Most discussions of admit decisions focus on the three basic types: admits, denials, and waitlists.
However, there’s a special type of acceptance—one that, according to the New York Times, is increasingly common but still infrequently discussed.
It’s an admit with a catch: you’re admitted, but not for the fall. Instead, you’re admitted for the following semester—or, in some cases, the following year.
Called “guaranteed transfers,” such offers can require you to take courses elsewhere—and maintain a certain GPA—between your high school graduation and your anticipated start date at the school. Understandably, they produce mixed emotions. On the one hand, you’re happy to be admitted; on the other, you’re disappointed you weren’t admitted for the fall.
Why would colleges do this? According to the Times, they want to have the ability to replace the students who will leave during their first semester (or two); “guaranteed transfer” provides them with that ability.
If you’re an applicant who accepts such an offer, this arrangement is less beneficial for you.
Its most obvious drawback is that it won’t allow you to get the full four-year experience at the school and graduate on time. Its other drawbacks will depend on your specific circumstances. If you take courses elsewhere before starting (either because you want to or the offer requires you to do so), you’ll have to acclimate to two different colleges in a short period of time. And, depending on your living situation and your personality, you might feel like you’re playing catch-up, socially, after you arrive at your new school.
Still, if a school offering you “guaranteed transfer” is far and away your favorite, it can be difficult to pass up its offer, no matter the stipulations attached. Click here to read more on the Times.