Writing this post is very dear to me. Even after having transcended from the status of prospective transfer student to de facto transfer student, I still haven’t (and probably won’t ever) forget how hard I dug to find literature, from libraries to the web, that offered candid, solid, and meaningful advice on the transfer process. I didn’t have to look so hard to find what were the application materials required of me, nor was abiding to the deadline a challenge. What was however troublesome, to me (a student wanting to transfer to Tufts from a community college), was to figure out how on earth I was going to communicate to Tufts why I wanted to study here.
My perception of the transfer application process is subjective. However, I dare to assert that the challenge facing transfer students is that the reason they want to transfer is built upon a long road of past mistakes, present achievements, and future compromises with the best of what Tufts has to offer. With so many life experiences, such rich and personal backgrounds, and so much eagerness to fulfill their ambitions, transfers feel perplexed in targeting the angle, focus, or posture through which they want to approach the application with.
So, let me tell you: unlike a first-year application, the transfer application should not be a portrayal of overall achievement; it rather wants to see the singularities in the personal and scholastic endeavors that each transfer applicant carries. With that said, allow me to share with you my takeaway on the transfer application: you should capture, with confidence and honesty, your academic needs for transferring, enrich it with the uniqueness of your personality, and refine this beautiful product with aspects unique to Tufts.
1. A word on the transfer essay
There are many many ways to approach the transfer essay, and there is no one better suited than yourself to analyze what exactly underlines the choices you have pursued that placed you where you are studying what you’re studying, facing what you’re facing. To that end, I’ll intentionally leave you without further advice on the main transfer essay. That way, I hope you will embark on your own deliberation journey as I did when faced with finding no advice on how to approach the transfer essay, after looking endlessly. In my concluding perspective, at the end of my assessment, I realized that it was critical that I be explicit and compelling of my academic reasons for transferring. As I had shifted from classical ballet to studying foreign policy, conveying specific ambitions of mine within the policy field led me to narrate the avenues I pursued in my past college, the challenges in my transition, and why I wanted to study international relations particularly at Tufts.
2. Three words on the extracurricular page
Quality supplants quantity.
3. A praise for Tufts supplements
On one Sunday afternoon, I went to a street march for political transparency in Curitiba, my hometown. On the night of that Sunday, after coming home, I succeeded in writing all of my Tufts supplements just as if I hadn’t stumbled for months in answering them. I came to realize that the prompts of Tufts supplements are, brilliantly, questions before blanks spaces that await you to go to wonderland in telling o que te move (“what drives you” in Portuguese). The fact that you’re interested in Tufts alone implies your quest for a richer academic experience, one in which the most peculiar features of your own entity are exactly what makes this school so vivid, so full of faces, of granular thinking, of variations in the social, intellectual, economic, political, cultural, geographic, linguistic, analytical, and finally, human gamut.
Despite how abstract my advice is, I know with utmost certainty that the success of your transfer application is a matter of approach. In communicating your reasons for transferring to Tufts, remember that the more honest about whom you are and what you want to dedicate yourself to, the more natural will your efforts in conveying “Why Tufts” be – not only just through written evidence, like essays, but through the collection of materials which you’ll convince the Admissions Office of your harmony with the Tufts culture. I am not sure if these tips apply as well to the application process of other universities. But for this one, let go of perfunctory wishes, if any, to win over the transfer application. For this one, simply let your life speak.