Acceptance without Funding. Are they trolling me or what??

minaamq
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:32 am

Acceptance without Funding. Are they trolling me or what??

Postby minaamq » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:38 pm

Being an International student with non-excellent test scores (163q, 157v, 730p) scores, I mostly applied to 2nd and 3rd Tier Universities.
I got official acceptance by one of the Universities but didn't receive any details regarding assistantships or fellowships. After inquiring about it via email I got the response that they have sent out the TA offers and my name wasn't on their list and that they might send out a second round of offers after 15 April.

Prior to applying to all these schools I was told by multiple sources that Grad schools do not offer admission unless they can financially support the candidate. Even this University's website claims that ALL of their first year students are supported via TA/RA or external fellowships and the AIP's file on the University also corroborates their claim by showing that all 22 out of 22 fall 2015 enrollees got full tuition waiver and TA positions.

Why am I the unfortunate exemption?


Also, I got 29/30 in TOEFL Speaking test so the question of whether I have enough English language skills for a TA is void.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Acceptance without Funding. Are they trolling me or what??

Postby TakeruK » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:13 pm

For physics, it's my opinion that an acceptance without funding is basically the same as a rejection. I don't think it is ethical for schools to accept students that they cannot financially support. But my application season was awhile ago and maybe things are changing in the field. But my gut feeling says something weird is going on.

I can think of at least two possibilities:

1. This school is indeed able to support all of its students, however, there is a limited number of TA/RA spots and they accept more students than they have spots for, at first. Perhaps after everything is settled, all enrollees will indeed have tuition waivers and TA positions but they have not yet offered them.

2. This school is not able to fund students but for some reason, they still want to accept you. I don't think schools should be allowed to do this, in my opinion, but there's no law or rules against it.

So, I think there is nothing for you to lose by just holding onto this offer until a financial offer appears from this school, or you get a better offer from another place. You can let this school know that you cannot accept their offer unless there is a tuition waiver and a TA/RA/fellowship (if that is true). Hopefully, since you are not getting an financial offer, they will not require you to respond by any particular deadline. In that case, you can just wait until after April 15 and see if they make you a TA offer and then decide if you want to take it. Of course, during this time, if you get a better offer from somewhere else, then you probably want to take the other offer instead.

If the only offers you get are offers like this, then you will have to decide if doing an unfunded degree is a good idea for you. I'd say for most people it is not worth it, but only you know what's best for you. One thing to note is that as an international student, you will cost a lot more to public schools because international tuition is generally higher. Because 2nd and 3rd tier universities are usually 1) have lower budgets and/or 2) are public schools, there are extra challenges for an international student. The General GRE isn't that important and I don't know the rest of your profile, but sometimes international students will have a better chance of getting into some private 1st tier schools than public 2nd tier schools.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Acceptance without Funding. Are they trolling me or what??

Postby TakeruK » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:14 pm

Oh---I forgot to ask/confirm. I wrote the above assuming you are talking about PhD programs. If this is a Masters programs, then it's normal for US schools to not fund Masters degrees because terminal Masters programs are quite different than PhD programs. In this case, most of what I wrote above does not apply.

minaamq
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:32 am

Re: Acceptance without Funding. Are they trolling me or what??

Postby minaamq » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:19 am

TakeruK wrote:1. This school is indeed able to support all of its students, however, there is a limited number of TA/RA spots and they accept more students than they have spots for, at first. Perhaps after everything is settled, all enrollees will indeed have tuition waivers and TA positions but they have not yet offered them.


Well that is encouraging. I hope your first possibility is true as there is no way I could afford the tuition as well as living expense throughout the duration of my studies.

TakeruK wrote:Oh---I forgot to ask/confirm. I wrote the above assuming you are talking about PhD programs. If this is a Masters programs, then it's normal for US schools to not fund Masters degrees because terminal Masters programs are quite different than PhD programs. In this case, most of what I wrote above does not apply.


Yes, it is a PhD Program. I double checked to make sure there wasn't a mistake/misunderstanding in my application regrading this and sure enough, even my decision letter says

Your admission to graduate studies at the (..sorry dont wanna defame the School's name just yet..) has been approved for the program indicated below.
Major/Program: Physics - PhD with a concentration in Condensed Matter and Surface Physics
Term: Fall 2016

I'll just cling on to the hope that they will make me a TA offer soon, or that some other school will give me an acceptance along with an assistantship for a change.

Thanks for the help!




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