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Transfer Admission Rates: What are Your Chances of Getting In?

Monday, May 6, 2024

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The transfer admissions process can often be even more selective than regular undergraduate admissions, and with 35% of college students transferring at least once, it’s important to understand exactly how difficult (or not!) it is to transfer to your dream school.

Why Transfer?

There are a number of reasons why students choose to transfer schools. It can be anything from homesickness or a negative experience their first year, to a change in major that isn’t offered at their current institution. Often students are also transferring from a two-year school to a four-year university. What’s key when transferring is to know why you want to transfer and how to build a balanced transfer college list that can meet your new needs. Part of building that list includes understanding your chances of admission.

Transfer Admission Rates

It’s important to understand that the transfer admission process is often much more selective than the undergraduate process — especially at universities where gaining admission is already very difficult. According to NACAC, on average, transfer admission rates were slightly lower than that of first-year students. Why? First, students are applying for admission to classes that are already established and may have few seats available. It’s not like the undergraduate process, where the class is first being built and there are thousands of spots for applicants. However, that’s not to say that it’s hard to gain admission as a transfer student at all universities. In fact, at some schools transfer admission rates are about the same or slightly higher than the undergraduate admission rate. As schools look to fill out their classes and maintain high yield rates, they’ve placed more of an emphasis on recruiting transfer students.

Here are some transfer admission rates for fall 2023 (the most recent data available.)

School First-Year Acceptance Rate Transfer Acceptance Rate
American University 47.38% 80.50%
Amherst College 9.81% 8.68%
Auburn University 50.47% 50.98%
Babson College 19.74% 26.09%
Bates College 13.06% 15.11%
Baylor University 50.97% 89.40%
Boston University 10.85% 39.74%
Bowdoin College 8.02% 6.82%
Brandeis University 35.33% 37.32%
Brown University 5.23% 4.15%
Bucknell University 32.01% 26.46%
Carleton College 22.28% 10.97%
Carnegie Mellon University 11.40% 5.77%
Case Western Reserve University 28.67% 32.02%
Chapman University 55.61% 56.32%
Claremont McKenna College 11.12% 8.31%
Clark University 41.67% 30.07%
College of Charleston 72.00% 87.40%
College of the Holy Cross 21.10% 46.45%
College of William and Mary 32.72% 48.13%
Colorado College 20.03% 42.77%
Cornell University 7.90% 12.67%
Dartmouth College 6.23% 1.56%
Davidson College 14.48% 14.76%
Denison University 16.93% 34.93%
DePaul University 73.53% 63.07%
Elon University 67.31% 56.25%
Emory University – Emory Campus 10.65% 16.80%
Fairfield University 44.98% 7.14%
George Washington University 43.54% 58.88%
Georgetown University 13.08% 13.21%
Georgia Tech In-State: 36.60%
Out-of-State: 12.53%
International: 9.95%
27.84%
Gonzaga University 75.96% 67.33%
Hamilton College 11.77% 11.15%
Harvard University 3.45% 0.79%
Harvey Mudd College 13.10% 5.08%
Haverford College 12.91% 15.50%
Indiana University 80.37% 65.99%
Johns Hopkins University 7.56% 6.39%
Lafayette College 31.47% 21.08%
Lehigh University 29.26% 29.50%
Lewis & Clark College 74.53% 50.98%
Loyola Marymount University 40.29% 40.84%
Loyola University – Chicago 81.39% 55.14%
Macalester College 28.21% 27.52%
Marquette University 87.48% 73.27%
Middlebury College 10.37% 5.90%
New York University 9.41% 37.17%
Northeastern University 5.65% 24.30%
Northwestern University 7.22% 12.75%
Pepperdine University 49.85% 43.97%
Pitzer College 16.66% 20.77%
Pomona College 6.76% 7.17%
Providence College 48.72% 55.95%
Reed College 27.16% 19.33%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 58.50% 55.49%
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 72.81% 67.19%
Santa Clara University 43.84% 60.56%
Sarah Lawrence College 58.93% 54.78%
Smith College 19.73% 25.00%
Southern Methodist University 61.22% 68.77%
Stanford University 3.91% 2.04%
Swarthmore College 6.94% 9.20%
Syracuse University 43.12% 43.42%
Texas A&M 63.10% 58.07%
Texas Christian University 42.60% 84.16%
Trinity University 28.16% 32.93%
Tufts University 10.13% 12.76%
Tulane University 14.59% 50.59%
University of California – Berkeley Overall: 11.73%
In-State: 15.13%
Out-of-State: 7.80%
International: 3.53%
26.23%
University of California – Davis 41.85% 64.62%
University of California – Irvine 25.75% 43.39%
University of California – Los Angeles In-State: 9.46%
Out-of-State: 8.62%
International: 6.09%
26.32%
University of California – San Diego Overall: 24.76%
In-State: 24.51%
Out-of-State: 31.92%
International: 17.93%
62.54%
University of Chicago 4.79% 7.91%
University of Colorado – Boulder In-State: 92.35%
Out-of-State and International: 74.82%
In-State: 83.95%
Out-of-State and International: 68.16%
University of Denver 70.67% 78.81%
University of Georgia In-State: 50.24%
Out-of-State: 28.11%
International: 21.60%
73.92%
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign Overall: 43.69%
In-State: 56.23%
Out-of-State: 35.87%
International: 34.50%
51.70%
University of Maryland In-State: 53.90%
Out-of-State and International: 41.56%
55.45%
University of Massachusetts – Amherst 57.74% 68.73%
University of Miami 18.51% 51.38%
University of Michigan 17.94% 34.50%
University of Notre Dame 12.38% 15.80%
University of Richmond 23.31% 49.66%
University of Rochester Overall: 35.85%
College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering: 35.81%
Eastman School of Music: 36.89%
39.09%
University of Texas at Austin In-State: 40.97%
Out-of-State: 11.76%
International: 13.24%
30.18%
University of Virginia In-State: 26.86%
Out-of-State: 12.35%
In-State: 45.00%
Out-of-State: 19.00%
Virginia Community College System (including Guaranteed Admission Applications): 58.50%
University of Washington – Seattle In-state: 52.27%
Out-of-state: 38.46%
International: 45.42%
46.13%
University of Wisconsin – Madison Overall: 43.24%
In-State: 60.67%
Out-of-State: 42.67%
International: 31.91%
47.55%
Vanderbilt University 6.28% 18.86%
Vassar College 17.73% 11.72%
Virginia Tech In-State: 47.08%
Out-of-State: 63.16%
International: 68.01%
59.59%
Wake Forest University  21.56% 29.88%
Washington & Lee University 17.36% 4.71%
Wellesley College 13.91% 14.55%
Wesleyan University 17.10% 25.85%
Williams College 9.99% 3.15%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 58.50% 77.18%
Yale University 4.50% 1.22%

 

What to Know as a Transfer Applicant

As a transfer student it’s important to know how your application will be evaluated in the admissions process. According to NACAC, GPA and grades at students’ current college or university are most important to schools when evaluating transfer applications. Students need to be doing well in their current courses in order to have the best chance of admission at their top-choice transfer schools.

The transfer application will also be a lot different than the applications you may be familiar with from the undergraduate admissions process. Instead of providing information on your high school courses and activities, you will provide information on your courses at your current school and recommendations from current professors. While transfer application essays vary from school to school, overall, they tend to ask questions about why you are transferring and your intended field of study — rather than the usual personal statements and quirky prompts.

Resources for Transfer Students

There are a number of resources to help guide you through the transfer admissions process. Here are a few below:

 

At IvyWise, we work with students in any part of the college admissions process, including those who are navigating the transfer admissions process. For more information on our college counseling services for transfer studentscontact us today.

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