- What are your reasons for transferring?
- What objectives (goals) do you hope to achieve?
You need to give at least 3 examples of why you want to transfer, preferably one addressing issues in your major field(s). You should also give 3 specific goals and objectives of what you hope to accomplish at the new institution. State what you want to accomplish at college in a specific way and why you feel you can't accomplish it where you are currently enrolled. You want to convey what you bring to the table.
Think about the schools you want to go to. Look at the “ambiance” and “atmosphere” of the colleges you're applying to and how they would significantly differ from where you are now. Research what they're known for, what they highlight that makes them special or unique, and try and incorporate these into your essay.
As a transfer student you have to show that you're not flighty and noncommittal, or just unhappy and wanting to run away. You need to relay clear reasons why you want to leave your school and why you want to go to the prospective schools. Omit excessive examples from high school.
Overall, when writing your transfer essay, stick to the prompt and be specific. Remain upbeat but convey your message effectively. Be polite and respectful but honest and not self-aggrandizing. You need to focus on telling your story in a clear, strong way. Demonstrate to the reader all you have to offer and how your ideas about your career path have evolved, including your interests and goals, and where you see yourself career-wise in the future. They are learning about your character as well as your interests. Think about the essay like an interview and a resume by addressing the following questions:
- What kind of major and eventual job do you want to pursue? Are these fields that the potential transfer school specialize in?
- Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
- Why are you a good candidate for their school? Do you have any evidence that your own skill-set includes things relevant to such a major/career path?
You want to be specific in what you've done in college so far. What activism/social justice causes, artistic endeavors, scientific research, academic or social clubs have you been involved in? What professionals or organizations have you worked with, what was your role and what did you gain from the experiences? Explain how you are clearer now about what you want to study and focus on than you were when you applied from high school.
Your essay should be a personal story and not sound like a sales pitch or a TV commercial for the college. Explain as much as possible in as few words as possible about yourself and why you would do well at their schools. It should sound like a clear, concise narrative of your own college experiences, goals for the future, and what assets you bring to the school. Your essay should not focus on your unhappiness or disappointment of the moment. The college(s) you are applying to does not know you. Don't make any assumptions about what they know or 'get', so don't be casual or unclear in your descriptions. Don't spend time on extraneous or outdated issues unless they flow directly with your narrative.
Going forward in college, here are some main points to keep in mind for all good writers:
- Make sure that the paper speaks to the prompt.
- Always make sure that your writing is designed to guide the reader.
- Always introduce a new idea.
- Make sure that your big idea or thesis is clear early on and is reinforced throughout the paper.
- Connect different ideas together logically and explain how they relate to one another and to the broader point.
- When jumping between ideas, use transition sentences so the reader doesn't get lost.
- Always speak in a consistent tense.
- Make sure to include a conclusion that brings together the many threads of your paper and explains how they add up and prove your thesis but do not include new points or arguments in the conclusion.