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Should I attend Admit Day


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I've been accepted into a Harvard PhD program (my first choice, so assuming I receive a decent funding package will definitely).

I am unsure whether or not I really need to, or should, go to the Admit Day.  I live on (literally) other side of the world from Boston and flying over there and back would cost around $2000.

Appreciate if people could outline the pluses and minuses of not going.  Would it be considered rude?  Would anyone in the department hold it against me?


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It seems that we are on the exactly same boat! Also admitted to Harvard EALC PhD program, my first choice, but don’t feel like attending the Admit Day. (Btw, did Harvard send everything including funding information by postal mail rather than email?)

As regard the cost, our department did indicate the possibility of travel funding, though not sure in full or in part.

I think the primary advantage of not going is that it saves a lot of time (and probably money). On the other side, you would miss the opportunity of talking to people there to get first-hand experience. I did visit another university because I happened to be in that city on a non-academic trip when I received its admission letter, and the visit was very helpful in forming a vivid idea of how life there would be.

I don’t think the decision of not attending will annoy the faculty or cause anything as serious, but I am also concerned how to decline the invitation politely. Also wanted to know how much Admit Day is valued in the US.

Edited by thesiswillbegreat
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I would check to see if you can be reimbursed for your travel, although 2000 upfront is still A LOT to ask for.  The downside is that you won't be able to see the campus and environment first hand.  I would try to get into contact with some current students in the program to ask them questions about the program.

I don't think it's rude to decline the invitation if you are unable to make it, and they will not reimburse your trip.  There are a lot of international students that are admitted, and attend, programs in which they have never seen in person before making a decision.  So the administration should understand the situation you are in.

I live in the middle of the US and if I was admitted to an east coast school and invited to an admit day without any travel reimbursement, I wouldn't go to an Admit Day.

The minuses of not going is not seeing the area yourself, not seeing yourself if the students are happy there, and you won't be able to see the buildings you will be spending most of your time in in-person.  The plus-side is that you are already admitted, so there is no obligation for you to go.  And you will be saving a lot of money by not going if they are not paying for travel.  I would save that 2000 to help with costs of moving or left in a savings account while you are in school.  You don't know if an emergency might come up!

Edited by StemCellFan
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