brown or Rice?
    2) Should I wait until sophomore year?
    3) Is there a penalty of any sort if I get rejected for transfer as a freshman, and try again as a sophomore?
    4) Will my financial aid at my current school be effected by my decision to seek a transfer?

  9. Lan Ngo Avatar
    Lan Ngo

    To answer your questions…
    1 and 2) You can try applying to transfer as a sophomore, and if you don’t get the results you want, try applying as a junior (or midway between sophomore year, depending on the school).
    3) Generally, there’s no penalty. Applying again after being rejected might show that you really want to go to that school.
    4) Your financial aid at your current school is unrelated to the financial aid at whichever school you end up transferring to.

  10. Mike Avatar

    I am a freshman at Wake Forest. I currently have a 3.85 GPA. I am considering transferring to Brown, Cornell, Georgetown, etc. My high school grades are poor (Between A’s-C’s) and my SAT is average (1900s). Would it be advantageous to wait until next year so that the emphasis on my application is moved from my SAT and high school grades to my college GPA? How much are high school GPA and SAT weighed versus college record? Should I explain my high school grades in the transfer application? Will my high school grades and SAT eliminate me as a competitive candidate?

    Thanks…You guys are great.

  11. Lan Ngo Avatar
    Lan Ngo

    Hi, Mike. Thanks for reading our articles. Below are my responses to your questions:

    Q: Would it be advantageous to wait until next year so that the emphasis on my application is moved from my SAT and high school grades to my college GPA?

    A: You have a good GPA at a top university, so it’s worth it to try applying as a sophomore transfer.

    Q: How much are high school GPA and SAT weighed versus college record?

    A: I said this somewhere else also, but as you seem to have implied in your previous question, generally, your college record is given more weight if you’re applying as a junior transfer, and the opposite is true if you’re applying as a sophomore. However, because schools usually don’t report the average SAT scores of transfer students, those scores are not as important for transfer applicants as they are for freshman applications. Nonetheless, the top schools will still expect a solid SAT score.

    Q: Should I explain my high school grades in the transfer application?

    A: Yes. You’ll need to decide on the best place to include this explanation.

    Q: Will my high school grades and SAT eliminate me as a competitive candidate?

    A: Not necessarily. You still have a shot. If you don’t get into the schools you want the first time, try applying again as a junior transfer, but make sure to at least maintain your current college GPA.

  12. Maggie Avatar

    I go to a top university but want to transfer from a top-25 school to a top-20 school. Last year, I applied to transfer to Cornell, Vanderbilt, Georgetown etc. with a 2.9 GPA and was wait-listed at almost all of them. Now, my GPA is 3.2, which is pretty high considering my pre-med course load. What do you think of the chances of transfer for a student at a top university with a lower GPA as opposed to a student at a lesser ranked university or CC with a higher GPA? Thanks!

  13. Lan Ngo Avatar
    Lan Ngo

    Hi, Maggie. Thanks for posting your story here. I would be more worried about other transfer applicants who are pre-med and have a 4.0 GPA or a GPA close to that. However, even worrying about that isn’t so useful. Instead, I suggest just focusing on how you can write the best application possible given your context. As you mentioned, you were wait-listed at many schools last year with a 2.9 GPA, so that might be an indication that you have a shot this time around now that you have a 3.2 GPA.

  14. May Avatar

    Hi LAN,
    I am an international freshman student in college of William and Mary. My GPA is 3.54for the first semester. I wanna transfer to Mount Holyoke college. My sat is 2020. How’s that?

    1. Lan Avatar

      Mount Holyoke doesn’t have cutoffs for GPA or SAT score, and they look at “nonobjective” factors also, so you should definitely give it a shot. According to its Q&A about the transfer application process, Mount Holyoke accepts about 50 transfer students per year.

  15. Joey Avatar


    I am currently a second semester freshman at SUNY Albany, but I have applied to transfer to Oneonta. They want my mid-term grades. At the moment I have a 2.23 GPA, due to a poor choice in coursework. What I was wondering is, how high would my mid-term grades have to be in order to be considered, I really hate it here and Oneonta just feels right

    1. Joey Avatar

      still waiting…

    2. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Your current GPA and grades shown in your transcript are more important than your midterm grades because what’s on your transcript is final and official, but your midterm grades report is just an estimate of your grades. At the same time, I would be worried if I had a 2.23 GPA for my midterm report because it’s not near a 4.0.

  16. Joey Avatar

    I am currently in my second semester freshman year at Whitman in Syracuse University. I finished my first semester with a 3.3 gpa (rounded down, 3.4 rounded up) and I am looking for a transfer to either Bentley or Northeastern for fall 2013. I know 3.3 is no stellar gpa but any idea on what my chances are? I am hoping, and also pretty confident, that my second semester gpa will be between 3.7-4.0. On the Bentley website it said that their minimum requirment for transfers is a 2.7 and I am well above that. Also my friend, currently a Bentley sophmore, said that they are very open to transfer students and accept more than half of the applicants. Any comments on my chances will be appreciated

  17. Lan Avatar

    Hi, Joey. If your current GPA is 3.3, and the minimum required GPA for Bentley is 2.7, then you should definitely go for it and submit a transfer application.

  18. RIcky Avatar

    Hi I am currently at Villanova and am a second semester freshman. I have a 3.45 GPA currently, and it will almost defiantly increase to 3.6-7 by the end of the year. My high school GPA was 4.35 and my ACT was 32. I am looking to transfer to UVA, Vanderbilt, BC, NYU, Emory, and UPenn. Any idea on chances….I know it is a hard answer but any advice would be very appreciated.

  19. Lamel Avatar

    Hi, I am applying to Cornell University as a transfer. My GPA is around 3.85, and I just submitted my midterm report, which was a 4.0 (straight A’s). How much does the mid term report matter? Or rephrased, how much weight do top colleges put on the midterm grades?

    1. Jenny Avatar

      where is your current institution?

      1. Lamel Avatar

        In NJ, why?

  20. Jenny Avatar

    Hi. I wonder if transfer admission distinguishes “good” gpa criteria at top tier universities from CC or lower ranked universities? I currently attend UCLA and have 3.68 GPA with 4.0 Midterm report. I applied to Cornell ILR. Am I less competitive than those who have 3.9 or 4.0 GPA from community colleges or 2nd tier universities?

    1. Lamel Avatar

      Numerically I think you are “less competitive, since a 3.68 is a pretty big difference from a 4.0, no matter if its CC or Ivy.” I don’t think a 3.68 will break your application though, especially for ILR which is super fit based. Plus, even if someone comes from a CC or a second tier university, they could have taken harder courses than you, so it is sort of a moot point. But I think when you’re GPA is around 3.7 it’s the other things that start to differentiate you. In the end, put your best foot forward, there is nothing you can do about your GPA now.

    2. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      A lot of students who attend community colleges are usually older and have experiences outside of school, and therefore, their situation would be very different from someone attending a university full time. As such, it would be hard to compare a community college student to a university student. However, it’s easier to say that a university student with a GPA less than a 4.0 is likely less competitive than a university student with a 4.0.

  21. John C Avatar
    John C

    I currently attend Cuny Baruch College. At the moment Im applying as a transfer to several schools, such as Vanderbilt, Emory, University of Richmond, Bucknell, UNC, and Virginia. My current gpa is at a 3.74 (first semester), but I took calculus and precalculus at a different college over the summer and did poorly (C and B-). How heavily will colleges take those two courses in consideration? Can you give me my chances at those colleges?

    John C

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Your college GPA and transcripts are usually the most important parts of your application, so getting a C and B- in college courses will probably affect your application. At the same, your application is looked at as a whole, so that C and B- won’t necessarily eliminate your chances.

  22. Claire Avatar

    I am a freshman at Villanova University and I have applied to the University of Maryland for next fall. I have a 3.6 GPA and great SAT scores, I’m from Maryland, and I went to a high school that typically sends a lot of students to UMD. Additionally I sent in a great application and applied for the priority deadline. Do you think I have a solid chance?

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      It sounds like you took all the “right” steps, so I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a solid chance. Let us know your outcome. We wish you all the best.

  23. Poseidon0124 Avatar

    I am currently at Villanova and am a second semester freshman. I have a 3.45 GPA currently, and it will almost defiantly increase to 3.6-7 by the end of the year. My high school GPA was 4.35 and my ACT was 32. I am looking to transfer to Vanderbilt, Emory, and Richmond. Any idea on chances….I know it is a hard answer but any advice would be very appreciated.
    I know that my reasons for transferring are really good, so my essays are very good.

  24. Lan Ngo Avatar
    Lan Ngo

    Everything sounds good, especially if you have a 3.7 GPA and can write awesome essays. Go for it!

  25. Jason Zheng Avatar
    Jason Zheng

    I am an international student currently at Ohio State U and I am considering transfer to BU, Northeastern, Fordham, GW or NYU. I have a 3.67 GPA and hopefully hopefully will get a 3.8-3.9 after next semester. Does it make it “easier” since almost every school I am applying to is peer school to OSU in the sense of ranking? I just want to go to NYC, Boston or DC and do not care much about ranking. Also my TOEFL and SAT scores are fine. I got 2000 in SAT and 90 (a bit low) in TOEFL. What are my chances?

    1. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      NYU would be hardest to get into, but I’d say you have a solid shot at all of them, especially if your GPA is 3.8-9. Good luck, keep the GPA up!

  26. cynthia w Avatar
    cynthia w

    Hi I’m a first year at trinity university I got a 3.0 gpa but I had straight A’s and a D.i wanna transfer to university of Richmond and wonder if my gpa is too low ?Any universities that would take me ?

    1. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      By far the most important factor in transfer admissions is GPA, so the higher your GPA, the easier it will be to get in. Richmond says most successful applicants have at minimum a 3.0, so you’ll be in the running but barely. Get that GPA up! Also, if you have a good explanation for why you got a D in that one class, that will help a lot too. Good luck! Let us know if you have any follow-ups!

    2. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      Also, one more thing: many universities will take you. The question is whether you would prefer them to your current school. There are almost 3,000 four-year colleges in the US (!), and most of them are easier to get into than Richmond. So if you’re not dead-set on Richmond, definitely do some research and look around!

  27. John Avatar

    Hi I just found this site, and I am really excited I did; you guys provide a great amount of information and encouragement. I have a few questions about transferring to a top tier school, if you wouldn’t mind answering the most important of these. My main concern is that I am a California Community College student and I fear that many of these top private universities view my GPA with some sort of an asterisk, assuming that my classes have been significantly easier because they weren’t at a major institution. I guess my question to you guys is whether or not I am at a significant disadvantage transferring to a top school because of where I currently am, with the obvious exception being the UC’s? I had a strong high school career and was admitted to Lehigh University, but I opted to attend a community college for financial reasons. While at my college I have done pretty well, completing a rigorous course load, completing our honors program, boasting a 3.75 through three semesters (although I have taken over 15 units every semester, leaving me with 50+ units), and doing a semester abroad this spring in Spain, subsequently earning my AA in Spanish.

    Sorry if that was at all wordy, but I tried to include as much information as possible. I know I am somewhat in the right range because, although I was not admitted to the handful of top schools I applied to, I was wait-listed to Georgetown last summer, as a Sophomore transfer. But, after looking at a few sites which make reference to preferring students from similar institutions, and after seeing so many talk about transferring from four year schools on blogs such as this, I have come to fear that the advantage I thought I gained by attending a community college is actually a disadvantage. So, to conclude, again I am sorry if I prated, is there any truth behind my concerns?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Most transfer students are former community college students. Because you took a rigorous course load and have a 3.75 GPA, it sounds like you would be a solid candidate at many colleges and universities (there are thousands of them in the US). I don’t know what your high school GPA and SAT score are, but as a junior transfer applicant, those would matter less than if you were applying for sophomore transfer. Getting wait-listed by Georgetown is a good sign. Apply again–that will show that you’re still very interested in going there. Also, apply to several other schools, and choose a range of schools. You can start your college search by looking into peer schools of Lehigh (schools with a similar status)–if you were accepted there for freshman admission, and you’re doing well now in community college, you might be accepted in other schools like Lehigh.

  28. Alice Yang Avatar
    Alice Yang

    I’m currently a sophomore at a four year liberal arts University in the state of Georgia. I’m really hoping to transfer as a Junior to Vanderbilt, but my GPA is a main concern for me. Unfortunately, I had a kept a 3.75+ GPA until this semester, which dropped to a 3.5. What are my chances of getting into Vanderbilt with this GPA and will the school be able to take note of the GPA after this semester as well? Also, I’m looking into retaking the SAT/ACT to improve my chances of getting in. Would this be a good idea?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      Ok, (1) Vanderbilt will have a sense of your GPA after this semester (they’ll ask your professors to fill out a mid-term report). (2) As we say in our book (this is also what we tell our counseling students), re-taking the SATs only makes sense if you meet the following criteria: (a) your current test score is below the bottom 25 percentile for entering freshmen, (b) you are confident, based on practice tests, that you can raise your SAT score by at least 100 points (or your ACT score to a similar degree), and (c) the effort you expend on taking these tests will not interfere with your grades or applications (which are generally more important). Hope that helps!

  29. Robert Saunders Avatar
    Robert Saunders

    I’m currently a freshman at a middle level NESCAC school. I’m really hoping to transfer to a top tier school such as Brown, Georgetown, Dartmouth or Penn where I can pursue a International Relations Major. My first semester GPA was a 4.1 (I took an extra course), I have very solid high school grades (IB program), and my SAT is 1800. What are my chances of getting into these schools? Will my SAT score hurt me?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Chris Goodmacher Avatar

      Ok so, (1) Chances of getting into those schools: your college GPA is definitely good enough, so it comes down to everything else: your course choices (are you going to be taking any upper-level courses next term?), ECs, teacher recs, and your reasons for transferring.

      (2) On whether you should re-rake the SATs: check what I said to Alice in the comment directly above yours.


  30. Jared Avatar


    I’m currently a non-trad community college student in Virginia majoring in Business. I feel like I’m doing well so far with a GPA of 3.91 with 33 credit hours. I haven’t taken a rigeourous course load until this semester. None of my courses minus my physical education course have been “easy”, but I haven’t some of the tougher classes in my major yet. I ended up getting my GED after dropping out of high school for poor grades and for family issues. I really want to get into Cornell, James Madison, Vanderbilt, UVA or any other top 25 university. Due to having a GED and being a community college student, would I be at a disadvantage than some who has a diploma, took the ACT/SAT and is attending a 4-year college/university? Do I have a realistic chance at transfering in as a sophomore to any of those schools? Will my age (27) effect admissions? Also, should I wait and apply next fall after I’ve taken tougher classes?

    Thank you 🙂

  31. Christie Le Avatar
    Christie Le

    I’m currently a sophomore at Umass Lowell with a GPA of 3.59. I was wondering if I could get a shot at transferring to Bently next year. I’m expecting a 3.8 on my midterm report and I’m planning to apply mid-march.

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Go for it! You might want to briefly mention your upward trajectory in the “Additional Information” section in Common App.

  32. Dillon Avatar

    I’m a student at in the honors program at a large state flagship who’s interested in transferring to Cornell/Brown/Michigan/Columbia/Georgetown/Dartmouth as a Math/Econ major. Is 3.9+ (around a 3.92) considered competitive? I understand the higher the better- most of my grades are As, but I have two A-s, and B+ from an upper level math course (500 level) I took as a freshman (learned my lesson). Since then, my grades have improved. I’m assuming that with a 3.9+ GPA, other factors such as Essays/ECs have a greater impact. I’m unsure of whether I’m splitting hairs, or if this really is a concern.

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      A 3.9+ GPA makes you a competitive candidate. Regardless, I usually suggest to students that they expand their school list given the competitive nature of the application process.

  33. Baba holian Avatar
    Baba holian

    Hi eberyone, I would like to ask. What’s my chances for Boston Cllege and Boston University transfer Fall 2014? Age:16, Both of my parents are an alumni, HS GPA 3.3. And now I’m a freshman at University of San Francisco ( Unweighted GPA for Fall 2013: 3.68), ACT 26, TOEFL :102, didn’t finish year 12, only year 10, any advice please? Good or bad, I”ll accept it… Thanks!

  34. April Avatar

    I’m going to be an incoming freshman at the University of Miami this year. I’m fortunate to have received a significant merit scholarship and I harbor no bad feelings towards the school. Recently I’ve realized that I’m very interested in doing finance. I know that if I wanted to do accounting I’d be perfectly fine at Miami (I also have a very strong personal connection with the next CEO of Deloitte), but I’m more interested in doing finance/trading. My father works at Goldman Sachs, not finance though (more IT stuff) and he laid it down straight to me and told me that Miami is not the type of school that those types of banks recruit at.
    In high school, I can be classified as a lazy nerd. I was in the most difficult courseload and received a slew of Bs and two Cs in Physics Honors and French my Junior year with ~3.5 GPA coupled with a 2250 SAT score (all sections pretty even, 780 on writing though) and with the leadership positions of newspaper editor-in-chief, debate club president, and varsity lacrosse and a studio art portfolio. Basically my app was pretty great EXCEPT for my grades ironically. I know I’m smart, I was jsut ridiculously lazy during high school and there are just too many other better hardworking candidates than me for spots at the top schools. I have absolutely nothing against Miami at all, I think it’s a good school, but I’d just like to be somewhere “better”. At Miami I’m hoping to strive for a 4.0 and put a lot of my extracurricular involvement in student publications like newspaper, do you think I realistically have the chance to transfer to schools like USC, Georgetown, Columbia, and Dartmouth for some combination of Business/Econ and Art History (clandestine interest)? Thanks!

  35. Kelly Avatar

    Hello, I’m a 31 year old CC student. I currently have a 3.64 GPA and hope to graduate (AA degree) in the Fall with a 3.7+ GPA. I volunteer and have glowing recs from a number of teachers. I want to do an in-state transfer to Washington State University in Spring but worry that my transcript won’t be competitive enough. Do I have a shot at getting in? And do you have any specific recommendations for me? Thank you, I greatly appreciate your help & expertise.

  36. alicia Avatar

    My son recently graduated high school with a very low GPA, he is having a hard time deciding what classes to take at Pasadena college, and not to mention he would like to transfer to Vanderbilt and wants to major in business please help!

  37. Jake Rosenblum Avatar
    Jake Rosenblum

    I have 4.0 at University Virginia with a 2110 SAT Score. I’m looking forward to transferring to University of Pennsylvania or Columbia University as my Second Year. If I do have a compelling reason to transfer do I need to retake my SATs?

  38. James Chopski Avatar
    James Chopski

    I am a second year student at UMW, a smaller liberal arts state school in Virginia that is somewhere between or above George Mason University and James Madison University, other relatively well known state schools. I intend on transferring to a better state school, such as William and Mary or UVA, but am unsure of my chances due to a horrible high school experience. A forewarning: this is not meant to be some type of sob-story, just the facts that hopefully will provide some context to my situation. Growing up, lacrosse was my sport, and I spent my entire childhood honing my skills to the point where I was an accomplished player. I was a somewhat higher profile athlete that was recruited by several schools for my sport as a freshman and as a sophomore in high school. Needless to say, the prospect of playing college lacrosse was my dream, and I immediately began working out harder and more frequently than ever before. Unfortunately, during the winter of my sophomore year, I contracted bronchitis while running in the snow for the upcoming season. The infection lasted a total of 25 months and saw me fail to react positively to over 140 different medications. This ended up forcing me to miss hundreds of days of school and forced my parents to pay high medical bills. The Catholic school I was at wanted me to repeat my sophomore year, but some family financial issues made doing another year of private high school an impossibility. The absences I had accumulated cost me academically, but through serious effort and a summer school course, I ended up passing the grade. In the fall, I ended up transferring to the local public school as a junior with persistent health issues. The over two year illness went away for no more than a couple days at a time. I lost the ability to play the sport I loved and even the ability to workout. Sleeping became a difficulty too, as my breathing grew worse and worse, often times preventing me from walking around my house, let alone school. I became very depressed and began quickly gaining weight only to lose it faster. I was often out of school or not interested in the course work as a result of the disease. Towards the end of high school, the disease let up, and I ended up putting together a 1900-something on my SAT and writing some great essays to get me into school, but I finished with a very poor GPA (a 2.8-3.00). During the recuperation time (and there was lots of it), I began reading. A series of books that particularly touched me were Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson , which tell the tale of Lyndon Johnson while also providing an in-depth look at our country’s government. I flew through those books – and any other political books I could get my hands on – and quickly developed a love for all that is political. The main reason I would like to move up and to transfer to either William and Mary or the University of Virginia is because of their renowned political science programs and the great opportunities for internships and jobs that come with them. Moreover, a degree from either school could go a long way in helping me to realize my dream of one day being involved in the political process. On college, my first semester started out rough, too; the funeral for a family friend’s child caused me to miss most of the syllabus week and my chance to switch classes. I did well in all of my classes with the exception of a math class. Math is naturally my weakest subject, but to make matters worse, this class would be the last class that my professor would ever teach, meaning he wasn’t particularly interested in working too hard to help struggling students. I studied as hard as I could, causing me to vacate my spot on the athletic team and to spend many nights with student tutors, and managed to get a C. The following semester I took more classes, but classes that I really wanted to take, and received three A minuses, two A;s, and a B minus. My first semester GPA was a 2.97, and my second semester GPA was a 3.65. Coming off of a freshman average of a 3.3, I am taking a heavy load of credits again this semester with the goal of getting a 4.0. Clearly there is a lot of work between myself and either of the two in-state colleges I am interested in, but, having looked over my case and assuming I do well and earn an average of a 3.5-3.6, what would my odds be at either UVA or William and Mary?

  39. leo Avatar

    hey guys. i really need some answers due to the life changing decision im making with the transfer decisions. im a cc student who has 45 credits and 3.84 GPA. i have taken 24 honors credits out of the 45 credits making me a presidential honors scholar. I hold numerous positions in school such as an offcier of an international society, and vice president and president of two different business clubs in my school. i have also earned scholarships to go to an international business conference which takes place in europe. i have written a paper which was issued in the distinctions booklet for best papers for the semester.i have a few other accolades but they arent as important. my high school grades werent to good but i had family issues should i explain that to them. im attempting to transfer to cornell (ilr), yale, harvard, princeton , etc…
    thank you so much

  40. Trinatee Avatar

    I have a 3.4 at a local community college and my goal is to transfer to purdue university where the minimum gpa 2.5. I am above the minimum but have a average GPA, do you believe there’s still a chance I get accepted ?

  41. Chella Subbu Avatar
    Chella Subbu

    I’m doing my MBA in herzing university. I’m in my first semester. In my Bachelor’s my GPA is 3.1. I really want to change my university. I haven’t done SAT or IELTS. What’s your opinion? Should I wait until first semester and I’m hoping to score good grades and apply for better university? Do u think Sat IELTS is important even after my first semester? Your advice highly appreciated. Thanks.

  42. Sheldon Avatar

    I am currently an engineering freshman at Duke University and I expect my gpa to be somewhere between 3.75-3.83 for the first semester. My SAT score was 2210 and my high school gpa was 3.8. In high school I was very involved however here I have only joined one engineering community service-oriented club. I was thinking of applying as a transfer to either Columbia or Stanford in order to get some kind of financial aid. Do you think I am strong enough an applicant to do so?
    Thank you

    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      It’s worth a shot to apply, given your solid GPA at Duke.

  43. Meiling Avatar

    I am currently a sophomore at Boston University and am trying to transfer into Wellesley College. I applied as a freshman and got waitlisted with 3.7 GPA and 1940 SAT score. I understand that transfer acceptance rate is about 10%. At BU, I have taken introductory and intermediate biology, chemistry, and economics courses so far. I have a 3.26 GPA right now and am hoping to bring it up to 3.35. How are my chances in transferring and what should I do to increase those chances?

  44. Lizzy Avatar

    I am currently a freshman at Canisius College and I have a 4.0 GPA. I have huge financial needs and I am not eligible for government aids. I also already have too many loans. I want to transfer to either Columbia or Smith College. Do you think these are good choices and how high do you think my chances of getting in with sufficient financial aid are? I know this is an old thread but I will appreciate your response.


    1. Lan Ngo Avatar
      Lan Ngo

      Colleges and universities that participate in the Title IV federal student aid programs are required to post a net price calculator on their website. Columbia falls in this category. Use Columbia’s net price calculator to get an idea of the financial aid for which you may qualify:

      (Here’s more info about the net price calculator:

  45. Christine Avatar

    I am a freshman at Michigan state University with a GPA of 3.9, I am really hoping to go to NYU, So you think I have a shot? Im also in a community service group. In high school I had a GPA of 3.96

    1. Mohammed Avatar

      Michigan State is a retarded University, a 4.0 there won’t get you in anywhere

  46. Jane Avatar


    I applied as a transfer to USFCA with a 2.9 GPA. I have extra curriculars and my letter of recommendation is from jumpstart. I just want to know what are my chances of getting in? I had a 3.0 in my winter quarter but my GPA went up to only 2.97 to be exact.

  47. Ang Li Avatar
    Ang Li

    I am really worried about my transfer application right now. I am studying at Boston College right now and my first year GPA is 3.58, which is higher than most students. I know my GPA is not high enough, and my ranking is 380/1500 and I get the honor student prize. I am planing to transfer as a junior student, and I really want to transfer because of a lot of reasons. I want to try my best to boost my gpa in sophomore year. Hopefully, I can get close to 3.8. I want to transfer to Cornell, Brown, Uchicago, CMC, Pomona, Upenn, Northwestern and Columbia. I know the result includes a lot of factors, such as experience, essay and activities. but I still want to know how much chance I can get in those schools with an approximate 3.75 gpa.

  48. Jack Avatar

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I am really worried about my transfer application right now. I am studying at Boston College right now and my first year GPA is 3.58, which is higher than most students. I know my GPA is not high enough, and my ranking is 380/1500 and I get the honor student prize. I am planing to transfer as a junior student, and I really want to transfer because of a lot of reasons. I want to try my best to boost my gpa in sophomore year. Hopefully, I can get close to 3.8. I want to transfer to Cornell, Brown, Uchicago, CMC, Pomona, Upenn, Northwestern and Columbia. I know the result includes a lot of factors, such as experience, essay and activities. but I still want to know how much chance I can get in those schools with an approximate 3.75 gpa.

  49. Ashwin Avatar

    i am an international student currently in sophomore year in saint peter’s university, NJ. I have 3.55 G.P.A for my first year. I wish to transfer to University of California San Diego, UCLA or Purdue university(wherever i get in). What are my chances of getting accepted?

  50. sanjay khushalani Avatar
    sanjay khushalani

    Hi, i am currently at the university of the virgin islands, and i have the GPA of 3.75. And i am thinking of transferring to SUNNY Binghamton. I am a sophomore with 60 credits. The GPA requirement at Binghapton is 3.5, at the school of management. I know that I qualify the GPA requirements but my only concern is that does it makes my chances lower because my current school is not a very good one.

  51. Jenna Avatar

    Hi! I have a gpa of 3.4 but that should raise up a little after this semester but I’m looking to apply to transfer as a junior to Boston University, Duke, University of Washington, University of Oklahoma, Oregon state university, and Tulane. I’m actually terrified that I’m being completely unrealistic with these ideal schools, am I being completely in over my head here?

  52. Latraya westmorelnad Avatar
    Latraya westmorelnad

    Hi mybdaughter is tryong to transfer to univeraoty of central missouri she short 2 credit hours to transfer in fall of 2017 her college gpa is a 3.88 right now they want her to send hoghschool transcripts but she only had a 2.44 gpa and act of 17 do you think they will still accept her based off her college work?

  53. Sarah Avatar

    Hi. I am currently a freshman at Providence College. I just applied to George Washington U, Boston U, and Northeastern U. My gpa is a 2.93 (all B’s and a B-). My course load was challenging with economics and accounting classes and a very demanding core (Western Civilizations). BU says most successful applicants have a 3.5 on their website, but at a transfer info session it said 3.0. I wrote what I believe is a good essay and a supplement. At NEU, their norm gpa is a 3.3, and GW is a 3. I really do not like my current school and would love more than anything to get into BU especially, however I am freaking out given my GPA. If it helps, my sister goes to NEU. What is most concerning is the acceptance rates. BU has a transfer rate of 28%, NEU 49%, and GWU 49%. However, I know a girl who has denied from NEU with better grades than me. My sister transferred to NEU Nursing with a 3.3, although better than a 3.0 I still like to make believe I have a shot. Can you help me out! I don’t know where I stand.

  54. Julia Avatar

    Hello I am in my first year at a local CC and I have 4.0 GPA right now. I took already 26 credits and 16 of them are honors. I am a student ambassador and vice-president of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society club in my CC. I also volunteer 2x a week at a local Hospital for 10 hours a week. I am thinking about transferring to Boston University, UCLA or University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for a pre-medical program. Do you think I will be considered ? Thank you !

  55. Debarshi Kundu Avatar
    Debarshi Kundu

    My name is Debarshi Kundu. I am a second-year college student who attended the University of Texas at Dallas for my first two semesters. My first semester I did great in everything, with A+, A, and A- grades in the majority of my courses (With the exception of ROTC, as they didn’t excuse some of my absences for being sick).
    My mid-term report was pretty good, with mostly As and one B.
    However, I was rejected from my top transfer school, Cornell University (CALS, Information Science).
    I was accepted into UT Austin for Computer Science, and I decided to accept and attend next semester, as I didn’t know if I’d ever get that opportunity again.
    I still want to reapply to Cornell for Spring Transfer though, as I really dislike Texas and am craving to have the flexibility that Cornell offers me.
    However, as it turned out, my semester did not end well. My midterm report was vastly different from my final grades, and I had an A+ in Physics I Lab, an A- in Intro to Literary Analysis, a B+ in Discrete Mathematics, a B in Physics I: Mechanics, a B- in Calculus III, and a whopping D in my Computer Science II course.
    The final course was extremely difficult, and I struggled with the professor I had, as he didn’t teach over 50% of the material and made many assignments due on the same week (EG: one time I had a project, 2 homework grades, an in-class project, and a quiz due all in the same week). That one D dropped my GPA pretty big… My 3.734 GPA from first semester has turned into a 3.240 GPA at UTD.
    My two questions are:

    1. Does it hurt me that I already transferred to UT Austin, even though it was simply my backup school?

    2. What should I do about the grades situation? I want to retake my Computer Science II grade at a community college, although I know that won’t help my GPA at UTD, since only retaking it at UTD will bring up my UTD GPA. I live in Houston, and it would be a huge hassle to go all the way back to UTD.


  56. Ryann Avatar

    Hello my name is Ryann, I am currently attending Colorado state university and did not preform well in highschool due to personal reasons. However I have done really well during college and was hoping to find a college that would help me in my future career. I have just completed my first semester with a 3.63 GPA and I have also been very involved in student organizations. I am the president of my 900 person dormitory, am an honor roll student, and I will be giving a tedx speech in March on a policy reform of my own invention. I am majoring in political science and economics as well as minoring in history. I am hopeing to attend a college near D.C. or in California. Are there any top-tear schools for which I might be a candidate? I am looking to transfer as soon as possible but would be alright with staying longer if it means I will be able to pursue a better education elsewhere. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    1. Daisy Avatar

      I had a horrible GPA in high school because I was recruited for athletics and just didn’t really care. Like a 2.8. But in college i had a 3.7 and a ton of extracurriculars like you (student government, honor roll, athletics, etc.), and a compelling admissions essay. I study politics, history, and IR. I ended up getting into Columbia, NYU, UChicago, and Stanford, so I am certain you would be able to get into numerous good schools with that resume.

  57. Jack McInerney Avatar
    Jack McInerney

    I will be 65 years old when I apply for transfer next year to UCSD. Currently my GPA is 3.4 with 60 credits and a Psych major. My question is, Does being a senior citizen help my chances of getting accepted?

  58. Saniya Avatar

    I am currently at Umass Amherst and a sophomore with psychology major. I have a GPA of 3.856 and have taken a few upper level courses. I am not sure of whether I want to go to big schools or small LACs. What are the chances that ill get into UCLA,USC, Pomona, Claremont McKena and Barnard. I also have a lot of EC including being a TA, Research Assistant inna lab. I also did an internship in the summer.

  59. Kumi Smith Avatar
    Kumi Smith

    I’m an aspiring pre-med student who currently attends a CC in CA with a 3.77, I’ve achieved some solid extra curriculars such as volunteering for the county hospital near me for over half a year, volunteering to help my community, and being a part of my college’s student council club (AGP). I have two Ds on my transcript and about 4 ws due to traumatic issues occurring in my life at the time, but after getting therapy and improving my mental health, I retook both classes w As and have gotten As in my last 11 major courses. I also am currently putting myself through school and work as a server!
    What im wondering is, are my extra curriculars enough to set me apart from other transfer applicants into any of the UCs, and do i have a good shot of being accepted into UCSD specifically?
    Thank you for your time have a nice day!.

  60. annon Avatar

    Brown has been my dream school for the longest time. I’m at my freshman year. My GPA by the time I apply is predicted to be a 3.75-3.79. Is there a huge difference between a 3.79 and a 3.8?

    1. BrownSimp Avatar

      Broooooo, same. I love Brown sooo much. Were you successful in getting into Brown?

  61. anonymous hehe Avatar
    anonymous hehe

    Hi. I’m a community college student working for transfer associate’s degrees pre-engineering: electrical, pre-engineering: general, physics and mathematics. I have a 4.0 GPA right now and I am president of the engineering club. It’s my freshman year, and I only got a 3.71 UW GPA in High School with no extracurriculars. I have a 33 in English and Science, a 32 in Reading and a 27 in Math on the ACT (even though I have a 99.8 in calculus 1) I don’t feel like I have much of a story to tell other than I have Asperger’s and socializing has been a huge struggle for me. My dad was abusive, too, but I don’t really feel like writing “sob stories” is a great idea when it comes to college applications. I want to transfer to Cornell, Vanderbilt, UC Berkeley or maybe even somewhere better. Should I try transferring now or do my sophomore year? Thank you.

  62. oliver Avatar

    I’m currently a sophomore at a four year liberal arts University in the state of Georgia. I’m really hoping to transfer as a Junior to Vanderbilt, but my GPA is a main concern for me. Unfortunately, I had a kept a 3.75+ GPA until this semester, which dropped to a 3.5. What are my chances of getting into Vanderbilt with this GPA and will the school be able to take note of the GPA after this semester as well? Also, I’m looking into retaking the SAT/ACT to improve my chances of getting in. Would this be a good idea?
    Thank you very much.

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