Around this time every year, a number of students (or their parents) interested in transferring colleges approach us. We take on many transfer cases every year so we figured we’d give our readers some information on the transfer admissions process. At highly selective colleges — like the Ivy League colleges — transfer admissions is very similar to the college admissions process for high school students.
What are some key differences, you ask? Well, the pool is definitely much smaller. During the regular college admissions process, thousands and thousands of students often apply to a highly selective university, of which they only admit a small percentage. In transfer admissions, thousands and thousands of students just don’t apply. Another difference is that transfer students often apply to highly selective colleges from colleges you wouldn’t expect. Do you think that the vast majority of transfer admits switch from one Ivy League school to another? If so, know that this isn’t at all the case.
Many transfer students hail from less well-known schools. Maybe they are transferring from Hunter College or Santa Monica College. Yes, you can get into a prestigious university — like an Ivy League university — coming from a school that isn’t prestigious like Santa Monica College. It’s the exception to the rule, but it can happen in transfer admissions. It’s one of the ways that college admissions counselors at highly selective schools add to the diversity of the student body — through the transfer admissions process.
And what about high school grades? Do they matter for transfers? You bet they do. Your high school grades and SAT scores do indeed matter in transfer admissions, but your college grades will matter more. Your letters of recommendation from professors will matter more. So don’t slack off in college if you wish to transfer. Excel. Impress your professors. Get great grades and do terrific research. It’ll help your transfer case for sure.Categories: College Admissions, Transfer Students Tags: Ivy League Transfer Students, Ivy League Transferring, Transfer Admissions, Transfer College Admissions, Transfer Students to Ivy League
Did you know that this presidential election marks the first time in our nation’s history when…college transfer students are competing against each other for the nation’s top job? That’s right: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney both transferred colleges, points out Jay Mathews of “The Washington Post!” President Obama began his college career at Occidental College in California. But he transferred to Columbia University in New York for his junior year. Meanwhile, Governor Romney began his college career at The Farm (Stanford University) but transferred to Brigham Young University for his sophomore year.
What does the fact that both candidates transferred during their college careers say about them? Does it say they’re flip-floppers? Does it say they make wrong decisions and then try to correct them? President Obama is not the only United States President to have transferred colleges. President John F. Kennedy began his college career at Princeton University, but he had to drop out after six weeks because of illness. JFK would later graduate from Harvard University.
Does it surprise you that a transfer student hasn’t faced a transfer student in the presidential election before when one third of college graduates are transfer students? And how do you think the schools that the presidents (or candidates) transferred from think of them? Occidental happens to love President Obama and have made it quite clear how proud they are of him. They believe those two years that he spent at Occidental shaped the man and president he is today. What about Stanford? Will they embrace Romney should he be elected president? Who knows. There’s a plaque at a Princeton dorm in memory of President Kennedy. Hey, sometimes it’s just good PR to be proud of those who once attended your college…even if they ended up leaving it for another!Categories: Transfer Students Tags: College Transfer Student, College Transfer Students, College Transfers, Ivy League Transfers, University Transfers
Are you a college student looking to transfer to the Ivy League? Maybe you’re a Jewish student at Georgetown, a school with a Jesuit tradition but one that happens to have a number of Jewish students as well as a Hillel. Maybe you just don’t want to attend a Jesuit school anymore. Maybe your mom wants you to find a nice Jewish boy and she convinces you that the only way to do this is by transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. While this is a ridiculous reason to transfer and you might strongly consider keeping this reason to yourself on your college application, you nonetheless want to transfer so let’s fill you in on some transfer information.
It’s difficult to get into the Ivy League as a high schooler. Look at the Ivy League Admissions Statistics for yourself. It doesn’t get easier for transfer students. In fact, it only gets more difficult. If you find yourself nonetheless wanting to transfer to an Ivy League college, know that your college grades matter big time. College admissions counselors at Ivy League colleges want to see great grades. They also want to see your SAT’s or ACT’s. Are they going to look at your high school work and scores? Yes. But they also want to see what’s happened since and this takes priority.
While it is more difficult to gain admission as a transfer, also know that college admissions counselors at Ivy League colleges are in some ways more lenient for transfers. Lenient only in that they’ll make an exception that they wouldn’t make during the regular admissions cycle. They aren’t necessarily searching for the same kinds of students during the transfer cycle. Maybe they’ll find a student who didn’t do that well in high school but since he matriculated to a state school or – yes, even a community college – he’s done exceptionally. Maybe he’s gotten involved in science research and is going to be the first author on a paper to be published in “Science.” Now that would be exceptional! That is the kind of student who just might surprisingly gain admission to an Ivy League college as a transfer.
Check out this post on transferring to the Ivy League. And let us know your thoughts by posting below!Categories: Transfer Students Tags: Ivy League Transfer Students, Ivy League Transfers, Transfer Admission to Ivy League, Transfer to the Ivy League, Transferring to Ivy League
A few weeks ago, we posted about guaranteed transfer admission, a process by which colleges don’t admit a student for the coming academic year but allow them to transfer into the college (guaranteed) if they hold a certain GPA at the university they attend freshman year. We at The Ivy Coach happen to think that guaranteed transfer admission is borderline unethical as it encourages students to attend colleges they have every intention of transferring out of after one year. This is not good for the student, and it’s not good for the college that he or she attends freshman year. And we’re not alone in thinking guaranteed transfer should come to an end (read what the Dean of Admission at Hamilton College had to say about it).
Cornell University of the Ivy League is a university that is notorious for this practice. Cornell guaranteed transfer admission has been around for years and it’s not likely to end soon (unless all of this bad press changes the university’s stance). In fact, Cornell University just issued a few statements as reported in their school newspaper on all of the negative press surrounding the practice. According to “The Cornell Daily Sun,” “‘It’s a shame the New York Times writer misreported the statement we’d given,’ said Claudia Wheatley, interim deputy University spokesperson.”
“The Cornell Daily Sun” article goes on, “‘The transfer offer is a student choice every step along the way,’ said Cathleen Sheils ’98, director of admissions in ILR. ‘So ‘stealing’ students from other institutions would not be accurate.’…The Times article portrays transfers as caught in an awkward holding pattern during their first year that leaves most unhappy. While some at Cornell regret accepting the other, many are content with the decision. ‘I picked a college close to home,’ George Groen ’12 said. ‘It provided a year for maturity and work experience, cost savings for my parents and made it easier to establish good study habits once at the Hotel School, which was my first choice. The rule [The New York Times] missed is that you don’t tell your friends on day one you might leave.’”
We at The Ivy Coach think Cornell University’s PR department could stand a shakeup as these statements do little to address concerns people have about the practice of guaranteed transfer admission. Maybe they should just own it and say, “This is what we do. If you have qualms about it, apply elsewhere.” Hmmm, that’ll be the day.
Check out “The Cornell Daily Sun” article by Dan Robbins on college transfers.Categories: Admissions Process, College Admissions, The Rankings, Transfer Students Tags: College Transfer Students, Cornell, Cornell Guaranteed Transfer Admission, Cornell University, Guaranteed Transfer College Admissions, Transfer Students Guaranteed Admission
There is a “Times” piece entitled “Five Biggest Myths About College Admissions” by Andrew Rotherham in which Mr. Rotherham writes that the college admission process is “much more haphazard than people think.” That’s not the case. Does it matter if a college admissions counselor had a much-needed cup of coffee before he/she reads your application? Sometimes, yes. But overall, the college admission process is not random. It’s not a formula either but there are certain things you can do to greatly improve your chances for admission to top colleges. Let’s take a look at Mr. Rotherham’s five college admissions myths.
1. “Myth #1. Getting rejected means you’re just not [insert school name here] material.” Contrary to what Mr. Rotherham argues, the college admission process does not have “as much to do with luck as it does with merit.” A student with poor grades and SATs, a boring college essay, no family connections to Princeton University, and no special talent is not going to somehow luckily get admitted to Princeton. It’s just not possible. Luck has only a small part to play in the college admission process.
2. “Myth #2. You’re going to earn based on where you learn.” This myth is true. Check out our post entitled Ivy League Rejection about a study’s findings that indicate the colleges to which a student applies impacts one’s earnings potential more than the college(s) they actually get admitted to.
3. “Myth #3. “Affirmative action” rigs the process.” Yes, along with legacy status (and if the parents donated money), whether or not the student is talented (and how talented), whether or not a candidate’s parents attended college, socio-economic status, etc.
4. “Myth #4. The wait list never moves.” It does. You just have to do certain things (as described in our newsletter) in an effort to get admitted off the college waitlist.
5. “Myth #5. Once you choose a school, you’re stuck for four years.” Yes, you can always transfer. But it’s best to attend a college you think you want to graduate from!
Check out the “Times” piece on college admissions myths.Categories: Admissions Process, College Admissions, Transfer Students Tags: Admission to College Process, College Admission Process, College Admissions Process, College Application Process, University Admission Process
In a letter to the editor in today’s “New York Times” from Monica Inzer, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Hamilton College, Ms. Inzer stands by her previous statement in which she stated that guaranteed transfer college admission is “borderline unethical.” We happen to agree with Ms. Inzer and applaud her for standing up for a selfish practice used by many colleges that is counter to students’ best interests.
What is guaranteed transfer college admission? It’s when universities write letters to applicants that say they didn’t get in this year but if they maintain a certain GPA at another university, they’ll be guaranteed admission the following year. Students then have to attend a different university, one that they have no intention of ever graduating from because they intend to take the college that offered them the guaranteed transfer up on their offer. So in turn, the guarantee transfer not only hurts the student who may be hesitant to get involved or make friends at the university he/she only intends to stay at for a year but it also hurts the college they attend for that one year. When students choose to transfer this has a detrimental effect on that college’s rankings.
The practice is essentially putting students into yet another type of limbo predicament. Ms. Inzer also clarified that her comments do not apply to deferred admission: “While I stand by my statement, the article also addressed the practice of deferred admission, an entirely different and widely accepted practice used by Hamilton and many of our respected peer institutions, including Middlebury College and others mentioned in the article. A student offered a deferred-admission option simply matriculates a semester later without taking a spot at another institution from which he or she has no intention of graduating.” We again agree with Ms. Inzler. Deferred admission doesn’t force students to enroll at other colleges. It doesn’t force students to transfer. And so, unlike guaranteed transfer college admission, there’s nothing wrong with this tactic.
Check out the letter to the editor in the “New York Times” here.College Decisions, Transfer Students Tags: College Transfer Statistics, Guaranteed Transfer Admission, Guaranteed Transfer College Admission, Transfer Students, University Transfer Admissions, University Transfer Students
It’s no surprise that transferring to an Ivy League university or other highly selective college is a most difficult feat. At many of these universities, the acceptance rate for transfer applicants is considerably lower than the acceptance rate for its regular applicant pool of high school students applying as freshman. In fact, Brown University experienced a 20% increase in transfer applications from last year. According to the “Brown Daily Herald, “The University received around 1,950 transfer applications this year — a 20 percent increase from last year’s 1,621 applications. The Admission Office has not yet decided the exact number of transfers it will accept, but it plans to offer spots to around 200 students and enroll between 125 and 130. The Corporation approved an increase of up to 50 for next year’s transfer class to stabilize the student body at around 6,000, but the University determined a smaller increase in transfer enrollment would be sufficient.”
Check out the “Brown Daily Herald” article here.Transfer Students Tags: Brown University, College Admissions, College Transfer Students, The Ivy League, Transfer Admissions, Transfer Applicants
There is an article in the “New York Times” today that describes the plight of students who are offered what is known in the world of college admissions as “deferred admission” or “guaranteed transfer admission.” A university that is well known for offering this option happens to be an Ivy League college…Cornell University. Are there other colleges that offer this option? Yes. Middlebury College is one of them. But Cornell offers this option in significant numbers.
So what is guaranteed transfer admission or deferred admission? Well, some students choose to defer their admission to travel the world or to save up money for college. That’s not the deferred admission that we’re speaking of, though. We’re talking about a college such as Cornell University that tells an applicant that they don’t have room for them this year but if they go to another college for their freshman year and earn, say, a 3.3 GPA, then they will be guaranteed admission to Cornell for their sophomore year.
This practice allows colleges to manage their enrollment and it invariably puts students in quite an awkward position. Should they make friends at Tulane University when they know they’re just going to transfer to their dream college, Cornell University, at the end of the year? Should they even bother to experience campus life at Tulane? While the practice of guaranteed transfer admission may well allow students to attend their dream school after their second year, we find that these students often find happiness their first year in college and become reluctant to transfer…even to an Ivy League University such as Cornell.
Check out the “New York Times” article here.Categories: Admissions Process, Transfer Students Tags: Cornell Guaranteed Transfer, Cornell University, Deferred College Admission, Guaranteed Transfer Admission, Transfer Students
There are a number of interesting studies on the use of social media by college admissions offices as a means to recruit potential applicants. Two researchers at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson, have found that since 2007, there has been an 84% increase by admissions offices in blogging and a 300% increase in the use of Facebook.
Wrote Ganim Barnes and Mattson in their study, “The first study of the schools and their use of social media revealed that institutions of higher education were outpacing the more traditional Fortune 500 companies as well as the fast-growing Inc. 500 companies in their use of social media to communicate with their customers (i.e., students). For example, at that time, 8% of the Fortune 500 companies were blogging compared with 19% of the Inc. 500 while 32% of colleges and universities were using this tool.
In 2008, in a follow-up on the original study, The Center gathered the data again in order to conduct one of the first statistically significant, longitudinal studies on the usage of social media by college admission offices. That study compared two years of data, 2007 and 2008. Given that a detailed wiki and a longitudinal University of Massachusetts study showed that in 2008, 13% of the Fortune 500 and 39% of the Inc. 500 had a public blog, it was interesting to see that college admission departments continued to lead the organizational pack with blogs at 41% of US colleges and universities.”
The authors go on to write, “500 (22% have a corporate blog) and the fast-growing Inc. 500 (42% have a corporate blog). The latest research shows 51% of colleges and universities have an admissions blog for their school…The results are fascinating and continue to support what the 2007 study documented for the first time: Colleges and universities are using social media to recruit and research prospective students. It is clear that online behavior can have important consequences for young people and that social networking sites can, and will, be utilized by others to make decisions about them.”
Below is a chart from the Ganim Barnes and Mattson study:
See the research on the use of social media by college admissions offices in the recruitment process here.
Read our Newsletter on Using Social Networking Sites to Your Advantage.Admissions Process, College Decisions, College Social Media, Transfer Students Tags: College Admissions Social Media, College Applicants, College Recruitment, College Social Media Recruitment
Social media is a hot topic in college admissions. The question so many students and parents often pose is: Do college admissions counselors check the Facebook pages of their applicants? The short answer is…no. College admissions counselors don’t have the time to peruse every applicant’s Facebook page. In a word, it’s impractical. But does that mean you should have content on your Facebook page or on other social media outlets that you wouldn’t want an admissions counselor to see? Of course not!
Just because admissions counselors don’t check every applicant’s Facebook page doesn’t mean they won’t check your Facebook page. What if you’re a borderline candidate whose application has gone to committee? And just because admissions counselors tend not to check your Facebook page, that may not be the case for alumni interviewers.
Alumni interviewers quite frequently take a look at your Facebook page either before the interview when they are trying to figure out how to recognize you at a crowded Starbucks, or after the interview when they are completing their evaluation. Since alumni only interview a certain number of students, they want to be able to share information that can be helpful to the admissions office in formulating a decision. Alumni interviewers thus often have the time and the motivation to check your Facebook page.
In an article this week in “The Seattle Times” linked below, the author writes about ways to use social media to your competitive advantage in the college admissions process. We agree — there are indeed ways to market your art portfolio or accomplishments on the viola online for college admissions counselors. There are ways to carefully use the Internet to help your case for admission. But by keeping your privacy preferences open to the public or by having it up there at all, you run the risk of unintentionally sharing information with people who will have an influence on your admissions decisions. Is it worth the risk?
Read our Newsletter on Using Social Networking Sites to Your Advantage.
Check out the article in “The Seattle Times” here.Categories: Admissions Process, College Decisions, College Interviews, College Social Media, Transfer Students Tags: College Admissions, College Admissions Facebook, College Admissions Social Media, College Applicants, Social Media and College Admissions