Great job! You guys have hands-down the best resource out there for transfer students.
The book was very helpful for giving me a overall plan for getting all my applications in a timely manner. Since I was applying as a transfer candidate while still on active duty in the military it was really beneficial to have a checklist for getting things done in the most efficient way possible.
Most of all it helped inspire my transfer essay through the examples of other students who were able to present their unique life experiences in a meaningful way.
I just wanted to personally say thank you for all your help. Good job guys.
John, a veteran who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Columbia University
Reader Letters and Blogposts
A favorite letter from a student who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Dartmouth
I’m a rising second-year undergraduate. I’d purchased The Transfer Book last year and wanted to share my transfer experience with you below!
I’m a first-generation Indian immigrant to the United States: my family and I came to this country around 2005 and we’d settled in the Bay Area in 2013. As the oldest child, I’d navigated the public school system without my hand held. I didn’t know much about elite-college admissions in the US, and my parents couldn’t help either because India’s educational system was very different from the United States’. As such, I’d bumbled around in high-school without much aim and ended with a 3.7 GPA.
So, I’d enrolled at (public university) as an economics major. I’d intended on transferring because I wanted a change of environment and I wanted to honor the sacrifices my parents made to give me a better upbringing. I’d purchased both your books last summer, which were two of exceptionally few resources for transfers from four-year institutions. And I devoured every single page. I took notes on everything, from determining whether I should even transfer to how to procure the best letters of recommendation.
Armed with new knowledge, I entered (public university) and excelled in my classes, developed relationships with my professors, started a new on-campus organization, and wrote my transfer essays. I was very deliberate in my actions and ultimately achieved a 4.0 by the end of my first year (although my transfer schools only saw the 4.0 from my fall and winter quarters).
I am delighted to say that, against all odds (including a weak high school GPA and attempting to transfer after just the first year), I am transferring to Dartmouth College next year! I will be majoring in Quantitative Social Sciences, a major that was not available at (public university). I am thrilled to be a part of this community and I know my parents are proud of me (and very thankful to the both of you!).
The Transfer Book was a critical part of my transfer applications and I owe my Dartmouth admission to you guys. I particularly appreciated your book recommendations, such as Cal Newport’s How to Become a Straight-A Student (I’m quite excited to attend Newport’s alma mater!) and E.B. White’s Elements of Style. Your book remains the most comprehensive resource I have seen anywhere in regards to transfer admissions and I am very thankful for your combined efforts.
Thanks again, truly.
Go Big Green!
Another favorite letter
…please allow me to tell you how great great great The Transfer Book effort is.
I was thrilled to discover it online, I have enjoyed reading and re-reading it, and I have certainly profited from it…
Our nephew, who is a senior at (top national university), confirmed your comments on their high transfer rate… (As hard as he worked and as qualified as he was to get into to [top national university], I would never have broached this with him.)
Frankly, I wouldn’t have thought that our son (a freshman at [small local state school]… a true late bloomer who is academically [sic] blowing it out of the park this year–FINALLY!!!) would be remotely eligible to transfer there.
But, because of The Transfer Book, he will be applying there.
He went to (public high school), and was consistently in the bottom quarter of his class. Lots of extracurriculars, loved by everyone, integrity and honor, great all-round kid, captain of the tennis team, etc. Just not “there” in the maturity category… though blooming did begin late Junior year. The classic upward trajectory.
John’s SATS were 1300, so we knew that though not yet ignited, he was capable of more. Fortunately, the scores were high enough for him to apply and be accepted into to (small local state school’s) honors program. With 15 hours behind him at (small local state school), his GPA is a 4.3.
He intends to double major: history, political science, and he wants Rosetta Stone for Christmas to learn Arabic… because he thinks that it will be fun to learn it! Wow, who is this kid????
Because John’s high school grades were weak (2.6 freshman year, 3.2 Senior year) and the college counselor never spent much time with us, I am especially grateful for your “partnership” and edification.
Best to you both!,
I have printed and bound The Transfer Book and consult it regularly as a reference book.
I have told A LOT of parents (and freshman students) about your book.
I do hope that you have enormous success. The Transfer Book contains valuable information and is an exceptional service to any student considering transferring. And it is highly illuminating for a parent who knows next to nothing about what it takes to be a good transfer candidate.
And the follow up
I am writing you before I even write my brothers!
John just got in UNC today…
we absolutely believe that you guided us.
A review from a reader on her blog (you can also read it on her site)
Every year, organizations such as The Princeton Review and College Board publish hundreds of books and articles for freshman college applicants, while students interested in transferring are given at most a page or two. In 2010, after 5 years of research, Chris Goodmacher and Lan Ngo published The Transfer Book. Found in .pdf form on the website thetransferbook.com, the book contains almost 400 pages that break the entire transferring process down step-by-step, including:
* a walk-through of every component of The Common Application
* a process to ensure that as many credits as possible transfer over
* a simple, polite way to tell professors what to mention in their letters of recommendation
* interviews with top transfer students and admissions officers
* and 331 pages of full-length interviews with transfer students of all kinds (community college, four-year, international, students that took time off, etc.)
The entire book costs less than the cost of a single application fee. In addition to the .pdf book, the website contains a blog with various statistics and dozens of articles that address topics such as: Are There “Transfer Friendly” Colleges Out There?, When to Dump Your College: Transfer Mid-Year or Stick It Out? , and The College Transfer Admissions Essay: Three Keys. Unlike the College Confidential transfer student’s forum and other blogs and books on transferring, The Transfer Book provides extremely detailed information and countless real-life examples in its two books and does so in a streamlined, easy to read format. On the site, Chris and Lan brag that “We’ve put the best college transfer guide together possible.” Speaking as a transfer student and someone who has referenced those other sources, I can attest to the helpfulness of this book and website. I find it a shame that it wasn’t published only a few months earlier to help me when I was going through the entire process.
The Transfer Book is (also) instrumental in ensuring that students know exactly what to say to admissions offices and what to look for on school tours.
—Hannah Haas, a successful transfer student now at Furman University (the review is also on her blog)
Another review from a reader on her blog (previously on her site, but since removed)
As I started my transfer application process, I came across an extremely helpful site called The Transfer Book. Their website provides first-hand testimonies, essays, and advice for transfer applicants… As I embarked on this crazy yet perfect journey as I now see it, I kept finding myself to be reading up on their book. The book not only details the transfer process but provides so many personal accounts of students who transferred. At first, I felt extremely alone but after reading this, as cheesy as it sounds, I feel that I can do it. I was scared at first because this isn’t traditional… Yet I found myself more and more unhappy with the education and experience I was getting… So when it came time to transfer, I hid it for as long as I could before mustering the courage to ask my dad, can I transfer?The answer is, of course, yes. I am applying and I am more than happy to pay the money and go through the process (and stress) that the college application brought me 2 years ago as a high school senior. The only difference this time around? I know what I want. I know what I am looking for. And I know how to approach the writing.
One thing, though, strikes me as I continue on with the process. How can I make myself stand out in the crowd? What can I do? What can I do to make my application the strongest it can be?
I continue to doubt myself everyday. I wonder if I am making the right decisions. However, when it comes to writing my essays and as I work my way through this book, I am starting to believe in something… This is a decision for me and me only. I am doing it because I know what I lack in my current education and I know what I am looking for. I want to learn. I want to be pushed to my limits and strive for something I never imagined I could reach.
—Gia, a successful transfer student now at Northwestern (excerpted from her blog with permission)
More, Shorter Reviews
I would like to thank you guys for your numerous insightful tips on the transfer process. Last spring, I was fortunate enough to be one of the 1.9% of students accepted to transfer to Stanford University. I used the transfer book during my transfer preparation, and it helped me in several ways: at times helped me realize a critical task that I needed to undertake in order to transfer, and at other times, the case studies and your accounts simply validated actions that I was going to undertake myself. All in all, your work is very much appreciated.
A student who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Stanford
Initially, the main reason I bought this book was because of the essays. I could find literally thousands of admission essay books but none of them (at least not that I know of) have essays specifically written by transfer students. This book had so many helpful tips and strategies and sample essays that it helped me tremendously in the process of writing my own essays. Besides the wonderful essay component, I was very surprised that the other part of this book was very good. It helped me a lot in my school selection process as well as getting on the right track to transfer.The interviews were very helpful and interesting also. After years of reading College Confidential and VietAbroader, I thought I knew it all but I did not!
Nghiem, who used The Transfer Book to transfer from a community college to Cornell
I can say that I truly believe if it weren’t for the Transfer Book, I would not have been able to get through the process myself nor would I have been able to write one of the best essays I have ever written. I read every single page of the Transfer Book (some sections multiple times!) and learned so much. Thank you so much for everything!
Gia, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Northwestern
I bought The Transfer Book and must confess that its really amazing! It is gradually keeping my hopes up that transferring from an HBCU to an Ivy is a POSSIBILITY! Thank you!
Shadrack, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to UPenn
The books helped me to figure out how the transfer process will be and make plans ahead. The essays are of great help in giving me an idea of how to write those PS and supplement essays.
Yaqing, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to UPenn
There was nothing else available like it. Without it, we (my parents and I) would not have had the information we needed to navigate the process and make the transfer happen. Thank you so much for sharing all your transfer information. Thank you for publishing it!
Thomas, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to the University of North Carolina Asheville
My son was in an honors program at the State University but really wanted to go to a private research university but didn’t know how to go about transferring to another school. So, while researching online, came across your book and ordered it. We found it to be a wealth of knowledge and helped him to get started on his transfer applications. The list of things to do came in handy as did the list of schools with the best transfer rates. He applied to both Vanderbilt and Tulane for Physics/Engineering and has been accepted at Tulane and is currently on the waitlist at Vanderbilt. Thanks for sharing your knowledge about this process!
The parent of a student that used The Transfer Book to transfer to Tulane
As a transfer admission counselor, the book helped me identify legitimate reasons for why students want to transfer. At that point, I know how to counsel/advise them on the best way to achieve their goals.
Allyson, a transfer counselor at Furman University
What I found really helpful is the interview parts of the book. It contains a personal examples of other applicants strengths and weakness. Because of this interview part of the book, I was able to see if there is any similarities between other applicants and me, how my chances are, and what I can improve based on the success stories of others. Overall, it increased my confidence in myself.
Victor, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Cornell
The sample essay by the student who transferred to Penn was particularly helpful. The reasons why we transfer also helped me reevaluate my desire to transfer to a new school and helped me straighten out my mind. It was a very reflective process. The interviews with students helped me compare my reasons to theirs, and think about how Wellesley was or was not a fit for me.
Abigail, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Columbia
The Transfer Book contains information that students need to know. You have done a great job with it! The in depth information regarding improving GPA will be very helpful to students, as will the detailed info on essays… In the years I have spent advising college transfer students, I have seen some changes, but you are right, there is NOTHING out there specifically to help them.
Dr. Michelle Aheron, Director, Student Services, Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC
I used the essays in the book as a jump start for mine and they were very helpful.
Hannah, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Columbia
The Transfer Book is so essential for anyone considering transferring to a different school. No matter what your situation is, this book can provide insights you will find incredibly useful. Making a switch in the midst of your college career is no easy decision. The Transfer Book gives you real experiences first hand, and will guide you as you begin your transition to a different college.
Tanya Sperling, transferred from John Tyler Community College to William and Mary
The Transfer Book is far better than all the books on admissions out there in the bookstore. I would like to thank you and Chris for writing such an amazing book. It is a must-read for all those who want to transfer into the school of their dreams.
Duc, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to the University of Miami
I scoured the internet for the best information on how to transfer to my top choice schools. The Transfer Book is by far the best resource out there on transferring. The real-life sample essays alone are worth it!
Jennifer, transferred from Pasadena City College to UC Berkeley
The lack of standard guidelines for transfer applications creates a major barrier for students who are looking for an intellectual or social change of pace. This book, which was written by transfer students for transfer students, provides the tools and information needed in order to have the college success you’ve always dreamed of.
Eric, transferred from Santa Monica College to Cornell University
The books gave me a really good idea for what to do and expect as a transfer applicant.
Andrew, who used The Transfer Book to transfer to Northwestern
This is exactly the resource that transfer students need. Students looking to transfer should learn from others who have gone through the process themselves. I’m glad that someone finally put this together!
Christina, transferred from College of DuPage to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign