Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bike81

Regrets - possible to change decision post 4/15?

Recommended Posts

I had a lot of trouble deciding on a PhD program (direct admission to lab in a STEM field) and thought about it until literally the last minute of April 15 (both schools part of CGS).  I was totally split between two choices, which represented very different lab environments, mentorship styles, department cultures, prestige of programs, and funding opportunities.  I had previously preferred option A, but was going back an forth, and switched to option B at the end.  About a week out from the decision, I am still having serious regrets, anxiety, nerves, etc. and feel I may have made a wrong choice.  In general (and even with previous big life decisions), I am good about just accepting a decision and moving on, which makes me think maybe there is some substance to my doubts beyond normal nerves.  Is it possible (legal?) to change a decision after 4/15?  Is it possible option A would take me back?  How worried should I be about burning bridges?  Has anyone ever done this before?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @bike81,

It is possible to change your decision after 4/15. However, there is a possibility that it will burn bridges with School B and it will require written consent from School B to change your decision. There is no guarantee that School A has a spot available as it's likely that it's already been offered and accepted by someone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it is legal (of course---there's no law that restricts school attendance!). And yes, it is possible.

You do not necessarily need written consent from School B to change. You can simply withdraw from School B, with more or less the same consequences/bridge-burning as if you withdrew in a few months or even in a year or two.

However, the main issue is whether School A still has a spot for you with the same offer. It probably expired on April 15 but it is worth asking if you truly believed School A was the right place for you and you made the wrong choice. Some programs keep their admission offer valid for up to 1 year (one program I know even says that if you take another school's offer, you can always switch back to them within a year). The original funding offer may not be there though.

So, if you truly believe you should have picked A and this is not just "decider's remorse" (i.e. it's normal to feel a little down after making a decision because no matter how great School B (or A) is, it's usually less great than the opportunity to attend any possible choice (of course, you can only attend one!). It sounds like you have thought about this though, so if you have decided that you would prefer School A, then first talk to them.

Tell School A that you decided B but actually would like to switch to A and whether your spot and funding offer remains. If so, then ask them if they want anything from School B to "release" you. Most schools won't bother with this. But the April 15 convention does state that schools may ask for this (not a requirement though). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.