Every School

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

hpharty
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:36 am

Every School

Postby hpharty » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:06 pm

Every single school I applied to has responded to at least one other student, accepted or rejected, according to this message board or the grad cafe. I realized this fact yesterday and it is really stressing me out. Anyone else in the same boat?

physchick
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:29 pm

Re: Every School

Postby physchick » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:37 pm

Oh yeah. I've found out I've been waitlisted at ALL. Growl.

jburkart
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:28 am

Re: Every School

Postby jburkart » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:14 pm

what's the probability of acceptance, given waitlistance? way low, or still reasonable? (obviously it depends on the school)

VT
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:30 pm

Re: Every School

Postby VT » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:42 pm

non zero, positive n less than 1. Sorry.

multigoal
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:37 pm

Re: Every School

Postby multigoal » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:57 pm

I'm waitlisted in Syracuse......plzzz let them know if anybody doesn't go........

forecast8
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: Every School

Postby forecast8 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:05 pm

VT wrote:non zero, positive n less than 1. Sorry.


I'll wager its MUCH less than one. Keep in mind that the waitlist program is managed by people with extensive training in math. The point of a waitlist is cover the department's rear in case of an unusually high non-acceptance rate. Professors need those RA's to do work, the department administration will prefer they move from TA to RA after no less than 3 semesters. The school needs a certain number of nimble minds, too few students and problems will show up down the road. So the waitlist may happen to benefit some lucky student but the purpose isn't to give false hope, thats just a side effect.

On the other hand, my safety school is pretty small and they can't afford even one extra acceptance so they only ever have out the exact number of offers they can fund. This means they DO draw pretty extensively from their waitlist. A fellow student at my school is bugging me to withdraw my app cause he thinks he's close to the top. I heard informally from graduate students at this school that this practice has burned them in the past since come late April they are making offers to marginal students.
Last edited by forecast8 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Admiralrewd
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:45 pm

Re: Every School

Postby Admiralrewd » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:26 am

it depends on the school really. It's a numbers game, they do some poisson statistics, or some similar distribution based on previous years. The issue is, they can't accept too many, cause the school is in trouble if too many accept the offer. So they decide that they need some % confidence level that they won't have more than mu+x or less than mu-x students accept the offer. If you have taken any basic probability classes you could probably pretty easily get a rough estimate of what kind of chances you have. But I would speculate that they are low, like 5-10%, higher if you are number 1 or number 2 on the waitlist.

Also keep in mind that just cause other people have heard, and you haven't doesn't mean it's a waitlist. Some schools do it in waves. So they take the students they are sure they want, and cut out the ones they are sure they don't want. Then they have say, for example, 5-10 spots (assuming normal accepting offers rate) left but still 20-30 applicants. So they do another wave. Each wave drops your chances.

Sorry if that doesn't make you happy.

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Every School

Postby admissionprof » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:30 am

One admissions director (who's a good friend) told me how they do it. They want a class of 10-12, and can't easily afford to go over. So they admit 15-20, and then in talking to the student (phone, email or during the visit) estimate the probability that the student accepts. They add up all of the numbers (yes, we know you don't add probabilities this way), and hope that it is 1000%. If it drops below 1000%, they add a few from the waiting list. So it's a gradual procedure. Doesn't work for larger schools though--the estimates become too crude.

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jdhooghe
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:28 pm

Re: Every School

Postby jdhooghe » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:59 am

Same here, I will be emailing all to see if I'm waitlisted :(

multigoal
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:37 pm

Re: Every School

Postby multigoal » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:56 pm

@ jdhooghe
Did Davis or Syracuse reply ur mail?....are they saying that u r waitlisted??........Then i believe we r on the same boat.......

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jdhooghe
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:28 pm

Re: Every School

Postby jdhooghe » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:50 pm

I'm still trying to get up the courage to ask :oops:




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