I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

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grae313
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I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby grae313 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:13 am

Acceptances that have gone out: ~25%

Please, don't put up your panicked, woeful posts until the end of February.

Hang in there guys, it's a long admissions season.

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HappyQuark
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:05 am

grae313 wrote:Acceptances that have gone out: ~25%

Please, don't put up your panicked, woeful posts until the end of February.

Hang in there guys, it's a long admissions season.


Despite being, in my opinion, fully qualified I received a rejection letter from McDonald's this afternoon.

CarlBrannen
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby CarlBrannen » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:16 pm

grae313 wrote:Acceptances that have gone out: ~25%

Please, don't put up your panicked, woeful posts until the end of February.

Hang in there guys, it's a long admissions season.


Unfortunately, I've been here before. The same thing happened in 1982. I ended up getting into U. Cal., Irvine through an acceptance letter dated in May, after all my applications died. This time, being older and wiser, I'm going to start pulling strings a lot earlier and (hopefully) more intelligently. If I can't get into a top school, there are some pretty good schools with professors whose work I'm extending and would love to attend. I'm looking at Arizona State and New Mexico, and maybe my alma mater, New Mexico Tech.

-----------------------------------
P.S. Still no acceptances. If someone knows of a department who needs a hot shot electronics engineer / grad student, PGRE = 990, please send them my way. I'm easy to find on the web. Works cheap. House trained. Doesn't shed much. Theory or experiment.

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twistor
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby twistor » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:38 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
grae313 wrote:Acceptances that have gone out: ~25%

Please, don't put up your panicked, woeful posts until the end of February.

Hang in there guys, it's a long admissions season.


Despite being, in my opinion, fully qualified I received a rejection letter from McDonald's this afternoon.


Don't sweat it. McDonald's receives many more applicants than they can reasonably hire so many qualified applicants are forced take acceptances from safety restaurants like Arby's.

tychobrahe_1
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby tychobrahe_1 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:02 pm

Rejections so far, can I start panicking now?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:16 pm

tychobrahe_1 wrote:Rejections so far, can I start panicking now?


I wouldn't panic yet. I glanced at your profile and I think you have a solid change to get accepted somewhere. Being a female minority really will help and I'll be surprised if you don't get in somewhere, even if it isn't right away. Truly all you can do is wait out the weeks and hope. Remember, there is always next year, and waiting a year is not that bad of an idea if you're really passionate about this.

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:01 am

tychobrahe_1 wrote:Rejections so far, can I start panicking now?


Let me give you some advice that will help you in life, especially when you invest in the stock market: "Don't panic. But, if you absolutely positively must panic, then try to do it before everyone else does."

The time to panic was back in February when they started this thread in response to my panicking.

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grae313
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby grae313 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm

I'm still holding on to some hope for you Carl, but soon I may have to eat my words and give you a big apology. I'm astounded, really - I thought you were guaranfuckingteed.

kapil_ds
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby kapil_ds » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:36 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Let me give you some advice that will help you in life, especially when you invest in the stock market: "Don't panic. But, if you absolutely positively must panic, then try to do it before everyone else does."

The time to panic was back in February when they started this thread in response to my panicking.


Very wise words, Carl, very wise words. As you had said earlier, 'hope is not a plan'. I would have done exactly the same thing if I were in your shoes. In my case, I have the option of waiting out one more year if needed (besides my wife just got offered a tenure track faculty position, woohoo :-) ).

tychobrahe_1 wrote:Rejections so far, can I start panicking now?


Tycho, there is not much to do except wait and hope. I do think that you will get in. But just in case you don't, wait out this year and work on your weaknesses. You might end up getting into a much better school next year. I think Kubikat can tell you more about that.

Kapil

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InquilineKea
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:48 am

At my university's Astronomy department, a lot of students manage to get paid undergrad research (over $10-12 per hour) even after they graduate. In fact, it seems that paid undergrad research seems to be the norm rather than the exception there. In fact - the life may actually be happier than a grad student's life. But it might be mostly only open to people who stay in the area after graduating (so most state universities count). Plus, it's a great opportunity to get better recommendations.

And if your parents tolerate it, you can always do unpaid research too. Nothing wrong with that (again, as long as your parents tolerate it).

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twistor
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby twistor » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:18 am

InquilineKea wrote:At my university's Astronomy department, a lot of students manage to get paid undergrad research (over $10-12 per hour) even after they graduate. In fact, it seems that paid undergrad research seems to be the norm rather than the exception there. In fact - the life may actually be happier than a grad student's life. But it might be mostly only open to people who stay in the area after graduating (so most state universities count). Plus, it's a great opportunity to get better recommendations.

And if your parents tolerate it, you can always do unpaid research too. Nothing wrong with that (again, as long as your parents tolerate it).


What do your parents have to do with anything?

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midwestphysics
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:43 am

twistor wrote:What do your parents have to do with anything?


Seriously? Um, well for some people it's either work to pay the bills or sponge off your parents.

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twistor
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby twistor » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:33 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:What do your parents have to do with anything?


Seriously? Um, well for some people it's either work to pay the bills or sponge off your parents.


Assuming you're away at college they won't even find out unless you make it a point to tell them.

bfollinprm
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:37 pm

twistor wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:What do your parents have to do with anything?


Seriously? Um, well for some people it's either work to pay the bills or sponge off your parents.


Assuming you're away at college they won't even find out unless you make it a point to tell them.


Well, it's either tell them and get money for rent, or become homeless. I think you're assuming that everyone's parents cover all bills all year unquestioningly.

Now, once you're in grad school, you should be finding your own way about the world. But as an undergrad, unpaid internships aren't uncommon; they really aren't necessary in Physics, but they aren't uncommon.

abhishodh
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby abhishodh » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:25 pm

Rejects from half the places I have applied and silence from the rest.
The question to ask myself is "Was I unreasonably ambitious?". I figured, with 3 papers and good research experience to make up for my less than impressive GPA, my choice of universities was sensible.
Considering the very real possibility of reapplying, it would be awesome if some of the more experienced people on the forum could help me. My profile is posted, with the universities I have applied to.
Cheers!

bfollinprm
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:45 pm

abhishodh wrote:Rejects from half the places I have applied and silence from the rest.
The question to ask myself is "Was I unreasonably ambitious?". I figured, with 3 papers and good research experience to make up for my less than impressive GPA, my choice of universities was sensible.
Considering the very real possibility of reapplying, it would be awesome if some of the more experienced people on the forum could help me. My profile is posted, with the universities I have applied to.
Cheers!


Internationals this year got a bad deck of cards I think. Not your fault, just the bad economy--taking a US student is cheaper, especially at a public school, since we can get resident tuition after the first year and don't require some expensive paperwork. We can also apply for fellowships later that internationals aren't eligible for.

I would suggest more private universities ranked 20-50 for next year if you're forced to reapply, since the difference between US/international is smaller there. Apply to places like Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Brown, Washington University-St. Louis, William and Mary, etc if you find yourself having to reapply. Though I'd expect that somewhere like USC would have accepted you this year, maybe there's just a really strong downdraft of internationals filling the application pools of the middle tier.

Some schools on your list, by the way, are holding out because of funding. I'd expect you'll hear a positive from someone this year, but it might not be before the 15th (you'll take the spot of someone who says no). Some schools are really tight on funding, and will have correspondingly tight upper bounds on the number of students they accept.

bfollinprm
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:48 pm

CarlBrannen wrote: If I can't get into a top school, there are some pretty good schools with professors whose work I'm extending and would love to attend. I'm looking at Arizona State and New Mexico, and maybe my alma mater, New Mexico Tech.


Just a heads up: U Pitt is really easy to get into when compared to the quality of research. There's also a lot of bleeding over into CMU, so it's like 2 schools for the price of 1. They take late applications.

EDIT: Also, as an aside, and this might matter more for someone like you who's used to a salary. Pittsburgh is like the cheapest city in the world to live in. I was seeing apartments for $350/month, with mortgages in the $1500/month range.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:10 pm

abhishodh wrote:Rejects from half the places I have applied and silence from the rest.
The question to ask myself is "Was I unreasonably ambitious?". I figured, with 3 papers and good research experience to make up for my less than impressive GPA, my choice of universities was sensible.
Considering the very real possibility of reapplying, it would be awesome if some of the more experienced people on the forum could help me. My profile is posted, with the universities I have applied to.
Cheers!


I think it's reasonable to compare your profile to mine. Big difference of course is you have publications but are also an international student. Being a domestic student really does help (and I don't mean just this year). Although I felt my profile was fairly strong, I didn't want to apply to just top 20 places. You'll notice that the three places I did apply to in this range I received rejections from. Honestly, I'd say you were rather ambitious, considering most of the schools you applied to were top 20ish schools. Also if you specified High Energy, there are "rumors" that you'd need a higher PGRE than other sub-fields. Although there is no way of clarifying this, it is possible at higher end schools this is taken into account (not an unreasonable gesture). Anyways, I still think you've got a shot at some of the schools that you haven't been rejected by yet. Remember, it takes longer for schools to get back to international students, so just hold on tight.

-Riley

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twistor
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby twistor » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:36 pm

Well, it's either tell them and get money for rent, or become homeless. I think you're assuming that everyone's parents cover all bills all year unquestioningly.

Now, once you're in grad school, you should be finding your own way about the world. But as an undergrad, unpaid internships aren't uncommon; they really aren't necessary in Physics, but they aren't uncommon.


Yes, cuz I'm sure one of the first questions they ask you is, "Hey... you're not working for free, are you? So *** help me if I find out you're doing unpaid research......."

CarlBrannen
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:33 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote: If I can't get into a top school, there are some pretty good schools with professors whose work I'm extending and would love to attend. I'm looking at Arizona State and New Mexico, and maybe my alma mater, New Mexico Tech.


Just a heads up: U Pitt is really easy to get into when compared to the quality of research. There's also a lot of bleeding over into CMU, so it's like 2 schools for the price of 1. They take late applications.

EDIT: Also, as an aside, and this might matter more for someone like you who's used to a salary. Pittsburgh is like the cheapest city in the world to live in. I was seeing apartments for $350/month, with mortgages in the $1500/month range.


I'll consider sending them an application. I have relatives in the area.

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midwestphysics
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:13 pm

twistor wrote:
Well, it's either tell them and get money for rent, or become homeless. I think you're assuming that everyone's parents cover all bills all year unquestioningly.

Now, once you're in grad school, you should be finding your own way about the world. But as an undergrad, unpaid internships aren't uncommon; they really aren't necessary in Physics, but they aren't uncommon.


Yes, cuz I'm sure one of the first questions they ask you is, "Hey... you're not working for free, are you? So *** help me if I find out you're doing unpaid research......."


Let's put this another way, some people don't have the luxury of saying "Hey, Mom and Dad pay my ****** bills!" Is that a better explanation for you? So unless you have the time to do work outside, as well as school and research, getting paid is kind of important for a lot of people.

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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:51 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
twistor wrote:
Well, it's either tell them and get money for rent, or become homeless. I think you're assuming that everyone's parents cover all bills all year unquestioningly.

Now, once you're in grad school, you should be finding your own way about the world. But as an undergrad, unpaid internships aren't uncommon; they really aren't necessary in Physics, but they aren't uncommon.


Yes, cuz I'm sure one of the first questions they ask you is, "Hey... you're not working for free, are you? So *** help me if I find out you're doing unpaid research......."


Let's put this another way, some people don't have the luxury of saying "Hey, Mom and Dad pay my ****** bills!" Is that a better explanation for you? So unless you have the time to do work outside, as well as school and research, getting paid is kind of important for a lot of people.


There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'.

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midwestphysics
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:08 pm

HappyQuark wrote:There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'.

That's exactly what I'm saying, some people have to pay their own bills.

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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:46 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'.

That's exactly what I'm saying, some people have to pay their own bills.


Image

That's what I'm talkin' bout!

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twistor
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby twistor » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:02 am

HappyQuark wrote:Let's put this another way, some people don't have the luxury of saying "Hey, Mom and Dad pay my ****** bills!" Is that a better explanation for you? So unless you have the time to do work outside, as well as school and research, getting paid is kind of important for a lot of people.


There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'.[/quote]

If you're paying your own way then what difference would it make to your parents?

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midwestphysics
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby midwestphysics » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:17 am

twistor wrote:
Midwestphysics wrote:Let's put this another way, some people don't have the luxury of saying "Hey, Mom and Dad pay my ****** bills!" Is that a better explanation for you? So unless you have the time to do work outside, as well as school and research, getting paid is kind of important for a lot of people.


HappyQuark wrote:There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'

If you're paying your own way then what difference would it make to your parents?



:D Okay, let' break this down a little more. If you're doing research for pay, you should be relatively able to pay for your own bills. In you're not getting paid to do research, and the time for an outside job doesn't exist which it usually doesn't, you are then unable to pay your own bills. So at that junction you have a choice, go homeless and kill your credit, or do what some people do and that's turn to family for help. The original post pushing us into this mine field stated that you could do unpaid research so as long as your parents, aka family, or really any other avenue of income would be cool with helping you cover costs while you were basically unemployed.

So, in review, if you're a person accustomed to paying your own way, any unpaid research opportunity may be reliant on others picking up the slack in your financials.

EDIT: Don't know why the quotes got all messed up, fixed.
Last edited by midwestphysics on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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HappyQuark
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:42 am

twistor wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Let's put this another way, some people don't have the luxury of saying "Hey, Mom and Dad pay my ****** bills!" Is that a better explanation for you? So unless you have the time to do work outside, as well as school and research, getting paid is kind of important for a lot of people.

There is always the option of paying your own bills. Just sayin'.


If you're paying your own way then what difference would it make to your parents?


That's strange, I don't recall saying the first bit of that.

strikershootingguard
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby strikershootingguard » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:56 am

abhishodh wrote:Rejects from half the places I have applied and silence from the rest.
The question to ask myself is "Was I unreasonably ambitious?". I figured, with 3 papers and good research experience to make up for my less than impressive GPA, my choice of universities was sensible.
Considering the very real possibility of reapplying, it would be awesome if some of the more experienced people on the forum could help me. My profile is posted, with the universities I have applied to.
Cheers!


I think your case shows how random admissions is for all but the most incredibly qualified international students. I mean, two Phys. Rev. D papers? That should have made you a strong applicant from the get-go. Your GPA also seems quite strong, and I wouldn't quite call your school choice "unreasonably ambitious"--I've seen international applicants (in past profile pages) get into at least one top 20 school, with similar or lesser credentials than you have. Maybe you applied (as I have) to too many top 10 schools. But then again, a quick look at the 2011 profiles shows that your case isn't an isolated one--suggesting that there are a lot of funding issues for internationals this year, as another poster mentioned earlier.

If you find yourself reapplying, you should probably work on the PGRE. 890 is good, but it's quite likely that some top schools do their initial weeding-out using PGRE scores (i.e., anything less than, say, 950 gets taken out of consideration, especially with HEP-th). There's really not a lot that you can do with improving your research, since it all appears maxed-out anyway :).

I doubt that you'll even have to go through the application process again, though: you've got an effin' good shot at Stony Brook and Penn State. And as for Michigan, UIUC, and Maryland...I dunno, I'm still waiting for them, too. I'm on the same boat as you are: rejections galore (except for one lucky top 20 admit).

abhishodh
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby abhishodh » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:42 am

Thanks everyone for your comments
bfollinprm wrote:Some schools on your list, by the way, are holding out because of funding. I'd expect you'll hear a positive from someone this year, but it might not be before the 15th (you'll take the spot of someone who says no). Some schools are really tight on funding, and will have correspondingly tight upper bounds on the number of students they accept.

Do you mean after the 15th of April? I did not know they make offers then.
strikershootingguard wrote:I doubt that you'll even have to go through the application process again, though: you've got an effin' good shot at Stony Brook and Penn State.

I can hope. In fact I was told by a prof from Stony Brook that with my profile it should be rather easy to gain admission. I would be happy to go anywhere I have applied.
Just the idea of repeating the whole application procedure is not very comforting.
Anyway, right now, I wait. And try to get on with work.

bfollinprm
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Re: I'm DOOMED! Am I fit even to work at McDonalds?

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:39 am

abhishodh wrote:Thanks everyone for your comments
bfollinprm wrote:Some schools on your list, by the way, are holding out because of funding. I'd expect you'll hear a positive from someone this year, but it might not be before the 15th (you'll take the spot of someone who says no). Some schools are really tight on funding, and will have correspondingly tight upper bounds on the number of students they accept.

Do you mean after the 15th of April? I did not know they make offers then.


Well, not many in previous years. But a lot of people will say no at or around the deadline, and schools will find themselves short of entering students at the last minute. They then raid india and china to fill their empty slots.




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