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FutureResearcher

schools that are unprofessional

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I just received a rejection from a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program (UIC) today! May 14!!! This school is ridiculous. There is no contact at all after I submitted my application. There is no rejection letter. I just got an email saying status update in my application account, and when I log in, it just says denied. There is NOTHING else. For me, this school is really unprofessional, and I feel like they just want my application money. Although I have already assumed that I have been rejected, it is really unbelievable that the decision is released in the middle of May, and in a very unprofessional manner. Luckily, I will attend a Ph.D. program in this coming Fall. I want to know is it common? I want to let future applicants know that such schools exist, and if you could, maybe better avoid it. 

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This is common, both inside and outside of academia. Most entities that seek applications rarely notify the people they don't select. There is a difference between grad school applications and a job application, namely, you don't pay to apply to a job, but the department doesn't get the application money although they are the one that set the timeline for decisions. i.e. I am not sure what you mean by "they just want [your] application money".

Later on, if you apply to academic jobs, you will not hear anything at all if you don't get the job. Many places wait until the hired person starts before they close the hiring file and the system generates an auto rejection message. For some of my friends, this is years after the job application. Sometimes school does this too and you get a notification when the school year begins in the fall, or over the summer when the school finally closes the previous year's system and starts up the next year. Unless you got very far in the process, you should not expect any notification at all, much less a personalized letter.

As for the content, what else is there to say other than you were not accepted. You weren't offering your application up for an evaluation and feedback. The materials submitted are solely for the school to decide if you would be a good fit, so there should be no expectation of anything other than a decision. 

Yes, it sucks to get a rejection in this way, but it is neither unprofessional nor ridiculous. I got some nicely written rejection letters as well. I don't think I felt any different about those than the ones that just updated an online portal. 

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Catch 22. If schools shoot out rejections too early, then people get upset they weren't considered for a waitlisted spot.

ETA: Second @TakeruK's position. This is neither uncommon nor unprofessional. And in fact, they might require you to login to the portal because of privacy concerns -- email being notoriously unsecure. e.g., my bank doesn't send emails with content, I just get an email saying "you have a message, go login."

Edited by lewin

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Well maybe I am too over-reacted. But the deadline for making a decision is April 15. I guess the school should send out the rejections on or before April 15. And this is the only school doing this. I applied for 15 schools this application cycle. All other schools sent out decisions Jan/Feb/March. But anyways, I was just a little upset. Thank you

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Schools are disallowed from requesting applicant responses before April 15th (this is to benefit you, the applicant). After April 15th, they can actually have any response deadline they please. For some schools that deadline is in May or later. Some schools have rolling admissions that never closes.

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22 hours ago, FutureResearcher said:

But the deadline for making a decision is April 15. I guess the school should send out the rejections on or before April 15.

I agree the April 15 date is important. Personally, if I hadn't heard from a school by April 10 or so I would assume a rejection if I needed to make other decisions. I did have students this year who got acceptances after April 15, though, because I assume they were waitlisted and someone else declined by the decision deadline.

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23 hours ago, FutureResearcher said:

Well maybe I am too over-reacted. But the deadline for making a decision is April 15. I guess the school should send out the rejections on or before April 15. And this is the only school doing this. I applied for 15 schools this application cycle. All other schools sent out decisions Jan/Feb/March. But anyways, I was just a little upset. Thank you

I think you misunderstand the April 15 thing. It is not the deadline for the school to make a decision and it's not even a deadline for students/applicants to make a decision. Instead, due to an agreement between many US graduate programs, it is the **earliest date** that any school can require a student/applicant to make their decision. It is not meant to be a deadline date for you to know about your application decision.

In fact, as lewin wrote, there are many offers that don't come out until after April 15. Again, I know it sucks to get a rejection in the middle of May, but it is good that you already had offers well before April 15 it seems. It would be much more stressful and not fun if you had offers from your 2nd choice school before April 15 (and you have an April 15 deadline to decide) while you still have not heard (waitlisted) at your top choice school and you probably won't know about your top choice until after April 15. In that case, you would have to either make a decision without knowing all the information or beg the 2nd choice school to give you more time to decide. It's a flaw with the current system for sure, but there's not really a clear way to resolve it without adding other problems.

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