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Articles / Applying to College / Mid-Year Bucknell Transfer for Miami Frosh?

Nov. 3, 2011

Mid-Year Bucknell Transfer for Miami Frosh?

My daughter is currently a freshman at University of Miami. Her first choice was Bucknell University, where she was waitlisted. However, she never got off the wait list. She would like to reapply to Bucknell for Spring semester, but unfortunately she missed the November 1, 2011 deadline. Do you think the admissions office would still consider her for spring semester if she was to submit her application late, or would they frown upon it? Would it affect her chances of getting accepted for fall, 2012? Please let me know how to handle this. My daughter has a 4.0 gpa at University of Miami. She is extremely miserable. She loved Bucknell, and wants to be there. Can you please give me that proper advice.

Bucknell--like many highly selective colleges--discourages freshman transfers and usually only accepts them when there are extenuating circumstances. In fact, right on Bucknell's Web site, you will see:


Except for unique cases, freshmen should not apply for mid-year admission; instead, these students should plan to complete their freshman years and seek sophomore admission to Bucknell.

So, given these instructions AND the fact that your daughter missed the transfer deadline, I think she should stick it out in Miami until the school year ends. If she continues to do well there academically, she should have a good shot at Bucknell for next fall. She would also be wise to use the months ahead to make a mark outside the classroom … i.e., she could pursue an extracurricular interest, a hobby, an internship, a research project, etc. that will add an extra dimension to her transfer application. She should also try to make the best of her current situation, even if it’s less than ideal. It’s still very early in the school year, and often it takes freshmen five or six months to adjust, not just two or three.

BUT … on the other hand, IF your daughter will NOT require financial aid to attend Bucknell, it won’t hurt her to go for broke. She should pick up the phone TODAY and call the transfer coordinator in the Bucknell admission office. She should explain succinctly that she realizes Bucknell does not normally take first-year transfers, which is why she has not officially applied. However, she can point out that she was waitlisted last spring, that Bucknell continues to be her first-choice college, and that she would be delighted to show up on short notice for the second semester and without requiring financial aid, should there be unanticipated attrition.

Her odds of getting the answer she wants are slim, but it won’t penalize her to ask, and at least she’ll put herself on the transfer counselor’s radar screen. But, if she does need financial aid, I recommend that she just sits tight for now. She can aim for the fall transfer date while she enjoys the Florida sunshine all winter.

(posted 11/3/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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