Transferring from a Community College to an Ivy League University

by A Guest Author

Ivy League TransferImagine walking through the courtyard of a gothic-style campus that resembles something of a European castle more so than any other building you’ve seen here in the States. Imagine waking up every morning, breathing in that crisp, East Coast air and walking through halls of history, through corridors traversed by some of the most famous and influential names to grace our country over the past 200 years. Imagine sitting down in lecture halls and listening to some of the most prestigious and well-respected minds of today. For many, the dream of being a Bear, a Lion, a Crimson, a Tiger, a Quaker, a Bulldog, a Big Red, or a Big Green is one that has been present for years. For others, the desire to attend an Ivy League school is one that’s recently emerged.

Regardless, transfer to Ivy League from a community college is entirely possible, so let no one convince you otherwise.

While it may sound cliché, a dedicated, motivated, hardworking, and goal-oriented community college transfer student can still acquire admittance to the world’s most prestigious universities. That holds true even for those with little money. In fact, contrary to common stereotypes, Ivy League schools provide ample opportunity for students to receive financial aid.

Even if you were an "Average Joe" in high school, you can still get into Ivy League universities from community college.

Take Harvard University, for example: the near 400-year-old institution that has educated several presidents, including current Commander-in-Chief Barrack Obama, supplies around 70 percent of its students with some form of financial aid. While these types of colleges are certainly expensive, the amount of financial aid that’s readily available helps average Americans who intend to fund their education with student loans.

But enough about the details to consider “after” obtaining admittance — how does one transfer to an Ivy League?

The Road Less Travelled

Because you are interested in transferring into an Ivy League instead of “starting” at one straight out of high school, your chances of admittance are greatly increased. When a student applies for an Ivy League in their senior year of high school, they’re competing with tens of thousands of other applicants. Each one of the serious applicants have GPAs of 4.0… at a bare minimum. Most have taken advanced placement (AP) courses which have allowed them secured a GPA above the pristine 4.0 level.

But when you transfer from a state school or while attending community college, the competition pool is greatly reduced. While GPA, SAT scores, and a diversified list of projects and interests are still important, the expectations are much lower (and by “much,” I mean that in an extremely relative manner) than they are for fresh-out-of-high-school applications.

Here are some pointers when considering transferring from a community college to an Ivy League:

  • Aim for a college GPA of 3.8 or higher: It sounds difficult, I know, but if attending an Ivy League is a dream of yours, you must be prepared to work hard for that dream. To put this score in perspective, 75 percent of all freshmen admitted to Princeton had a GPA of 3.75 or greater. But, for those of you with a lower GPA, all hope is not lost. There were 15 percent who were accepted with a GPA of less than 3.75. Even 1 percent with a GPA of 3.00 to 3.24.*

 Click here to learn how to become a top student at community college >

  • Retake the SATs if you did poorly on them: Contrary to popular belief, you can retake the SATs after high school. While Ivy Leagues are likely to look at your past scores in addition to any retakes, a high SAT score is definitely expected of transfer students.  To give a glimpse at what sort of scores are expected, more than 70 percent of all admitted freshmen has between 700 and 800 on all three parts of their SAT scores.*

Click here to learn how to raise your SAT scores and transfer > 

  • Custom Tailor those applications: Do not—I repeat—do not use a universal template to apply to multiple colleges when trying to get accepted as an Ivy League transfer. Custom tailor each application to each specific school you are applying to. Sure, it will take a lot of time. But the personal touch added to each application will show reviewers that their institution is important to you. So important, in fact, that you took the time to research and personally address them. As a result, your passionate application might win the favor of somebody reviewing your other qualifications with hesitancy.

Click here to craft an amazing transfer application >

  • Apply to multiple Ivy League colleges: As the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You know why? Because if that basket falls, all of your eggs are gone. Similarly, if you apply to just one college and get rejected, your dreams of transferring might be gone (or at least postponed). Ivy League schools are very similar in their prestige, curriculum, history, and rigor. Apply to them all in order to increase your chances of getting accepted somewhere.

*Statistics gathered from

About The Author

After two years of writing for a widely-published real estate journal, Alex Gomory is now serving as a writer and editor for a website dedicated to providing the public with informative articles on the loan and lending industry. Since graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, he has taken an interest in writing, web design, and SEO theory.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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