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Hello, I was wondering if anybody has some information on a phenomena I have been experiencing in the application process. After interviewing at several schools and being waitlisted, more than one school has  told me that I can expect an answer on admission in mid-March. I was wondering if this was just coincidental or if there is significance to the mid-March time? Given that the schools are publicly funded, I believed that students had until April 15 to give an admission decision if given an offer. Could it be that these schools are waiting for funding to take an additional student (me)? Or is there some other decision deadline in mid-March that they could have in place? Please let me know your thoughts!

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You are saying that only the schools that have waitlisted you told you that you can expect a decision in mid-March?

When schools give you timelines like that, it is either based on their own scheduled timeline or based on past years experience. So, perhaps these schools do admissions in waves and you were waitlisted in the first wave and they have a planned meeting to decide on the second wave around mid-March. Or, even though students have until April 15 to decide, many students make decisions as soon as they know all the information. It should be the exception, not the rule, that someone makes a decision to attend on April 15. Although it can depend on your field, it seems that typically, by mid-March, most students will have heard back from enough schools that they can start accepting (or at least declining) some offers. This allows for some movement in the waitlists, so the schools that responded to you with the mid-March timeline might be schools where historically, there's enough movement by mid-March that they can provide some updates in mid-March.

Note that you shouldn't take mid-March literally. If it's based on some committee scheduling, know that schedules can change and committee meetings may have to be rescheduled. Or if it's based on historical trends, then this year might be different for some unforeseen reason. So it might still be another 2-3 weeks before you hear back! 

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22 hours ago, TakeruK said:

You are saying that only the schools that have waitlisted you told you that you can expect a decision in mid-March?

When schools give you timelines like that, it is either based on their own scheduled timeline or based on past years experience. So, perhaps these schools do admissions in waves and you were waitlisted in the first wave and they have a planned meeting to decide on the second wave around mid-March. Or, even though students have until April 15 to decide, many students make decisions as soon as they know all the information. It should be the exception, not the rule, that someone makes a decision to attend on April 15. Although it can depend on your field, it seems that typically, by mid-March, most students will have heard back from enough schools that they can start accepting (or at least declining) some offers. This allows for some movement in the waitlists, so the schools that responded to you with the mid-March timeline might be schools where historically, there's enough movement by mid-March that they can provide some updates in mid-March.

Note that you shouldn't take mid-March literally. If it's based on some committee scheduling, know that schedules can change and committee meetings may have to be rescheduled. Or if it's based on historical trends, then this year might be different for some unforeseen reason. So it might still be another 2-3 weeks before you hear back! 

I see! Thank you so much, that makes a lot of sense. They seemed to be very confident in the timeframe that they gave me so I was a bit confused. Thanks for clearing that up! :) Hopefully it will be good news!

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