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bouch

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Hi everyone!

I'm currently a high school senior planning on enrolling as a freshman at a school in Boston during the fall (unless college notifications on April 1st really surprise me and I end up somewhere else around the Northeast).

However, I am already planning on transferring from whatever college I end up going to (due to a lot of reasons from financial situation to my guidance counselor discouraging me from reaching higher than I could have) as either a spring semester transfer or as a fall semester sophomore.

I would really like some tips on the following things:
  1. If anyone knows of any volunteering/research/internship or other summer opportunities that I could still apply for in the Cambridge or Boston area (I am also a URM if that helps too) please let me know! I really want to solidify what my plans are for the summer but there's just so many possibilities I would like some recommendations from what other people have done.
  2. If you have any tips on being a strong transfer candidate when the time comes in a few months as well as in general, any tips on being a transfer pre-med as I am worried that it might hurt my chances as a med school applicant
Thanks so much for the help!
 
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coffeeandcodeine

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Where are you going to try to transfer to? Are you planning to stay in the Boston area after your transfer?

Edit: spelling
 
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bouch

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Where are you going to try to transfer too? Are you planning to stay in the Boston area after your transfer?
Some schools that come in mind are Northeastern (top choice), BC, Cornell, Tufts, Brown. So ideally yes in the Boston area but just in general in the Northeast (and btw I live here!).
 
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coffeeandcodeine

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I would think about getting involved in research or extracurriculars at Northeastern, since it's your top choice. You might consider reaching out to some PIs at Northeastern who do research in a field that you're interested in. They may be receptive to letting you work in their lab as an RA for the summer. This would enable you to make some connections at Northeastern and hopefully get a letter of rec from a faculty member for your transfer. In addition, creating ties the school will help you develop a strong and specific case for wanting to transfer there. I think the key to a successful transfer application is to create a compelling narrative about why you want/need to make this change, and why the new college is a much better fit for you. Luckily, Northeastern is unique in a number of ways (the co-op program stands out in my mind) and I think you could probably build a decent case. Of course, maintaining a strong academic record at your current college is also crucial. Good luck!

Some schools that come in mind are Northeastern (top choice), BC, Cornell, Tufts, Brown. So ideally yes in the Boston area but just in general in the Northeast (and btw I live here!).
 

ChymeofPassion

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Pm me if you want advice on premed at neu
 
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oopsaloo

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I'd recommend choosing a university you like now rather than going somewhere where you wont be happy and then betting on the very small acceptance rate for transfer students elsewhere. For many people who transfer, it's often because of unforeseen circumstances that arise, and transferring mid-year or mid-undergraduate can be a particularly stressful experience. IMO UG institution is less important for medical schools, and it's more about what you make of your UG experience rather than where you went.
 
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Geo16

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I assume you want to transfer to UMASS!
Umass is nice!
Not sure how competitive it is to transfer over there, but our California CC -> CSU or UC system is very streamlined. All you need is your GPA. I think Umass has guaranteed admission like UC/CSU. So just maintain competitive gpa and you are set!
EDIT: oops, didnt see that youve listed the uni. you want to transfer to.
 
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Geo16

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Also, look at the pre med requirements (usually there is a brochure from school that lists the course works) and start right away. Like finish bio (or phys) and chem the 1st year. I regret starting them on my 2nd year! Register those courses fast, and take Eng/math (for GE req) as soon as possible.
 
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bouch

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Also, look at the pre med requirements (usually there is a brochure from school that lists the course works) and start right away. Like finish bio (or phys) and chem the 1st year. I regret starting them on my 2nd year! Register those courses fast, and take Eng/math (for GE req) as soon as possible.
I already satisfy english requirements because of AP Lang and Lit scores. But also no to your previous comment - I already got accepted to UMass however I don't want to attend and think MCPHS is a better choice, especially since I'm going to be transferring and want to maintain research positions and save money by commuting from home. Let me know what you think?
 
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Welshman

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Good luck! I transferred to the northeast after my freshman fall semester as well.

My best tip would be to try your hardest, your absolute hardest for your first year. I've heard countless stories of kids starting out in 'alright' schools but then killing it their first year to end up then transferring to a top school or Ivy. If you really want to go it will be worth it in the end.

Also if you plan on transferring try to take very generic courses, something that most universities will have, so you won't have to repeat credits
 
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cactusman

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I already satisfy english requirements because of AP Lang and Lit scores. But also no to your previous comment - I already got accepted to UMass however I don't want to attend and think MCPHS is a better choice, especially since I'm going to be transferring and want to maintain research positions and save money by commuting from home. Let me know what you think?
A lot of med schools will want you to get your pre-req credit, including English, at college rather than with AP.
I'd recommend choosing a university you like now rather than going somewhere where you wont be happy and then betting on the very small acceptance rate for transfer students elsewhere. For many people who transfer, it's often because of unforeseen circumstances that arise, and transferring mid-year or mid-undergraduate can be a particularly stressful experience. IMO UG institution is less important for medical schools, and it's more about what you make of your UG experience rather than where you went.
As someone who's currently trying to transfer, I definitely agree with this. It's not horrible, but requesting HS transcripts (more involved after you graduate HS), requesting college transcripts, getting LoRs, getting multiple forms in-person from college administrators, individually mailing or faxing those forms to universities, and doing financial aid forms faster than you expected add up to add stress to college workload. On top of all that, there's rewriting essays - I'm applying to Tufts right now, and the 3 Tufts essay + personal statement + a bunch of other supplement essays from the sort of selective colleges you listed = not a fun time.
 
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bouch

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It's not horrible

I definitely am thinking a lot about that as I want to make sure that I'm focusing on my classes, but I don't think it's something that isn't manageable! I have pretty good organizational skills and I think for me it's definitely worth it to transfer as the schools I have as options currently are not my favorite, especially in terms of academics and are not that practical for me and my family financially and I look forward to applying to places that have a lot more generous financial aid. Again, I'm first gen and my guidance counselor was never that much of help to me (only focused on the kids she really loved) so this whole process has been a learning experience and I definitely now know a lot more than I ever did.
 

cactusman

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I definitely am thinking a lot about that as I want to make sure that I'm focusing on my classes, but I don't think it's something that isn't manageable! I have pretty good organizational skills and I think for me it's definitely worth it to transfer as the schools I have as options currently are not my favorite, especially in terms of academics and are not that practical for me and my family financially and I look forward to applying to places that have a lot more generous financial aid. Again, I'm first gen and my guidance counselor was never that much of help to me (only focused on the kids she really loved) so this whole process has been a learning experience and I definitely now know a lot more than I ever did.
Financial aid especially makes things tricky (it's made my own search tougher). Places that are need blind for first-years often aren't for transfers. If your app right now is competitive for these schools, and you can't really afford 4 years at your current options, a gap year would probably make more sense than transferring. I think you could use shadowing or volunteer work in the gap year on your med school app, since it's after high school.
 

bouch

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Places that are need blind for first-years often aren't for transfers
I don't think taking a gap year would help me in any way as the only weakness in my application is my GPA/grades from earlier year in HS. I think going to a college this fall that I've been accepted to is fine since I have gotten ok amounts of aid, and at the same time I am aware that need is harder as a transfer. I don't want to rely on transferring alone but do you think if I do very well just as I have been doing and get around a 4.0 that schools would be willing to give me aid?

I am not at all familiar with how financial aid works at schools for transfers. I just want to emphasize again that I am very set on doing this for many different reasons and of course, any advice helps!
 

Geo16

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I already satisfy english requirements because of AP Lang and Lit scores. But also no to your previous comment - I already got accepted to UMass however I don't want to attend and think MCPHS is a better choice, especially since I'm going to be transferring and want to maintain research positions and save money by commuting from home. Let me know what you think?
That sounds great! I think going to 4 years straight is a good thing to do :)
 

cactusman

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I don't think taking a gap year would help me in any way as the only weakness in my application is my GPA/grades from earlier year in HS. I think going to a college this fall that I've been accepted to is fine since I have gotten ok amounts of aid, and at the same time I am aware that need is harder as a transfer. I don't want to rely on transferring alone but do you think if I do very well just as I have been doing and get around a 4.0 that schools would be willing to give me aid?

I am not at all familiar with how financial aid works at schools for transfers. I just want to emphasize again that I am very set on doing this for many different reasons and of course, any advice helps!
It depends. The process is essentially the same, but the pool is generally more limited for transfers. Northwestern, for example, doesn't generally give fin aid to transfers for the first year after they transfer, even though its first year financial aid is fantastic.

Depending on the rigor of your high school and college, a 4.0 may be much more difficult in college.

Transfer selectivity also varies a lot by institution Selective liberal arts colleges tend to let in only a few transfers since they have such small student bodies and generally high retention rates and there's not much room for new students. Some, like USC, let in more, but don't have great fin aid (I can think of one that I applied to which seems to be sorta like this but better fin aid, but it is also not in the NE and it's still a pretty low acceptance rate). I believe all the ivies except Cornell have even lower acceptance rates for transfers, and Cornell's is skewed up by guaranteed transfers. The trouble is that even slightly less selective research universities tend to have significantly worse financial aid (at least that was my experience from freshman year search and application results), and as I said before, LACs are really tough to get into as transfers.
 
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bouch

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I really just want to make the best of my situation and I am determined to get to a place, physically and mentally, where I am able to do the things I want to do, have access to a motivating and cultivated rigorous academic environment, and be surrounded by people that have the same goals and mindset as me and I don't think I can do that at my options right now.
 
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cactusman

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I would edit your post. It's a lot of identifying info.

I'm somewhat familiar with your college, you sound like you'll be ok for a high GPA there. What's your HS GPA and ACT/SAT? Did you have leadership positions/other strong ECs?
 

bouch

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I would edit your post. It's a lot of identifying info.

I'm somewhat familiar with your college, you sound like you'll be ok for a high GPA there. What's your HS GPA and ACT/SAT? Did you have leadership positions/other strong ECs?
I'll PM you!
 
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