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Transfer questions.


I'm a freshman currently at Clarion University (a Pennsylvania state university). I have some questions about transferring to Brown (where I stand now, what I can do to improve my chances, etc).

Where it stands now I expect to have a 4.0 this semester (my first semester) easily. I'm vice president of the GSA on campus, I'm involved in some literary magazines on campus, etc. Basically, I have a ton of extra curricular things I'm not having any trouble balancing out with my course load. Most of my professors seem to like me a lot, as well, for whatever that's worth (letters?)

My experience in high school was sort of complicated. I don't know what my class rank or GPA was upon graduating, because I finished my last two years in a cyber school due to bullying/harrassment (I'm transsexual and I came out very young and I simply couldn't stay in public school in my area). I would guess it's about a B.

I did mediocre on my SATs and I'm very willing to take them over again to get better scores (as well as subject tests, no problem). I only took them once and didn't try very hard and that's my own fault.

If I would be interested in trying to transfer for my sophomore or junior year, is there anything I can do to improve my chances of being accepted? Is there anyone that is in or has been in my situation or a similar one before?

Thank you!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you'd be a great fit here at Brown. From what I understand, transfer admission is much more heavily weighted on what you've done thus far in college than what you did before that. I'd say go for sophomore year transfer, that way you have more time to take advantage of everything Brown has to offer. I think about the only thing you can do to improve your chances is make sure that you get great letters of rec, and put a lot of time and effort in to your application.

I started Brown as a transfer in Fall of 2007, so let me know if you have any specific questions!
Oct. 14th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I think I'm having a lot of anxiety about retaking my SATs. What score range at minimum should I consider acceptable?

I know many universities put a lot of weight on improvement. I've definitely improved a lot academically since starting college (in comparison to high school - of course, not having the anxiety over who is going to try to hurt me today helps a lot :|)

As far as recommendations go, is having professors within your major preferable to other professors not within your major? For example, I'm doing well in her class, but I'm convinced one of my writing professors doesn't like me. However, I'm pretty sure my psychology professor thinks I'm a saint. There is always next semester, of course, but I'd like to start lining up my options!

I hate to add this last part, by the way, because I feel so silly saying it, but I am almost a little embarrassed to talk to my professors about trying to transfer to Brown. Clarion is not a terrible school but so far I don't know of any other students here that are trying to transfer. -I- know I can do better than here, but I have terrible self esteem problems / social anxiety problems and I'm just convinced they will laugh at me.
Oct. 25th, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about the SATs that much. They are intended to predict how well you will handle college coursework -- but if you are getting 4.0 GPA now, that says a lot more than your score from high school.

I was rejected as a freshman -- with good but not fantastic high school grades, not very well-defined high school activities, a bunch of 5s on AP tests but an SAT score of 1370 (not sure what that would translate to now).

As a transfer, I had the same SAT score, but a GPA of 3.9 and heavy participation in my old school's radio station and a much better essay. (When I applied the essay was basically "Why I want to transfer" and I had a pretty passionate response.) I got recommendations from a political science professor and a philosophy professor, and I did end up majoring in philosophy but I hadn't really decided on that until I got to Brown. Just choose the professors you think will give you your best recommendation.

A lot of transferring is just luck. The year I transferred in (Fall '05) the acceptance rate was around 25%. The next fall it was closer to 5%. It depends on how many people are going abroad or taking leaves of absence, and how many people in the accepted freshman class decide to go somewhere else. Try for next year, and if you don't get in you can always try again the next year. Also, consider applying to some other schools while you're at it. (I applied to University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and Wesleyan at the same time and got into all but Penn. Out of those, I'd guess Wesleyan is the most similar to Brown.)
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
And I just thought of something else -

Am I required as a transfer student to submit SAT subject tests?
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
Whoops. I'm so ditzy. I need two. I knew that. Nevermind. :D
Oct. 15th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
I don't know what the requirements are for transfers, but I highly doubt you need to retake your SATs ... so don't waste your money unless a Brown Transfer Admissions Officer tells you that this is necessary.

At Brown, you aren't "supposed" to know your major until the end of sophomore year and as long as the recommendations you provide are from people who know you, I don't see a problem... if you like one person more than the other (like you said), then have the person you like write the rec. It's okay to have an additional rec if there is an administrator with whom you are closely working (for GSA?), but don't go overboard on application materials.

I think that while the applicant pool is smaller and possibly more competitive, you will probably have a very good chance of getting in as a transfer -- either in the spring or fall semester of the year you decide. It really doesn't hurt to call to admissions and speak with someone about this, either...in fact, I'd strongly suggest contacting the LGBTQ group on campus to get an advocate in there for you (it doesn't help to have people inside the university writing letters of support, either).

Brown is all about diversity in any way, shape, or form - so go for it! You sound like you'd be a perfect fit.
Dec. 26th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
Same Boat
Hey! I found this site while looking for words of wisdom and some guidance in my transferring process. I'm a freshmen at Centenary College of Louisiana. While the school provides a nice academic arena, for me, something seems off key. I am gay in the south and face some social tension but at Centenary, my sexuality doesn't seem to be such a huge deal. This allows me to be myself in the social arena. However, academically, the way in which my brain works and how I pursue knowledge doesn't quite mesh with institution.

In high school, I pursued organizational interests and hobbies such as band and piano. These two things took up a lot of time (i was practicing 3 hrs a day on piano). And at one point, I planned on applying to music schools for piano performance. Well, plans change and I decided not to pursue music in college. With this decision, I had to fall back onto my grades in high school to help get into college. My high school unweighted GPA was a 3.875. I took one or two AP courses and many Pre-AP courses because my extracurricular activities took up time. My ACT scores, I feel, did not reflect the person I am ( I scored a 26). I'm very motivated and I love to learn.

Now that my first semester of college ended, I accumulated a 3.41 at the end of the semester. I'm an elected senator for my school's government body, an elected representative for RHA, elected activities coordinator, and I attend several other organizational meetings (including Outreach, our Gay-Straight Alliance). I'm a very engaging learner, and I don't feel that where suffices my needs.

In doing extensive research, Brown came on the radar and ever since, I have been trying to figure out if A) If this is for me, and B)If I remotely have a decent chance of earning acceptance here. I really hope to hear back from you all and your opinions. I appreciate honesty and any insight anyone can offer in my exploration. (I must apologize for any sentence errors and spelling mistakes. It's late on Christmas Day, and it has been a busy, yet, wonderful!)

Thank you!
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Late reply and I don't know where you are in your transfer application process but here's my 2 cents for what it's worth.
I was also a transfer student (have since graduated and now a grad. student in Philly). The one thing that I think really helped me when I was looking to transfer was actually contacting the department head at Brown in the area that I knew I wanted to study in. I know that sounds confusing and you are a freshman so you really don't need to know what you want to major/concentrate in. BUT, if you do...say you already have a strong interest in Political Science at Clarion, contact the department head at Brown and let s/he know you're a possible transfer candidate and ask questions about said department. s/he may be helpful for you and you never know, s/he might also be an advocate for you when the time's right.
p.s. To address your other concern, when I asked my advisor at my former college (school in DC) he was more than happy to give me a recommendation. I have found in my collegiate career that professors for the most part just want their students to be happy. They don't necessarily take things as personally if at all. I would suggest when asking for a recommendation for your transfer application, to request to sit down with your professor(s). Just explain to them why you need a recommendation and ask if they feel comfortable helping you out. If they have questions, that's the perfect opportunity for them to ask for clarification.
Good luck, have confidence and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Edited at 2009-01-13 08:52 pm (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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