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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

Your Transfer Application: the Complete Breakdown

November 2, 2011 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Essays, Four-Year Transfer Articles, GPA

Stanford columns at sunset

Here’s a breakdown of all the items any student (whether coming from a community college or a four-year school) may need to apply to transfer. The major exception to these guidelines are community college students interested in transferring to a public university in their own state. Those students should check out our state transfer guides, that outline specific, state-by-state requirements students can fulfill to improve their chance of (and in some cases, guarantee) admission.

We’ll describe each item briefly below, along with a description of how much time you should devote to each, and when. The first four items—the application, personal essay, college report/transcript, and the financial aid documents—should be required no matter what school you want to transfer to. The other items (letters of recommendation and test scores) may or may not be required depending on the school and your situation (for example, in many cases test scores may only be required if you’re applying to enter as a sophomore).

Application/Common Application (commonapp.org)

What is it: This is what most people think of when they think of an application. It asks for your basic information (name, address, etc.), information about your family, extracurricular activities, and so on. The majority of the US News Top 50 schools (31 out of the 50) use the Common Application, so we provide a complete walk-through of that form in The Transfer Book. The remainder that doesn’t use the application consists mainly of state schools that have their own forms.

When to work on it: Take a look at the application of the school(s) you’re thinking of applying to right now. Although many schools prefer that you fill out the form online, the easiest way to see everything is to look at a printable version of the form here: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/DownloadForms.aspx. It’s good for you to get a sense of what is required as early as possible. You don’t need to fill it out now, but start thinking about how you’ll fill in the blanks.

Personal essay & supplement

What is it: The personal essay that every applicant dreads. This is actually part of the application, but we like to talk about it separately, because it’s significant enough and different enough from the rest of the application that it deserves independent treatment. We tell you how to write a beautiful essay as painlessly as possible in The Transfer Book. If a school uses the Common Application, they will likely have a supplement you’ll need to fill out too in order to apply. That supplement allows the school to ask you anything they want to know that the standard application doesn’t cover.

When to work on it: Start about three months before the final application deadline. We find this provides the right urgency level needed to get it done, while also providing comfortable time to go through the necessary process of (1) getting feedback, (2) revising, and (3) repeating steps (1) and (2) (again, more on the essay later).

College Report and Transcript (and, in many cases, High School Report and Transcript)

What is it: A transcript must be turned in for each college you’ve previously attended. Often, it will have to come with a form that has to be filled out by a college official (a dean or college counselor), that will attest to the fact that you were a student of the college and weren’t subject to disciplinary action. It will also ask for a recommendation letter, so give this form to the college counselor or dean that knows you best. In most cases your high school transcript and a similar high school report will have to be submitted as well.

When to work on it: Request the transcript and form to be filled out ideally two or three months in advance of the application deadline, and definitely no later than one month before everything is due.

Financial aid forms (FAFSA, CSS, each school’s scholarship form)

What is it: No school requires it, but every single student should fill out the FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it is by far the largest source of both grants and the best loans for students. Many schools (30 out of the 50 on the US News list) will also require that you fill out a CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile form, which provides colleges with more details than the FAFSA. Finally, a few colleges have their own aid forms that you may need to fill out, and some states may have forms to fill out to get additional aid in that particular state (for example, in California, the Cal Grant).

When to work on it: Although schools will often specify priority deadlines, you should turn in your financial aid forms as soon as possible after they become available (for the FAFSA, the new form is up January 1). You don’t need to have your and your parent’s tax returns complete before you do fill out the forms (you can estimate based on last year’s information and correct the information when you do your actual taxes later). The longer you wait, the less money will be available.

Again, the previous four items should be required for any school you apply to. The next two will be required by many, but not all.

Letter(s) of recommendation

What is it: A letter from a professor (or, in some cases, a high school teacher or work supervisor will do). Many colleges don’t require any letter of recommendation, several require one letter, and, at the high end, MIT requires three.

When to work on it: Start asking professors at little more than one month in advance of when you need their letter. It gives them enough lead-time to fit it into their very busy schedules.

Test scores

What is it: Your SAT or ACT score. The requirements here vary significantly. 19 of the US News Top 50 require an SAT or ACT score, 13 require a score only if you’re applying to transfer before a certain amount of time after high school (usually if you’re trying to enter as a sophomore), five require it only if you’ve already taken a test, and ten don’t require it at all. Bottom line: make sure to check with the schools you’re interested in. Only a few schools require the results of SAT II subject tests. Additionally, if you’re a non-native speaker of English applying from abroad, you’ll most likely have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Most schools also take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), but every school takes the TOEFL.

When to work on it: If you need to take the SAT, you should take it at least one month before the application deadline for the results to reach the school on time, and if you need to take the ACT, you can take it the month before the deadline.

Now, given all of the above information, here’s your basic, ideal timeline:

Basic Timeline

Now Look at the applications, do well in school, be a leader in your passions, get to know your professors
ASAP after Jan 1 Complete financial aid forms
At least three months before the deadline Work on your essays
Two months to one month before the deadline Take the SATs/ACTs (if necessary)
At least one month before the deadline Request letters of recommendation

 

That’s it for our brief overview of all the application items. In the coming weeks, months, and even years, we’re going to continue to write content that helps you transfer as easily as possible. If you found this post useful, please share it (it’s how ideas spread). If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions (about this post or about anything else), please leave a comment, or say something in the discussion forum! Transferweb is a new project, so we really appreciate any and all feedback.

Best of luck with the process!
Chris

(Photo: Josiah Mackenzie)

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)

Fall 2009 College Transfer Acceptance Rates Added

September 19, 2010 in Admissions, All Transfers, Community College Articles, Four-Year Transfer Articles, Stats

Grove admissions

We just added the recently released Fall 09 transfer admissions numbers for some of the top schools in the US (the 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 2009 and 2008 at the same schools. Click here to check it out, or hover over the “Stats” menu and click on the third 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.

Overall, it’s a pretty mixed bag. About 18 of the 50 colleges had their transfer admissions rates increase versus last year (that is, they were able to admit a greater portion of their applicant pool than the previous year), while 28 of the 50 became more selective (that is, they admitted a lower percentage of their applicants versus last year). Two (Harvard and Princeton) continued to not admit any transfers (though Harvard recently repealed that policy), and we couldn’t get the data from last year for another two (Yeshiva and U. Miami).

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 we don’t think it makes sense to draw too many conclusions from the data. 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: jrossol)