College Transfer Admissions 2018-2019

This time of the year, my firm is receiving calls from parents and students regarding college transfers.  Students who have completed their first semester freshman year (or some who are now sophomores) and have decided that for several reasons, they need to transfer!

Why do students choose to transfer?  

  • Did not do very well in high school and did not have many options when they applied to colleges.
  • Unhappy at their current college.
  • Unsuccessful at their current college.
  • Socially not connected to their current college.
  • Interested in an upgrade to a more prestigious college.

College Transfer Applications Requirements

  • The 2018-2019 Common App essay prompt for the Transfer application:  “Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.”
  • Common Application (transfer) has changed:  With the new Common App for Transfer, the essay has moved from the “common” portion of the Common App. In order to allow each college to choose whether or not to ask the essay question, the essay is now located in the Program Materials section for that college.  As a result, some colleges choose to not ask the Common App personal essay question, so it may not be available for those colleges.  Also, colleges may choose to ask other essay questions in addition to, or in lieu of, the personal essay.   This makes it somewhat more difficult to navigate the college transfer application.
  • School requirements: high school transcripts, college transcripts and college reports (filled out by a college official to verify that you are in good academic standing and social standing – have not gotten into trouble or have been placed on academic probation).
  • Supporting documents: include letters of recommendations, resumes, mid-year reports and or secondary school final reports and standardized testing results

We have worked with a range of students who have desired to transfer:

  • Students who were rejected from Ivy Leagues and highly competitive colleges and choose to reapply in their freshman year to Ivy League schools and highly competitive colleges.
  • Students who were unhappy with their currents colleges because of the location.
  • Students who were placed on academic probation and wish to transfer.
  • International students who wish to transfer from their current foreign college to Ivy League and highly selective colleges.
  • Students who were rejected when they applied to freshman year, were rejected again when they attempted to transfer  while in college and who were attempting to reapply to transfer for the third time.

In all cases, developing a meaningful student profile, with supportive documents, and convincing essays was important for our success in student transfers. It’s important that parents understand that transfer admissions (especially to the Ivies and top-tier colleges) is even more competitive and involves even more diplomacy and strategies than traditional college admissions!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

It’s Getting Tougher To Transfer To Top Colleges!

It’s the aftermath of the 2018 college admission season.  We are now aware of the Ivy League and highly selective college rejection rates.  The Ivy League colleges had a record number of applications and rejection percentages.  The rejection rates ranged from Cornell’s 89.7% to Harvard’s 95.4%.

Because so many “perfect” students were rejected, this will cause a trickle-down effect to second-tier and third tier schools.  In my firm, we are discovering that many families who are devastated by their children’s rejections are calling us regarding transfer.  Here is what students and their parents NEED to know:

  1. Transferring to the Ivies and elite colleges will be more difficult this year.  We have discovered, through our current research, that many students who were accepted are already committing to attend these schools.  Parents and students are aware of the value of an Ivy League degree.
  2. There are fewer spots available for transfer students.  Therefore, it’s even more competitive to transfer!
  3. Transfer applications are not viewed in the same way as regular applications to freshman classes.
  4. You may replicate the same mistakes that were on your Common Application.
  5. Students are on their own during the transfer process:  No college counseling support will be available from their current guidance counselors or private high school college advisors and there is no transfer help from the school which they will be attending in the fall.  Why would a school that accepted a student assist the student to transfer?
  6. The college transfer admissions process starts now!

As many concerned parents call us, stunned by the rejection decisions received by their children, we strongly advise parents that they need an experienced educational advisor to review their children’s Common Application because: something wasn’t right.  Now is the time to plan summer activities and create a “revised” game plan and positive momentum for their upcoming college freshman year to transfer.  See blog: College Transfer Admissions Tips.

It’s important that parents understand that transfer (especially to the Ivies) is even more competitive and involves even more diplomacy than traditional college admissions!

This year, all of our college transfer clients were accepted to their top choice colleges including Harvard, Yale and Columbia and Cornell and UPenn.  We are very proud of our success and extremely happy for these students and their parents!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

 

Disappointed That You’ve Been Rejected From Your Top Choice Colleges? Find Out What Your Next Step Should Be!

Based on my over 20 years experience as a college admissions advisor and admissions strategist, I thought I would share some advice with students who have been receiving disappointing decision results.

Admissions committees give careful, individual attention to each applicant.  They review each applicant with a magnifying glass and compare each applicant to other qualified applicants.  They accept applicants who will inspire those around them during their college years and beyond.

My firm’s strategies involve widening the lens through which our applicant-clients are viewed, recognizing and valuing the different dimensions that shape each student.  We understand, in real-time, how an admissions committee at a particular college may view each dimension separately and collectively in comparison to other students during the selection process by visiting schools and talking with admissions officers.  As an alternative to settling for a rejection decision (which most students do) to a student’s first choice school, I posit this possible solution:

The student may consider reapplying as a transfer student.  It is not too early for a high school senior to consider this.  I call it our Admissions Second Chance Program.  I review and investigate what went wrong, because,  in all cases of rejection decisions, something wasn’t right!  Usually I find innumerable mistakes or homogeneity on the Common Application and/or school-specific supplemental essays.  Many times I have discovered that no matter how “amazing” the student sounds on paper (top grades, high GPA and SATs, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, recommendations, ESE (Expensive Summer Experiences), to me, they were unconvincing to the admissions committee at a specific school for many reasons.  In these cases, we make recommendations to improve the student’s profile and properly connect the dots within their application and beyond.  In unique cases, we have been retained by clients who were initially rejected and after our review and intervention the student’s application was reconsidered and ultimately accepted for admission.

By visiting the Ivies and highly selective schools, understanding the dynamic changes and nuances in individual colleges, and knowing what to do to make a student stand out amongst other applicants, my team and I gain an insightful perspective of each school and develop strategies to help our clients get accepted.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Top Colleges Enhance Efforts To Enroll Low-Income Students

As the cost of college continues to rise, college enrollment is becoming out of reach for low-income students.   According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Launched in December 2016, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, was founded with a national goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025.

Based on the most recent federal data available, there are approximately 430,000 lower-income students enrolled at these 270 institutions.  ATI aims to increase and sustain the total number of lower-income students attending these top-performing colleges to about 480,000 by 2025. To reach this ambitious goal, ATI will work to support its members’ work while adding more top-performing colleges to its membership in the coming months and years. 

ATI now has 97 member colleges that are taking the steps toward socio-economic diversity in colleges. Each ATI member institution has started to enhance its own efforts to recruit, enroll, and support lower-income students, learn from each other, and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve lower-income students

Educators, college administrators and legislature recognize that America’s top-performing colleges have an important role to play in this effort.  Research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend high-performing institutions, they graduate at higher rates, and have a greater chance of attaining leadership positions and other opportunities throughout their lives.  Yet in each graduating high school class, there are at least 12,500 lower-income young people with outstanding academic credentials who do not enroll at institutions where they have the greatest likelihood of graduating…

ATI currently represents many of the country’s most elite colleges and universities.  To date, all the Ivy League schools are ATI members.   Here is a direct effect of ATI:  After 28 years without transfer students, Princeton University will begin accepting students from community colleges in fall 2018.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Why Your Child Should Apply to an Ivy League College or University?

I often hear from some parents in my college admissions seminars or who call my firm inquiring about our service: “It doesn’t really matter if you attend an Ivy League school” or “it doesn’t  make a difference if you attend an Ivy League school” and finally, “its all about the fit; it doesn’t matter where you go to college”.  I even hear from many of my peer independent educational consultants, public high school guidance counselors and private school college counselors (who are not Ivy League undergraduate alumni) that it really doesn’t matter if that a student should applies to the Ivies or attends the Ivies.  I even hear from parents whose children have applied to the Ivies (after they have taken 9 AP courses, received tutoring in order to achieve near-perfect SAT scores and written that perceived awesome essay) that it does really matter.  Really?

As an Ivy-trained physician-scientist, prior to entering the admissions advisory field 22 years ago, I like to corroborate and validate my professional recommendations and advice with meaningful studies and reports, and real data that have linear correlations.

Year after year, thousands of students apply for coveted spots and are rejected (see my blog on rejection rates).  There must be a reason or reasons why each year one reads the following statistic 30,000 students applying for 2,000 spots, or why there is an uptick in the number of international applicants to Ivy Leagues schools.

So let’s review the reasons why your child should apply to the Ivies:

  1. A study in the journal, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, confirms parental suspicions that the best route to a top job is to attend an Ivy League school.  According to Dr. Lauren Rivera, the author of the study, “Elite professional service employers rely more on academic pedigree more than any other factor.  Where you went to school rather than what you did there makes the difference”.
  2. PayScale Inc., an online provider of global compensation data, in a survey demonstrated that an Ivy League diploma is still worth its price of admission and tuition.   An Ivy League education makes a job candidate stand out, even before a recruiter talks to them!   The median starting salary for Ivy Leaguers is 32% higher than that of liberal-arts college graduates and at 10 or more years into graduates’ working lives, the spread is 34%.
  3. “Because of the bitter competition for premium salaries, elite educational credentials are often a precondition for even landing a job interview. With so many applicants for every vacancy, many consulting firms and investment banks, for example, now consider only candidates from a short list of top-ranked schools. Degrees from elite schools clearly open doors. For example, more than 40 percent of the 2007 graduating class at Princeton landed one of the most highly sought prizes: a position in the lucrative financial services industry.”  Dr. Robert H. Frank
  4. According to a U.S. Department of Education report, the median annual earnings for an Ivy League graduate 10 years after starting amount to well over $70,000 a year. For graduates of all other schools, the median is around $34,000. But things get really interesting at the top end of the income spectrum. The top 10 percent of Ivy League grads are earning $200,000 or more ten years after starting school. The top earners of other schools, on the other hand, earn $70,000.
  5. Top 20 universities producing billionaires is dominated by blue-chip, elite U.S. institutions.  Billionaires are likely to have attended some of the traditionally most prestigious universities.  Top universities have become the place where “global players gather”.  (Educational insights from an annual profile of the uber-rich – Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census.)
  6. Business Insider’s “The 48 best colleges in the Northeast” – 2015:  Of the top 10 colleges, the 8 Ivy League colleges/universities were on the list.
  7. Wall Street Journal article: “In Producing Presidents, Ivies Still Have It”. Ivy League colleges are the top U.S. President-producing schools.
  8. Globally, extreme wealth is closely connected to elite education. “The economic sectors where the very wealthy are most closely connected to elite education are hedge funds, venture capital, the internet, law and finance. Those fields may require greater smarts, better training and stronger elite social connections.”  – Wealth X Study
  9. “Elite firms hire from elite universities” from “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs” by Lauren A. Rivera.
  10. The Economist has established that there is a direct correlation between education, the inheritance of privilege and class. According to an extensive report in The Economist: “For those at the top of the pile, moving straight from the best universities into the best jobs, the potential rewards are greater.”

The next time you are out and about and you see decals that have an Ivy League university, or a parent with sweatshirt that states: ” Ivy League school Mom” ask yourself does it really matter?

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

College Transfer Admissions Tips

The college application season begins to draw to a close (decisions for competitive schools are being released in late March), one would believe that everything is slowing down.  But actually, we are in the throes of the college transfer season!  Many college freshmen and sophomores, after a semester or so,  have already decided that they need to transfer to another college.  Throughout the years, I have encountered many students who wish to transfer.  It is now becoming a growing trend.  In our practice, we are increasingly even seeing students who are making the decision to transfer while in their first semester, freshman year.  Here are some of the main reasons I see why students decide to transfer:

  • They are unhappy:  Why remain in an environment for four years where you will be unhappy and miserable – and pay tuition, room and board that will cost you (or your parents) $200,000 – $250,000.
  • Fresh start:  For time to time, a student may have faced unexpected challenges, disciplinary actions at a college and they need a new college environment
  • Institutional prestige:  You may be attending your safety school and you want a second shot or you were discouraged from applying to your dream school.  In any case, you desire what we call an UPGRADE.
  • Pre-graduate school preparation:  Your current college may not have a strong pre-law,  pre-med or pre-business program needed for graduate school admissions preparation or employment.

Whatever reason you may have for transferring, the bottom line is that you need to develop an effective action plan to transfer.   Here are ten tips for prospective college transfer students:

  1. Obtain your high school transcript:  As a transfer applicant, colleges like to see your official high school and college transcripts.
  2. Obtain college letters of recommendations:  What professors have known you and can write you a meaningful letter of recommendation?
  3. Common App Transfer Application:  Colleges use the Common App.  Take it seriously and be mindful of deadlines and required supporting documents.  Colleges have different policies for transfer students.
  4. Transfer Essays:  College transfer applicants must write meaningful and convincing essays to transfer into their top-choice school.  The main essay: What are your reasons for transferring?  Watch out for the school-specific supplementals!
  5. Provide a current college transcript:  Grades matter!  What are your current academic courses?
  6. Standardized tests:  If you have taken standardized tests make sure that you report them on your Common App.
  7. Extracirricular activities:  In what school organizations are you involved?  Are you involved in activities outside of school?
  8. Disciplinary actions:  If for any reason, no matter how minor, you had a disciplinary action while in college, it’s best (and honest) to report it on your Common App.  under Family Educational Rights and privacy Act (FERPA), your current college can disclose your school records, without your consent to other schools to which you are transferring.
  9. Research and visit your target schools:  It’s important to research as many schools as possible, develop of a short list and visit schools on this list.
  10. Consider seeking professional, expert advice:  Why?  In my professional experience, I find that prospective transfer students need to develop individualized, effective transfer plans and implement them.  As a transfer student, you no longer have the assistance of your public high school guidance or private high school college counselor.  You will need an educational consultant who specializes in college transfer admissions.  You’re basically on your own in a process that is even more competitive than when you applied to college the first time!

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs;  graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.  He also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.