Time Out for Transfers: Why Do We Request Mid-Semester Grades?

Admit It!  Transfers, you’re over hearing about freshman admission (admittedly the hard core focus of all of our recent blog posts).  Well with their decisions out, it’s time to focus some attention on our transfer applicants.  Last week, mid-semester grades were due to our office for those applying for fall admission, and we know they’re a bit of a hassle to compile and submit.  So why do we ask you to jump through those hoops?

The answer is simple; mid-semester grades are helpful as we make decisions, especially on tough cases.  In our transfer applicant process, college transcripts are paramount.  Courses taken, credit loads, grades, grade trends and academic hiccups all weigh heavily on our decision-making process.  When reviewing freshman applications, we have three years of high school academic history to review (3.5 years once mid-year grades become available).  With transfer applicants, sometimes we have only one completed semester of college-level course work to consider.  Mid-semester grades at least provide additional academic history.

Additionally, just like in high school, classes tend to get more rigorous with the passing of time.  Generally, your current courses are more challenging than the courses that preceded them.  Being able to review your performance in these courses helps us better assess how well prepared you are for William & Mary academics.  There’s a learning curve in any new environment, W&M is no exception.  New freshmen and transfer students alike experience it.  We just want to ensure that you’re prepared to be a successful student here.

Mid-semester grades aren’t the be all and end all of your application but they’re definitely something that can work for or against you.  We promise we wouldn’t ask you to submit something if we didn’t find it useful in evaluating your application.  If you haven’t yet submitted your mid-semester grades we will still accept them by fax (757-221-1242), and no that’s not a delayed April Fool’s joke.  Note we do not confirm receipt of mid-semester grades.  We simply receive them and add them to your application materials.

Tune back in later this month for the ever-so-popular Overheard in Transfer Committee blogs.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission