The transfer deadline for many highly selective colleges, including all of the Ivy League colleges, is either March 1st or March 15th. Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale have March 1 deadlines, while Cornell and UPenn have March 15 deadlines. Outside of the Ivy League, Stanford, Duke, and Northwestern have March 15 deadlines, while UChicago and Johns Hopkins have March 1 deadlines. Other highly selective colleges have deadlines on these dates as well. As we approach these dates, we thought we’d address a post offering a couple of tips specifically to transfer students as they navigate the highly selective college admissions process all over again. Once wasn’t enough? As Britney sang it way back in 2000, “Oops!…I did it again!”
Transfer Students Should Avoid Negativity
The Personal Statement for transfer students asks, “Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source.” In short, it’s why transfer. And in our experience, most students are inclined to answer this prompt with line after line of thinly — or not so thinly — barbed references to their current institution. Maybe the line goes something like this: “I feel like the students at my current school can’t engage in great intellectual conversations.” Yikes! Not only is this kind of sentence a swipe at the student’s current school, but the student is putting herself on a pedestal. She’s making it sound as though the students at her current school aren’t as smart as…her. This doesn’t exactly present her as likable to admissions officers. Who likes a braggart? And if a student is going to be negative about their current institution, well, what’s to stop them from being negative about their future institution? [Crickets].
Transfer Students Should Lean Into Positivity
First-year, traditional students who wish to transfer colleges (e.g., non-military, college-aged, etc.) are often unhappy in some way — and it might absolutely be circumstantial. Maybe they didn’t make the right friend group at their current school. Maybe their school is too cold. Who knows. But whether admissions officers acknowledge this overall feeling or not, it’s important that transfer applicants realize that this is a potential obstacle in their path. It’s an obstacle that is easily surmountable. Not only should students avoid being negative about their current institution, but they should be so very specific about how they hope to contribute to their new potential school’s campus. Many highly selective colleges ask transfer students the Why College essay — just as they do of their high school applicants. So make like Sheryl Sandberg and lean into all that positivity about the new institution and how specifically you hope to contribute.
Interested in transferring colleges as we approach deadlines? Fill out our free consultation form and we’ll be in touch to set up a call in which we’ll answer questions about our services. We look forward to hearing from you!