Transfer Essay A: Why are you transferring?

Guest-submitted memory mural at the Rainbow Lodge, Hong Kong.

Guest-submitted memory mural at the Rainbow Lodge, Hong Kong.

You've got a lot of experiences and memories. Tell your reviewer where you came from and perhaps why your current university doesn't meet your expectations and needs.

Essay A needs to address a few key questions: Where did you come from? Where are you now? Where do you want to go and what do you want to study?

Understanding why you are seeking a transfer helps communicate your story to prospective universities. Answering this question requires a few steps.

What reasons have you identified that make your current situation less than ideal? Is it the cost of attendance, lack of access to needed coursework, have you outgrown your environment, or are there things going on at home? What were your expectations before enrolling and how did those differ once you arrived? 

Does your decision to transfer go back further than the past few years? Consider writing about your experiences growing up at home or in high school that help tell the story of where you currently are. 

It may be straightforward - you have attended community college for a year and maybe completed your associate's degree.

If you attended a community college immediately after high school, what were the circumstances surrounding that decision? Did you want to stay closer to home or save money? Did you not feel quite ready to jump feet first into a four-year degree? Was there a particular program or set of courses offered at your college that appealed to you?

I have worked with clients seeking transfer for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a student chose their current university overwhelmingly on the strength of their curriculum and academic program. After arriving, they find they enjoy little else - the city, campus life, or the student body.

Early in my days working for UT, I worked with a student who sought transfer out of a prestigious public university. It ranked even higher than UT. I didn’t understand why she wanted to leave until she explained the major she came to love, journalism, wasn’t offered at her current school. Knowing why you want to leave helps answer where you want to go.

You must clearly identify the reasons you are transferring and address this question separately from why UT is where you want to go.

Interested in writing a compelling Essay A? Get started today by completing this questionnaire.

Kevin MartinTransfer, Essays