Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Goran15
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby Goran15 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:50 pm

I realize this has been mentioned before and I apologize for repeating. There are a lot of people waiting for a decision.
So please if you are not going to attend notify the schools.

(Especially if the school happens to be UNC Chapel Hill :D )

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:55 pm

Goran15 wrote:I realize this has been mentioned before and I apologize for repeating. There are a lot of people waiting for a decision.
So please if you are not going to attend notify the schools.

(Especially if the school happens to be UNC Chapel Hill :D )


Ditto. I do not understand why some people will have five or more offers, and can't at least pick a couple to decline. Of course, one can be undecided between two or three, but more than that? You won't hurt any feelings and you don't have to say where you are going, but please don't wait---there are so many on waiting lists, and they (as well as admissions directors) are getting more and more nervous as the deadline approaches.

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:01 pm

Because people don't like interacting with people, also they don't like wasting time searching for the right email address, and searching admission emails for any extra instructions.

If schools don't have an easy online form you complete and submit, possibly with a link from the homepage, expect to get answers around 14-15 april or never.

I mean sorry, but we already spent hours per each school making sure we're not missing any hidden deadlines, disclaimers, special instructions, number of transcripts we need to send at each address, extra forms, extra info we need to submit via something other than the online app, some of which may appear either on the university homepage or the department homepage. Some schools make the process as painful and confusing as possible, so they really shouldn't expect any gratitude from anyone.

How about schools put just ONE BIG link to the app, on the DEPARTMENT homepage, also put ALL instructions (both general AND department specific - including the damn GRE CODES for heaven's sake, it's really not very difficult!) within 1 inch of said link, then we'll talk about answering back in a timely fashion. Sorry, but this is not just my opinion.
Last edited by negru on Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:06 pm

negru wrote:Because people don't like interacting with people, also they don't like wasting time searching for the right email address, and searching admission emails for any extra instructions.



Most offers are made by e-mail. All one needs is to hit "reply" and type a one-word sentence.

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:13 pm

Most of my schools want both a reply, and some other form. Some emails are also automatic so I have to search around for what needs to be done.

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:16 pm

negru wrote:Most of my schools want both a reply, and some other form. Some emails are also automatic so I have to search around for what needs to be done.


That is true. But if you send a reply, they can act on the waiting list right away. The form takes longer (and is seldom necessary if you're declining). It's just courteous to them and your fellow students to let the admissions director know as soon as you know.

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:16 pm

It's also not always as easy as a one sentence reply. People do get offended or upset, so if the respective school will likely be a prospective postdoc location you better be careful what you say and how you say it. Especially if you visited.

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:18 pm

negru wrote:It's also not always as easy as a one sentence reply. People do get offended or upset, so if the respective school will likely be a prospective postdoc location you better be careful what you say and how you say it. Especially if you visited.


You're correct, although I can't remember the name of any student who declined abruptly during the past 20 years---those things aren't something one remembers. Still, it would also be nice to say a few more words than a sentence. But don't spend days composing the message....

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:22 pm

negru wrote:How about schools put just ONE BIG link to the app, on the DEPARTMENT homepage, also put ALL instructions (both general AND department specific - including the damn GRE CODES for heaven's sake, it's really not very difficult!) within 1 inch of said link, then we'll talk about answering back in a timely fashion. Sorry, but this is not just my opinion.


This is an excellent idea. We don't put the GRE codes on the site, and it would be trivial to do so. We will do so before the next cycle. We do have all the instructions in one place...

Remember, responding in a timely fashion is especially important to other students, not just the department--so don't hurt other students just to spite the department.

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:25 pm

Well, it depends if you had any connections at the school, like if your profs pushed your name a lot, talked around etc to get you admitted, or if you already knew some of the faculty. It gets even harder if you interact very positively with profs when you visit. Especially if said profs are among the top people in their field. Let's just say it's not easy at all turning down very famous people.

admissionprof
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby admissionprof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:28 pm

negru wrote:Well, it depends if you had any connections at the school, like if your profs pushed your name a lot, talked around etc to get you admitted, or if you already knew some of the faculty. It gets even harder if you interact very positively with profs when you visit. Especially if said profs are among the top people in their field. Let's just say it's not easy at all turning down very famous people.


I agree completely. It's especially hard turning down faculty positions or postdocs, since they are offered one at a time, and you are often friends with the people you're saying no to. When you get several faculty offers, negru (and I'm sure you will) :D , you'll see what I mean.

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:39 pm

admissionprof wrote:
negru wrote:How about schools put just ONE BIG link to the app, on the DEPARTMENT homepage, also put ALL instructions (both general AND department specific - including the damn GRE CODES for heaven's sake, it's really not very difficult!) within 1 inch of said link, then we'll talk about answering back in a timely fashion. Sorry, but this is not just my opinion.


This is an excellent idea. We don't put the GRE codes on the site, and it would be trivial to do so. We will do so before the next cycle. We do have all the instructions in one place...

Remember, responding in a timely fashion is especially important to other students, not just the department--so don't hurt other students just to spite the department.

Sure, some schools really had everything very organized, I'm certainly not directing my frustrations at your school. But some schools were just an extreme pain in the ass. Stanford for example, despite having the biggest application fee. It still takes me a couple of tries before I get to the actual application page. You just click links which say "go to online application" but just keep going in circles.

I'm also not saying that delaying responses is some form of revenge, it just follows from an extreme lack of motivation. I'm really not looking forward to going through 10 hoops and loops again to find some link. Especially when I don't really have anything to gain from finding it. Seriously I think schools should hire some psychologists when designing websites. Even if just to appease over picky psychos like me. It's just one of those very easy things to do that goes a long way.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:01 pm

admissionprof wrote:This is an excellent idea. We don't put the GRE codes on the site, and it would be trivial to do so. We will do so before the next cycle. We do have all the instructions in one place.


The bigger schools seem to be better organized in this.

It might be useful to type up a checklist for a school to use to see if it is convenient for applying to. For example, there's a school I didn't apply to simply because they didn't allow online letters of recommendation. And it's frequently a hassle to figure out whether they want the 0802 part of the GRE code.

And another thing, some of the very best schools do not require official transcripts until you make an acceptance. Instead one gives them acrobat (pdf) copies. This behavior should be copied by all schools.

Goran15
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby Goran15 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:19 pm

Since we all went through the same grueling procedure out of respect for the people who are still waiting I would respond. I'm also waiting so I can respond to all other schools - one person causing delay spreads out to a lot of people waiting needlessly.

And don't even get me start about the whole process, from the ets to the schools, admissions committee, etc.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby vesperlynd » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:29 pm

I definitely understand what you're saying. Don't know if anyone else is in the same situation as I am, but I absolutely must hear back from one of the schools (my top choice) about a few things before I'm ready to accept their offer and decline the last of the others. Let's just say there are a few difficulties that need to be sorted out. If things don't work out for the one school, then I have to accept another offer.

negru - Stanford's application was a pain.

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby creepypasta13 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:53 pm

negru wrote:Because people don't like interacting with people, also they don't like wasting time searching for the right email address, and searching admission emails for any extra instructions.

If schools don't have an easy online form you complete and submit, possibly with a link from the homepage, expect to get answers around 14-15 april or never.

I mean sorry, but we already spent hours per each school making sure we're not missing any hidden deadlines, disclaimers, special instructions, number of transcripts we need to send at each address, extra forms, extra info we need to submit via something other than the online app, some of which may appear either on the university homepage or the department homepage. Some schools make the process as painful and confusing as possible, so they really shouldn't expect any gratitude from anyone.

How about schools put just ONE BIG link to the app, on the DEPARTMENT homepage, also put ALL instructions (both general AND department specific - including the damn GRE CODES for heaven's sake, it's really not very difficult!) within 1 inch of said link, then we'll talk about answering back in a timely fashion. Sorry, but this is not just my opinion.


couldn't agree more. It really pissed me off how some schools (ie UCSB) needed TWO OFFICIAL transcripts from EACH school you attended. Since I completed coursework at 4 different schools (1 university, 3 junior colleges), that cost me an extra $50!

another school had a deadline listed on their website and then a different deadline on the online application form. I had to call to find out which was correct

negru
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Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:21 pm

For example, just WTF is that attached form I got from UCLA? It just doesn't work. Or I don't know if it works, because opening what I'm supposed to send just shows some random code. Do I really have to waste time now figuring just what that thing is, and what program I need to open XML files, and how to convert them to pdf? I guess I'll also have to buy adobe acrobat to convert them now?

They also say I have to follow a link in the admission email to accept or decline. I have 4 emails from them, none of which have such a link.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:41 pm

Also,
To accept or decline the offer of admission on the web, you first need to set up your Stanford University Network Identification name (SUNet ID). Approximately 24 hours after you have set up your SUNet ID, you will be able to log in to Axess to accept or decline the offer.

at least i don't also have to sacrifice my first born to decline their offer


edit. I take that back. it seems they do require my first born's flesh to set up a valid password.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby vesperlynd » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:08 pm

For UCLA, go here:
http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/applicat.htm
, click on "Decision Status". Go to your admissions letter - there should be a link to create a UCLA ID. Once the ID has been created, you need to find the Statement of Intent to Register - use that to decline the offer.

Now, for Stanford's, it sounds like you found axess.stanford.edu fine. You will have to wait a few hours before the admissions decision link will appear on the left side. Use that link (I forget the exact wording of it) to decline. But yes, Stanford's application was a pain. When I was still filling out the app, I ended up having to log into the MIT application instead (it was easier to find) because they use the same system Stanford does. And then it cost a good $50 more to apply to Stanford than to MIT. :evil:

negru
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:18 pm

Thank you!!

negru
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Make a decision (a plea to domestic students)

Postby negru » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:13 am

btw this gives me an idea. for next year people should make a thread with all the links, instructions, deadlines etc for each school. maybe this will ease some of the completely unnecessary burden

this last year has by far been my least productive since freshman year (including). and back in freshman year we would usually start drinking around wednesday each week. all because of link hunting, pgre memorizing, and finally decision waiting, for some people going well into march and even april. I've simply never encountered something as destructive academically as applying to grad school. I cannot imagine anything worse, other than life threatening accidents. when it could all be very simple...but no....let's do our best to hide GRE score codes as well as we can....oh jolly fun...you know what, let's make a FAQ which includes something about GRE scores, but hey, let's NOT put the codes there..wow we're so clever




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