With the transfer deadline fast approaching, you may be scrambling to whip together your supplementary essays or struggling to articulate exactly what you don’t like about your current institution. Maybe you aren’t even sure what you need out of your next school, but you know that where you are now simply feels wrong.
The transfer application process is daunting, nerve-wracking and, often, emotionally and physically exhausting. However, spending quality time on the application process to ensure that your unique personality and academic abilities are sufficiently represented will pay off in the long run.
Here are a few tips that will set apart your application from the rest:
1) Be more than your GPA.
This is something that I truly lacked in my application coming out of my previous college. I spent majority of my time on my academics and didn't explore or experience clubs that would allow me to pursue and expand my extracurricular interests. At the end of the day, everyone applying to Tufts as a transfer has a stellar GPA. Tufts wants to bring students in that will have more that just an academic impact on campus—students that will bring fresh ideas, perspectives and experiences to the university. Partaking in activities and groups that highlight your interests and prove your multifaceted nature is almost necessary to set yourself apart.
I only became more than my GPA when I took a year off from school. I had the freedom to explore my passions through working a retail job at my favorite clothing store, assisting fourth and fifth graders in an art classroom and taking courses like Intro to Printmaking that broadened my artistic scope. These extracurriculars enriched my life and, ultimately, strengthened my application.
2) Differentiate yourself.
Think about what makes you, you, and capitalize on your differentiating factors. How you were raised, who influences you, what gets you going. When I was thinking about what made me a unique applicant, I thought of three distinct and characteristic parts of who I am.
My siblings: my twin sister and little twin brothers and the chaos that ensued at every family dinner. Moments surrounded by my crazy family made me the extroverted, loving person I am. My year off: the experiences I had and emotions I felt that transformed my world-view. Taking an alternative college route altered my perspective on life and allowed me to become the introspective, strong person I am today. Shoes: how my dad’s previous role at Converse sparked a long lasting passion for the intersection between business and design, ultimately resulting in my Economics and Studio Art concentrations at college.
3) Discuss why you need Tufts and why Tufts needs you.
Being a member of the Tufts community is a two-way relationship. Expand on how a Tufts education and experience will impact your life and how you will reciprocate this impact back into the Tufts community. It may be obvious why you want to attend Tufts—whether it be the perfect size, central location, impressive academics—but provide insight into how your admittance will benefit your future classmates and Tufts itself. Maybe you want to take charge and run for TCU president in order to make important changes on campus. Maybe you want to do research with a particular Tufts professor. Maybe you want to bring a new point of view into class or dorm discussion.
4) Be persistent and dedicated.
As my freshman year wound up, I applied to Tufts. However, I got waitlisted and, unfortunately, never gained admission that year. When it came time to apply to colleges during my year off, I knew that Tufts was still a part of the picture. In fact, it was the whole picture. I contacted admissions with questions regarding the transfer experience. I talked to prospective transfer students, admissions counselors and directors, etc. I applied again with a more robust, personalized application and, finally, got in.
While there is no perfect application and no guaranteed method of getting admitted as a transfer, there are ways to enhance your application. Most of these tips have the same message: be your true, unapologetic, awesome self. If you have any questions regarding applying as a transfer, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.