Common App Transfer Essay Tips For Sat

The Common Application is the free online application system most private and many public colleges use. Use it and you can save so much time. It organizes everything for you. Just read these tips and get started.

Tip 1 Account Set Up. Use an email address you check often.

  • Set up an easy user name and password. Your user name and password are okay.
  • Text yourself and save in a million places your user name and password.

Tip 2Left hand column. Learn that left hand column is the links to each core section of application.

Tip 3 My Colleges. Click on it. Add all your college choices. You will see core information about each college. Deadlines. Application. Supplemental. Payments. School Forms. School Details.

Tip 4 Collect deadlines and requirements. Each school has its own deadlines. You will see them under Future Plans. You also need to check for requirements. They differ by college.

Tip 5 Future Plans.  Complete the Future Plans for each college. The rest of the application is the same for each college. The Future Plans page will have the deadlines.

Tip 6 Overall Application. You can keep changing info until the minute you submit the application. So don’t worry. You can go back and make changes. Any requirement with a YELLOW DOT in front of it is MANDATORY to fill in. 

Tip 7 Education and Academics. Education: List your most recent college. You must find a counselor’s name and contact info to add.  You can add other colleges at the bottom of the the Education page. With Academics, most schools don’t require SAT scores for those who have 30 units or more by end of year. If your school does require them, send your scores but you don’t need to list them here. List your classes. Put winter session classes under Fall Semester. Remember to put name and units. English 101 3 units.   

Tip 8 Activities. Put in order of your most important activities and jobs. Make sure to express leadership and initiative in the one line. If you have more than the allotted number of activities, you can combine some common activities or put extras under additional information.

Tip 9 Writing. Start working on essays now. Short: You have 1000 characters for short paragraph about activity or job. Long: You upload the long essay but try to keep it to one page. Remember, this is a great way for you to re-use your UC 1 essay.

Tip 10 Supplements. Click on this tab on left. You will see information about supplements for each college on your list. Start a master list of the supplemental short and long essays. Color code overlapping prompts.

Tip 11 School Forms. These are the forms for your counselor and professors. Transfer students must print these forms out. Each school has different requirements so check to see which forms they want you to use. Contact professors now and make them stamped envelopes so they can send recommendations. Some colleges want your high school counselor to fill out forms as well. Check. Also make sure to send transcripts 1) after fall grades come out and 2) again after winter session grades come out.

Tip 12Submission. Make sure you submit 1. Common Application. 2. Payment 3. Supplement. The order may differ by school but make sure you submit all three.

Transfer applicants must write powerful essays to get into the colleges of their choice. They should NOT reuse high school college applications essays because the prompts differ and colleges are looking for different qualities.

While colleges still want diverse students, they also want transfer students who have found and explored academic passions, been active on and off campus, and met transfer admissions requirements. Therefore, long transfer essays are much less creative than freshman essays, yet even more powerful tools for admission to desired colleges.

Here is the Common Application transfer prompt:


Please provide a statement (appr. 250-500 words) that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.Note: The Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Members that wish to review custom essay responses will request them on their Supplement form.

So as you work on your transfer essays, really focus on the story of your evolution and exploration of your reasons for wanting to transfer. Community college students can write about second chances and the ways community college and various experiences helped them find their academic and career passions. Four year college students can talk about experiences that led to wanting to transfer but please, never ever blame your original college. You can talk about outgrowing a major or wanting a different setting, but never sound bitter.

Most importantly, you should discuss experiences from your college years, including the summer after senior year of high school and between first and second year of community college.

We will be posting other tips for transfers in the following weeks.

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