Transfer Admissions

Over 1/3 of college students will transfer universities at some point in their higher education career. IvyWise can guide you through the transfer admissions process from start to finish.

What Is Transfer Admissions?

Transfer admissions is the process of a current undergraduate student applying to transfer to a four-year college or university. This isn’t déjà vu. Applying to college again as a transfer student may seem like a repeat process, but the transfer admissions process is unique and can be even more selective, with different requirements, recommendations, deadlines, and essays.

At IvyWise, we work with students to help them identify their best-fit transfer schools and guide them through the admissions process so they have the best chance of admission.

Why Transfer Colleges?

There are many reasons why students choose to transfer schools during their higher education journey. The reality is, it’s not as simple as selecting a new college or university and enrolling, especially for students hoping to apply to more selective institutions. At IvyWise, we work with students to understand why they want to transfer, what they want out of their new school — academically, socially, and financially — and what it will take to achieve that goal. If your answer is “yes” to any of the questions below, exploring transfer admissions with our experts is the right move for you.

  • Have your academic interests and goals changed?
  • Is the campus experience not what you expected?
  • Are the academics at your current school too rigorous or perhaps not challenging enough?
  • Are you hoping to gain admission to a top school after a successful first year of college?
  • Are you looking to transfer from a two-year school to a four-year university?
  • Is your current school not a good financial fit?

How IvyWise Can Help With the Transfer Application Process

Determine whether transferring is the best option to help you reach your goals
Identify what you are seeking from your undergraduate experience
Discover the schools that will be a good fit for you to transfer into
Advise on the appropriate courses to take at your current institution to ensure a smooth transition to your transfer school
Suggest ways to make the most out of your time in your current school
Apply to your best-fit transfer schools, including guidance with the resume, essays, and more

Work With Former Transfer Admissions Officers

During the transfer application process, you will work with your counselor to complete your individual applications. Applications are then submitted to the IvyWise Roundtable — our mock admissions committee that provides feedback from our entire counseling team — so that you can benefit from 375 years of collective admissions experience. The IvyWise Roundtable reviews all aspects of each application, providing constructive feedback that enables students to implement critical changes before submitting and put forward their best possible applications.

Meet Our Counselors


Former Assistant Director of Admissions at Stanford University

“It’s important to be very intentional about where you’re transferring to and with that the courses that you’re taking so that you are on the right track to graduate in four years.”


Former Assistant Director of Admissions at Yale University

“One of the things I tell my students all the time is that this is a marathon, not a race.”


Former Admissions Officer at the University of Southern California

“Colleges are looking for well-rounded classes and to fill institutional needs. Your best bet is to showcase your authentic self in your best light.”

What Others Are Saying About IvyWise Transfer Admissions

“Knowing that I was being guided by a ‘safe pair of hands’ through the transfer process allowed me to focus on my studies and what I wanted from my next university. IvyWise took much of the stress associated with transferring from one college to another off my shoulders. This gave me the opportunity to devote my energies to my essays, rather than spending it on unnecessary worrying.”

— Student, Accepted as a Transfer Student to the University of Virginia

“Thank you all so much for you support and guidance in my application. It was obvious that you and the rest of the staff invested a lot of time and energy editing my essays and finding ways to emphasize my passion for Cornell and Ithaca. I’m sure you’re thanked a lot for ‘helping to realize my dream, etc.’ but that’s exactly what you’ve done in my case. It was a pleasure working with you.”

— Student, Accepted as a Transfer Student to Cornell University

“Mission accomplished. I cannot even begin to explain how ecstatic I am right now. Your guidance and insight was instrumental in helping secure my spot at Hopkins. I am truly very grateful for all you have done.”

— Student, Accepted as a Transfer Student to Johns Hopkins University

FAQ About Transfer Admissions

How are transfer applications evaluated?

Transfer applications are reviewed holistically, meaning all factors like grades, activities, essays, recommendations, and more are taken into consideration when deciding which transfer students to admit. However, colleges are also looking at their institutional needs when filling spots for transfer students.

IvyWise transfer admissions counselors have extensive experience evaluating transfer applications and making admissions decisions — they know how your transfer application will be evaluated and what you can do to stand out.  For more information, check out our blog article on how transfer applications are evaluated.

What kind of schools can you transfer to?

Students can transfer to any number of four-year institutions including:

  • Public Universities
  • Private Colleges and Universities
  • Ivy League or Elite Universities
  • International Universities

IvyWise will help you identify the best-fit schools for you, depending on your academic goals and needs.

How long does the transfer admissions process take?

The transfer admissions process can take about 3-6 months from start to finish, depending on when you decide to transfer, how prepared you are, application deadlines, and more. At IvyWise, we recommend getting started on your transfer admissions journey as soon as possible so you can have ample support deciding if and when to transfer, crafting a thoughtful transfer college list, and putting together compelling transfer applications with the help of IvyWise expert counselors.

Can you transfer current college courses and credits?

It depends on the school you currently attend and the school you’d like to attend. Do your research to find out how your credits will transfer from your current school to a new school. At IvyWise, we work with students in the transfer admissions process to not only identify the best-fit college to transfer to, but also help them decide where to attend depending on how transferring will impact their educational journey.

How important are ‘soft factors’ for transfer admissions?

Soft factors such as essays, extracurricular activities, and recommendations are important for transfer admissions because they help admissions officers determine how a student will fit into the campus community and make an impact if they are admitted. However, transfer applicants must be academically qualified to have the best chance for admission, so performing well in current college courses is critical. At IvyWise we support transfer applicants through all parts of the admissions process, from help with soft factors to tutoring to improve “hard factors” like grades. 

What is the deadline for transferring to another college?

Transfer application deadlines are usually in the spring for admission to the next fall semester, however, deadlines can vary by institution. It’s important to do your research on transfer application deadlines when creating your transfer application strategy. You can transfer at any point in your undergraduate career, however, most students usually transfer after their first year.

How many students transfer to another college annually?

According to Forbes researchabout 2.1 million college transfer students moved from one institution to another during the 2020-21 school year. So you are not alone in this journey! Transferring is a common part of the college experience, and our counselors are here to guide you every step of the way so that you can transfer to a college where you will be successful and happy. 

Trust IvyWise With Your Transfer Admissions Journey

Transferring to a new college isn’t just about finding the right fit — you also need to prepare with guidance backed by direct transfer admissions experience. At IvyWise we have a team of transfer admissions counselors, tutoring experts, and skills coaches to help you not only put together compelling transfer applications, but also ensure you excel academically at your current institution and develop the executive functioning and study skills necessary to succeed at your new school.

It all starts with the IvyWise Initial Consultation »

To learn more and enroll in an Initial Consultation, contact us today at +1-212-262-3500 or at [email protected].

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