So you’ve decided to transfer — amazing! But where should you go?
While there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider as you embark on the transfer process, a crucial step is putting together a list of schools you’ll want to apply to – your college list, 2.0. As when you created your initial college list, you’ll want to conduct research on each of the schools you are considering. Seek the answers to questions like; does this school offer my intended major? Does it offer extracurricular and research opportunities I would like to take advantage of during my time in college? Is it as academically rigorous as I would like? Will it offer opportunities not offered by my current school?
You should also find out what each school’s transfer requirements are. While some schools have specific and rigorous requirements, others’ requirements may be more flexible. Some schools may have minimum GPA, SAT or ACT score requirements, ask for letters of recommendation from instructors at your current school, and have very low transfer admissions rates. Some schools only allow students to apply to transfer in a particular year or semester of college. For example, the University of Pennsylvania only allows transfer students to apply to and enroll in their university during the fall semester. This is commonly seen among highly competitive schools, including Ivy League and other top twenty schools.
Other schools, however, have more flexible transfer requirements and accept a higher percentage of transfer students each year. Boston University and the University of Michigan for example, do not require students to submit recommendations from professors at their current schools. The University of Virginia does not require transfer students to submit standardized test scores as they do for freshman admissions (UVA has adopted a test optional policy for the 2020-2021 application cycle as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.)
If ease of transfer is a priority for you, then here are 10 schools that you should consider adding to your list. In 2020, these top schools accepted a significant number of transfer students, and generally have relaxed transfer admissions requirements.
1. Transferring to Boston University
Transfer Admission Rate: 50% / Freshman Admission Rate: 19%
One of the top schools in Boston, BU offers a transfer admission rate 150% higher than that of its freshman class and a credit requirement of only 12. Additionally, at 18% of the student body, the school’s sizable transfer population is bound to make you feel at home sooner rather than later!
2. Transferring to UNC Chapel Hill
Transfer Admission Rate: 49% / Freshman Admission Rate: 23%
Michael Jordan’s iconic alma mater also gives transfer applications a major boost in comparison to freshman applicants, with a transfer admission rate over twice as high as their freshman admission rate! Additionally, with no specific course requirements, the school’s holistic review process should definitely grant it a spot on your transfer list.
3. Transferring to the University of Michigan
Transfer Admission Rate: 42% /Freshman Admission Rate: 23%
While UMich’s transfer admission rate isn’t twice as high as its freshman admission rate like UNC, 42% is still pretty unbelievable for a top-ranked public university with international pedigree in law, business and research. Furthermore, with transfer-specific advising, mentoring and housing services, the school is bound to have you chanting, “Go Blue!” before you know it.
4. Transferring to Tulane University
Transfer Admission Rate: 39% /Freshman Admission Rate: 13%
Imagine a second chance at your New Orleans dream school with a transfer acceptance rate three times its freshman admission rate! Plus, with test-optional requirements, you’re only two transcripts away! Why not take advantage of Tulane’s vast transfer ambassador infrastructure and financial aid next spring or fall?
5. Transferring to UVA
Transfer Admission Rate: 37% /Freshman Admission Rate: 24%
The Cavalier community similarly becomes much more accessible to transfer applicants, with a transfer acceptance rate of 37% compared to its 24% freshman admission rate. While a 4.32 GPA will typically get you through the freshman admission door, transfer admits have an average GPA of 3.5. Be sure to complete the Commerce and Intermediate foreign language level requirements beforehand!
6. Transferring to UCLA
Transfer Admission Rate: 23% /Freshman Admission Rate: 12%
Students transferring from other UCs tend to reap the majority of the higher admission rate’s benefits compared to applicants outside of the UC system, so definitely consider transferring to this prestigious UC if you’re unhappy at your own. The average transfer GPA, 3.5, is also much lower than the 4.29 average for freshman admissions.
7. Transferring to Ohio State University
Transfer Admission Rate: 86% / Freshman Admission Rate: 54%
Yep, you read that correctly– 86%! If you are looking for a quick and easy transfer and have a GPA of at least 2.5, look no further than The Ohio State University! The world-class academics and stellar school spirit are bound to welcome you warmly come fall.
8. Transferring to Rutgers University
Transfer Admission Rate: 58% / Freshman Admission Rate: 61%
Rutgers provides phenomenal research opportunities and a vibrant campus life that would bring fulfillment to any transfer student. While it’s the only school on this list with a transfer admission rate lower than the freshman rate, 58% still makes for wonderful odds in your favor!
9. Transferring to William and Mary College
Transfer Admission Rate: 51% / Freshman Admission Rate: 38%
The probability of you earning transfer admission into William and Mary? Try scoring ‘heads’ in a coin flip – a statistic that should be music to the ears of a student craving a scenic top research university. For a school ranking #4 in undergraduate teaching and #1 in study abroad participation nationally, why not take the chance?
10. Transferring to UC-Irvine
Transfer Admission Rate: 44% / Freshman Admission Rate: 27%
Last, but not least, we have UC-Irvine. Founded in 1965, the institution offers over 80 majors and 70 minors to advance you on the path towards your dream career post-transfer. A transfer admission rate of 44% also makes it amenable to applicants seeking to transfer.
Vertical versus Horizontal Transfers
As you create your transfer list, it’s important to keep in mind that it is easier to transfer vertically than it is to transfer horizontally. What does this mean?
A good transfer application makes a case for why the student needs to transfer out of their current school and into a new one. Strong reasons for transferring often include the lack of a desired program at a student’s current school, or the desire to challenge more rigorous coursework. It is much more difficult to make a compelling case as to why a student should transfer to a school with similar offerings as those available at their current school.
Wherever you decide to go, be sure to put your best foot forward at your current school until the very end, and plan your credits and courses wisely. Regardless of the ease or of your dream school’s transfer process, college transcripts will always weigh heavily in the strength of your application, so finish strong! You can also read Command Education’s guide for how to transfer into your dream school for a more detailed guide on the transfer process.
Best of luck with your transfer!