Transfer Program at Harvard College Resumes

If you look at our table of transfer acceptance rates, you’ll see that Harvard’s rate says “0.0%.” That’s because the transfer program ceased to even exist, but now Harvard is accepting transfer applicants again.

An article in the Harvard Gazette shares the news. Here are the highlights for prospective transfer applicants:

Harvard’s generous financial aid policies will apply to transfer students.

Yes, it’s nice to go to a “wealthy” school. Harvard, with an endowment of over $25 billion (as of 2009), can afford to share the love. Watch out for other schools that are less generous to transfer students than freshmen.

What does it take to be a competitive Harvard transfer applicant?

“Harvard seeks students with clearly developing academic interests that can be well served by Harvard,” said Marlene Vergara Rotner, director of transfer admissions.  “Students who apply should be enrolled in a challenging liberal arts curriculum that includes mathematics, science, and a foreign language.”

“Transfer admission closely mirrors that of freshman admissions, insofar as it looks beyond good grades and test scores and considers the qualities of creativity, intellectual curiosity, and independent thinking,” Rotner said.  “Other factors weighed in the evaluation of transfer candidates include significant nonacademic talents and personal qualities such as a capacity for leadership, energy, character, motivation, and a sense of responsibility.”

Academics are important, but an immaculate transcript alone just doesn’t cut it for Harvard and the other ivy plus schools. In contrast, many state universities that have transfer articulation agreements with community colleges usually just look at grades and GPA. In many cases, when applying to a four-year school under a transfer articulation agreement, a transfer essay is not even needed.

For most transfer applicants, Harvard is definitely a “reach” school. However, if you think you have what it takes, it’s worth a shot. We wish you all the best with your transfer process!

(Photo: David Paul Ohmer)