American Collegiate Students Transfer to Top-Ranked Universities in 2021

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By Kate Sitarz
Last updated on January 31, 2022

American Collegiate, a first-year program designed to help international students transfer to top-100 US institutions, saw its students get accepted to a range of top-ranked universities in 2021.

A redheaded female international transfer student stands in her light-filled US university library and smiles for the camera

When it comes to being accepted at top-ranked institutions, American Collegiate has a proven track record of setting students up for success. American Collegiate is a first-year transfer program that allows students to earn credits toward their degree while gaining the cultural and academic skills needed to thrive and transfer to elite colleges and universities. 

Students can apply to American Collegiate, DC, where students take courses at American University; American Collegiate, LA, where students take courses through UCLA Extension; or American Collegiate Live, a fully digital program where students take courses with top-ranked US university faculty live, in real time.

In the US, 37% of students transfer at least once during their college years, so American Collegiate students are in good company. Each program provides a rigorous academic preparatory environment and personalized support with the goal of helping you transfer to a top-100 school that will best help you meet your goals. And, as recent outcomes show, American Collegiate students get accepted by some of the country’s top institutions!  

Recent Acceptances by American Collegiate Students

Many of the highest-ranking US colleges and universities recognize credits earned by students who successfully complete any of the American Collegiate programs with a cumulative 3.0 GPA.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many American Collegiate, DC, students opt to apply for transfer to American University, ranked #79 for National Universities by U.S. News & World Report

“About half of American Collegiate, DC, students stay at American University,” says Sharmeen Ahsan-Bracciale, managing director for American University’s International Accelerator and American Collegiate programs. She notes that American Collegiate, DC, students are guaranteed admission with American University upon completion of the program with a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Others, like Melanie, an American Collegiate, DC, student from Ecuador, opt to transfer to other schools that may be a better fit with their career goals. “I had a lot of support with the transfer application process,” Melanie says. “The writing support and guidance provided as part of the program was very helpful.” She was accepted to George Washington University, ranked #63 for National Universities.*  

“We are very meticulous about the courses students take,” says Amy Cruz, managing director for American Collegiate, LA. This allows for most, if not all, courses to transfer to other top schools, including Boston University (#42), Boston College (#36), and University of Southern California (#27).*

While English as a Second Language (ESL) classes typically do not transfer, Cruz and Ahsan-Bracciale ensure that students are taking courses most likely to transfer, including prerequisites that students need for a particular major, ensuring they can stay on their degree path without falling behind.

Upon successful completion of American Collegiate, LA, students will have the opportunity to earn a certificate in general studies and alumni status. 

“Use that Bruin network because you are a Bruin,” Cruz encourages American Collegiate, LA, alumni. 

Cruz works closely with students to find top schools that they may not know about when arriving in the US, but are the best schools in their field for particular majors. She mentions Babson College as an example, ranked #1 for entrepreneurship.* “If a student wants to create their own business, they need to apply to Babson.” 

“We also have conversations around ’what is a good school to you?’ Once we identify a student’s values, we can find institutions that match, whether it is the environment, diversity, specific programs, or a combination of factors,” she adds.

Other schools that American Collegiate students have recently been accepted to include Bryant University (#25 International Business), Pratt Institute (#5 Art and Design), Emory University (#21 National Universities), and New York University (#30 National Universities).*

Upcoming Changes for American Collegiate in 2022

Cruz and Ahsan-Bracciale note that American Collegiate programs are designed for many types of students, including those who know where they want to land permanently and those who are unsure about where they ultimately want to transfer (and which opportunities may be available to them). Other students may have already started at university, hit bumps along the way, and have an academic record that is not reflective of their potential. Both reiterate that the programs are designed for success, no matter an international student’s background or goals. 

American Collegiate helps students think through types of universities (public versus private, for example), rankings, majors, and more, walking students step by step through the process of finding the best school for them. This extra support ensures a smoother transition to university, allowing students to build the skills needed to thrive wherever they transfer.

“American Collegiate served as a bridge between where I started and my future goals,” says Adel, an American Collegiate, DC, student from Kazakhstan, now at Boston University. “Right now, I successfully manage my academic responsibilities, extracurricular activities, social life, and work.”

In 2022, the programs are looking for ways to meet the needs of even more students. 

“Fall 2021 was the first term that students at a lower English-language proficiency were able to join the program,” says Cruz. “We want to encourage students that, regardless of your language proficiency, American Collegiate, LA, is an option for you. You are welcome here.”

The American Collegiate, DC, program is also expanding beyond the first year. This extra time in the American Collegiate program increases access, giving students more credits that can enable transfers to institutions that don’t accept students after just one year. For example, University of California campuses require advanced standing for transfer, meaning you need to have enough credits to enter as a third-year student.

“Having worked in admissions, the number-one thing someone is looking for on an application is ‘will this person be successful at this institution?’” shares Ahsan-Bracciale. “Going through a top-100 university like American University shows admissions teams you can succeed in an academically rigorous program.”

Cruz also emphasizes that someone is always going to be around to help students through the process. “You are very much supported,” she says, motioning to a phone dedicated solely to her students. 

“If I had questions about academics or transfer colleges, I knew I would always have support from the American Collegiate team,” agrees Isabelle, an American Collegiate, LA, student from Brazil.

“How often are you going to be able to text your advisor once you transfer?” Cruz adds. “Use that support!”

Speak to a Shorelight advisor about how to start with American Collegiate, then transfer to top-ranked universities >  

*U.S. News & World Report