Question: I am a high school senior, and Yale has always been my dream school. I have a high B average which I know isn't going to get me in, and my extracurricular activities are good but not amazing. I do attend a really prestigious prep school and could probably have a 4.0 if I'd gone to my local public high school, but I also know there are people in my class who have higher grades than I do who will be applying to Yale, so I'm not optimistic about my chances. So here's my question: If I attend another college and can get straight A's there, do I have a decent chance of being accepted to Yale as a transfer after my freshman year or is it better to try to get straight A's for two years and then apply to transfer?
I'll start with the bad news (which is pretty bad). Last year, Yale accepted about 2% of its transfer applicants ... a number that's markedly smaller than the puny 6% acceptance rate for freshmen. Candidates who are admitted as transfers to Yale commonly come from atypical situations. They are often non-traditional students (i.e., older) or hail from disadvantaged, underrepresented-minority backgrounds. In other words, they are students who probably wouldn't have applied to Yale at all straight from high school.