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Answers to Your College Questions

Do Transfer Students Have an Edge Over High School Grads?

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do transfer students have an edge over high school gradsThe short answer to that is yes, but, since that wouldn’t be a very useful answer, allow me to elaborate.

I would venture to say that transferring is actually easier than applying to college as a high school student. That’s a big statement, so let me back it up. First, the application pool is totally different. Everyone remembers that one person in high school who did well at everything, graduated valedictorian, and was voted “most likely to be great at everything.” When you are applying to schools as a high school student, you are going head-to-head with these kinds of students. As a transfer applicant, you are applying with other community college students and students who are leaving their current four-year university. The application pool is smaller for transfer students (on average 30,000 students apply to the Ivy Leagues from high school while only 1,500 apply for transfer), so you’ll have a much easier time standing out.

Speaking of standing out, let’s not forget the fact that, as a community college student, you have two years to make yourself into the best candidate for your dream school. That’s two years to earn a great GPA, bang out some extracurricular activities, and mold yourself into the best transfer admission candidate that you can be. Even if you did poorly in high school, you can bet that a transfer admissions counselor is going to value your performance as a college student more so than your high school GPA. Think of transferring as your second chance at getting into the school that you’ve always wanted to attend!

The conclusion here is that transfer students actually have it easier than most high school students! Like most things, a little hard work and foresight can lead you to amazing places.

To learn more about how students can use the transfer process to their advantage, look for The Community College Advantage in the College Countdown Bookstore, available May 2013.

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Diane Melville has experienced community college transfer success first hand. After earning her AA in biomedical engineering from Miami Dade College, she was accepted into some of the best schools in the nation. She ultimately transferred to Babson College to earn her bachelor of science in entrepreneurship and marketing. Diane has dedicated her career as an education professional, entrepreneur, and public speaker to advocating for community college reform and bettering the financial aid system.


Melville is the author of The Community College Advantage.

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