Transfer Admission Rates
With the first semester well underway for most members of the Class of 2018, some students may be facing the disappointing realization that their top-choice school is not living up to their expectations. Maybe the decision to attend a school far from home feels overwhelming, or the atmosphere or classes aren’t as expected. Studies show that as many as one in three students transfer schools at least once before earning their diploma, and that a quarter of those students change schools more than once.
Having been through the process once already, it can be tempting to approach applications on autopilot, but for transfer applicants, just as for freshman applicants, knowledge and research are key. Not only do requirements for transfer applicants differ, but in some cases it can actually be more difficult to gain admission as a transfer student.
The common misconception that if a students doesn’t get into his or her top-choice college he or she can spend a year at another school then transfer into the dream school is just that—a misconception. While some institutions may admit a higher percentage of transfer students some years, the truth is that many desirable schools have such high retention rates that very few spots open up for new students. This makes it tougher for transfer students to gain admission.
Here are the transfer and overall admit rates for students entering Fall 2013 (the most recent data available):
Transfer Admit Rate
Overall Admit Rate
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Southern California
For transfer applicants, one of the best things you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Standardized testing requirements, deadlines and requisite essays and recommendation letters may all be different this time around, so be sure that you know the particulars of how and when to apply.
Thoroughly research the schools you’re considering applying to. Beyond statistics and admit rates, you may also want to investigate whether or not your top-choice schools offer housing for transfer students. Try to talk to a transfer coordinator to get an idea of which courses will transfer over for credit at your new school and whether or not they have an orientation program when you arrive to your new campus.
Overall, knowing the ins and outs of the process, maintaining realistic expectations, and doing thorough research will help to minimize your stress and set you up for success at your new school.