Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

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Godot
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:09 pm

Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby Godot » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:38 pm

Is it "before April 15" or "up to 5pm April 15" or "up to midnight April 15?" I can't seem to find this answer anywhere. I'm hoping that this doesn't become relevant, but the time is fast approaching and I'm still undecided...

bfollinprm
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Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:14 pm

To be safe, I'd decide by 5:00pm EST. But really, make the decision tomorrow. An extra day isn't going to clear up a lot.

quantum_fan
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby quantum_fan » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:21 pm

This is still relevant for people waiting to hear back about waitlists...

admissionprof
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Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby admissionprof » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:27 pm

Generally, I would assume that it's 5:00 PM at the place that made you the offer (which would mean the morning of the 16th in Asia.)

It can be extremely relevant if you are next on the waitlist and the decision as to whether to accept you depends on whether they reach their desired target. If you are simply undecided, then please give the people on the waitlist a break and decide in the morning. Someone might miss out on going to graduate school because you took a few extra hours.

But if you are waiting to hear from school X before deciding about school Y, then it becomes difficult. Phone calls to the admissions director will give you a good idea. One can imagine all sorts of domino situations, where person A is waiting to hear from X, B is waiting to hear from Y and then school X is waiting to hear from B and Y is waiting to hear from A.......gridlock. Be honest with the admin director -- sometimes he/she can make some phone calls and get a better idea.

Of course, if you get an offer late Monday night, they can, in principle, give you 30 minutes to make a decision....

quantum_fan
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby quantum_fan » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:00 pm

I'm sure this varies from place to place, but in your experience, is 5 PM a hard deadline? My understanding was that the April 15th deadline was put in place to prevent schools from pressuring you to commit early (by threatening to withdraw their offer for instance). So while they are only required to hold your offer until the 15th, ultimately the department has some discretion in extending this deadline right? I'm thinking specifically of the case that you brought up. Is it possible that offers to the waitlist would be made after 5 PM in the event that an unexpectedly large number of declines come in right around the deadline? Similarly, if you are in contact with a school and tell them that you are waiting to hear back about a waitlist, might they extend the deadline for you?

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

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:48 am

There almost certainly will be some waitlist offers after the 15th at some schools. The problem is the people on these waitlists have to make their own decisions on any admissions they have by the 15th. For instance, I got an acceptance on the 17th of April, but of course I'd already chosen Davis (and actually had told them to take me off their waitlist--an unheeded request). Anyhow, a good maxim for decision-making is the earlier you can decide, the better for everyone else involved. Even waiting until the 15th is a long time to spend on a waitlist.

admissionprof
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Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby admissionprof » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:19 am

quantum_fan wrote:I'm sure this varies from place to place, but in your experience, is 5 PM a hard deadline? My understanding was that the April 15th deadline was put in place to prevent schools from pressuring you to commit early (by threatening to withdraw their offer for instance). So while they are only required to hold your offer until the 15th, ultimately the department has some discretion in extending this deadline right? I'm thinking specifically of the case that you brought up. Is it possible that offers to the waitlist would be made after 5 PM in the event that an unexpectedly large number of declines come in right around the deadline? Similarly, if you are in contact with a school and tell them that you are waiting to hear back about a waitlist, might they extend the deadline for you?


5 PM is my guess....if one wanted to get technical, then if the letter says April 15th, it's probably until midnight. I have occasionally extended a deadline by a few days. For example, if we have roughly the size class we want (and variations of 1-2 students never really matters), there are a couple of outstanding offers, and one of those offers asks for a couple of days more, I'd give it to them.

On occasion, we've even made offers after April 15 (giving a few days) when the class is anomalously small. But that is very rare.

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

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby astroprof » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:37 am

A further technical point: it is the offer of funding (TA, RA, or fellowship) that expires on April 15. The admissions offer is usually still valid (at my institution, you have two years to choose to matriculate, and the offer still stands even if you have declined it). This is a moot point for most, since most students cannot afford to pay for graduate school, but it may be relevant if you discover that the school you chose to attend is not a good match.

In terms of the exact time of day, if it is not specified in the offer letter, it is probably midnight (your time, the school's time, UT, or some other time zone...). For practical purposes, however, like admissionprof said, I also recommend considering it as 5pm in the time zone of the institution making the offer.

However, I would like to point out that not all departments view variations of 1-2 students as negligible. Admissionprof's case is for a Physics department. In Astronomy, our target class size may be only a few students, so 1-2 is a large variation. In our department, we usually make more offers than we expect to accept (over-commits), but as April 15 nears we are trying to hit an exact target number. We have made offers on, or after, April 15. If you are on a waitlist, you should be in contact with the departments and express your continued (or not) interest in their program. There is no exact science to resolve the grid-lock/domino effect of competing waitlist/offer scenarios, but direct communication of the situation is the most palliative measure.

Finally, if you are holding more than 2 offers at this time, please be a responsible citizen and decline the programs that you are no longer interested in attending. You do not need to have made a final decision in order to notify the other schools. Directors of Graduate Study, Chairs of Admissions Committees, and anxious waitlisted students are all checking their in-boxes regularly today.

microacg
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:06 pm

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby microacg » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:56 am

When you guys say a midnight deadline do you mean an 11:59pm deadline on the 24th or the 25th?

Midnight on the 25th would technically be directly after 11:59pm on the 24th, but I'm not sure if that's what people mean.

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

Re: Stupid question about the April 15 deadline

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:06 pm

For practical purposes, you have until 5:00 pm tomorrow, the 15th of April.




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