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College Guidance Q & A

As students are working on their college applications, they are immersed in the details and requirements - writing prompts, academic interests, family information, and questions. One particular application question prompted this week's question for Larry.

Q: Why do colleges ask "Have you previously applied"?

A: Some archive applications for a time and some do not. Some will simply reactivate a record in their archive - some will not.

Unless you are lying throughout your application, why not answer? You are either a transfer student now, in which case you are being measured mostly according to your record of achievement in college, or you have taken time off without going to college, in which case your academic record is the same as it was before (and the college you are applying to now can see the chronological gap since high school graduation).

So deal with the fact that you previously applied, if you did. Don’t treat is as your dirty little secret, turn it to your advantage. If you can see no way to do that, apply elsewhere.

We have helped students who did not get accepted to their first choice, highly selective colleges. They were accepted at other excellent colleges and attended first year there, having remarkable success. They then applied to the other colleges once again, as transfer students, were accepted, did well, and graduated. Being very familiar with the details, we can certainly understand how and why all this happened as it did.

In addition to first time applicants, Larry also provides guidance to transfer students. This process has different requirements, complexities, and deadlines. Larry has helped many transfer students find their college fit. If you would like to learn more, please contact him at

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