My Transfer Experience
by Greg Smith
Reach Out To HSAC ASAP
Initially, I underestimated the stress and difficulty of the transfer process, but I experienced a rude awakening when I attended a transfer workshop hosted by the Honors Program last summer. I was unaware how early the deadlines were for fall transfer students, and how much time and effort went into each application. I had never heard of the Common Application before either, thus attending the transfer workshop really opened my eyes to what steps I needed to take. I immediately began to look at schools using the U.S. News and Rankings list on the web afterwards. This online tool is a good source of information, as well as other rankings lists to begin researching potential schools. I caution against using rankings list as the primary factor in your decision making and emphasize that these resources are a means for exploring what is out there.
Know What Kind of School You Want
It became very difficult to narrow down my list of schools because I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. Thus, I recommend that each student begins thinking about what kind of experience and what kind of education s/he would like have, and then find a match for his/her preferences. I spent several months looking through lists of schools when finally it dawned on me that private liberal arts colleges were best suited for my interests. Had this understanding happened earlier my research would have greatly improved. This enlightenment manifested soon after attending a seminar at LaGuardia where an admissions office representative from Sarah Lawrence College visited and spoke about the school. I was immediately intrigued and performed additional research on the college. Several times during the fall semester the Honors Program will invite 4-year schools to come to LaGuardia for transfer seminars. These seminars are extremely valuable and I recommend everyone who is planning on transferring to attend.
Begin Your Personal Statement Now
Halfway through the fall semester, I began working on my personal statement. This 500-word essay was extremely time consuming and required painstaking effort. The hardest part for me was the beginning, but by writing a vivid anecdote right off the bat helped tremendously. Fortunately, professors and tutors were willing to help and provide feedback. Although, I had an early start, I did not finish the essay until the day it was due. Perhaps indecision and limited writing time accounted for this mishap, but one should approach the personal statement and other supplemental essays with diligence and urgency. Once uploaded onto commonapp.org and submitted, it may not be edited afterward. This came as a surprise to me as I tried to revise the essay before future deadlines but was unable to do so.