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The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week Forbes gives an in-depth look at transfer rates for Ivy League universities compared to regular admissions and the PIE News looks at non-EU fees at UK universities. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!
Forbes looked at the rate of acceptance of transfer students at Ivy League universities compared to regular admissions and came back with some interesting results. While regular acceptance rates at most Ivy Leagues is less than 10%, transfer acceptance is lower than 5%! At five of the Ivies, the rate of accepting transfer students seeking admission was lower - sometimes much lower - than the acceptance rate for first-time freshmen applicants. At the others, transfer acceptance rates were higher than regular admissions.
Forbes used the most recent (2021-22) Common Data Set, posted on the website of each school to check transfer admissions rates. The Common Data Set is a standard form completed by institutions to report on a wide range of indicators such as applications, admissions, transfers, enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation. The data include applications and acceptances for first-time, first-year undergraduates as well as for transfer students for Fall, 2021 admissions.
The lowest acceptance rates of transfer students were at Harvard University and Yale University, both which accepted only .8% of applicants. Harvard’s acceptance rate of freshmen applicants was 4% in Fall 2021, and Yales’ was 5.3%. Princeton University accepted 4.4% of its freshmen applicants, versus 1.3% of transfer students seeking admission. Brown University accepted 5.5% of 46,568 first-time, first-year applicants, a bit higher than the 4.3% of 2,746 transfer applicants. At the University of Pennsylvania, 5.9% of freshmen applicants were accepted for admission, compared to 4.6% of transfer applicants.
The three exceptions to this pattern were Dartmouth, Cornell and Columbia. Dartmouth College accepted 6.2% of freshmen applicants, and 9.9% of transfer applicants. At Cornell University, 8.7% of 67,300 freshmen applicants were accepted, significantly less than the 15.7% acceptance rate for its 5,908 transfer applicants. Columbia University’s Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, to which most undergraduates apply, 3.9% of freshmen applicants were accepted, compared to 14.7% of transfer applicants.
Besides the Ivies, plenty of colleges - both public and private - accept a significantly higher percentage of transfer applicants than first-timers. The University of Virginia is an example; so are Vanderbilt University, Emory University, and the University of Florida.
As more institutions work towards increasing access to higher education for underprivileged students, transfer applicants might become a key factor in adding resources for students coming from community colleges or less wealthy institutions.
“Community college transfer students bring a really important perspective to campus,” according to Tania LaViolet, PhD, director of the College Excellence Program (CEP) at the Aspen Institute. “Not only are they more racially and socioeconomically diverse, but they also have more diverse backgrounds in terms of age and life experience.”