by Lan Ngo

Dartmouth Stresses Importance of Maintaining College Transfer Program

May 10, 2014 in Admissions, All Transfers, Ivy Plus, News, Specific College

dartmouth_library

The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth College considers transfer students to be the kinds of students the College wants to have in its community, according to a recent article in The Dartmouth, the College’s student newspaper. Although transfer admissions (along with freshman admissions) continue to grow in competitiveness, Dartmouth’s message generally seems to be one of welcome to transfer applicants. Below are highlights from the article:

At 1,210 students, the number of incoming freshmen accepting Dartmouth’s offer of acceptance is its highest ever, producing a yield of 54.5 percent.

Laskaris [Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid] said that although the Class of 2018 is overfilled, it is important to maintain a transfer program.

Laskaris noted, however, that the first-year application pool was the first priority. The number of accepted transfer students is contingent upon the space available after first-year students have decided to matriculate, she said.

Laskaris said the admissions process for transfer students is need-blind and the College meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for admitted transfer students, as it does for first-year applicants.

Two-thirds of all students who earn a baccalaureate degree attend two or more colleges or universities, said Judith Brauer, proposal developer at the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students at the University of North Georgia. A report released through the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center placed the figure at one-third of all students.

Between 15 and 27 transfer students enrolled each year in the College between 2010-13.

Despite the small number of transfer students enrolled in the College each year, Dartmouth seems to be “transfer friendly”, in that the transfer admissions process is need-blind, and the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid seems supportive of the College’s transfer student population.

Photo: Ben Stephenson

by Lan Ngo

College Transfer Story: Family Matters

February 18, 2014 in All Transfers, Four-Year Transfer Articles, Specific College, To Transfer or Not

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by Rose Pallone

In April 2012, I got an email from the University of St Andrews in Scotland admitting me as a second-year transfer student in English Literature and Art History. I remember calling my mom, crying, to tell her the fantastic news. Her response was “Oh” followed by prolonged silence. I was more than a little confused. My parents willingly paid for the application fee, and they did not object to the idea of transferring whenever I brought it up.  Considering the college I was enrolled in at the time was my dad’s alma mater and my brother planned to apply there Early Decision that fall, I should have expected a fight. I was not, however, prepared for the war my parents launched.

At first, I reacted to my parents’ objections like a teenager. I screamed, I cried, and I nearly made myself sick. Still, I accepted my place at St Andrews (as no deposit was required), and I managed to compose myself enough to attend a meeting with my Dean of my college at the time. The Dean spoke about my options and the process of officially withdrawing from the college. At the end, he asked me how my parents felt. I told him that my mom and dad were not happy, but that I was continuing with the process, hoping they would come to terms with it eventually. My Dean gave me a weird look and said that I should try to reach my parents on “their level of understanding.” I had no idea what that meant, so I continued to ignore the problem. It should be my decision; I was the one going to school. Did I really have to make them “understand” why I needed this?

Halfway through July, I realized that I needed my parents’ help, and I wanted them to be proud of me. That evening, I sat down with my parents and just listened. My mom was concerned about the writing program and the money I needed for a school that was farther away. My dad was worried about the reputation of the school and how easy it would be to get a job after graduation. With their arguments in mind, I got to work on my very last application: a presentation on why transferring to St Andrews made sense. I conducted research for days. I showed them that St Andrews is not only a well-established, highly-ranked university, but it would save thousands of dollars in tuition annually, has incredible extracurricular activities for writers, and has a job placement percentage higher than the U.S. national average for college graduates.

I won my parents over by doing as my Dean said, and really getting on “their level of understanding.” As silly as I looked giving a PowerPoint Presentation over dinner, it was worth it, and admittedly, it was not very hard. Just keep in mind that your parents really are trying to help you succeed, and if you can address their concerns, you will have no problem getting them to stand behind you.

What’s your transfer story?

Photo: Moyan Brenn

by Lan Ngo

College Transfer Applications: Sending Transcripts

December 26, 2013 in Admissions, All Transfers, Requirements

Envelope

One of the unspoken requirements of the transfer applications is the ability to be organized. Sending your school transcripts demonstrates this need.

Though the Common Application for freshman applicants allows high schools to electronically submit school reports and transcripts through the Common App website, this function isn’t available to transfer applicants, who must send hard copies to the colleges/universities they’re applying to. To have the best control of your transcripts, you should ask your high school and college to send you several copies of your transcript, with one transcript in one envelope.  For example, if you’re applying to 6 colleges, ask for 6 copies of your transcript, each in its own sealed envelope.  Ask for all the copies to be sent to you, and don’t open the transcripts when you get them, because that would make the transcripts unofficial.

Here’s what the situation would look like for your application to College X–in addition to completing Common App online application, you would send one, large envelope containing these items to College X:

1. your high school transcript in its own envelope
2. your college/university transcript in its own envelope
3. A cover page that includes this information:
– CA ID (Common App ID #):
– First name:
– Last name:
– Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy):
– Applying for [semester and year] transfer

I’ve worked in an office of admissions before, and there’s a lot of paperwork to handle, so it’s easier for the admissions office if you send everything at one time.

Photo: Will Hart

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

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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

by Lan Ngo

Know the Readers of Your College Transfer Application

August 30, 2013 in Admissions, All Transfers

telephone

As pointed out by one of our readers, knowing the audience of your college transfer application is very important.  Here’s advice from our knowledgeable reader, who wrote this comment specifically addressing a student interested in applying to transfer to Stanford:

I would spend more time focusing on relating directly to the person that will be reading your transcripts and application. This is the person you need to impress upon, not the Dean, not the Alumni and not your peers. All those admissions people get are essays about saving the world as a tech entrepreneur and how they want to be like Reid Hoffman. Simply email/call the admissions office and speak with someone about what they generally look for in transfers. You can even say you are a parent if you are nervous. Then I would find the person who will be handling your application. Do this by attending a nearby college fair and speaking with the representative there. Establish a relationship with them and make sure to follow up consistently in a friendly and professional manner. Next I would request a formal interview and don’t come off as someone begging to be part of the Stanford prestige. Try to portray yourself as an adult looking to identify a strong investment in the $100k you will be spending on your education. Remember, that you are paying THEM to give you the education. Even at a selective school like Stanford they need to prove they are worthy of your cash, time and hard work. In short, make yourself stick out and speak directly to the human that will be handling your application. Never leave your life decisions in the hands of policy, statistics or quotas. Good luck!

This advice goes well with our suggestions to speak with college admissions officers about transferring:

How to Get a Free Transfer Admission Consultation

College Transfer Applicants: Exactly What You Need to Say to Improve Your Odds

(Photo: mendhak)