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EXPLAIN why I transferred?


Sparky

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I transferred after my first semester of freshman year. For a pile of reasons that are not academic in the slightest--my GPA from that semester is something 3.8ish.

Now, this has never been a problem. One of my apps, however, wants an explanation for any transfer. Can I just say "personal reasons"? It was mostly medical, and there is still a signficiant stigma attached to both of the conditions that contributed to the problem.

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I transferred after my first semester of freshman year. For a pile of reasons that are not academic in the slightest--my GPA from that semester is something 3.8ish.

Now, this has never been a problem. One of my apps, however, wants an explanation for any transfer. Can I just say "personal reasons"? It was mostly medical, and there is still a signficiant stigma attached to both of the conditions that contributed to the problem.

I would say more than personal reasons, if they are asking you point blank they are looking for something more than that. However, I would find a way to spin it so that you can avoid any stigma- maybe just say "medical condition" or "medical costs", something like that should be sufficient.

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This does not seem so bad to me. You went there for a semester, did well, and realized it wasn't for you. I don't think this is going to raise any red flags. I left my last school in my senior year because it was a southern baptist school and I converted to Catholicism. That is a little difficult to explain without just coming out and saying it. It took several incarnations of my SoP to get that one just right.

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One of my apps, however, wants an explanation for any transfer.

I smell "UChicago" all over the place. It was pain in the a$$ to explain why I transferred from a community college to a four-year university. (The answer is so obvious that you can probably answer that for me!)

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Okay, what do you all think of this:

"I transferred from Q to R as a freshman undergraduate, primarily for medical reasons; these have since been resolved." Is that cryptic in a bad way, or does it just come across as "my medical history is private, thank you very much"? Should I stick with "personal reasons (i.e. not academic or disciplinary problems)"?

This does not seem so bad to me. You went there for a semester, did well, and realized it wasn't for you. I don't think this is going to raise any red flags. I left my last school in my senior year because it was a southern baptist school and I converted to Catholicism. That is a little difficult to explain without just coming out and saying it. It took several incarnations of my SoP to get that one just right.

Oh, it is absolutely not bad at all--unless I have to explain in detail. For you, on the other hand...I think that it could be *helpful*, at least where you are applying to religion programs at Catholic schools. Especially Jesuit schools--they looove it when applicants find backdoor ways to mention some sort of attachment to Jesuit ideals in their SOPs. (Note: you do not have to be Catholic to take advantage of this, either. Stuff the word "service" in there somewhere, and even if you sign your statement Moishe "The Token Jew" Rosenstein it is like 40 points on the GRE).

I smell "UChicago" all over the place.

Amazingly, no...despite their fantastic div school and great history dept, Chicago manages to have GAPING holes in exactly two fields: my specialization and my secondary interest.

I actually have this question on 2 of my apps, but with one of them I am not worried because I am an M.A. student in the department right now--they already know the person, not the illness.

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