Time off, no research--harmful to app?

wentrbjdr
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Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby wentrbjdr » Tue May 19, 2009 12:23 am

Hello All,
Does anyone have any idea if it would hurt someone's chances of admission to take a one (two at the most) year break from physics and do volunteer work, say in South America?
Because that is really what I would like to do...Spend a year helping people, polishing of my spanish to be completely fluent, just having some time off to clear my head before the grad school marathon.
Thoughts? Or should I just apply then defer? (Is this even possible everywhere? I've only found info on a few program sites) Or just skip the volunteering? :( {which I don't want to skip but will if necessary}
Thanks!

Pendulum
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby Pendulum » Tue May 19, 2009 1:16 am

awesome :shock:

but i strongly suggest you putting a serious thought in your mind.helping people ,um,it sounds like an international aid program, are you planning to be a teacher there or else?

___
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby ___ » Tue May 19, 2009 1:57 am

When I was applying, pretty much everyone that had been through the process and had had some time to reflect upon it told me that it was wise to take a year off. It sounds like whatever experiences you gain in South America will more than make up for the slight (probably non-existent) disadvantage it puts you relative to other applicants.

Actually, it might help to take a trip like that. The top schools will have their pick of near-perfect applicants, most of whom will be boringly similar. I've heard (both here and elsewhere) that, in the interest of well-roundedness, these schools will forgo some of these near-perfect applicants and instead pick someone that's actually done something cool with their time. Also, I'm sure a year in South America will help you if you want to apply for something like the NSF fellowship. Addressing broader impacts is a bitch if you spend all your life in a lab.

As for deferring, all of the schools that I talked to let you defer for at least a year. Not so sure about about two, and fellowships can be difficult to defer.

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naseermk
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby naseermk » Tue May 19, 2009 11:32 pm

I do not think it'll hurt your chances at all provided that you are planning to be engaged in an activity that's important. On the flip side, if the voluntary activity involves teaching that would really give you a boost.

Keep in mind though to work for an established volunteering program and get ready to articulate how you've grown as a person. You could also have a recommendation from such a program.

Best wishes.

excel
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby excel » Tue May 19, 2009 11:42 pm

Just so that you know, there are several PhD students who did not start grad school right after undergraduate-- though in most cases, it was a couple of years of work.

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Wed May 20, 2009 1:02 am

do it. grad schools will be impressed.

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zxcv
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby zxcv » Wed May 20, 2009 5:33 pm

Just to add, most places will let you defer if you give them a commitment to come later. (In fact, if anyone is having any second thoughts but has already accepted an offer, you can probably still defer at your choice of grad program... one guy in my year is coming back after choosing to defer last year after already showing up for the first week of classes.)

franziaboy
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby franziaboy » Wed May 20, 2009 11:16 pm

i took a 3 year spring break and it didn't hurt my application to phd programs in astrophysics. many other prospectives and current grad students during my visits had also taken a year or two off to do various things. my recommendations were all from work done in 2005. i took the gre and pgre in october 2008, so my scores were current, but it is not uncommon for students to take them before an extended break (as long as they haven't expired or whatever...i forget how long scores are considered legitimate)

you should do what you want, and as long as you can assemble a decent application (recs, scores, grades, statement...) it shouldn't matter. i think professors realize that students only have a short window after undergrad to explore the world or *** around and that they'll likely never get that chance again.

rohit
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby rohit » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:06 pm

zxcv wrote:Just to add, most places will let you defer if you give them a commitment to come later. (In fact, if anyone is having any second thoughts but has already accepted an offer, you can probably still defer at your choice of grad program... one guy in my year is coming back after choosing to defer last year after already showing up for the first week of classes.)



What happens if you dont show up a year after deferring? :oops:

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zxcv
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby zxcv » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:03 am

rohit wrote:What happens if you dont show up a year after deferring? :oops:

That's a risk they take, but nobody wants grad students who don't want to be there. Technically you may be reapplying or taking a year of leave, but you should be able to come back.

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:22 am

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admissionprof
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby admissionprof » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:49 am

creepypasta13 wrote:
zxcv wrote:
rohit wrote:What happens if you dont show up a year after deferring? :oops:

That's a risk they take, but nobody wants grad students who don't want to be there. Technically you may be reapplying or taking a year of leave, but you should be able to come back.


I'm curious about this myself. I got a few acceptances I'm not too enthusiastic about, and would like to defer admissions so that way I'll go back there if I don't get into anywhere better after reapplying. How bad does it look if you don't come back?



It looks bad. When we allow a student to defer, we are assuming they have accepted and won't be applying elsewhere. If they don't agree to that, then we consider that a rejection (and they are free to apply the following year and will be considered fairly along with everyone else). If they agree, and apply elsewhere anyway, I would think of that in the same way I'd think of someone who accepts and then changes their mind in May. Against the Resolution, but there isn't much we can do about it.

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:36 pm

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astrok
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby astrok » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:15 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:
admissionprof wrote:
creepypasta13 wrote:
I'm curious about this myself. I got a few acceptances I'm not too enthusiastic about, and would like to defer admissions so that way I'll go back there if I don't get into anywhere better after reapplying. How bad does it look if you don't come back?


but there isn't much we can do about it.


So I guess aside of ethical issues, this isn't a bad strategy for the student


Astronomy is a very small field...I would be careful about treading on toes.

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:10 pm

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astrok
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby astrok » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:57 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:
astrok wrote:
Astronomy is a very small field...I would be careful about treading on toes.


I was thinking of deferring for an applied math program. But if I reapply, yes, it would be primarily for Astronomy


It's up to you, but if you really don't want to go to any of the programs you've been admitted to, why not decline all the offers? If you aren't okay with a school this year, why would you be excited to go next year? It seems likely that you will be admitted to schools again, just make sure that you apply to a range, including multiple safeties (that you are actually interested in attending...).

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:13 pm

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:25 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:In case I change my mind or can't get into anywhere better seeing that reapplying is risky. Schools are unlikely to accept a previous applicant who was rejected, even if their application is stronger, right?


In general I don't think schools are going to have much animosity over this incident. Next year when writing the statement make sure you clarify your reasons for declining their offer. It could be a multitude of reasons, such as not feeling prepared or having other more viable options at the time being.

Plus, you're assuming all of these programs will remember that you applied. Sadly, I'd say most of them, especially the bigger ones, will not.

-Riley

TheBeast
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby TheBeast » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Schools are unlikely to accept a previous applicant who was rejected, even if their application is stronger, right?


I think that the conventional wisdom from these boards is that schools do not look favorably upon applicants who have have been given an offer, rejected it, and then for whatever reason, re-applied in a later year.

I don't think that there's an such consensus for places where you have applied, been rejected, and applied later with a stronger profile. In fact, there are probably examples you can find by looking through the profiles where someone was rejected in one year, boosted their PGRE and research credentials and were accepted by the same institution later.

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:26 pm

TheBeast wrote:
Schools are unlikely to accept a previous applicant who was rejected, even if their application is stronger, right?


I think that the conventional wisdom from these boards is that schools do not look favorably upon applicants who have have been given an offer, rejected it, and then for whatever reason, re-applied in a later year.


I don't agree with this, I think if you politely inform them of your decision in a timely manner and say that you want to take a year to do research or whatever to get a better idea of what you want to do in grad school it can only positively affect your chances the next year.

TheBeast wrote:I don't think that there's an such consensus for places where you have applied, been rejected, and applied later with a stronger profile. In fact, there are probably examples you can find by looking through the profiles where someone was rejected in one year, boosted their PGRE and research credentials and were accepted by the same institution later.


There are, in fact, many, many examples of this. People do it all the time.

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:32 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:Schools are unlikely to accept a previous applicant who was rejected, even if their application is stronger, right?


Absolutely not. I've seen tons of people rejected across the board the first year they apply, then take a year off, do some good research and improve their PGRE score, and get accepted the next year to the same places that rejected them previously. I've even seen them accepted with a fellowship.

Also I think even the large schools are very likely to recognize an applicant, especially if the statement of purpose is the same, and especially especially if an offer of admission was made. Professors pour over these things for weeks and the committee changes somewhat from year to year but I'm sure some of the people are the same. Plus, sometimes there is a box to check if you've applied before and then people can go look up your application, or perhaps all student names who apply are kept in a database, who knows?

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:23 pm

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Well, one week before the deadline is obviously not a timely manner. What are the chances that you'll accept? What were you doing even applying to programs you wouldn't be excited to attend? Look, graduate school is long and often times grueling. Most everyone I know at some point has questioned their decision to enter, and then questioned their decision to stay. It's fun a lot of the time, but other times it's tedious and honestly tries ones love for the subject. You better be damn excited about going if you're applying for a school.

You can't have your ideal situation. Is there anything real forcing you to not make this decision until April or do you just want to hold onto your offers and think about it as long as possible? The bottom line is, if you're fair to yourself and fair to the school, I'm sure they'll happily consider your application next year. If you dick them around, they won't.

Search this forum and you'll find lots of examples of people who took a year off and did research and then got into great schools after having poor results the year previous. You need to make your decision and your options are to accept one of your offers or politely inform the schools that you are very grateful for their offers of admission, but you've decided to spend a year doing research to get a better idea of what you're interested in and that you'll be very interested in their program when you apply again in a year. Deferring a bunch of schools for a year and then not going is not only a shitty thing to do, but probably quite bad for your career. Remember that this is the community of academics that you supposedly one day want to join. They won't all be dead when you're looking for a job.

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:58 pm

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:07 am

creepypasta13 wrote:But will they warn other schools about me, possibly the ones I might apply to for next year?


No. This is silly. Think about it. A school is not going to go around telling other schools about you. How would that be beneficial to them at all?

-Riley

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:06 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:My interests have changed since I applied. When I applied, yes I was excited about going there. But since then, I've realized these programs aren't the best fits for me. For one of them, I made that conclusion after I visited it. I know it sounds stupid since I didn't have much time to think it through before I applied.

But at another school, a few of the astro profs told me they would notify me this week if they can get funding for me. Its a little complicated since I applied and was accepted to their Physics program but rejected from Astro. I stated my main interest in CMP, but I want to switch to Astro now, so the Physics program will only fund me if I research in CM. If I can't get funding, I would consider reapplying to their Astro but not Physics program. Would they consider me again? If in the miracle chance they find funding for me in Astro now, then yes, I would be excited to go there now

I see the other schools will not be happy if I wait long to reject the offer. If I reject them, I likely won't reapply to those places again. But will they warn other schools about me, possibly the ones I might apply to for next year?


Pasta, you have a completely legitimate reason for needing to wait. Let the schools know you are waiting on other schools to work out their funding offers for you. Your interests have changed. No one is going to be mad at you for that, as long as you are upfront with these schools and treat them fairly. If you do this, of course they will consider you next year. Why wouldn't they?

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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:49 pm

grae313 wrote:
creepypasta13 wrote:My interests have changed since I applied. When I applied, yes I was excited about going there. But since then, I've realized these programs aren't the best fits for me. For one of them, I made that conclusion after I visited it. I know it sounds stupid since I didn't have much time to think it through before I applied.

But at another school, a few of the astro profs told me they would notify me this week if they can get funding for me. Its a little complicated since I applied and was accepted to their Physics program but rejected from Astro. I stated my main interest in CMP, but I want to switch to Astro now, so the Physics program will only fund me if I research in CM. If I can't get funding, I would consider reapplying to their Astro but not Physics program. Would they consider me again? If in the miracle chance they find funding for me in Astro now, then yes, I would be excited to go there now

I see the other schools will not be happy if I wait long to reject the offer. If I reject them, I likely won't reapply to those places again. But will they warn other schools about me, possibly the ones I might apply to for next year?


Pasta, you have a completely legitimate reason for needing to wait. Let the schools know you are waiting on other schools to work out their funding offers for you. Your interests have changed. No one is going to be mad at you for that, as long as you are upfront with these schools and treat them fairly. If you do this, of course they will consider you next year. Why wouldn't they?


Grae, before you offer advice in this case, I'd remind you that CP has indicated in other posts he has 2 advisers who aren't going to write him letters again. I don't know the exact reason for this, and it could be benign, but that raises huge red flags to me. If I saw research in your past, and no letter from that adviser, I'd call to figure out why. And that phone call better go well, or I'm not accepting you. I'd be wary of getting in to a single school in that instance.

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:01 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
grae313 wrote:
creepypasta13 wrote:My interests have changed since I applied. When I applied, yes I was excited about going there. But since then, I've realized these programs aren't the best fits for me. For one of them, I made that conclusion after I visited it. I know it sounds stupid since I didn't have much time to think it through before I applied.

But at another school, a few of the astro profs told me they would notify me this week if they can get funding for me. Its a little complicated since I applied and was accepted to their Physics program but rejected from Astro. I stated my main interest in CMP, but I want to switch to Astro now, so the Physics program will only fund me if I research in CM. If I can't get funding, I would consider reapplying to their Astro but not Physics program. Would they consider me again? If in the miracle chance they find funding for me in Astro now, then yes, I would be excited to go there now

I see the other schools will not be happy if I wait long to reject the offer. If I reject them, I likely won't reapply to those places again. But will they warn other schools about me, possibly the ones I might apply to for next year?


Pasta, you have a completely legitimate reason for needing to wait. Let the schools know you are waiting on other schools to work out their funding offers for you. Your interests have changed. No one is going to be mad at you for that, as long as you are upfront with these schools and treat them fairly. If you do this, of course they will consider you next year. Why wouldn't they?


Grae, before you offer advice in this case, I'd remind you that CP has indicated in other posts he has 2 advisers who aren't going to write him letters again. I don't know the exact reason for this, and it could be benign, but that raises huge red flags to me. If I saw research in your past, and no letter from that adviser, I'd call to figure out why. And that phone call better go well, or I'm not accepting you. I'd be wary of getting in to a single school in that instance.


Thanks... so obviously I don't have all the facts :P If that's the case I'd make sure you accept one of the offers that you have before April 15th even if it's not ideal.

For others reading this, however, know that in normal circumstances where you treat everyone reasonably and don't burn your bridges, I have seen zero instances where taking a year off hurt an applicant and probably around 15+ instances where taking a year off improved an applicant's success rate, and usually dramatically. Declining offers in and of itself does not by any means have to hurt your application chances even at the same school and from what I've seen it may even help (showing determination and all).

Pasta, if your intention is to wait on these funding offers and then potentially decline the schools if you don't get funding in order to try again next year, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself right now is to let them know you are waiting on others to get your funding details sorted out before you can make a decision and if you do end up declining offers with the intention of re-applying next year, post the email here before you send it so we can offer advice and make sure you're not inadvertently going to piss someone off.

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:48 pm

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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:32 am

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bfollinprm
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:33 am

Here's my first pass at an edit (me in red, strikeout in green). I'm assuming you don't want to burn down the bridge to reapplying, or at least keep it as intact as possible.


creepypasta13 wrote:dear xx, thank you very much for offering me admission to your program and for being patient in waiting to hear back from me regarding my decision to accept your offer or not. I regret to inform you that I have decided not to accept your offer of admission because I have decided that I am not yet ready for graduate school. I believeTrying to choose between schools granting very different opportunities has shown me I need more time to think about and refine my interests. But I did really enjoy visiting the school and meeting the students and faculty in your department, and look forward to possibly re-applying in the future. Thank you again for your time and consideration.


I might also put something like "Graduate school is an enormous decision and I want to make sure I can make a wholehearted commitment to the available research before deciding upon a school."

Basically, "It's not you, I'm just having commitment issues. I need some time to think this through."

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:52 pm

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:21 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:
dear xx, Thank you very much for offering me admission to your program. I'm sorry that I have not been able to provide a faster response, however I am waiting to get my funding details sorted out before I make a decision and some schools are taking a while to get back to me on this matter. Thank you for your patience.


My suggestions. Don't use contractions, and don't directly mention offers from other schools. Let that be implied.

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grae313
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby grae313 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:27 pm

Dear xx,
Thank you very much for offering me admission to your program and for your patience in waiting to hear back from me regarding my decision. I regret to inform you that I have decided not to accept your offer of admission because I have decided that I am not yet ready for graduate school. I believe that trying to choose between schools granting very different opportunities has shown me I need more time to think about and refine my interests. I did really enjoy visiting the school and meeting the students and faculty in your department, and look forward to possibly re-applying in the future with a clearer picture of what I'm looking for from my graduate career. Thank you again for your time and consideration.

I might also put something like "Graduate school is an enormous decision and I want to make sure I can make a wholehearted commitment to the available research before deciding upon a school."

Basically, "It's not you, I'm just having commitment issues. I need some time to think this through."


To add to bfollinprm's edits.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:45 pm

grae313 wrote:Dear xx,
Thank you very much for offering me admission to your program and for your patience in waiting to hear back from me regarding my decision. I regret to inform you that I have decided not to accept your offer of admission because I have decided that I am not yet ready for graduate school. I believe that trying to choose between schools granting very different opportunities has shown me I need more time to think about and refine my interests. I did really enjoy visiting the school and meeting the students and faculty in your department, and look forward to possibly re-applying in the future with a clearer picture of what I'm looking for from my graduate career. Thank you again for your time and consideration.


Brownie points from me if you type it like this:

D34r xx,

Th4nk y0u v3ry much f0r 0ff3r1ng m3 4dm1ss10n t0 y0ur pr0gr4m 4nd f0r y0ur p4t13nc3 1n w41t1ng t0 h34r b4ck fr0m m3 r3g4rd1ng my d3c1s10n. 1 r3gr3t t0 1nf0rm y0u th4t 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d n0t t0 4cc3pt y0ur 0ff3r 0f 4dm1ss10n b3c4us3 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d th4t 1 4m n0t y3t r34dy f0r gr4du4t3 sch00l. 1 b3l13v3 th4t try1ng t0 ch00s3 b3tw33n sch00ls gr4nt1ng v3ry d1ff3r3nt 0pp0rtun1t13s h4s sh0wn m3 1 n33d m0r3 t1m3 t0 th1nk ab0ut and r3f1n3 my 1nt3r3sts. 1 d1d r34lly 3nj0y v1s1t1ng th3 sch00l 4nd m33t1ng th3 stud3nts 4nd f4culty 1n y0ur d3p4rtm3nt, 4nd l00k f0rw4rd t0 p0ss1bly r3-4pply1ng 1n th3 futur3 w1th 4 cl34r3r p1ctur3 0f wh4t 1'm l00k1ng f0r fr0m my gr4du4t3 c4r33r. Th4nk y0u 4g41n f0r y0ur t1m3 4nd c0ns1d3r4t10n.

-R1l3y

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HappyQuark
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:03 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
grae313 wrote:Dear xx,
Thank you very much for offering me admission to your program and for your patience in waiting to hear back from me regarding my decision. I regret to inform you that I have decided not to accept your offer of admission because I have decided that I am not yet ready for graduate school. I believe that trying to choose between schools granting very different opportunities has shown me I need more time to think about and refine my interests. I did really enjoy visiting the school and meeting the students and faculty in your department, and look forward to possibly re-applying in the future with a clearer picture of what I'm looking for from my graduate career. Thank you again for your time and consideration.


Brownie points from me if you type it like this:

D34r xx,

Th4nk y0u v3ry much f0r 0ff3r1ng m3 4dm1ss10n t0 y0ur pr0gr4m 4nd f0r y0ur p4t13nc3 1n w41t1ng t0 h34r b4ck fr0m m3 r3g4rd1ng my d3c1s10n. 1 r3gr3t t0 1nf0rm y0u th4t 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d n0t t0 4cc3pt y0ur 0ff3r 0f 4dm1ss10n b3c4us3 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d th4t 1 4m n0t y3t r34dy f0r gr4du4t3 sch00l. 1 b3l13v3 th4t try1ng t0 ch00s3 b3tw33n sch00ls gr4nt1ng v3ry d1ff3r3nt 0pp0rtun1t13s h4s sh0wn m3 1 n33d m0r3 t1m3 t0 th1nk ab0ut and r3f1n3 my 1nt3r3sts. 1 d1d r34lly 3nj0y v1s1t1ng th3 sch00l 4nd m33t1ng th3 stud3nts 4nd f4culty 1n y0ur d3p4rtm3nt, 4nd l00k f0rw4rd t0 p0ss1bly r3-4pply1ng 1n th3 futur3 w1th 4 cl34r3r p1ctur3 0f wh4t 1'm l00k1ng f0r fr0m my gr4du4t3 c4r33r. Th4nk y0u 4g41n f0r y0ur t1m3 4nd c0ns1d3r4t10n.

-R1l3y


I'm putting my weight behind the Jive talk version

Dear xx, Dank ya' real much fo' offerin' me admission t'yo' honky code and fo' yo' patience in waitin' t'hear back fum me regardin' mah' decision. 'S coo', bro. ah' regret t'info'm ya' dat ah' have decided not t'accept yo' offa' of admission cuz' I gots decided dat ah' ain't yet eyebally fo' graduate farm. ah' recon' dat tryin' t'choose between farms grantin' real different oppo'tunities gots shown me ah' need mo'e time t'dink about and refine mah' interests. ah' dun did real enjoy visitin' de farm and meetin' de students and faculty in yo' department, and look fo'ward t'possibly re-applyin' in de future wid some cleara' picture uh whut I'm lookin' fo' fum mah' graduate career. Ah be baaad... Dank ya' again fo' yo' time and considerashun.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:07 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:Brownie points from me if you type it like this:

D34r xx,

Th4nk y0u v3ry much f0r 0ff3r1ng m3 4dm1ss10n t0 y0ur pr0gr4m 4nd f0r y0ur p4t13nc3 1n w41t1ng t0 h34r b4ck fr0m m3 r3g4rd1ng my d3c1s10n. 1 r3gr3t t0 1nf0rm y0u th4t 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d n0t t0 4cc3pt y0ur 0ff3r 0f 4dm1ss10n b3c4us3 1 h4v3 d3c1d3d th4t 1 4m n0t y3t r34dy f0r gr4du4t3 sch00l. 1 b3l13v3 th4t try1ng t0 ch00s3 b3tw33n sch00ls gr4nt1ng v3ry d1ff3r3nt 0pp0rtun1t13s h4s sh0wn m3 1 n33d m0r3 t1m3 t0 th1nk ab0ut and r3f1n3 my 1nt3r3sts. 1 d1d r34lly 3nj0y v1s1t1ng th3 sch00l 4nd m33t1ng th3 stud3nts 4nd f4culty 1n y0ur d3p4rtm3nt, 4nd l00k f0rw4rd t0 p0ss1bly r3-4pply1ng 1n th3 futur3 w1th 4 cl34r3r p1ctur3 0f wh4t 1'm l00k1ng f0r fr0m my gr4du4t3 c4r33r. Th4nk y0u 4g41n f0r y0ur t1m3 4nd c0ns1d3r4t10n.

-R1l3y


First, I thought you went through and actually took the time to type that. Then I remembered ctrl+F.

Also, Jive+Cockney =
Dear xx, Dank ya' real much fo' offerin' me admission t'yo' 'onky code and fo' yo' patience in waitin' t'hear hammer and tack fum me regardin' mah' decision. 'S coo', bro. ah' regret t'info'm ya' dat ah' 'ave decided not t'accept yo' offa' of admission cuz' I gots decided dat ah' ain't yet eyebally fo' graduate farm. ah' recon' dat tryin' t'choose between farms grantin' real different oppo'tunities gots shown me ah' need mo'e time t'dink about and refine mah' interests. ah' dun did real enjoy visitin' de farm and meetin' de students and faculty in yo' department, and 'ave a look fo'ward t'possibly re-applyin' in de future wid some cleara' picture uh wut I'm bloody well 'ave a lookin' fo' fum mah' graduate career. Ah be baaad... Dank ya' again fo' yo' time and considerashun.

tady
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby tady » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:16 pm

Ah Ah Ah! Ah Ah Ah!

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:04 pm

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Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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midwestphysics
Posts: 444
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:21 pm

Yeah it looks bad if you go through the deferring process and don't reactivate. The process was created in order to help people who have unusual changes in personal circumstance, not for people who view the school as a last resort and want to hold on to the option as they try everywhere else. That's what the April 15th deadline is about, to keep it after that point on false pretenses is wrong, and it won't go over well. My opinion is this, is a possible bad perception of you worth the $40-$100 it will cost you to reapply?

creepypasta13
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:22 pm

I see. I'm better off just repaying the fee

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:56 pm

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Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:25 pm

If this school that you're waiting for offers you comparable funding to the others will it be your top choice? Is there a decent chance you'll decline it in either case? Send another emails as well as pick the phone and call this Professor, leave a message if need be. Tell him what the deal is exactly, and let him know you'll decline within 48 hours if no details are sent out in order to be fair to the other schools and yourself. In the end 99.9% of funding isn't ideal; we could always use more money. The impression I get is that you're not interested in any of these schools you're accepted too, and are worried if you reapply next year you won't have LOR's. I don't know what to tell you, if you like a school pick it, or take a couple of years to get new LOR's and more experience. It's your choice, I can't really offer any useful insight on that front. As for now, if you still have a bunch offers’ sitting around it’s not smart. You should have it narrowed down to at the very most 2 schools by now. You should know among the schools that you have all the info on which one you'll attend, and let the others know about your rejection of their offer. The April 15th deadline exists to allow us time, but just like potential students find it annoying and somewhat insulting to not receive an answer until the 15th, I'm sure schools feel the same way. The sooner the better, especially if you're considering not even going to grad school this year.

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

Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:35 pm

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Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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midwestphysics
Posts: 444
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:28 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:Yes, it will be my top choice (and I would be excited to go there) IF I can get guaranteed funding. But the chair of the Physics dept told me, after talking with some Astro profs, that it looks like I won't get guaranteed funding. There was one Astro prof who seemed to be trying hard to look for other possibilities for funding for me, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet. I just sent him an email to ask about it on Friday, since he said he should have found out the details by then, but I haven't heard back from him. I guess I can try calling him. But of course, I don't want to piss off any of the Astro profs because if I reapply next year, I want to try this school again.

Couple of years? You mean apply for Fall '13 admissions? I can wait for Fall '12, but no way for Fall '13


Well, still, then you should have it down to one other school and this one you’re waiting for. At this point it probably won't piss anyone off that you’re getting antsy about funding details, they know as well as you that decision time is running out. There is a difference between being a pain and being on top of your game. They have a responsibility to let you know the full offer by a certain time just as much as you have a responsibility to reply by a certain time.

Yeah, a couple years, you said you need 2 good letters, which could take more than the 8 months you have until the 2012 season especially since it appears your options for research are limited.

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

Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:40 pm

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Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:48 am

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Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CurseTheseFactorsOf2
Posts: 8
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby CurseTheseFactorsOf2 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:53 pm

Lots of people request recs from REU advisors for 8-10 week summer projects, so it seems reasonable that you could get a fine rec from a 7-week project. You probably want to go all out for those 7 weeks though, make an extra effort to interact with the prof a lot (so he doesn't feel like you're still a stranger after 7 weeks), and be up front about your plans to switch to the other group after 7 weeks.

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

Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby creepypasta13 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:02 am

/.?
Last edited by creepypasta13 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Time off, no research--harmful to app?

Postby midwestphysics » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:51 am

creepypasta13 wrote:well I've declined all the offers except for 2 schools, and I'm still not ruling out attending them yet. For one of them, the one that hasn't given me all the details of their funding yet, I'm still confused by them. The Astro prof there mentioned that he may not know all the details until April 15th I think? It was a little hard to understand as he talks fast and rambles on alot. Anyways, if I wait until next week, since I was admitted to Physics but not Astro, would I be burning bridges if I reapply next year to their Astro but not Physics program?


I don't think you'd burn any bridges, especially since they seem to be having issues getting you funding which in itself is enough to reapply another year. Switching from physics to astro in the app process is fine I would assume, I don't think anyone would hold that against you. As for the issue of the 15th, I'm thinking and this is just speculation, but I'm thinking that their last hope to find funding for you is if they end up under their projection of acceptances and right now they're probably boarder line. The situation is tricky, since you won't know about your funding there until it’s too late for the other offers. If it was me, and this may be just me, I'd just assume that no funding exists and decide whether I want to go to this other school or reapply next year. That's totally a personal judgment call though; others might have a better suggestion.




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