cbiscuits

Early acceptance deadline; should I email the school to extend?

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I heard back yesterday from the first school I interviewed at in early Feb, saying I had an acceptance offer and to respond by Feb 26. However, I know for a fact that the other 2 schools I interviewed at send out offers in early March. I'm really looking to get into these other 2 schools but don't want to lose the first acceptance offer if I get rejected by both. Should I email the director of the first school to ask for an extension, or ask the other two schools for an earlier notification? (I'm leaning towards the former, since it won't hurt me as much). Also, all these programs are tiny so all the directors know each other well. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!^_^

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Ask the first school for an extension.

You could also ask the other two schools on their expected timelines, perhaps mentioning that another school wants you to respond by Feb 26 but you would like to ask that other school for an extension. 

If you ask the other two schools in this way, you're not asking for earlier notification (which you shouldn't do, unless you somehow think you have leveraging power over the school---most students do not). But it will give you a timeline so that when you ask the first school for an extension, you can specify exactly how long you need (or have an answer if they ask). It would be awkward if the other two schools were planning to release decisions on March 12 but the other school only gave you until March 10 or something (then you would have accomplished nothing with the extension and have to ask for another one).

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Thank you for your insight, I think I will email the first school soon. 

I was surprised that given how small each program is and how interconnected they all are, that they would have conflicting offer deadlines (or maybe this was done on purpose?) I know that this year the amount of applicants was very low so perhaps each program wanted to put the pressure on accepted students to enter. I'm scared that the first school will drop me from their sights when they realize that I have other offers to consider, to be honest. 

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1 hour ago, cbiscuits said:

I was surprised that given how small each program is and how interconnected they all are, that they would have conflicting offer deadlines (or maybe this was done on purpose?) 

I'm not in your field but my experience in academia would be very surprised if this was done on purpose! I get the sense that schools are already bad enough at coordinating intra-campus and even intra-department events that being able to pull off coordination amongst schools at this level would be very surprising!

1 hour ago, cbiscuits said:

I'm scared that the first school will drop me from their sights when they realize that I have other offers to consider, to be honest. 

Again, not in your field, but this would also be strange. Why would being desired by other schools somehow make you less desirable to the first school? The first school might refuse your request in order to have you commit to them, but rescinding the offer because you even dared to think about another program seems...unreasonable!

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Wow, reading your comment totally put things in perspective, thank you. I tend to overthink about these things when there's so much waiting involved. In any case, if they did refuse my request, I think I would turn them down (since I'm more interested in the other schools). 

Thanks so much for your perspective on this!

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