Deciding to transfer schools is a big decision when you’re in college. Whether you’re in your first or second year, transferring will entail making new friends, living most likely in a new city, and making sure that your current credits transfer to make it all worth your while.
That said, there’s a lot that can come out of transferring, especially if you truly don’t like your current school. I fully believe that there is no reason to stay somewhere you don’t like once you have given it a good try. Instead you should try to salvage what you can of your college career, pick yourself up and find a better place, so you can still have great memories, great friends, and (most importantly to the admissions committee) a much better academic experience that better aligns with your goals.
And, that’s where I will start: What You Really Need To Know For a Great College Transfer Application.
1. You need to make it about the academics
Colleges understand that perhaps you don’t have any friends, or just don’t feel “connected” at your current school. Maybe you’re going to a community college and want to go to a 4-year program, or maybe you just want OUT, anywhere that isn’t where you are, or perhaps anywhere not so close to home.
Whatever your reasons, what you tell the college admissions committee needs to focus on your ACADEMIC reasons for transferring, and not your social ones. Successful applicants always have an academic reason for wanting to go elsewhere. For example, perhaps you can’t major in Biophysics where you are, because your school just doesn’t offer that major, and would therefore have to settle for a more general degree in Biology, which will limit what you really want to be studying.
Or, perhaps there is a professor at another school who is doing research on EXACTLY the topic and speciality you’re interested in, and that’s why you “need” to transfer in order to take advantage of the best opportunity you can.
Perhaps it makes more sense if you want to study economics to be in a big financial capital like New York, or perhaps you’re an English major but really want to be a Journalism major, and your school “just doesn’t offer that.”
Those are the reasons that will get you in: something ACADEMIC that is logical and makes sense. Basically, you want the admissions committee to read your essays and say, “yes, that is a very logical and appropriate reason for wanting to transfer.” It’s that response that will get you in.
[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad. I currently run the college admissions consulting firm: www.IvyLeagueEssay.com Looking to transfer colleges? Contact me for a free consultation today!]