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Transfer advice?


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Hi everyone,

I would love some advice.

I recently began a 3-year MFA grad program and I am considering transferring. It's a highly ranked program, but it's in a transition period and I have been very unhappy with the program, the professors, and the fellow students. And yes, I understand that the first year is often hard to adjust to, but nevertheless I am considering applying to one particular school for several personal and professional reasons. It's to the point that I'd rather have a potential option to transfer, rather than feel hopelessly trapped and consider dropping out.

I applied to this one program last year, but it seems the school never received my transcript and thus didn't consider my application. They have my previous application on file, including GRE scores and letters of recommendation. I'm happy with my scores and don't plan on retaking the GRE, but I am slightly concerned about just reusing my old letters of recommendation (although it's possible they never looked at them...). It seems it would make sense to get a letter from my current program; however, I want to keep this whole potential transferring thing on the DL, and so I don't feel comfortable asking a current professor for a letter (and besides, I have only been there a few weeks, so I don't think any would be able to give a fair assessment). Are there any thoughts about the potential message it might give if I don't send new letters?

Also, I LOVED my personal statement from last year's applications. However, this school also has a draft of it in my file. I've revised my personal statement since the draft they have on file, but it still conveys the same ideas and has many of the same sentences/paragraphs. Do you think it will hurt my chances if I don't send in an entirely new personal statement? I think my current PS still reflects my goals and interests really well... and unfortunately I haven't changed drastically in 6 months...

Also, I imagine in my PS I should mention why my current program isn't an ideal fit (and why their program is a better fit), but I would appreciate any advice on how to do this in a convincing way that would make me not sound like a complainer or "grass is greener" person.

And yes, in the meantime, I will continue to be optimistic about my current program... I just want to think ahead and have a possible alternative!

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