KATHERINEwjw
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Hi. I'm thinking about applying for transfer next year. My reason is that I don't like my major and would like some flexibility in my education. I'm trying to figure out what my chances are.

Has anyone any experience with transferring? Is there a way to change major? Applying as a first-year student in the UK, would you get in as a sophomore or junior?

What confuses me is that most US schools require transfer applicants to express interest in a particular major, where I thought commitment pledge was a UK thing. I really have no plans and for me that's kind of the whole point, though I'm worried that wouldn't stand as an appealing reason for transferring.

(I don't live in the UK or the US. I did IB diploma and got 40+/45. Time or tuition spent in college isn't really a problem for me.)

I'd appreciate any help or advice. Thanks.
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Noodlzzz
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Why not take a degree in UK in liberal arts or something similar? I think UCL and or KCL do this. Much cheaper option!
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
Why not take a degree in UK in liberal arts or something similar? I think UCL and or KCL do this. Much cheaper option!
Thanks for the reply. Yes liberal arts is definitely an option but I'm really hoping there're others in the US. As a non-UK nor US citizen, that's why I'd rather transfer to the US than within the UK.
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mnot
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Hi. I'm thinking about applying for transfer next year. My reason is that I don't like my major and would like some flexibility in my education. I'm trying to figure out what my chances are.

Has anyone any experience with transferring? Is there a way to change major? Applying as a first-year student in the UK, would you get in as a sophomore or junior?

I'd appreciate any help or advice. Thanks.
US universities are much more used to taking transfers. But you'll still have to get your credits exchanged, the problem I think you'll have is most US universities require you to have a certain amount of credits for your major and a certain amount of general credits from a wide spectrum of different areas of the curriculum.

If you dont like your current subject it may only do a very small amount of the general syllabus credits as you have to have it from a spectrum of areas.

Whilst its much much more common in the US for people to transfer they are all in the same system, I suspect this will be a nightmare to do and you would likely have to go in as a freshmen or at best sophomore due to the credit issues. And if you are UK based it will likely be extremely expensive, travel, books, room/board and the kicker tuition (US tuition without scholarships is $$$).
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by mnot)
US universities are much more used to taking transfers. But you'll still have to get your credits exchanged, the problem I think you'll have is most US universities require you to have a certain amount of credits for your major and a certain amount of general credits from a wide spectrum of different areas of the curriculum.

If you dont like your current subject it may only do a very small amount of the general syllabus credits as you have to have it from a spectrum of areas.

Whilst its much much more common in the US for people to transfer they are all in the same system, I suspect this will be a nightmare to do and you would likely have to go in as a freshmen or at best sophomore due to the credit issues. And if you are UK based it will likely be extremely expensive, travel, books, room/board and the kicker tuition (US tuition without scholarships is $$$).
Thanks. I don't live in the UK or US either way and I'd actually prefer to start as freshman, so I'm hoping my credits count as little as possible. What confuses me is that most US schools require transfer applicants to express interest in a particular major, where I thought commitment pledge was a UK thing. I really have no plans and for me that's kind of the whole point. I'm worried that wouldn't stand as an appealing reason for transferring.
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mnot
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Thanks. I don't live in the UK or US either way and I'd actually prefer to start as freshman, so I'm hoping my credits count as little as possible. What confuses me is that most US schools require transfer applicants to express interest in a particular major, where I thought commitment pledge was a UK thing. I really have no plans and for me that's kind of the whole point. I'm worried that wouldn't stand as an appealing reason for transferring.
Yea im not surprised, whilst US unis have much more flexibility in changing majors they still need good admin and to keep a balance of students in every faculty. I think its common to ask applicants to put a provisional major down as a high school applicant as well in the US.
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Thanks. I don't live in the UK or US either way and I'd actually prefer to start as freshman, so I'm hoping my credits count as little as possible. What confuses me is that most US schools require transfer applicants to express interest in a particular major, where I thought commitment pledge was a UK thing. I really have no plans and for me that's kind of the whole point. I'm worried that wouldn't stand as an appealing reason for transferring.
I'm afraid it's going to be really dificult to apply as a freshman if you are already at university. You need to check with colleges you are interested in, but I don't know of any who allow it.
If you are going to try to transfer, be aware that there is hardly any need aid/scholarships for transfers. GL
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by pet973)
I'm afraid it's going to be really dificult to apply as a freshman if you are already at university. You need to check with colleges you are interested in, but I don't know of any who allow it.
If you are going to try to transfer, be aware that there is hardly any need aid/scholarships for transfers. GL
actually quite a few schools let you apply as freshman as long has you have less than 12 credits, which I have zero. I'm starting college this fall and I'm already on a gap year. the question is if I should apply for 2021 freshman entry (I don't think I'm competent enough when it comes to ECs and recommendations), or go to uni and apply for transfer (with a good college GPA and professor recommendations). all in all I really would prefer to start as freshman and experience the curriculum at maximum flexibility.
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
actually quite a few schools let you apply as freshman as long has you have less than 12 credits, which I have zero. I'm starting college this fall and I'm already on a gap year. the question is if I should apply for 2021 freshman entry (I don't think I'm competent enough when it comes to ECs and recommendations), or go to uni and apply for transfer (with a good college GPA and professor recommendations). all in all I really would prefer to start as freshman and experience the curriculum at maximum flexibility.
As I said, it depends on the school: some will allow it, other ones won't.
The general rule of thumb is that it's harder to gain admission with financial aid (and an even smaller number of school gives it) for transfer admission than for freshman admission. But you'd have to justify a 2-year gap in that case, with quality activities/ECs over the gap.
It also depends very much on whether you would be a full-paying student (easier admission) or not, and the caliber/selectivity of the schools you're interested in.
You have not given us enough information to go on, what are your grades/SAT (if any)?.
For example, if you need large amounts of aid and are only interested in Ivy-level schools, I'd say it's almost impossible unless you truly did something worthy in those 2 years. And equally, admission rates for transfers at those institutions is sub 1% for internationals.
If you're aiming lower (and maybe can pay), it's a different story.
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by pet973)
As I said, it depends on the school: some will allow it, other ones won't.
The general rule of thumb is that it's harder to gain admission with financial aid (and an even smaller number of school gives it) for transfer admission than for freshman admission. But you'd have to justify a 2-year gap in that case, with quality activities/ECs over the gap.
It also depends very much on whether you would be a full-paying student (easier admission) or not, and the caliber/Thankselectivity of the schools you're interested in.
You have not given us enough information to go on, what are your grades/SAT (if any)?.
For example, if you need large amounts of aid and are only interested in Ivy-level schools, I'd say it's almost impossible unless you truly did something worthy in those 2 years. And equally, admission rates for transfers at those institutions is sub 1% for internationals.
If you're aiming lower (and maybe can pay), it's a different story.
Thank you for the reply. I put this in my main post as well: I'm trying to aim for some top 50 universities in the US news ranking. I did IB diploma and got 40+/45. Time or tuition spent in college isn't really a problem for me. It's the essays and ECs I'm most worried about. I'd have to state my reason for transfer in the essay, and since most schools require a declared major, my reason that I don't know what to study and want to try everything out, won't even stand. What if the admission officer thinks I lack commitment, no matter how good my GPA? that is my main concern.
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Thank you for the reply. I put this in my main post as well: I'm trying to aim for some top 50 universities in the US news ranking. I did IB diploma and got 40+/45. Time or tuition spent in college isn't really a problem for me. It's the essays and ECs I'm most worried about. I'd have to state my reason for transfer in the essay, and since most schools require a declared major, my reason that I don't know what to study and want to try everything out, won't even stand. What if the admission officer thinks I lack commitment, no matter how good my GPA? that is my main concern.
I can see how this is not easy for you. As your grades are very good and you don't need financial aid, you would definetely have a very good chance to get in as a freshman somewhere in the top 50 (or, maybe even better for you, in a very good Liberal Art College - say top 30 USNR or so). But as a transfer it's trickier.
I'm not so sure you need to worry too much about the major, most US colleges expect people to be undecided/change major 2-3 times. In a way, you could taylor your essays around the desire to explore many subjects before you commit, explaining why you don't like the UK system. (I was in exactly the same position last year, and that's why I applied and will attend a US college).
Maybe it's best to bite the bullet, get involved in some EC project close to your heart in your second gap year and work hard at it for the next few months. This will also give you extra material for essays. But it's a hard call, I can see that.
I would only say that studying something you don't enjoy for the next three years is going to be difficult. GL!
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by pet973)
I can see how this is not easy for you. As your grades are very good and you don't need financial aid, you would definetely have a very good chance to get in as a freshman somewhere in the top 50 (or, maybe even better for you, in a very good Liberal Art College - say top 30 USNR or so). But as a transfer it's trickier.
I'm not so sure you need to worry too much about the major, most US colleges expect people to be undecided/change major 2-3 times. In a way, you could taylor your essays around the desire to explore many subjects before you commit, explaining why you don't like the UK system. (I was in exactly the same position last year, and that's why I applied and will attend a US college).
Maybe it's best to bite the bullet, get involved in some EC project close to your heart in your second gap year and work hard at it for the next few months. This will also give you extra material for essays. But it's a hard call, I can see that.
I would only say that studying something you don't enjoy for the next three years is going to be difficult. GL!
Wow. Were you transferring into sophomore or junior year? Have you declared a major? How were your ECs? Where did you get your recommendations?

tbh I don't really know where my heart is. I've started an internship related to my current major which obviously I do not enjoy, but it's experience. and anything else, community service etc. is so hard to find. I did have a few ECs from high school but it's probably not gonna count after two years. And then there's the recommendation. I doubt my high school counsellor is going to like my withdrawing from university and then reapplying.

so yeah, I don't think my odds are any better after another gap year. and I'm worried withdrawing might show a lack of commitment. but transferring does limit flexibility. it's a really tough call.

Thanks for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Wow. Were you transferring into sophomore or junior year? Have you declared a major? How were your ECs? Where did you get your recommendations?

tbh I don't really know where my heart is. I've started an internship related to my current major which obviously I do not enjoy, but it's experience. and anything else, community service etc. is so hard to find. I did have a few ECs from high school but it's probably not gonna count after two years. And then there's the recommendation. I doubt my high school counsellor is going to like my withdrawing from university and then reapplying.

so yeah, I don't think my odds are any better after another gap year. and I'm worried withdrawing might show a lack of commitment. but transferring does limit flexibility. it's a really tough call.

Thanks for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.
No worries! I was not a transfer, applied as a freshman- though I'll probably end up enrolling in Jan/next year because it's impossible to get a Visa right now (:
I suppose my last piece of advice would be to just get in touch with the admission officers (at the colleges you are interested into) for your world zone- the ones I've spoken to have been all extremely helpful, and they are the ones who will come up with the best suggestions.
Just put your dilemma in a shortish email, and I'm sure they'll advise you on your options. There's certainly nothing to lose, and they're all in the quiet period right now, so it's the best time to get in touch (I did it last year with over 20, and they all came back to me!). Just check out their contacts on the websites and GL!
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by pet973)
No worries! I was not a transfer, applied as a freshman- though I'll probably end up enrolling in Jan/next year because it's impossible to get a Visa right now (:
I suppose my last piece of advice would be to just get in touch with the admission officers (at the colleges you are interested into) for your world zone- the ones I've spoken to have been all extremely helpful, and they are the ones who will come up with the best suggestions.
Just put your dilemma in a shortish email, and I'm sure they'll advise you on your options. There's certainly nothing to lose, and they're all in the quiet period right now, so it's the best time to get in touch (I did it last year with over 20, and they all came back to me!). Just check out their contacts on the websites and GL!
Thanks. Did you apply straight out of high school? Were you looking into LACs or universities? Which type of college did you end up going?

I'm kinda undecided between the two. I like universities but might have a better chance with LACs, but their curriculum doesn't seem very transfer-friendly.
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Thanks. Did you apply straight out of high school? Were you looking into LACs or universities? Which type of college did you end up going?

I'm kinda undecided between the two. I like universities but might have a better chance with LACs, but their curriculum doesn't seem very transfer-friendly.
I applied during my last year of school (IB, with grades slightly below yours), and exclusively to LACs and small research Unis. For 2 reasons- more chance of financial aid (I needed a ton of it) and small classes, and 10-1 or below student/faculty ratio, which I was really looking for. I’d like to major in the humanities probably, and they give you a great chance to explore stuff.
I had a decent SAT (1450ish) and some good essays that I worked quite hard on, and I was accepted into 4 (out of 7), with 3 coming through with excellent aid, and I will be attending a small research Uni in the Boston area.
Definetely do get in touch with the admissions officers who cover your area of the world, they seem to really value demonstrated interest, particularly at the smaller schools.
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KATHERINEwjw
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(Original post by pet973)
I applied during my last year of school (IB, with grades slightly below yours), and exclusively to LACs and small research Unis. For 2 reasons- more chance of financial aid (I needed a ton of it) and small classes, and 10-1 or below student/faculty ratio, which I was really looking for. I’d like to major in the humanities probably, and they give you a great chance to explore stuff.
I had a decent SAT (1450ish) and some good essays that I worked quite hard on, and I was accepted into 4 (out of 7), with 3 coming through with excellent aid, and I will be attending a small research Uni in the Boston area.
Definetely do get in touch with the admissions officers who cover your area of the world, they seem to really value demonstrated interest, particularly at the smaller schools.
Do you live in the UK? I couldn't find area specific admission contacts on their websites and most LACs just have one single admissions email address. maybe it doesn't matter where I live and did IB and now I'm going to a UK university.
I didn't do SAT, but I think that's a really good score you got. Did you have a lot of ECs? Were they helpful with the essays?
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Do you live in the UK? I couldn't find area specific admission contacts on their websites and most LACs just have one single admissions email address. maybe it doesn't matter where I live and did IB and now I'm going to a UK university.
I didn't do SAT, but I think that's a really good score you got. Did you have a lot of ECs? Were they helpful with the essays?
I'm from the UK (though I was away abroad at school when I applied) - but it's the educational system you grew up with that places you in a certain area, not so much your citizenship. For example, a British student who grew up in Spain or Singapore will be considered with other Spanish/Singapore students, not the UK Brits.
Most colleges (LACs and Unis) have pages like these:
https://www.pomona.edu/admissions/co...ssions-officer
https://admissions.tufts.edu/connect...meet-the-team/
https://www.vassar.edu/admissions/contact/
which break down staff by the area/region they are resposible for, and make it easy for you to get in touch with the right person (otherwise they'll just pass it along to a colleague themselves).

I had a few ECs but did not really use them for my essays (maybe I mentioned 1 or 2, but just in passing, and not with all schools). The essays were mostly about my views of the world, what I care about, my experiences, hopes and how I developed them. They are just supposed to show how you think, add colour/feeling to what they can see in your transcripts etc.
Also, they do not expect non-US students to have nearly as much access to ECs as Americans do. It's more just to see that you're a well-rounded person, unless you have some spectacular competitive results sportswise or academically. But very few people do.
I'd say that you should just show some passion, show them why you want to go.
Also, if you're going to apply as transfer, definetely try to enter sophomore, that will give you a lot more flexibility. GL
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pet973
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Do you live in the UK? I couldn't find area specific admission contacts on their websites and most LACs just have one single admissions email address. maybe it doesn't matter where I live and did IB and now I'm going to a UK university.
I didn't do SAT, but I think that's a really good score you got. Did you have a lot of ECs? Were they helpful with the essays?
Also, don't worry about SATs - this year most good schools have gone test optional because of Covid, so u won't need it. Just check the ones you're interested in, but over 1500 schools are now SAT optional.
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(Original post by KATHERINEwjw)
Hi. I'm thinking about applying for transfer next year. My reason is that I don't like my major and would like some flexibility in my education. I'm trying to figure out what my chances are.

Has anyone any experience with transferring? Is there a way to change major? Applying as a first-year student in the UK, would you get in as a sophomore or junior?

What confuses me is that most US schools require transfer applicants to express interest in a particular major, where I thought commitment pledge was a UK thing. I really have no plans and for me that's kind of the whole point, though I'm worried that wouldn't stand as an appealing reason for transferring.

(I don't live in the UK or the US. I did IB diploma and got 40+/45. Time or tuition spent in college isn't really a problem for me.)

I'd appreciate any help or advice. Thanks.
Have you looked into (Netherlands) Dutch University Colleges...... They are affliated with the prestige dutch unis (ranked research ones), and they are seperate affiliate institutions... they offer the US Liberal style of education in 3 year's rather four, adding one year for a master's. The issue with US education is it's very long...and moving there in the near term might prove challenging, your basically making applications for next year hoping they get the virus under control (vaccine) lol. You likely won't find any liberal arts education in the UK, uni's don't really do flexibility like that tbh, the Russell group is very much school(s).. (subject e.g. Business school) focused in their set up and approaches and barely allow maybe one or two outside modules in most degrees.

I'll link one below to get you started.

https://www.auc.nl/
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Have you looked into (Netherlands) Dutch University Colleges...... They are affliated with the prestige dutch unis (ranked research ones), and they are seperate affiliate institutions... they offer the US Liberal style of education in 3 year's rather four, adding one year for a master's. The issue with US education is it's very long...and moving there in the near term might prove challenging, your basically making applications for next year hoping they get the virus under control (vaccine) lol. You likely won't find any liberal arts education in the UK, uni's don't really do flexibility like that tbh, the Russell group is very much school(s).. (subject e.g. Business school) focused in their set up and approaches and barely allow maybe one or two outside modules in most degrees.

I'll link one below to get you started.

https://www.auc.nl/
@OP didn't mean to post anon 😂.
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