Question: I got rejected from the schools I really wanted to go to. Is it true that it's easier to get into a school by transferring? I'm looking at schools like Harvard, Columbia, & Barnard.
Harvard and Columbia are almost impossible for transfers. These schools admit very few and tend to favor applicants with non-traditional backgrounds (e.g.., older students, disadvantaged candidates who first attended community colleges, etc.). Students who were just denied this spring as high school students have very little chance. The forecast is a bit better at Barnard but, even so, you will have to do extremely well in college--not just in the classroom but by distinguishing yourself in other ways, too (e.g., campus leadership, research assistantship, internship). This can be tricky for first-year students who are just starting their college careers and haven't yet had time to make a mark. Also, because sophomore transfers are admitted before their freshman year is even over, admission officials will only have one semester of grades to evaluate, which means that it's critical to get off to a running start.