back to Admissions Advice Q&A
• 04/10/2020 at 01:03AM

Do prestigious universities have higher transfer acceptance rates?

I am a freshman in a university applying to other universities for my sophomore year, most of them being prestigious. Will these colleges have a higher transfer acceptance rate or will I be pooled with high school applicants?

NewYou earn karma when your answer is accepted or upvoted.

1 answer

• 04/10/2020 at 04:20AM

as far as I know, it's actually harder to get into prestigious universities as a transfer applicant than it is as an applicant out of high school. you won't be pooled with high school applicants, but they have way fewer spots for transfer students in general—enough that transfer acceptance rates are usually a lot lower for students who don't have some kind of guarantee or articulation agreement.

for example, USC admits a lot of transfer students, but something like 50% of them come from California community colleges that have a guaranteed transfer agreement with USC. so it might look like their transfer acceptance rate (~24%) is higher than their freshman one (~16%), but if you're not from one of those California CCs they admit a lot of transfers from, you're actually going to have a much harder time getting in.

also, if you apply to transfer after one year (instead of after two), most colleges will still lean very heavily on your high school grades and test scores. so if you're applying to schools you weren't able to get into as a freshman, it's kind of unlikely you'd get different results. it's a lot easier to "move up" to a more prestigious school after two years than one, because at that point they'll care a lot more about your college work.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Bonnieandclyde04/10/2020 at 08:05AM

Thank you for your comment. I’ll take this advice into consideration. Although it is hard to hear, I hope I will be successful.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Bonnieandclyde04/10/2020 at 08:11AM

Question: Do you think if I showed major improvement from my high school GPA to my college GPA it’ll make a difference? I can’t have my high school GPA being largely considered.

04/10/2020 at 07:58PM

Ii you were to apply as a sophomore (so you'd be transferring after 2 years), then they would definitely put a lot more weight on your college GPA. but if you're trying to transfer as a freshman, they're still going to put a lot of weight on your high school grades really no matter what. a lot of schools will have explicit policies where, under a certain credit amount, they'll require you to send a bunch of high school info, whereas if you're over that amount they won't require that stuff.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Bonnieandclyde04/10/2020 at 08:18PM

Syracuse says if if you’ve completed less than 30 credit hours that you must submit your high school grades and ACT scores. But I will have completed more than that my first year. I still submitted my high school transcript and ACT scores though.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Bonnieandclyde04/10/2020 at 08:28PM

Also, do you think that if I improve my poor GPA in high school to an adequate GPA in college, that it might sway the decision?

04/10/2020 at 08:58PM

i can't really say with absolute certainty but improving your GPA would definitely help. "adequate" can also mean different things for different places, and you'd probably need to get your college GPA in the high-3s no matter what. Like an A or A- average in your first couple of semesters

04/10/2020 at 08:59PM

and ok, so if Syracuse says 30 credits and you'd have that much by the end of freshman year then you wouldn't need to submit your high school info again (whether or not you submitted it as a freshman applicant won't matter—they don't look back through old files). some schools will have different amounts of credits; e.g I think the UCs (or some other west coast school) requires 40, which is unlikely for a freshman.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Bonnieandclyde04/10/2020 at 10:05PM

Ok thanks. To address your previous answer, my high school GPA was a 2.96 but, through major improvement, my college GPA after this year will be around a 3.75. This might look good for Syracuse and Northeastern. Again, I still was forced to submit my high school info to both universities but I don’t think that will be the main focus.