Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

  • 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.

allen berger
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:26 am

Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

Postby allen berger » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Hello there,

I just started applying for msc and phd programs and I frequently saw the application web pages asking to list all the other places I am applying to. I wonder whether listing them or not telling anything at all will affect my chances at the school in any way. Can someone tell me what the risks are or whether I can just ignore filling such forms?

Thank you in advance.

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

Postby TakeruK » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:25 pm

Some of the time, the information is only seen by the Graduate School, not the department you're applying to. They just want to keep track of what other schools their applicants apply to, for statistical purposes. Usually, this will be clearly stated as an optional section.

But, I think more generally, departments could use this information to gauge whether or not you would accept their offer. For example, if they are offering a spot to their best applicant, and they see that according to the information, this applicant is not applying anywhere else, they would figure they have a really good chance of recruiting said applicant. However, if the applicant is also likely to be accepted at another school, they might figure that they have a 20%, 30%, 50% etc. of getting this student and this information can help them figure out how many acceptances to send in the first wave.

I don't think this information can ever hurt you. There's no reason for a school to decide to NOT offer a spot to a good student just because they applied to another school. Applicants are expected to be applying to lots of places anyways. In addition, this is a question you'll likely get asked at interviews or visits anyways.

allen berger
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:26 am

Re: Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

Postby allen berger » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:03 am

Hi again. I was just worried whether that could be used as test of honesty or something in case they have some other means of knowing to where I am applying. If they do not put too much weight on this aspect or if it is used only for statistical purposes, that would be fine for me.

Thanks.

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

Postby TakeruK » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:09 pm

They might be able to know where else you applied if they know people in other schools and it somehow came up in conversation. However, applicant information is confidential, so one school would not be sharing your application details with another, unless there are some very unethical things going on.

In addition, each one of us is probably something like one out of hundreds of applicants. What are the chances of our name coming up in random conversation between different schools' profs? And who is going to have time to cross-check something as inconsequential as the list of other schools? Grad school applications do not contain "trick questions", and there are no need for the departments to be "sneaky" in order to evaluate you. They are getting a ton of information -- transcripts, your SOP, test scores, and probably most importantly, your LORs. That's more than enough information to make decisions. They can even skype interview you (or do it in person, over phone etc.) if they need more data!

allen berger
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:26 am

Re: Telling other places I am applying to on application forms

Postby allen berger » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:30 am

I think that is more than enough to convince me not to worry over these any more. I was particularly concerned when I saw a common application website(such as embark.com or applyweb.com) for various universities. Thank you again for the clarification.

Allen




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests