New Colleges & Universities – Common Application

The Common Application announced that 39 new colleges and universities will be added for the 2013-14 application season, bringing the total number of institutions accepting the association’s standardized online application to 527, which will now include:

47 states plus DC (1 new: Hawaii)
16 international members (5 new)
7 countries outside the US (1 new: Austria)
17 public flagships (3 new)
81 public institutions (15 new)

Read the announcement here.


Transfer Tips Revisited

Transfer Tips…..takeaways from a long article below.

Below are the tips I give to students and their families with unhappy college freshmen if they can’t imagine staying any longer than necessary at their current college.

1. Prior acceptances — Are you willing to consider a college you got into senior year? If that is the case, then contact the college and see if they will make you re-apply. Some won’t. Others will make you re-apply, but you have a good chance, especially if you follow these steps as well.

2. Senior year grades — Your senior year grades must be top notch to transfer into any college as a sophomore. I hope your second semester grades were really high.

3. Deadlines. Sophomore fall, Sophomore spring, Junior fall — These are the most common times to transfer. The closer to high school, the more high school and test scores count. Early applicants most likely will not get into any college you couldn’t have gotten in while in high school your first year. Transferring as a junior is much easier. Each college has different deadlines so keep track of them.

4. Post senior year and freshmen summers — You need to have done or do something — work, volunteer, service, etc.

5. Freshman and sophomore years of college — You need to do all of the following —

a. Academics- You need to excel in each and every class. That’s hard to do when you’re not happy, but you must.

b. Professors– You need to connect with one or two professors who can write letters of recommendation for you. You need to explain that you will outgrow major or need to be closer to home. Don’t blame your original college.

c. Engagement- You need to get involved in activities on and off campus. So use your winter break to do volunteer or work. Go back second semester and get busy.

d. Prerequisites– Each college has different transfer requirements. Some take sophomore fall applicants. Some only take juniors. Some have major prerequisites for GE and for majors. So check. Each has different requirements for

i. Testing

ii. Units completed

iii. High school transcripts and counselor forms

iv. College dean forms

v. Instructor forms

vi. Essays. You need to really write great essays about why you want to transfer. Be specific and contact us for essay tips.

6. Applications — Applications vary but are critically important.

i. Common Application– Many colleges use the Common Application which has one essay. But remember supplements-they have them too. The application is the only online portion. Everything is else is hard copy.

ii. Other universities have their own applications.

7. Visit colleges — You ideally need to visit the colleges to which you plan to transfer. Ideally visit during the spring or summer. But if you can’t, contact them via email. Talk with students there and really research the academic programs there — that’s the core reasoning for your transferring process.

8. Research visiting programs — Many colleges allow students to attend as a visiting student. Barnard is one college that has a great transfer program (women only). Sometimes that’s a back door into the college. Then you apply to transfer. Some don’t allow students who applied before to apply. Some do.

9. Give your original college a chance — If you can’t, you need to lead a double life and be as successful as you possibly can. If you can’t, then let us know about our transfer tips if you decide to come home and attend a community college. Never criticize your original college to officials at the original college. Tell them you need to move closer to home or have found a college that meets your major requirements.

10. Leaves of absence — When you transfer, always take a leave of absence from our original college. You may just decide to go back.

Need To Transfer? It’s OK!

There are a number of reasons that may lead to the need and or desire to transfer schools. Transferring is not completely uncommon, and no student should simply stay put if they are unhappy with their original school selection. This article from the NYT’s Choice blog provides some great tips on how to navigate the sometimes complicated yet very doable transfer process.