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Putting Together Competitive Applications

So you have put together your list of colleges to apply for transfer—now what? It is time to put together a competitive application. The first step is to determine application requirements for each school on your list. As a transfer student, please be sure that you are looking at the requirements for transfer and not first year admission, as they may be different. For instance, schools often have a later application deadline for transfer students. Do not let application fees stop you from applying—look into fee waivers that many schools will provide for applicants with financial need.

Two important parts of college applications are the letters of recommendation and the essays.

When identifying recommenders, keep in mind: 

  1. It’s best to request recommendations from professors or other educators with whom you have had recent contact.
  2. A professor you have interacted with both in and out of class, such as through a student organization or a research project, is a great choice.
  3. Know your recommender well enough so that he/she can go beyond a generic letter and give a good illustration of your character for the admissions reviewers.
  4. Talk to the recommender to be sure he/she has all the information needed to write the letter. Provide a resume to your recommender.
  5. Give each recommender enough time to complete and submit the recommendation. Aim for at least two weeks before the deadline, if not more.

Take advantage of the writing center at your community college to assist you with your essays. Also seek out the help of a professor or adviser for proofreading. Write a strong personal statement, take time to plan your essays, and do not forget to proofread.