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Successful College Transfer Essay Examples, See What is Expected

Filed in Education by on April 8, 2021

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There are as many reasons to transfer colleges as there are transfer students. But regardless of why someone wants to move to a new institution, the process for doing so usually requires an admissions essay. In this article, we will be helping you with some successful college transfer essay examples.

What is Expected From College Transfer Essay

Some schools have prospective transfer students who use the Common App or the Coalition Application to apply. In addition to the main essay, students may be required to submit a second writing sample or respond to short-answer questions, though this isn’t always the case. Prospective students can check a college’s website for specific guidance regarding how to apply.

Whatever application method they use, prospective students should be aware that writing a transfer essay is not the same as writing a first-year college application essay, experts advise.

First-year essays are more open-ended, says Niki Barron, associate dean of admission at Hamilton College in New York. When applying as first-years, prospective students can generally write about any experience, relationship, or goal that has shaped who they are as people, she says.

This contrasts with transfer essays, where the focus is typically narrower. Barron says she thinks of transfer essays as more of a statement of purpose. “We’re looking to see students’ reasons for wanting to transfer,” she says.

Katie Fretwell, the recently retired dean of admission and financial aid at Amherst College in Massachusetts, says prospective transfer students are in a position to be a bit more reflective about their educational goals because of their additional years or years of experience post-high school.

The essay helps admissions officers get a sense of whether an applicant has done “an appropriate level of soul-searching about the match,” she says.

College Transfer Essay Examples

Below are transferred essays that will help you as you prepare to migrate to a different school…

Four-Year Liberal Arts Admit 4.0 GPA

My decision to enroll at the University of North Texas was ill-informed. Initially, I believed that, far enough away from my family yet close enough to return home every few weeks, I could grow on my terms.

This unfortunate decision was fostered by my perspective of academic environments and the “college life.” I believed a university education was something purely academic, never multifaceted.

As someone who has never considered myself particularly school–spirited, I did not feel the need to be connected to any larger community. I viewed my transition to college simply as a stepping stone to the next chapter of my life, a means to an end and not something inherently valuable.

I chose UNT by the process of elimination. Also, I wanted to attend a Texas public university, but not as close as San Marcos and Austin or even College Station or Houston.

However, the more time I spent in Denton, the more I realized that there was a low ceiling for my potential to grow. I felt like a “big fish in a small pond” and my development, both intellectual and social, stalled.

I have always aspired to something greater, something more challenging, something different. These aspirations, unfortunately, were not able to be experienced at UNT.

My courses were stagnant, easy, “go with the flow”––the exact opposite of what I needed. Most students around me, even those within the Honors College, did not study for major exams or complete their assignments on time. It made me restless and uneasy.

As time wore on, I concluded I was not finding the challenges I originally sought. I refused to settle into the mediocre routines around me and merely coast along with strong, yet hollow grades. The more I considered and explored my academic goals and future, the clearer it became that only the University of Texas offers the rigor and challenge that I seek.

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This fall, I visited the 40 Acres and immediately noticed a striking difference. Nearly every other student I came across wore burnt orange; people walked confidently and socialized on campus. There seemed to be a school spirit that was conspicuously absent at UNT.

The University of Texas felt like a family, a cohesive yet still fiercely individualistic unit. Even with just a two–hour visit to the 40 Acres, I could already feel its infectious energy creeping up inside me, a feeling I would not soon forget.

I had not considered that a university experience could be both academically enriching and spiritually fulfilling. Instantly, I knew where I needed to call home. My fascination and excitement were furthered with the University of Texas when I researched the Anthropology Department.

I was amazed at the never-ending opportunities for research. For example, Dr. Courtney Handman’s focus on linguistic anthropology and her examination of recently–converted Protestant indigenous communities in rural Papua New Guinea related to my interests of languages, religion, and their convergence.

My passion for linguistic anthropology began when I was nine years old when my parents took me on my first international trip. We traveled throughout Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Sicilia, and Croatia. With each country, there was an entirely new method of communication, an entirely new way of life.

Exposure to different cultures and languages, however, was not an entirely new concept. I live in a bilingual home. My father grew up in Madrid and learned both Spanish and English.

My father wanted to share a vital part of his identity and childhood with me, and we communicate primarily in Spanish. Later, I became unsatisfied with only speaking two languages, and self–studied French.

By the time I entered high school, I could converse fluently with both my French and Spanish teachers. These experiences continue to shape and inform my desire to balance the arts and sciences by studying linguistic anthropology before enrolling in medical school.

Commentary

Since they are applying to a non-STEM program with a 4.0, this application doesn’t need to discuss their grades or relevant coursework. Despite having a high chance of gaining admission based on their grades, they leave little room for doubt by submitting a thoughtful essay that describes honestly their decision to attend UNT and why that isn’t working out.

It’s a balanced essay that focuses equally on where they’re coming from and how UT can help them explore their interests and achieve their long-term goals. Any time a transfer applicant is coming from a four-year university, its important to discuss tastefully why they don’t feel their current university is a good fit. We worked for a while on striking the right tone.

To discuss why UT is a great fit and why you want to transfer often requires developing why you’re currently dissatisfied. Their reviewer can no doubt relate to their story of not knowing what they want as a high school student and how attending college gives them an idea of what they don’t prefer moving forward.

UT has extensive study abroad and language programs, and they develop well how UT offers resources not accessible at any other public university. They demonstrate how their current studies and travels abroad inform them that although they want to change universities, they want to continue majoring in Anthropology.

Moody College of Communications Admitted Transfer 3.3 GPA

I am currently enrolled as a first-year student at Collin College in Frisco, Texas, and I want to finish my studies at the University of Texas in Austin majoring in public relations.

My decision to attend Collin stemmed from my mediocre grades in high school – I wanted a fresh start at a college close to home.  Though I was accepted at a few well-ranked Texas public universities, I had higher aspirations. 

I felt that I could improve my grade point average while completing prerequisite courses transferable anywhere.  I lived at home allowing me to save money, help my family, and continue working at my job.

Due to my family’s dire financial situation, I initially wanted to pursue a degree in business and finance solely to be more financially secure and allow me the opportunity to raise my own family someday. I took several business-related classes in high school and college.  My goal has always been to transfer to UT and earn a degree in finance. 

In preparation for transfer, I took Algebra, Pre-calculus, and Calculus 1 and 2.  Math is not my strongest subject, and I found Pre-calculus and Calculus to be especially difficult. 

Despite joining a study group and meeting with the professor but, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. My low math grades are not for lack of effort. 

At the time, I was taking care of my mother, a single parent, and coordinating her transfer to rehab for alcohol addiction. I became the head of the household responsible for caring for my three younger sisters. I became a full-time student, employee, and house mom. Instead of getting discouraged by my setback in calculus, I saw it as an opportunity to grow and reconsider my future.

I realized that if math isn’t my strong suit, I probably won’t enjoy a career in banking. I feel like many of my friends want to go to business school, but don’t enjoy the work or have the skills required to be a successful student. Also, I felt that my decision to pursue finance came not from my motivations, but pressures from friends, family, and society.

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I considered my strengths, and now I understand that I love communicating with people and solving problems. I’m the go-to person in my friend group when relationships end or problems happen at school, and I am used to handling family crises at home. I want to help solve problems on behalf of companies, and I feel that public relations are my perfect fit.

I learned to communicate effectively at an early age. No matter what situation my family was going through, my sisters and other relatives considered my opinions and often put my suggestions into practice.

My survival and quality of life depend on resolving conflicts for work, for my internship, and for relaying messages within a divided family.  Recognizing my strength, I feel that public relations would be the perfect major for me. 

To gain firsthand experience and test my decision, I took on a Public Relations/Blogger Relations internship for Conscious Couture.  Through reaching out to bloggers that have PR firms, I am reassured that I made the right decision and have truly found what I love. 

Also, I have previous professional experience as an executive assistant for Texas Family Fitness. I was constantly phoning clients, communicating with employees, setting up meetings, proposing new ideas, and managing conflict in the workplace.

After doing research, I learned that UT has one of the best public relations departments and employs world-renowned faculty. I especially like the internship requirement and career placement resources. My goal is, to begin with, a major public relations firm and, ultimately, establish my firm. 

If I decide to continue my studies after my bachelor’s, the LBJ School of Public Affairs seems like an appealing way to transition into government work. 

Commentary

This particular student had a 3.0 by the deadline, and since they had less than 24 hours completed, UT waited to make their decision after receiving their spring grades. They made a D in Calculus, so this essay helps put that grade into context.

I appreciate that this essay is very straightforward. They get right to the point of why they are at their current university, what they hope to study at UT, and how their goals evolved.

One pitfall of extenuating circumstances essays is they tend towards hyperbole and exaggeration. This applicant provides balance and nuance to their issues at home and concrete ways that they’ve developed and matured over time. They also link their special circumstances into their proposed major, Public Relations.

They also develop well how their professional experiences and internship further influence their decision to transfer. Their Essay A complements and provides context to their expanded resume. They argue convincingly that UT is the best fit for them because of its strong academics while still being close enough to home to visit on the weekends.

Putting their poor calculus grade into context, articulating but not going overboard about their special circumstances, and demonstrating their fit for major undoubtedly played a major role in them gaining admission to UT.

Admitted Economics Transfer 3.4 GPA

My forehead thump-thump-thumped against the stainless-steel walls of a slowly descending, empty elevator. It took three minutes to arrive at the base of the towering skyscraper. I sighed, disappointed, and accepted this final defeat to cap a dispiriting senior year as I nervously navigated through the downtown underground labyrinth.

Like many of my classmates, I spent most of my high school years working tirelessly in hopes of attending a prestigious university. With each rejection letter, I wasn’t sure any university would admit me. Receiving CAP stung particularly.

I questioned the point of studying so long for my SAT and ACT and taking a few AP courses that didn’t particularly interest me. Reluctantly, I submitted the deposit to my safety school.

I walked to my car that day feeling like I’ve lost before I even started. Even getting to my interview proved frustrating. I had never visited downtown Houston.

Battling traffic and tricky one-ways, I found the parking garage, slid into space without bumping my neighbors, and stumbled through the building before finding the first set of elevators, “Sky Lobby.” I boarded. A man in his forties joined followed quickly by a college-aged student. More men and women filed in until we crunched together shoulder-to-shoulder.

I felt out of place, and dad’s suit didn’t fit right – sleeves too long and shoulder pads jutting below my neck. Everyone appeared so confident. People talked over one another as they discussed seemingly important things like upcoming meetings and lunch plans.

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Noises blended a hum of indistinct chatter. After three deafening minutes of chit-chat, a merciful ding signaled our arrival. The doors glided inwards.

A nervous silence preceded a burst of sunlight. I stepped into the panoramic atrium offering a birds-eye view of Houston, the Sky Lobby. Despite living in Houston for my entire life, I could never have imagined the city so beautiful.

I absorbed the scenes below – the bustling traffic, the diverging currents of the bayou snaking in the distance, and the impersonal skyscrapers dotting the vista, silently taunting our unrestricted zoning laws. I swear I could almost see the curvature of the Earth, two million people all in my field of view.

A friendly voice interrupted my gaze. The secretary welcomed me into a grand office that may have passed for a museum. The next moments were a blank. A blurred, neurotic, sweaty blank. Slowly, I walked back to the elevator wide-eyed, almost bewildered.

While planning my classes at university I never really hoped to attend, I heard a ding signaling the arrival of an email on my phone. “Probably some more spam,” I thought. The title betrayed great news, “Congratulations.”

In his concluding remarks at a Dillard University commencement speech, the great Denzel Washington advised, “Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.” These words now stick to me like glue. Looking back to when those elevator doors first opened, I believe it was at that moment, with the city at my fingertips, that I aspired to make a difference.

Before, I viewed education as a means to an end, a minor footnote in my transition to the professional world. After that day, I saw the bigger picture. A purposeful education produces a change within and bettering the world around me.

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At Houston Endowment, I learned the ins and outs of the workings of a non-profit foundation. I even had the privilege of personally speaking one-on-one with non-profit executives around Houston.

While my internship is generally reserved for students at the end of their college careers, I was able to gain exposure to community and business leaders that have shown me that thoughtful, long-term efforts can make the world a better place.

From the first moment each Longhorn arrives on the 40 Acres, they receive the message that “What starts here changes the world.” What’s so brilliant about this motto is that it gives the beholder freedom to interpret their place at the university, their communities, and how their education produces ripples of change throughout the world.

It seems to me that to be a Longhorn means to be a leader. To be that which “changes the world.” I don’t feel a similar sense of purpose and community at UH and feel the path to being a leader lies in Austin. With the experiences I gained from my descent into Houston’s philanthropic heart, I intend to hone my dream to be the leader of change that UT trains all its students to be.

Commentary

I like this essay a lot because it shares a compelling story that frames where they’ve come from academically and professionally, where they currently are, and how UT can help them achieve their goals. They also discussed why they enrolled at the University of Houston, their home city, rather than pursuing UT-Austin’s Coordinated Admissions Program.

It’s a well-written response that no doubt helped their reviewer form a mental image of the student. It solicits empathy. Everyone can relate to the nervousness of being out of their element and receiving pleasant surprising news when they were otherwise doubtful.

Despite their below-average GPA, there’s no doubt they gained admission on the strength of this Essay A that helped connect their expanded resume and Essay E about growing up in a mixed-religions household.

Transferring to a different university can be a stressful process. The transfer essay, which is usually 500-words, is one of the most important features of your transfer application.

The essay is your chance to show an admissions officer their school is the right fit for you. Use the above college transfer essay examples to get it done! You can also share this article with your friends.

CSN Team.

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