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farflung

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  1. Notified of semi-finalist status this morning. 65 selected from about 350!
  2. ugh ugh ugh whyyyyyy! I've heard of programs doing this and it seems like such a terrible system (in comparison to just accepting very small cohorts every single year)! It does up the stakes of being on the wait list.
  3. In your example, the wait list for my department would be students 21+ -- the third scenario. In other words, we do factor in that not all students will accept their admissions offers-- and we offer admission beyond the # we'd like to see actually attend. We use the wait list when our acceptance rate among admitted students is really low.
  4. Also, an encouraging note: PhD programs only put people on the wait list when they could actually envision that person attending and succeeding in their program. It means you were in the running-- and more than that-- several faculty likely pulled for your application during the admissions committee meeting. That's great news, especially if you end up applying to the program again next application season.
  5. Wait list is better than nothing! In my program, we usually accept around 12, hoping to get a cohort of 6-8. There are random years we get 10 who accept, and some where we get like 3-5 people who accept. During the latter scenario, we end up pulling a couple of people off the wait list. The wait list is ranked but not super large (our cohorts aren't very large to begin with so this makes sense). Later in the waiting period, you can and should re-contact the department to ask about your chances. If you're tactful in how you ask, they may be willing to share where on the wait list you are, and w
  6. Yes yes yes. Factoring in this opportunity cost is so important as anyone considers the financial pros and cons of graduate school. It's not just whether you can get through your PhD without debt-- which should be a minimum expectation for PhD programs -- it's weighing whether you're prepared to delay things like promotions, applied work experience, and contributions to any kind of retirement fund for 7-8 years (average time to degree in my field). These opportunity costs are something I am only just now realizing in the later years of my PhD program. Like, crap, other people my age have retir
  7. Great that you have mentors! I shared the article because it has helped me think through what I did and did not know as a 20-something when I applied for graduate school, and because I hope it will be equally helpful to other people. I think work experience-- of any kind-- can be quite valuable to PhD programs, as can being a year or two removed from your BA program. This isn't to say that further school isn't valuable, it's merely to say that grad programs DO value life and work experience if you decide to go that route, even outside of academia. You do not need to feel pressured to pay for a
  8. Nah, I think it's foolish to go to a program that won't get you an academic job if that's what you want. It's fine to turn down offers that really aren't that great, and with more experience out of undergrad , you'll be more likely to get into more prestigious programs. I recommend this article too, to get a realistic perspective on what graduate school entails: http://theprofessorisin.com/2013/04/12/should-you-go-to-graduate-school/
  9. This depends a lot on your future career plans. Are you hoping for an academic job? In this case, rank is almost always more important than fit -- there are so few tenure-track academic jobs, that you basically need to come from one of the elite PhD-granting schools in order to get one (and even then... well... I won't rant about the state of the academic job market). If you're hoping to work outside of academia, I could see the argument for a lower-ranked school. If a program is admitting you, they think you're a fit in their department. It is usually smart to go with the highest ranked
  10. Also, just to clarify-- I also don't think you're more likely to gain admission if you go visit in February. Both years I applied, I visited a few programs in person in the fall (before I submitted apps) and it really didn't help! So don't feel like an in-person visit will give you a big leg up. Your application materials will speak for themselves, and if they don't, they'll reach out formally for an interview. Most departments are very aware that most applicants can't visit in person.
  11. Hm, odd. On the one hand it's a great sign if the professor is personally reaching out to you! But I am skeptical that this is something you need to do. If they really want to interview you or recruit you for their program, they will find a way -- phone, Skype, or PAY for you come visit (the norm). This practice favors the very wealthy and geographically close, and I wouldn't feel bad about not participating. Just kindly let the professor know that because of distance and work, you're not in a position to visit in person at the moment. However, you will certainly make every effort to visit eve
  12. This sounds odd to me. You should not need to pay for a recruiting visit or in-person interview, at least in American universities. Perhaps they think you're already planning to attend the colloquium for some reason? Or perhaps this is the POI's way of saying they've recommended you for admission (fingers crossed it is this!). I would recommend writing to judiciously get a sense of the purpose of this meeting/visit. Something like, "The event sounds really wonderful, and I'm eager to meet with you soon. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to attend the colloquium in person because of my work. I
  13. farflung

    FLAS 2017

    My impression is that you can't apply for a FLAS unless you are at a FLAS-granting-institution. I am not at a FLAS-granting institution so thought I was ineligible. Could be wrong, however!
  14. No-- I was admitted, and then they helped me apply during the fall of my first year of graduate school. The moral of the story: yes you can apply for external funding before admission (I did), but it's suuuuper difficult to secure! You're basically competing with people who have an entire department/institution behind them to help prepare their applications.
  15. This is true. Funding is a real concern for my Ivy League institution under the current government, and I can imagine it is much more pronounced at public universities. First and foremost, we're afraid many sources of external government funding are about to dry up -- including major sources of federal grants like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The way most universities (and PhD programs) are able to subsist economically is that a large percentage of faculty and graduate students are able to secure external grant funding from federal agencies and private
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