Do Top Grad Schools Admit Applicants from Less Selective Colleges?

Question: I am a freshman at a public university that is not very selective. I never got spectacular grades in high school and was the athlete who was "too cool" to study. I ended up with a 3.5 GPA and was admitted here with a full-tuition scholarship for four years. Now that I'm in college, I've put great effort into my studies and have a perfect 4.0 GPA. I like biology, and I think I want to go on to get my Masters. My concern is that, by attending a middle-of-the-road state university, I will not be accepted by a good grad school. Should I transfer to a better college?

Congratulations on your outstanding college record so far. You can certainly apply to transfer to a more selective college, if you so choose. Your best bet, however, would be to wait until next year to start the application process, with the aim of transferring as a junior. That way you would have three semesters of college work under your belt before application deadlines which would maximize your chances of admission to a highly competitive school. This would also enable you to keep costs to a minimum by staying where you are for as long as possible.

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