2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Reason for transferring high school

I'm an international senior applying to college in the US this year.

I'm not sure whether or not I can write about my depression(I overcame now) and former high school academic level in the reason for transferring school section in Common App.

My transferring process was like below:

couldn't take classes at my level → made me depressed → couldn't go to school → transferring

My current high school transcript does not mention my attendance days; however, I could only take fewer credits as I could not go to school because of depression in my first year. I think that I need to explain why I got fewer credits but would it affect my application?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi @Lisa617,

If you were excused from classes due to a recommendation from a health professional, and you'd also rather not write an essay about your experiences, then you should be able to note the reason for your absences in the additional information section of your application. That section is reserved for explaining extenuating circumstances, and if you were following the guidance of a health professional (or were diagnosed at that time), then that rule should apply.

However, if you took fewer courses without some kind of official medical exemption (which is still valid), then you'll probably want to explain that somehow in your essays. It was your first year, so you'll have some leeway assuming you took greater courseloads later on, but it's not the kind of thing you'd want admissions officers to wonder about and not have answers for.

So, if you can't write about it in the additional information section, then I'd recommend referencing it in one of your essays. You can definitely write about depression — it's just a matter of what you're comfortable with. If you'd rather not frame your entire narrative around it, then you can also use it as the background of another story you write your personal statement on (i.e. something that took place around the same time where you can casually mention the broader circumstances).

Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questiosn.

a month ago

Hi @Lisa617,

While you don't need to write about your mental health in your application, if you feel it would provide context or additional insight into your candidacy, you do have two options:

You can write about it in an essay, as described in this article.

Or, you can include it in the Additional Information section, which you can learn how to fill out here.

Hope this helps - and best of luck!

2 months ago

First of all, it is great that you overcame the depression. It is a challenging subject to write about and not to scare admissions officers. They do not care if you changed schools; they case if you took difficult classes offered to you.


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