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About starkid

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  • Location
    Newark, DE
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
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  1. Out of nowhere, can I just say, what the helllllllll is wrong with UPenn? If you read their weekly Applied Grad Student Q&As, you'll see they absolutely refuse to commit to having decisions out by April 15th. That seems incredibly, incredibly nerve-wracking for someone with a few offers but Penn definitely has a chance to best #1 (…. like me). On one hand, their visit weekends are already over, but on the other hand, they said in the chat that they still have "a majority' of decisions left to make. WTFFFFF 😤 That being said, barring Penn, University of Maryland was awesome. And then Delaware came through on their visit by showing off the so-new-they're-moving-in-next-year building. But Penn's holdout is stressful af. Thx bye
  2. Eh, I emailed the Bioeng Grad program coordinator and she said she'd put my new transcript with my application. My friend who's in grad school said if they haven't rejected you, they're still considering you, and so I've resolved to stop freaking out. Stay strong. They literally said in their Q&A that they might go past their 6-8 week soft deadline because of the government shutdown affecting funding security, and UPenn is known to do quite a few 'direct' to-lab admits.
  3. Ouch. I didn't see anything about it on the results page?? I see you also applied. Please, share my chocolate-flavored fear.
  4. Hehehe hi everyone. Back again since I'm tired of chewing down my fingernails by myself. Why hasn't UPenn made decisions yet???? it's f**kin killing me! I'm gonna be at a convention this weekend, so if they don't release until Friday, watch me have a breakdown in a stranger's car.????? Also their weekly "Good day and thank you for expressing interest in Graduate study in the Bioengineering, PhD. You are receiving this email because you have submitted an application for the Fall 2019 term." email that sounds like a rejection but is just an invite to their stupid Q&A chat kills me every time. One time I literally screamed. Last thing: I submitted my application before my fall grades had come out. Should I email them my Fall grades or is it stupid now? Asking bc I got a bad grade Junior Spring and want them to think I'm not an idiot. I really just had a situation. (see, the thing about that class there is...) Thanks for waiting with me, y'all. I have two chocolate bars in my backpack and two bags of chocolate at home just in case I get 'the news'. PSA: Actually there is a reason for Penn taking so damn long. "We do try to get decisions out in 6-8 weeks, but there is no guarantee and actually, with the gov't shutdown, we expect a further delay because PIs will have to wait longer to find out about their funding." I scream internally.
  5. Oh also I got my first rejection late last night via personal email from the director of grad studies at Princeton. It was all about fit but I know I could have made it a better fit if I hadn't written the application in literally a week. It's okay cuz I was the least excited about it, but I'd love to have the option. le sigh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  6. Hmmm... I've been through something similar, I went to a weekend at UD that was all really a veiled competition for scholarships, and there were outright interviews/monitored conversations, as well as mingling with professors, and I came out okay, but I will have to watch it and maybe not drink bc I just turned 21 so I don't really know my limits... (also exactly 1/2 half of a goody two-shoes... I love some rules, and I also love the feeling of hacking the system. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Thanks for the advice. I will probably be my regular self to everyone, but in 'regular self around people I want to have like me' mode.
  7. "It's lame compared to a city, but it's not lame compared to a non-city." The campus looks nice, and it's a party school, so "how lame could it be?" ^^ From my bf. I'm just itching to get out of town, lol. I don't really party or drink (turned 21 recently), so I thought the town was just so-so. My bf says there's lots of good places to eat, but I would say there are isolated great places to eat and no really good sushi joint in town, which is a crime. But there's an Indian place, an Afghan place, a Vietnamese place (soon two), and two really authentic Chinese places in town. (Also a family-run but only mediocre Japanese place). There's also several chain burrito and pizza joints, as well as an authentic Mexican place and other upscale dining establishments. He's right that the campus is very pretty. The street layout is weird in that Main St. is a one-way street. As the university expanded I think they had to make new traffic patterns that are weird. The town is dominated/defined by the University, in my opinion. Makes sense to me, as the population of undergrads alone is like, ten times that of my puny home town. I'm not sure how to feel about our 'dance floor' restriction, but basically there's only one bar/restaurant where you're 'allowed to dance', which is because the town wants to lower the party-school reputation, I think. Anyway, there's more to say about UD but that's all I have in me for now.
  8. Thanks Moods. I think accounts I've heard about interview weekends may have been exaggerated. I guess I was wondering why it sounds like some people are contacted directly by POIs and some are invited to official interview weekends/multi-day-happenings.
  9. Thanks. My sig has been unforgivably bland since I made it like 20 minutes ago, lol
  10. UPenn seems like the absolute latest replier (except Princeton, which sends out invites/accepts at a 'normal' time, but sends rejections like a week later, UGH). stg, being so worked up about hearing back from schools is hampering my ability to do research/write my Senior Thesis over the winter XD
  11. Do people get like, rejected after interview weekend? Like, if they don't fit with anybody, or are just a real asshole? What if you can't go? Will that negatively impact you? Do some schools just do POI interviews and some do like, party weekends? Hopefully these are silly questions, I just had to ask.
  12. Who isn't applying to Penn... raise your hand. (Thank you so much for not applying so the rest of us have fewer people to fight to the death for spots... I mean, travel this difficult admissions path with) If anyone cares, I didn't apply to Johns Hopkins because they don't seem to have anybody specializing in what I'm interested in. Actually, Maryland seemed to have lots of microfluidics people.
  13. I know, I'm late to the game... Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): University of Delaware, 9th for Chemical Engineering (my home major) Major(s): Chemical Engineering Minor(s): None GPA in Major: Idk if I really want to know. Overall GPA: 3.686/4.0 which is lower than earlier semesters Demographics/Background: Half Asian (filipino), female, Tau Beta Pi chapter president, Honors, Dean's list, on a full-ride scholarship, had some funding for summer research. GRE Scores: 169 Verbal/ 164 Quant/ 4.5 AW LOR: How can people know how strong a LOR is if they can't read it? I got one from a professor who I just talked to about grad school and life, my PI who is fairly selective in recruiting undergrads, and the Tau Beta Pi chapter advisor who is also a professor of mine. Research Experience: Like, a ton, but in 3 different labs in undergrad. Awkwardly left the first two because it was bad fit/poor mentoring experience. Will be completing an honors senior thesis. Publications/Abstracts/Presentations: 1st author abstract for BMES conference this year with a poster. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Won 'Innovation Award' cash prize at a University design/business competition that was based on open-source tech for heal. Sigma Xi (scientific research honor society) Member. Fellowships/Funding: Applied for GRFP. May apply for Tau Beta Pi Fellowship. Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Meh. Volunteer with Assistive Technology club, President of Tau Beta Pi, Treasurer of Hacking Club. Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments: Random 1000$ named scholarship for no apparent reason, a couple other nominal honors, like 'Student of Distinction', General Honors Award. Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.): I seem to have lots of contacts at Princeton (practically everyone I worked for went there at some point), none at my #1 school, Upenn, obvs some at my home school, UD, and I met some nice people from University of Maryland who gave me a fee waiver. Research Interests: microfluidics, sensors, infectious disease, global health. Institutions/Programs: Keepin it local: University of Delaware (my Undergrad Institution) University of Maryland Princeton University University of Pennsylvania Comments: I have tons of contacts at Princeton, which is kind of a weird fit for me, imo. I have basically nobody on the inside at Upenn, my top choice. I contacted my POI there, who's like, my idol, but he never got back to me and I don't wanna be creepy. It's so disheartening when a PI's website says to reach out to them if you're interested in working for them, and they don't write back. I crei ever tim. Heard back from UMD super-duper fast. I had to submit 5 days early to use the fee waiver, and they got back to me one day after the regular deadline (with an interview offer). Probably the fee waiver also put me on some fast-tracked review process. Having heard back from several POI and my nice talk with the representative at BMES probably helped. Heard back from UD next with an official offer (which was lit). But I'm not sure how far their stipend will go in this town, having had to get summer housing for summer research. Plus, this town is lame. So, we'll see.
  14. I got these from a friend who's deep into grad school already, along with some of my own concerns: for grad students or professors: How much is health insurance and is it any good? (Does it meet the new Affordable Care Act standards? Does it include dental? If someone has had a child, even better.) online or grad students: Is funding guaranteed 'if shit hits the fan'? (Is funding based solely on GPA, and/or research progress, and/or on groveling to the department?) [Obviously you would want to find this answer online or from a grad student, not a PI, since that could reflect poorly on you. When I was looking for info on my home school, I read in the Math Department Grad Handbook that anyone receiving ANY funding must complete "ANY ASSIGNED SUPPLEMENTAL TASKS" at risk of losing funding, which sounds fairly crappy and arbitrary, like "Come in 7-10 on a random Friday when the professor doesn't feel like proctoring the exam". online or grad students: Is there an off-ramp with a degree? (If you don't pass the entrance exam, can you at least graduate with a Masters?) online: Is there a TA requirement? (I think 1 semester of TA is a reasonable requirement, but it does suck if a department expects students to TA for multiple semesters just because the stipend is low.) for grad students, administrators, professors, or online :Are the grad students unionized? for grad students or administrators: Housing: is there like, subsidized graduate housing? Are there accommodations for significant others or spouses or families in housing? (Or pets or handicaps, if those apply to you.) for grad students: How livable is the stipend: Cost of housing in the area or on-campus, distance to grocery stores, etc. for grad students, professors: "What's the town like?" can be important if it's not just "Big city life", imo. for administrators/professors/online: Since I applied to the GRFP as a Senior in Undergrad, I also want to know what the school's policy is with external fellowships. Do students get a one-time bonus or increased stipend? If the stipend increases, will the university match it after the duration of the fellowship? (Most useful search terms to find the answer online: "external, fellowships, policy, graduate, stipend") ^^It can range wildly. Princeton's policy: you get the Princeton stipend, or the fellowship stipend, whichever is greater, plus $4,000 per year. UPenn's policy: One-time $3,000 bonus (which seems like kind of a rip-off compared to Princeton's, but I think Upenn is more of a direct-admit, so it's important in that it gives you access to basically whoever you want to work with). University of Maryland's policy didn't seem that great on paper but I may have to do the math: 50% off your health insurance and 10 credits of tuition remission, max. I can only assume the stipend part goes to the student. Meanwhile, University of Delaware had no particular policy posted. I emailed Financial Services about it. That was a long post and it doesn't have too many questions for professors, so I'll post again when I have more for y'all.
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