When looking to change colleges, students are required to re-enter the admissions process. The application while having similarities is not exactly the same as that for applying as a first-year student graduating from high school. What application components stay the same, which differ, and what will you need to apply for transfer admission?
Transfer Admission Timeline
The first time to be aware of is that the application timeline for transfer students differs from that for first-year applicants. Transfer applications to begin in the following fall semester can open as early as the current fall, the University of California system in particular has a transfer deadline in November. Many other universities will have deadlines for the fall semester between February-March. Some universities will allow you to apply to transfer for the Winter/Spring semester, these applications are typically due between August-November. Application deadlines vary by university, you should always double check exact dates.
How do you apply for transfer admission?
The Common Application has an additional platform for transfer applications. It will allow you to centralize your applications. There is more variation between what institutions will accept the Common Application, Coalition for College application, or their own applications for transfer admission than for first-years. Be sure to check this early rather than assuming an institution will take the Common Application.
What application materials are required for transfer?
Transfer applications have five main components: an experience/activity list, honors and awards, course lists, the college supplement, and supporting documents. The personal statement or college essay requirement will vary from institution to institution, some schools will not require transfer students to submit a personal statement in their application.
The “activity” section of the application for transfer is referred to as the “experiences” in the Common App for transfer, this is to recognize that transfer students are often older and will have experiences outside of a high school context uncommon from high school students.
You will also need to fill out a course list detailing the courses you have taken on the college level.
The college supplement created by each institution that you apply to will be comprised of essays. Typical essay topics in a college supplement focus on why you are interested in your proposed major, why you want to transfer, and why you are interested in the specific university you are applying to.
Supporting documents for a transfer application include an official final high school transcript, an official transcript from your current institution, recommendation letters from college professors, a college report filled out by the university, and a mid-year report that will show your most recent grades.
Applying to transfer: Next Steps
Now that you know the requirements to apply for transfer admission, you can get started on your application! For evaluation of your previous application by admissions professionals and guidance on how to strengthen your admissions chances contact us today!
Former Assistant Director of Admission at Rice University
Former Senior Admissions Fellow at Dartmouth College
4,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated
Alexis earned their B.A. in Anthropology at Dartmouth College and a M.A. in Social Anthropology at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, supported by a Dartmouth fellowship. At Dartmouth College, Alexis was a Senior Admissions Fellow, conducting outreach, writing blog posts, and evaluating applications.