Transfer Application Tips

Transferring to a different university


The transfer application process is very similar to the initial college application process: you have to get recommendation letters, send SAT scores, and apply through the common app. (Check out tips for the initial college application process here). There are two notable differences:
(1) You have to write an essay on why you want to transfer
(2) You have extra information from the university you currently attend (compared to just high school information)


Therefore, if you want to have a very strong transfer application you should:
(1) Have a convincing clear reason why you want to transfer
(2) Demonstrate what impact you have already made at your current university


Let’s look at these in detail:
(1) The best piece of advice I received for writing the transfer application was to focus on the good qualities of the new university rather than the bad qualities of the old university. It may seem like a subtle difference but it is important. If your application talks about how terrible the teachers were at your old university or how the campus life was dull, then the admissions officers might think “well what would stop them thinking about that of the new university?”. Instead, you should say how the teachers at the new university are more aligned with your interests compared with your old university and how the campus life at the new university is vibrant. The way you frame it is important. You should still explain why your old university lacks what you want, but ALSO explain why the new university has what you want and be careful on the language you use.

(2) The other notable difference about the transfer application is that you have already spent a year or so at another university. So that adds extra information. One of the important things I think the transfer admissions officers ask is: what have you already done at your current university? They want to see that you’ve already made an impact at your old university. Perhaps you started a new organization or you were a leader of an organization. You should emphasize how you made a difference to your current university. If you applied to the new university initially (during high school) this is especially important because they already know about what you did in high school.

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