College Admission Case Studies for Transfer Students

We are proud to have helped hundreds of college transfer students apply to and be admitted at some of the best universities in the United States. Transfer admissions is much more competitive than regular college admissions applying as a high school senior, and Solomon Admissions has deep experience advising students on the complex transfer process. Below we have presented some Case Studies of transfer students who worked with our consultants. The Case Studies provide information on these students and what we did to help them transfer to a better fit college.

Transfer Case Study No. 1

Client Profile: East Asian male in his freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University studying mathematics. The student had previously studied at a top private high school, where he had a 4.00 unweighted GPA / 4.61 weighted GPA. He scored a 1540 on the SAT and many 4s and 5s on AP exams, which made for a very strong academic profile. His extracurriculars in high school were very much centered around mathematics and some athletics. Otherwise, he was fairly angular in mathematics (head of the Math Club, participated in numerous math competitions, provided math tutoring help to fellow students, etc.) and had some light volunteering in local charities and religious institutions. At Carnegie Mellon, he had a 4.00 GPA and was pursuing a mathematics major.

Changes made through consulting: While the student wanted to continue with a focus on mathematics, he wanted an environment that was more conducive to holistic learning, rather than the somewhat silo-ed situation in which he found himself at Carnegie Mellon. We examined his college interests and recommended he apply to Brown University, which would allow him the significant academic flexibility to pursue Brown’s esteemed Open Curriculum. We recommended he shift to a Mathematics + X approach, wherein X was a combination of Anthropology and Sociology. This meant that the student would investigate ways in which mathematics, statistics, and data science intersected and amplified social sciences work. We encouraged the student to get involved in an activist/social justice cause and he decided to rally his activism around the Stop Asian Hate movement that precipitated considerably in mid-to-late 2020. We worked with him on building strong Anthropology and Sociology profiles, helped him get involved in relevant community service work, pursue social science research, deepen his background in data science and statistics, urged him to start a non-profit to promote AAPI cultural awareness and social issues, and worked diligently with him on essays that reflected this passion for combining the power of mathematics with the social sciences.

Outcome: Accepted at Brown University.

Transfer Case Study No. 2

Client Profile: White male graduating from elite private high school in top 50% of the class with a 3.86 GPA and 1510 SAT. Attended Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Bloomington with a 3.9 GPA through one semester. Most of his involvement was sports related from data analytics to sports management to journalism. He had some club level leadership, as well as typical volunteering.

Consulting changes and direction: This student came to us with a month and a half until the transfer application deadline. Recognizing early that his profile was sports and business-heavy, in addition to attending the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, the need to diversify positioning was important. The student had studied Latin for all four years in high school and had a very diverse body of coursework, allowing for a shift to a more interdisciplinary approach to his application. Solomon helped convert his interest in business, to a medley of classics, economics, and statistics, while shifting the type of school he was targeting away from large state schools to small/midsize colleges with a more interdisciplinary focus and curriculum. He joined various organizations on campus, including multiple Classics/Latin language groups, and sought unique research with a former Latin teacher (also a college professor) focusing on the economic development of ancient civilizations. This narrative was consistent with his sincere interest in the classics and ancient cultures, and economics while tapping into data analytics and statistical analysis. In presenting this to the student, he was excited to engage in all of his interests to diversify his application, creating a profile that was seeking a vastly different university environment and curriculum to that in which he was presently taking part. He wrote excellent essays tying together all of his passions and the desire to incorporate them all into his academic exploration at university.

Outcome: Accepted at Georgetown University, Boston College and Boston University.

Transfer Case Study No. 3

Client Profile: South Asian male entering Santa Clara University. A 4.08 weighted GPA with 6 semester B's at an elite private high school, 1520 SAT superscore, no college-level grades at the time of joining Solomon. Significant national level accomplishments with classical guitar and vocal performances. Founder of a financial literacy club and a club inspired by TedTalks. Consistent volunteering performing in nursing homes and consistently worked as a math teacher for summer programs.

Changes made through consulting: Since this student came to us as he was beginning his first quarter at Santa Clara University, there was ample time to make significant changes to his extracurricular profile and establish a strong strategic position. Recognizing early that his STEM profile was fairly typical for his demographic, especially at highly selective institutions, Solomon refined his positioning from an engineering and computer science focus to the intersection between math and music, creating a narrative that would allow him to stand out in the application pool at highly selective colleges. Solomon had the client center his application strategy around his interests in how mathematics and technology can be used to make and teach music. This narrative was consistent with his life-long musical interest and years of firsthand experience with research projects that sought to code robots that can teach dance classes. Academically, this direction was supported by his research assistant position at Santa Clara University and his independent research project in high school. In presenting this to the student, he was able to move beyond his standard engineering mindset, and independently produced natural, insightful connections between these fields. We also were able to advise specific course selections to support this strategic position, the client earned a 4.0 GPA in the first three quarters of his freshman year of college. He joined multiple clubs on campus centered around music, radio, and engineering outreach and was able to secure two leadership positions. His essays uniquely explained and demonstrated personal and professional mastery and intellectual curiosity of an interdisciplinary nature, culminating in his ultimate goal of pursuing a career in the engineering field.

Outcome: Accepted at the University of Chicago.

Transfer Case Study No. 4

Client Profile: Indian and white female from a top private high school. 3.9 unweighted GPA, 1550 SAT, took highest course rigor available at high school. Entered college as a freshman at the University of Miami as a biology student, with a 4.0 GPA in college. Research in the public health realm and working with a nonprofit as an intern since 10th grade to promote menstrual education in India. Regional and state awards for volunteer impact in high school, created curriculum to teach students about critical health topics, and founder of many clubs.

Changes made through consulting: This student began working with Solomon during her first semester as a freshman in college. The student’s profile hadn’t changed much from high school during the first semester in college, so we had to make sure we focused on the right pieces of her profile. We leveraged her curriculum work and public health impact, and she applied as a Public Health/Global Health major. She had previously applied as a Biology student, but her profile didn’t align with it or give her the opportunity to stand out. In presenting this strategy to the student, she was able to focus and move beyond a general interest in premed while supporting her interest in policy, and health and global impact. The rest of the application focused on strong essays that highlighted her unique contributions to her community and the world.

Outcome: Accepted at Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Emory University, University of Virginia, NYU and Tufts University.

Transfer Case Study No. 5

Client Profile: East Asian male who attended a public high school, where he achieved a 4.84 weighted GPA, 1530 SAT, and a rigorous courseload with 10 AP courses, and AP test scores ranging from 3 to multiple scores of 5. High school activities consisted of Orchestra, National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Student Government, and independent research surrounding student-perceived drug use in the school district. He matriculated to the University of Maryland, where he achieved a 4.0 GPA after his first semester.

Changes made through consulting: This student came to Solomon in November of his freshman year in college, giving us very little time to put together a complete strategy. His goal was to focus on transferring to a university with a business school which was more well-regarded than his current institution. With only a few months to create and execute a plan, Solomon had the student focus his time on engaging in business activities within his current institution. The student was able to secure a paid position in his college’s Office of Business and Accounting, obtained a research position with an investment advisory group, and was a lead student on the school’s student investment fund. The student was able to convey through his essay, supplemental writings, and activity list, his deep understanding and desire to join the finance world through a prestigious business school. This student applied to a single school with Solomon Admissions Consulting and is now attending the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Outcome: Accepted at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Transfer Case Study No. 6

Client Profile: Asian American male who attended one of the top private high schools in the country. Graduated high school with a 4.42 weighted GPA, 8 AP classes with a score of 5 on each subject test, a 1580 SAT, 35 ACT, and an interest in Computer Science. During high school, this student tutored students in coding, attended summer classes at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale, participated in jazz band, a summer program for the performing arts, and founded a tutoring program for underserved youth teaching music (guitar). He matriculated to New York University, where he earned a 3.92 GPA in his first college semester.

Consulting changes and direction: This student arrived at Solomon in January of his freshman year in college at NYU, wanting to apply for transfer immediately. The student was able to become involved at his first college, joining a technology club, the jazz ensemble, and tutoring underserved middle school students from a school close to campus. As this student did not present a strong profile for computer science, Solomon worked to create a positioning around music and its connection with computer science. The student conducted research using an algorithm, much like a popular music subscription service, to identify themes and variations on how to build a listener’s music genre profile. Leaning on this research, this student applied to four schools as a transfer student and was admitted to three.

Outcome: Accepted at Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Chicago.

Transfer Case Study No. 7

Client Profile: Caucasian female who attended an elite private high school, where she graduated with a 3.73 weighted GPA and took 6 AP classes. This student applied test optional. Throughout high school, this student was an intern for an online retailer that sells sustainable clothing, was a competitive equestrian, volunteered at a therapeutic riding center, played varsity lacrosse, and participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School. Her initial college list spanned both the East and West Coasts, and having been denied from her Early Decision school, took a leap of faith and applied during the second round of Early Decision to Wake Forest University, where she matriculated and concluded her first year with a 4.0 GPA.

Changes made through consulting: This student arrived at Solomon Admissions Consulting during October of her freshman year of college, ready to bolster her profile to be competitive in the transfer applicant pool during her second semester. To do so, the student and consultant worked together to identify an application strategy that fit her profile, ambitions, and collegiate activities. During her first year in college, she participated in middle-school volunteering, obtained an internship with the campus sustainability garden and conducted research on sustainable food practices. This culminated in an environmental science and sustainability major, where she found success at the University of Southern California.

Outcome: Accepted at USC.

Transfer Case Study No. 8

Client Profile: Southeast Asian female who graduated from a public high school with a 4.39 weighted GPA, 14 AP classes, and a desire to attend college majoring in biology, eventually wanting to attend medical school. During high school, this student was significantly involved in musical theater, singing, karate, violin, and volunteered 6 hours a week throughout high school. She also created a pothole paving initiative in her town, making the roads safer, and did two separate medical mission trips to South American countries. Her initial college list consisted of highly selective institutions, and because of this, she matriculated at the University of Georgia. She concluded her first year with a 3.66 GPA.

Changes made through consulting: This student arrived at Solomon Admissions Consulting in October of her freshman year at the University of Georgia. A coaching plan was built with an emphasis on Public Health and how to serve rural communities. To do so, the student needed deeper meaningful college activities during her second semester. The focus was to join health related clubs, begin research on the social detriments of health through geography, earn EMT qualification, and begin to serve on with a volunteer rescue service that served rural communities near her home. Student visited remote villages with a team of healthcare workers, providing necessary preventative treatments. She also participated in more musical theater and provided tutoring to local students. The student applied to four schools as a transfer applicant with Solomon’s assistance, earning acceptances at three.

Outcome: Accepted at Barnard College, University of Virginia and University of Michigan.

Transfer Case Study No. 9

Client Profile: Asian American male who attended a top public high school. He graduated with a 5.31 weighted GPA, 34 ACT, and 7 AP classes. Throughout high school, he was involved in the Midwest Asian Health Association, The Gift of Hope (supporting organ donation), an internship with his state’s Secretary of State, a prevention coalition for substance abuse, and multiple volunteer organizations. His initial college search led him to apply to highly selective, top-tier universities, where his outcomes were not successful. He matriculated to New York University where he earned a 3.54 GPA.

Changes made through consulting: This student came to Solomon Admissions Consulting in January of his freshman year at NYU, however, his path for transfer admission was anything but traditional. At the conclusion of his first college semester, this student was craving more discipline and decided to enlist with the Marine Corps. Rather than attending his second semester of college, he took a leave of absence and went to Boot Camp. He came back to college with more energy, more focus, and more motivation to drive him to success. He was the freshman class president, and the president of the veteran’s student association. Taking advice from his Solomon consultant, he decided to hold on his transfer application until the following application cycle to become more competitive. He did just that. He earned three separate internships with well-known investment groups. By the end of his sophomore year, he had already secured a full-time job offer. Now all he had to do was finish college. Working with a major residing in Public Policy, focusing on state and national laws surrounding veterans, he applied and was admitted to Columbia University.

Outcome: Accepted at Columbia University.

Transfer Case Study No. 10

Client Profile: East Asian female at one of the top private high schools in the country, earned a 4.34 GPA and a 1540 SAT score, was attending UC Santa Barbara with a college GPA of a 4.0 and light college activities since she was a current college freshman.

Consulting changes and direction: With very limited time to apply as a transfer, we immediately began working on her transfer essay and supplements. Her college major and intended transfer major were Global Studies, so the student read several targeted books, notable blogs, and watched multiple webinars of professors at the target college. The student also joined related professional organizations and attended available webinars to list as activities, honors, and to weave into her essays. Once the student’s reading was complete, she immediately began working on the multiple transfer essays highlighting her genuine commitment to become a diplomat and work at a foreign embassy, in particular an Asian embassy. Her essays highlighted her intellectual vitality by thoughtfully weaving her family history of migration with insights from notable professors and authors.

Outcome: Accepted at the University of Chicago.

Transfer Case Study No. 11

Client Profile: East Asian American female with a 4.0 GPA while a freshman at Emory University. 4.0 GPA in high school, 1550 SAT at a top public high school, 95.9/100 with rigorous curriculum (9 AP Courses). Intern at UMass Amherst Individual Differences in Development Lab focusing on carbon emissions and green energy impacts. Member of Emory Data Science Club. Emory Association For Women in STEM. Long Island Science & Engineering Fair - Round 2 finalist in Behavioral category. Co-Editor of Emory Wheel Newspaper. Student was not 100% sure she wanted to major in Data Science. For the sake of the application, she needed to be sure. Emory does not offer Data Science and this was highlighted as the main motivation for transferring.

Changes made through consulting: In a month and a half, added research at Emory’s Bhasin Systems Biomedicine Lab using big data and bioinformatic modeling to analyze single cell sequencing and immune response in pediatric cancers.
Added internship at Science for Georgia, a Georgia-based NPO specializing in the data science team, which focuses on visualizing and interpreting water pollution datasets to locate impacted areas and find cost-efficient solutions. Revamped essay to highlight Data Science and Statistics efforts. Followed essay guidance well. Above average writing ability. Did significant program research to respond to “why transfer” and “why program” essays.

Outcome: Accepted at the University of Chicago.

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