Overheard in Transfer Committee: It’s Your Turn Transfers

Admit It!  Transfers, you’ve been clamoring for the spring 2012 installment of Overheard in Transfer Committee.  Signed, sealed, delivered (or more accurately typed, uploaded, published).  Transfer committee for fall 2012 applicants started yesterday so we’re off and rolling.

Overheard in transfer committee today: “No idea why W&M.”

The Transfer Common Application’s personal statement asks each student to explain why they wish to transfer.  It provides an opportunity for you to explain why the school you currently attend is not the best fit and what kinds of qualities you’re looking for in your future college/university.  While we would love to think W&M is your one and only true college love, we know that you are likely playing the field and submitting your application to multiple schools.  With that being the case, you’re not able to specifically identify in the Transfer Common Application what it is about W&M that compels you to apply.

But we have a remedy for that; the additional optional essay found on the W&M Supplement to the Transfer Common Application.  That essay asks you to address why you wish to transfer to W&M specifically.  This helps both you and the Committee to consider whether or not W&M is a good match for you.  After all, it does neither you nor us any good to admit you if you’re only bound to transfer again (such as when a student says they want W&M for a program we do not have – we know that student hasn’t done their research and that admitting them would not be in their or our best interest).  So we sincerely appreciate that you take the time to deliberate about and articulate why W&M is the right next step for you and that you allow us to do the same.

When that supplement essay is blank it doesn’t mean your transfer application is dead on arrival but it’s a piece of the puzzle we would like to evaluate but can’t.  So when we stumbled upon an application that didn’t address the supplemental essay we took note hence the “no idea why W&M” (meaning the person who reviewed the application had no idea why the applicant wanted to finish their degree at W&M).  It made us question how serious the applicant was and how thoughtfully they had entered into the transfer process.  Again, this is one part of many and the presence or absence of this essay alone never makes or breaks an application, but every little bit helps.

Until next time transfers.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

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