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Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:31 am
by Imperate
I know this isn't the best way of doing things, but one of my first choices (non US) wont give me an answer on funding til mid june, whereas my one school that I do have an offer from wants an answer by April 15 (was my safety choice). What if I were to accept the schools offer, then get funding from the other place in June, and then turned round and said to the first place I had made a mistake and wouldn't be attending?
Are there any penalties for doing this? I know this is a terrible thing to be thinking of, but I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. If I flat out reject my one certain offer, and don't get funding from the other place then I'll be left with nothing.

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:02 am
by FNR
You know, I'm on similar situation. The difference is, I have already been accepted to the grad school outside the USA, but they have not sent me any details of financial assistance or formal offer letter at this point. :(

admissionprof should be the best to answer this one....

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:04 am
by admissionprof
FNR wrote:You know, I'm on similar situation. The difference is, I have already been accepted to the grad school outside the USA, but they have not sent me any details of financial assistance or formal offer letter at this point. :(

admissionprof should be the best to answer this one....


The resolution signed by virtually all US schools says that any acceptance still in effect after April 15th is binding, and can't be rescinded without written permission of the university involved. This is firm.

That said, what can they do about it? It has happened to us once, when a student got a better offer in mid-May and asked us to give written permission to allow them to accept it. Of course, we gave the permission--we don't want to force someone to go here. We were mightily pissed though, since we had a full class and had turned someone down because this spot was full. I also remember the student's name, and if they apply here for a faculty job or postdoc, will not forget (but no, I won't launch a vendetta against them by telling other institutions). So you will almost certainly make some professors angry at you.

I understand the dilemma though. How about the following thought: complete honesty. Tell the school you've been accepted at exactly the situation, including the name of the non-US school, and that you are accepting their offer. They may have a suggestion. If that happened to me, I'd probably call the admissions person at the non-US school, and get an unofficial off-the-record estimate, not to be shared with anyone, about the odds that funding will materialize. Then I'd base decisions about our waitlist on those odds. And I wouldn't be upset at the student if they ended up going to the non-US school.

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:09 am
by admissionprof
One more point. Imperate--by looking at your profile, I can see what school you've been accepted to. It isn't my institution. But if I can see it, so can they. That's another reason for complete honesty...

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:10 am
by activegalaxybuff
I'm also with you guys. I've been accepted to a master's program, but a Ph.D. program has told me that I'm somewhere near the top of their shortlist and I'm just waiting on someone from the first round to turn down their offer (who, in turn, are all waiting for the same thing to happen at other schools they applied to). Meanwhile, the school I've already been accepted to has urged me to respond as quickly as possible (I know I have until 4/15, but I feel guilty about people on their waitlist). I know they were hoping to have some kind of decision for me this week, but it really seems like it's going to be one of those last minute things.

I'm really convinced that there's like five people who've been accepted to about ten schools and won't make a timely decision and that's what is holding everyone up. Keep in mind, this is astro where there usually are only about five spots for new grad students!

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:51 pm
by babazula
I did what you have in mind, last year. Last year, I got into an Ivy League school ( not Harvard, princeton,...), and accepted their offer. However, because I managed a distinction in the Part III examination, I emailed my potential supervisor, and told him that I was staying in Cambridge for my Phd, and he did not even reply me email. you know the rest of the story... I turned down Cambridge's offer due to the sabbatical leaves of stringy supervisors, and now although I have a PGRE: 900, self funding, distinction from Part III, 3 publications,recommendation letters from very-well known names, etc., I have no acceptance at all...
I don't know if those rejections have something to do with my late refusal, but if I were you, i would accept USC's offer, and continue my education. Something is better than nothing!

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:08 pm
by Imperate
So what are you gonna do Babazula? will you just be applying again next year?

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:43 pm
by a13ean
blanked

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:47 pm
by activegalaxybuff
a13ean wrote:I'm one of them unfortunately -- my girlfriend still hasn't heard back from her first choice program and after that it's an open field... We'll try to narrow it some this weekend. -A


YOU!!! :evil:

Just kidding. :D I can understand that. As long as one of your offers isn't from New Mexico State Astronomy, then it doesn't really effect me.

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:53 pm
by pqortic
activegalaxybuff wrote:I'm also with you guys. I've been accepted to a master's program, but a Ph.D. program has told me that I'm somewhere near the top of their shortlist and I'm just waiting on someone from the first round to turn down their offer (who, in turn, are all waiting for the same thing to happen at other schools they applied to). Meanwhile, the school I've already been accepted to has urged me to respond as quickly as possible (I know I have until 4/15, but I feel guilty about people on their waitlist). I know they were hoping to have some kind of decision for me this week, but it really seems like it's going to be one of those last minute things.


Same situation here. I should accept the lower-rank offer before April 15 and wait to hear from the better school after April 15. admissionprof said complete honesty; what if they honestly said NO, you have to come here!
so we have no choice, we make some professors angry at us or we miss the chance of studying in a better school.

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:02 pm
by babazula
Imperate wrote:So what are you gonna do Babazula? will you just be applying again next year?


i still have some pending applications, and good contacts with some professors. Hope never dies, yunno :)

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:07 pm
by cato88
activegalaxybuff wrote:I'm also with you guys. I've been accepted to a master's program, but a Ph.D. program has told me that I'm somewhere near the top of their shortlist and I'm just waiting on someone from the first round to turn down their offer (who, in turn, are all waiting for the same thing to happen at other schools they applied to). Meanwhile, the school I've already been accepted to has urged me to respond as quickly as possible (I know I have until 4/15, but I feel guilty about people on their waitlist). I know they were hoping to have some kind of decision for me this week, but it really seems like it's going to be one of those last minute things.

I'm really convinced that there's like five people who've been accepted to about ten schools and won't make a timely decision and that's what is holding everyone up. Keep in mind, this is astro where there usually are only about five spots for new grad students!


My impression is that youre facing a totally different situation than that of the OP because youre going from being unfunded to funded as opposed to OP who is going from funded to funded. If the school has no momentary investment in you then they do not lose anything by your leaving as opposed to OP who is being funded so by his leaving the department has misallocated resources because they cant take anyone new and use the money.

Re: Accept then reject

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:46 pm
by activegalaxybuff
cato88 wrote:My impression is that youre facing a totally different situation than that of the OP because youre going from being unfunded to funded as opposed to OP who is going from funded to funded. If the school has no momentary investment in you then they do not lose anything by your leaving as opposed to OP who is being funded so by his leaving the department has misallocated resources because they cant take anyone new and use the money.


Actually, the master's program I got accepted to comes with a tuition waiver and a stipend comparable to, and in some cases higher than, some Ph.D. programs I've seen. So, actually, it's pretty much the same. And if I had not received financial support, the point would be moot as the April 15th deadline only applies to offers of financial support.