Transferring to IU Kelley from small school

Currently going into my sophomore year at Gettysburg college. Studying mathematic economics and playing for their tennis team. I don’t enjoy the school much but enjoy the tennis team. Interested in pursuing IB and feel like staying at this school is hurting my chances (bad alumni network, lack of opportunities) and also not helping me grow academically and overall. I don’t feel very connected with many of the kids at this school and find it hard to find people with similar interests (people who are social don’t seem to care about academics at all but people that care about academics won’t go out at all). I want to be able to enjoy my college experience but also put myself in a position to succeed.

I am considering transferring to IU Kelley as I have friends there with similar interests as me (IB) and believe I would enjoy the school more. Through speaking with said friends there seem to be way more opportunities I could take advantage of (the IBW, better alumni network, etc.). The cost difference would be minimal and the only downside would be not playing tennis anymore. I don’t know if it is worth staying at a school I don’t enjoy and that provides me with less opportunities just to play a sport which I have no chance of continuing post-graduation.

I would appreciate any advice on this as I feel stuck and am completely torn on this decision. Part of me is definitely scared to take on such a big change and I’m not sure if IU Kelley is a good enough school to justify this change. But also part of me thinks it’s the right decision. Any advice would help, thank you.

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Are you already into IU Kelley? It's a solid school, but the IBW will be pretty difficult as a transfer and I saw somewhere they are reducing the class size so will be even more competitive. People have gotten to IB without IBW but it's much harder. It sounds like you have friends there and that is driving some of this, but I would also look into semi-targets where you aren't taking this huge gamble on getting into a program that other people will have spent all of freshman year networking for.

What about transferring to a different school (semi target or higher-tier non target with solid alums) where you can still play tennis? It sounds like you should transfer but I would consider all of your options instead of just one school.

Most people who transfer are best off taking an extra semester to extend their recruiting a bit, so don't feel pressured to make this decision immediately - you can transfer next spring or fall and just extend grad and you will be fine.


There was a transfer student that got in last year, but he came during freshman spring. I think if you transfer directly into Kelley sophomore fall it would be doable but you would have to grind. Even if this person doesn’t make the IBW they could get into the seminar which still places kids.


I was in the same spot as you as a transfer student, and I decided against it. You can’t transfer straight into Kelley so you’ll have to do that afterwards, and, like the others have said, getting into the IBW is going to be beyond difficult as a transfer. Since admission into the IBW is managed by IBW student members, not the staff, getting in is a popularity contest and little else


Decided not to transfer there. If getting into the IBW relied on technical skill, I would’ve been more comfortable since that’s an objective metric, but the criteria is nebulous. Interviews with former IBW students is what decides if you get in or not, and they’re definitely not going to be objective in how they pick people. You’re most likely to get in if you’re friends with the people already on the inside, which means joining frats and trying to network in is what matters the most. Doing that with however little time you have after transferring wasn’t worth the rather high risk, so I went somewhere else instead.


I would essentially have a bid immediately at a frat upon transferring so I feel like the networking would be possible. Still need to think it through though.


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