Transferring Colleges on the Rise

Transferring Colleges, Transfer Applicants, Applying as a Transfer

More and more students these days have intentions of transferring before even enrolling at their first university (photo credit: Patrickneil).

Transferring colleges is on the rise across America. Each spring and summer, students we didn’t work with as they applied to college approach us to inquire if we’ll help them with their transfer applications to highly selective colleges. We always encourage them to see if they actually like the college they intend to matriculate to first before they get started on the transfer admissions process. After all, students should have an open mind when they attend college. If they’ve already decided that they’re going to transfer, they’re likely not going to venture out of their dorm rooms to make friends and form incredible new experiences. And that’s quite sad! But every year there are students who just don’t get into the schools they hoped to get into and, in many cases, it’s because they made significant mistakes in their applications. Maybe they submitted poor essays. Maybe they didn’t have a hook. Maybe they had poor high school grades. Whatever it is, they didn’t meet their goals and they didn’t end up getting admitted to the college(s) they had hoped. Whatever it is, more and more students are approaching us these days before they even enroll at their first university with intentions to transfer. It’s a trend we’ve been keenly observing over the last few years.

There’s an article in “The Washington Post” by Jeffrey J. Selingo about the rise in transfer students that we came across, one that backs up our observations. In the piece, Mr. Selingo writes, “Students switch colleges for a variety of personal reasons. But transferring between colleges also is becoming a deliberate path many students choose before they even start as freshmen, largely as a strategy to save money. These students are often known as ‘swirling’ through college…The problem is that for many students, switching colleges could end up costing them and their families more in the long run. Until recently, most four-year colleges and universities haven’t made it easy for students to transfer. Colleges lose revenue when they accept credits from other schools. So they are known to reject credits students try to bring with them from other colleges and instead make the students take the courses over again — forcing them to pay tuition for those credits to the new school.”

Mr. Selingo also makes the valid point that colleges are increasingly turning to the transfer pool to fill vacant seats at universities. Also of note, many highly selective colleges fill these vacant seats with nontraditional applicants, applicants that are more common in the transfer pool than in the high school applicant pool. A nontraditional applicant could be a student from a community college (yes, they can gain admission to highly selective colleges like the Ivy League, too!), members of our military as well as veterans (if you’ve served in the American military, contact us to inquire about our pro bono services), among many others.

Thinking of applying as a transfer student in the next week or so? If so, and you need assistance, it’s high time you contact us.

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