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How Can I Make My Transfer Admission Essay Stand Out?

A transfer essay gives insight into your academic journey, but how can you make that story stand out? Here's some expert advice on writing one that works.

CX experts generic imageLeah Albert
Former Transfer and Military Admissions Counselor
Chatham University
Your transfer essay gives insight into your character and self-awareness in ways an academic transcript simply cannot. While academic transcripts tell admission committees about a student’s historical success based on letter grades, less quantifiable traits such as focus, drive, personal experience, determination, and work ethic can be gleaned from an essay. Your application and essay can help the admission committee understand why you are choosing the school and why you want to study your major (if you selected one). It all starts with understanding yourself and your goals. Are you looking for a school that offers a more competitive program in your major? Are you looking for a different major altogether? Are you struggling at your current institution? The admission essay is the perfect opportunity for you to explain these issues and your goals. Here are some general tips for your essay:

  • Read the guidelines, length requirements, and prompts thoroughly before beginning your essay—then be sure to adhere to them!
  • Brainstorm the potential of each prompt and decide on one that highlights the strengths and unique contributions you could bring to a university.
  • Discuss your reasons for transferring so the admission committee can understand your motivations.
  • Work with the transfer admission counselor at the school(s) you're applying to to make sure your application is as competitive as possible. 
  • Mention past educational experience gained in and out of college, such as work training, military involvement, or other unique endeavors. Many schools award credit for prior learning experience.
  • Don’t include personal details beyond those that directly affect your educational performance and would matter to an admission committee. 
  • Edit your essay thoroughly. Work with academic advisors, tutors, and counselors to make sure your application is well written and free of errors before submitting it.
  • Don’t submit an old essay—as a current college student, your writing level has improved since you first applied. 

Ultimately, each school’s application process is different, and your application strategy should be adapted to meet the needs of the institutions to which you are applying. Familiarize yourself with the required documents and suggested materials each school requests. You'll want to check with the institutions to find out if they accept supplemental writing pieces and documents, and if so, in what capacity.

Make transferring schools as easy as possible with all Our Best Advice for the Transfer Admission Process.

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