Transfer Friendly College Spotlight: Emory University

Emory University is a four-year private institution in Atlanta, GA with a total of 5,268 undergraduates. Within the larger university is Emory College of Arts and Sciences, which accounts for most of the undergrads. The college offers majors typical of a liberal arts school with degrees ranging from a BS in Computer Science to a BA in Italian Studies. After thoroughly examining Emory’s website and other sources, we have determined that Emory is transfer friendly for many reasons, which we’ll go over now.


Whereas many top schools only allow transfer admissions in the fall, you have several options on when to apply to Emory.  You can apply to enter either in the fall, spring, or summer. If flexibility in timing is what you’re looking for, put Emory on your list.

A Second Shot

Did you apply to Emory as a freshman but got rejected? If you were placed on the waiting list and offered a conditional acceptance, hang on tight and you can still get in. Under Emory’s Conditional Transfer Admission program, as long as you remain active on the waiting list, complete your freshman year somewhere else, and meet a set of requirements, you can transfer to Emory as a sophomore. What a great deal if you still have your heart set on Emory after a year!

Increase in Number of Transfer Students

Emory’s undergrad transfer acceptance rate was actually higher than the freshman acceptance rate in 2009.  That year, 39.5% of transfer applicants was accepted, while 29.7% of freshman applicants was accepted. According to this article in the Emory student newspaper, Emory received 704 transfer applications for fall 2010, up from 550 the previous year. Of those that were admitted, 170 actually chose to enroll in Emory, while school had a declared goal of bringing in 235 transfer students. Why does Emory want more transfer students? The article quotes Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Joanne Brzinski :

[The] University set a goal to increase the number of transfer students, especially through the conditional admission program, after observing an overall increase in the quality of applicants, leaving numerous good students on the wait-list.

In addition, the Dean of Admissions there, Jean Jordan, is quoted as writing the following:

A recent analysis had also shown that the academic performance of transfer students paralleled that of those joining the undergraduate population as first year students…

Basically, the university is receiving higher quality applicants across the board (and it wants to admit more of them), and transfer students do as well as students that entered as freshmen.

Need-based Financial Aid for Everyone, including Transfer Students

Emory has a strong reputation for financial aid. For one, as of February 2010, the school’s endowment was $4.3 billion. To give you some perspective, NYU’s endowment was $2.43 billion as of October 2010. Note that NYU’s undergraduate population is MUCH bigger than that of Emory: NYU has over 21,000 undergraduates in total, which means that it’s endowment has to stretch a lot further than Emory’s.

With it’s sizable endowment, Emory can offer need-based financial aid to students, including transfer students.  This aid can be in the form of a grant that you don’t need to repay, money for doing a work-study job, and low-interest loans.  Get an overview of financial aid at Emory here.  Committed to helping transfer students, Emory has a step-by-step guide on how prospective transfers can apply for financial aid.  You can find that info here.

Help for Transfer Applicants

Probably due to the school’s goal to increase their transfer student population, they have a designated transfer admission counselor. This person also happens to be the Assistant Dean of Admission.

A Warm Welcome to Transfers

Once you’re in, you’re treated to a transfer student orientation where you can meet other transfer students and get to know the school without feeling like a freshman again.

On-campus housing is available for incoming transfer students, who are treated as second-year students. (Many schools leave transfer students to find off-campus housing on their own.) Here’s housing info specifically for incoming transfer students.

Last Words

A transfer friendly college/university is often characterized by a willingness to first take you in and then take care of you once you’re in. Emory has both of those qualities. If you like what you’ve seen so far, we encourage you to spend more time learning about Emory.

Is Emory a really transfer-friendly school? Did you or anyone you know transfer there? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks!

(Photo: Nrbelex)