The Ivy Coach Daily
October 12, 2023
Should I Transfer Colleges After My First Semester?
Some students — although not many of our students — find that they’re unhappy at the college they choose to attend. Maybe they had loftier ambitions. Or perhaps they just ended up with a lame roommate or a bad case of the flu or homesickness. Who knows why they don’t love the school they chose to attend, but it’s not uncommon for students to consider transferring during their first semester of college. But if they wish to change schools, what exactly does the transfer admission timeline look like?
Most Elite Colleges Have March Transfer Deadlines
Most highly selective universities have transfer deadlines in March — with many on March 1st and several others on March 15th. That means that first-year students seeking to transfer would submit their applications in the spring of their first year, with the plan to enroll at the new university in the fall of sophomore year.
Transferring After First Semester Isn’t an Entirely Viable Path
So, when hoping to transfer to highly selective universities, switching schools after the first semester of the first year isn’t a viable path since that’s when most transfer applications are due to enroll the following fall. And it’s not like it’s a good look to the school a student hopes to transfer to disenroll from their previous college midway through their first year (that’s a major red flag!). There are, of course, exceptions among the highly selective universities — schools with more than one transfer application deadline.
Transfer Admission Deadlines in 2023/2024
Below are the transfer application deadlines for America’s highly selective universities for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. You’ll note that most of these institutions have only one transfer application deadline. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Virginia each have deadlines for spring and fall entry. The University of Michigan also has multiple transfer application deadlines.
|College / University||2024 US News Rank (“Best National Universities”)||Transfer Admission Deadline|
|Princeton University||#1||March 1st|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||#2||October 15th for Spring Entry and March 15th for Fall Entry|
|Harvard University||#3||March 1st|
|Stanford University||#3||March 15th|
|Yale University||#5||March 1st|
|University of Pennsylvania||#6||March 15th|
|California Institute of Technology||#7||February 15th|
|Duke University||#7||March 15th|
|Brown University||#9||October 2nd for Spring Entry and March 1st for Fall Entry|
|Johns Hopkins University||#9||March 1st|
|Northwestern University||#9||March 15th|
|Columbia University||#12||March 1st|
|Cornell University||#12||March 15th|
|University of Chicago||#12||March 1st|
|University of California, Berkeley||#15||November 30th|
|University of California, Los Angeles||#15||November 30th|
|Rice University||#17||November 1st for Spring Entry and March 15th for Fall Entry|
|Dartmouth College||#18||March 1st|
|Vanderbilt University||#18||March 15th|
|University of Notre Dame||#20||March 15th|
|University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||#21||Winter 2024 (Classes begin January 3, 2024) Deadline is October 1, 2023|
Spring 2024 (Classes begin April 30, 2024) Deadline is February 1, 2024
Summer 2024 (Classes begin June 26, 2024) Deadline is February 1, 2024
Fall 2024 (Classes begin last week of August, 2024) Deadline is February 1, 2024
|Georgetown University||#22||March 1st|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||#22||February 15th|
|Carnegie Mellon University||#24||October 15th for Spring Entry and February 15th for Fall Entry|
|Emory University||#24||March 15th|
|University of Virginia||#24||October 1st for Spring Entry and March 1st for Fall Entry|
|Washington University in St. Louis||#24||March 1st|
Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Transfer Applications
If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to elite universities as a transfer applicant, fill out Ivy Coach‘s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our transfer admissions services.
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