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Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:06 pm
by InquilineKea
I certainly don't want to show off, but it is going to be important if I want to be honest.

Basically, I'm visiting Yale+Brown, and UChicago just gave me a really amazing offer (with a fellowship for top applicants) - I also know the UChicago professors quite well. I'm very open to learning more about Yale and Brown, and the research done at those places, and there's probably *a lot* of good things about them that I don't know about yet, so I should not make any decisions. With that said, I'm a bit scared of making them think that I'll definitely come, since I'm going to be very split in the end.

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:13 pm
by kangaroo
Cool story bro

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:41 pm
by TakeruK
When going for MSc visits, the profs I talked to asked me directly whether I had offers from other schools or not. They didn't ask for specifics (such as any fellowship amounts). If you are worried about sounding like you are showing off, then don't mention other universities/offers. If they want/need to know, they will ask you.

I think it's understood by everyone that the student is expected to make the best choice for themselves so you shouldn't have to feel obligated to go to a place/prof just because they spent time talking with you.

Edit: I don't know how this works in the US, but when I was applying to Canadian MSc programs, my supervisors at my undergraduate institution told me to negotiate with the schools that offered admittance. That is, once you know where you want to go, use the fact that other schools want you in order to improve your own offer. They did not mean funding-wise (since going to the right school for you is not worth small differences in funding), but for other perks such as a promise from my supervisor that I will attend X conferences per year, or work conditions related things, such as office space, new equipment, etc. Things like that are possible since fellowships may mean your supervisor saves a lot of money on you, which they can instead spend on funding your work-related travel or your office.

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:33 pm
by InquilineKea
TakeruK wrote:When going for MSc visits, the profs I talked to asked me directly whether I had offers from other schools or not. They didn't ask for specifics (such as any fellowship amounts). If you are worried about sounding like you are showing off, then don't mention other universities/offers. If they want/need to know, they will ask you.

I think it's understood by everyone that the student is expected to make the best choice for themselves so you shouldn't have to feel obligated to go to a place/prof just because they spent time talking with you.

Edit: I don't know how this works in the US, but when I was applying to Canadian MSc programs, my supervisors at my undergraduate institution told me to negotiate with the schools that offered admittance. That is, once you know where you want to go, use the fact that other schools want you in order to improve your own offer. They did not mean funding-wise (since going to the right school for you is not worth small differences in funding), but for other perks such as a promise from my supervisor that I will attend X conferences per year, or work conditions related things, such as office space, new equipment, etc. Things like that are possible since fellowships may mean your supervisor saves a lot of money on you, which they can instead spend on funding your work-related travel or your office.


Oh cool - thanks so much for that advice! Yeah, the additional perks might be something to discuss too (which could even be related to "fit" - "fit" may have been one of the major reasons why Caltech understandably rejected me, especially since I'm more of an intuitive thinker than an analytical one). Though this only applies to those where I have special fellowships (which is not all of them)

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:58 am
by Andromeda
This is a fairly standard situation to be in and feel free to raise it- I've actually known students who said upfront "I was accepted into School X with this much of a stipend" and then School Y countered by offering them more.

Plus honestly, if the school cares about you (as they should) often people will give good advice about the other institution and opportunities etc. (As typically one strength in one school isn't in the other and vice versa.) We certainly did during recruitment weekend because we figured we were good enough to stand out on our own merit, and if a student is a better fit elsewhere it's probably best for all involved that they go there.

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:53 pm
by SSM
InquilineKea wrote:I certainly don't want to show off, but it is going to be important if I want to be honest.


The professors probably won't even care unless they want you in their group for some reason. Don't be afraid of telling them you're still thinking about your other offers. It doesn't really matter.

Re: Discussing offers from other universities during a visit?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:30 am
by Invincible
InquilineKea wrote:I certainly don't want to show off, but it is going to be important if I want to be honest.

Basically, I'm visiting Yale+Brown, and UChicago just gave me a really amazing offer (with a fellowship for top applicants) - I also know the UChicago professors quite well. I'm very open to learning more about Yale and Brown, and the research done at those places, and there's probably *a lot* of good things about them that I don't know about yet, so I should not make any decisions. With that said, I'm a bit scared of making them think that I'll definitely come, since I'm going to be very split in the end.


If you don't want to brag, and you shouldn't, simply bring it up if they ask. They are interested in you, not who else is interested in you (though they secretly are if you are an excellent candidate).

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