Irrespective of the type of school you or your child is in, find resources on test-taking and study habits, insight into admissions processes, plus guidance for dealing with roommates, managing workloads, and finding new extracurricular activities. Earn more knowledge here as you read on Common App Transfer Essay Examples
hat About the Common App Transfer Essay?

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Transferring to a different university can be a stressful process. Your Common App Transfer Essay, which is usually 500-words, is one of the most important features of your transfer application. The essay is your chance to show an admissions officer their school is the right fit for you.
Transfer essays are different than the original application essay you wrote to be accepted in the first place; transfer essays are more focused on:

How you have grown from your time at your current university and
Your specific goals for your future at your new university.
Common App Transfer Essay: Key Steps to Master
Do you know the three key steps to mastering the transfer essay? Let’s check it out in this Common App Transfer Essay Examples…

Step One: Establish why you want to transfer.
Tell admissions why you want to transfer, and do so without speaking negatively about your current institution. Are you looking for a bigger school? Do you want to attend a university in a tech-centric city? Did you just discover your passion for a major that your current institution doesn’t offer?

Transferring is a big decision, so it’s important to show that your intentions are clear. Whatever the reason, refrain from speaking ill of your current school. You want to come off as optimistic and forward-thinking to admissions.

Step Two: Demonstrate your interest.
Why are you applying to this school in particular? You’ve been through the admissions cycle before and you are wiser than you were a year or two ago. Admissions officers will expect that you’ve done your research and are making a calculated, thoughtful decision to transfer.

Your interest in transferring to one school should be directly related to your reason for leaving your current school: What gaps or unmet needs will your prospective institution address? Do you want to transfer for the school’s humongous alumni network, award-winning journalism program, or non-profit affiliations?

Have you always dreamed of living in the city in which the school is located? Make sure admissions knows that you aren’t applying because “it’s gotta be better than my current school” but because this school is where you feel you truly belong.

Illustrate your drive and maybe you’ll be hitting the ground running come the fall. (Hint: the best way to get the information you need is by setting aside a chunk of time to pore over the school website. Sorry, there’s no shortcut, even the second time around.)

Step Three: Establish the highlights of your collegiate career so far.
You have an edge that most freshmen don’t: You’ve already been to college, so you know a bit more about the experience as well as your academic and career goals.

Being able to say that you know you will succeed at your school of choice because you flourish in small classrooms, lead in group projects, excel in the math and sciences, or whatever your reasoning may be is crucial. Talk about what you have enjoyed about college thus far (again, be positive!) and how you hope to build on your experience at your (hopefully) new school!
nce you complete these three steps, you will have all the ingredients for a fantastic transfer essay! But before you hit submit, a final word of warning: some schools require transfer applicants to submit supplemental essays (remember those?).

Do yourself a favor and compile a list of these in advance to ensure that every essay you write reveals something new and special to admissions. But first, pat yourself on the back. By reading this post, you’ve already given yourself a leg up (at least I think so). Keep reading…

As we proceed, I will analyze an essay example excerpted from College Admission Essays for Dummies by Geraldine Woods to complement the example for the University of Pennsylvania that we’ve previously critiqued.

The essay I’ll analyze here leaves a lot of room for improvement, though it has many positive aspects. I’ll tell you what you can do to write a much better essay and give you advice on how to approach writing a winning piece.

The essay here includes reasons for transferring to a specific four-year school, Northern State. Many colleges and universities now use the Common Application for transfer applications, requiring transfer applicants to write a Common Application essay describing the reasons for transferring and also write several school-specific supplement essays.


The prompt for this essay wasn’t included, but it was probably for a school-specific essay. I’ll critique the essay as is and explain parts that might fit into the Common Application essay or a school-specific essay. I’ll analyze the essay one paragraph at a time.