TakeruK wrote:I talked to some professors about this and learned two things.
1. Some profs have experience with getting students that have 900+ PGRE scores but turn out to not know as much Physics as they would have expected, since scoring well on the test doesn't necessarily mean you would be a good problem solver or even necessarily mean that you have good physical intuition. They said they found this happened more frequently from Asian countries but I don't know their actual numbers. However, they said that because of these experiences, overall they just don't put as much weight on the PGRE score for everyone, not just these applicants.
TakeruK wrote:2. The standards for international students (from all countries) are generally higher because of the greatly increased cost of funding an international student at most schools. So, if a prof has a choice between two equally qualified candidates, then why not pick the domestic student for their lower cost. Thus, at schools where international students cost more (e.g. most public schools), the successful international applicants probably have higher PGRE scores and GPAs than domestic students.
Catria wrote:I always thought that public schools in the US charged tuition according to state residency, which meant that even domestic out-of-state students would cost more than in-state students (but internationals would then not cost any more than out-of-state domestics, because tuition waivers are responsible for that part of the cost gap). So how would internationals cost more than domestics at public schools, if not of tuition waivers?
IIRC UNC-Chapel Hill is obligated by law to have a student body that is, at most, 18% from out-of-state (domestics and internationals combined). Does that aspect of the law affect PhD admissions? Maybe I can replace one of Penn State, Ohio State or Minnesota by UNC-CH (Minnesota is most likely to be replaced) if it turns out that physics PhD admissions there are not affected by the the 18% law.
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