Countdown to April 15

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Dream
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:56 pm

Countdown to April 15

Postby Dream » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:07 pm

I know April 15 is coming close. I am still hanging on and hoping to move from waiting list to offer. On the other hand, my other offer is stated to be "valid until April 15". Does that includes April 15 itself? Or do I have to respond by midnight of April 14?

bbsmitz
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:31 pm

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby bbsmitz » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:49 pm


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

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby admissionprof » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:13 am

Dream wrote:I know April 15 is coming close. I am still hanging on and hoping to move from waiting list to offer. On the other hand, my other offer is stated to be "valid until April 15". Does that includes April 15 itself? Or do I have to respond by midnight of April 14?



Since the resolution refers to "after April 15th", and since time is a continuous variable, it is clear that the offer includes April 15th.

What time zone is another matter. I asked our Dean that yesterday. Their interpretation is that the offer expires at midnight at the location of the school. So Chinese students applying to US schools would have until mid-day Saturday China time.

But it would not be unreasonable for a school to put "close of business" in their offer letter. The NSF has a deadline of 5:00 PM for most grant proposals. If in doubt, ask.

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

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:50 am

admissionprof wrote:...since time is a continuous variable...


...a sufficiently good approximation of such at measurable scales, anyway.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby negru » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:04 pm

note that some schools want to know (ie receive decision form) by 5 pm. just sayin.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:34 pm

bbsmitz wrote:Edit:

http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/CGS_Resolution.pdf

Until the end of the 15th.


Nice link. Spells it out pretty well:

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.


Under these rules, there is no reason for a student to accept an offer before April 15th other than the safety of knowing that you've gotten your acceptance in before the deadline. Interesting to see that they require presentation of written releases along with the acceptance of an offer after April 15th.

Somehow it seems that a better solution would be to set up a computer system where the students and programs type their preferences into the system and then a computer program somehow figures it all out. Hmmmm.

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

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby admissionprof » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:40 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Under these rules, there is no reason for a student to accept an offer before April 15th other than the safety of knowing that you've gotten your acceptance in before the deadline.



Here's one reason: simple decency. People who wait until the very end before declining an offer screw those on waiting lists. And those who wait until the very end before accepting also mess up those on waiting lists, since the uncertainty makes places unwilling to make more offers. We still have a student who hasn't responded (and who hasn't responded to numerous e-mails in the past week)---if we KNEW that they would decline, we might have been able to add one more from the waiting list.

gobalicious
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:23 am

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby gobalicious » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:57 pm

Surely there must be a better system so there's no pressure to decide early for those accepted and still fair to those waitlisted?

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby vesperlynd » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:58 pm

It might be useful for the Council that governs this policy to have a similar one for students on waitlists. For example, a student was accepted to X by waitlisted at Y. As long as X confirms with Y that the student is waitlisted there, then X could grant an extension of one week. All acceptances from waitlists would have to be granted no later than one business day after the original deadline (i.e. this year April 18 for an original deadline of April 15). The student would have seven days from the original deadline to decide (April 22 from April 15).

This would require 1) schools directly confirm a waitlist claim, 2) the student submits a waitlist claim, 3) the schools notify the students of the original decisions by a certain date (say April 1 or March 15).

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

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby admissionprof » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:23 pm

vesperlynd wrote:It might be useful for the Council that governs this policy to have a similar one for students on waitlists. For example, a student was accepted to X by waitlisted at Y. As long as X confirms with Y that the student is waitlisted there, then X could grant an extension of one week. All acceptances from waitlists would have to be granted no later than one business day after the original deadline (i.e. this year April 18 for an original deadline of April 15). The student would have seven days from the original deadline to decide (April 22 from April 15).

This would require 1) schools directly confirm a waitlist claim, 2) the student submits a waitlist claim, 3) the schools notify the students of the original decisions by a certain date (say April 1 or March 15).


It's not that simple. The waitlist often isn't ordered, and sometimes the top on the waitlist will be determined by who has just accepted (if three people who plan to work with Prof. Einstein all accept, then the fourth, who is on the waitlist, will move farther down). Some schools have very long waitlists, some have very short ones. I can't see a standardized way to do it. Besides, getting hundreds of schools to agree (and in ALL fields, not just physics) simply won't happen.

astroprof
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: Countdown to April 15

Postby astroprof » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:41 pm

Just to echo comments that have appeared here every year, the April 15th deadline
is the organized way to do this. The idea of the Council of Graduate Schools
resolution is that all students have a common deadline within which to consider
their financial offers from different schools. While students are under no obligation
to reply earlier than this deadline, it is considered polite and respectful to let schools
know of your decisions as soon as you have reached them. This allows schools to
reach into their waitlist (if necessary) in a timely manner and may allow students on
the waitlist to learn of their ultimate fate prior to this deadline. As is the case with
any process that hinges on a sequence of actions, someone has to move first. Those
early rejections (or acceptances) result in movement in the waitlist, which results
in further notifications (positive or negative) that result in further decisions, etc. It
is certainly not a perfect system, particularly for those who are on the cusp at a number
of schools, but a common deadline does mean that most students are able to consider
all of their options before making a final decision. There are, of course, some offers
that are made post-April 15 due to unexpected low acceptances at some institutions.
Many of these will be untenable, as the student will have already accepted an offer
at a different program; we ask (not require!) students to let us know early (i.e., before April 15)
to minimize the number of post-April 15 offers. BTW, there is no obligation that schools
notify students of their status prior to April 15; most schools will do so out of courtesy,
and particularly if they expect to use their waitlist extensively, but some programs keep
their admissions active until the start of the school year (late August/September).

As an alternative method, you could consider the Resident Matching Program used
to place medical students into residency programs where they proudly announced
in this year's press release that 80% matched to one of their top three choices.
Personally, I prefer our system where 100% of students may attend their top choice
among the schools for which they were admitted.




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