Saturday, March 24, 2007
Educated Advice Columnist
Gerald M. Bradshaw
It's hectic now with April 1st looming, the date set by most admissions committees to send out their coveted letter of admission or the polite letter of rejection.
It is little comfort to know that only April 15th and the IRS will ever cause you so much anxiety over a date again.
That does not mean you should count on getting admitted to every school to which you have applied.
Every student should have a back up plan. That usually inclines a school you are sure you'll get into, even thought it may not be one of your top five choices.
These we call "back-up" schools. They are the "ace-in-the- hole" schools to fall back on in case the roof falls in on your plans to attend Notre Dame and see Coach Weis' football team beat Michigan. Or the first time you realize that you'll have to wear a sweat shirt with the word "State" on it and not "Dartmouth."
So, if you didn't get you first choice, all is not lost. There is another option that many students should consider: Reapply as a transfer student.
There is a lot of misinformation going around that doesn't help students make the best decision after being turned down the first time from high school. The main source of confusion seems to be the false impression that once you've been rejected, you don't have a chance of getting admitted.
In October, The Wall Street Journal published a study that showed how transfer applicants had a better chance of getting admitted than a student applying under regular admissions. At several schools, the odds increased significantly, as much as 15 percent higher over regular admissions.
As you would expect, the total number of students applying to transfer was small. However, a survey taken in 2005 at The University of Pennsylvania showed that 15 percent of transfer students elected to transfer because they were rejected when they applied from high-school. That number had increased significantly to over three times higher as compared to a decade ago.
The study also showed that transfer students are being helped in other ways. The number of openings at Harvard for transfer students expanded 20 seats in recent years. That was largely due to an increase of students studying abroad leaving more dorm rooms vacant.
The key is to make good use of you freshman and sophomore years. Join activity that smacks of academic rigor. Publish an article in a journal. Ask a favorite professor or grad assistant to help you, especially if they are experts in the field. Choose a partner to work with who has skills you might not possess. He or she might be strong in math while your strength is in history. Together, you stand a greater chance of being published. Also write to people whom you respect in a subject area.
Next, find an expert in the destination school. Then, show you have a need to change universities in order to study under him or her. Explain why your goal can best me met at that school. And, if you were rejected the first time you applied, you have the prefect opportunity to apply again. With the odds this time stacked more in you favor.
Contact Gerald Bradshaw, The US States Top college consultant. One-on-one college consulting. Get help with the college application essay. Make you dream of being admitted into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania a reality.
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