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2 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Not sure what that acronym means, but I‚Äôll take your advice to heart regardless. ūüėÉ

BTDT = been there, done that.

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18 hours ago, telkanuru said:

I actually do think there's a great deal of merit in weighting this sort of award in the admissions process - the ability to bring in external grants is the sine qua non of academic success, and money begets money. The fellowship is (and should be) a substantial booster to your admissions chances.

 

Exactly. I actually saw a few days ago a blog written by a professor from the University of Chicago (in the filed of political science and economics), stating that outside funding was a valuable component in an application. Although this may vary from school to school, and it's not, of course, a requirement, it could add a lot because of this.

 

On 1/9/2019 at 5:56 AM, fortsibut said:

Now obviously I'm not advocating for the wealthy to buy their way into prestigious graduate programs (*cough* Trump's dad and Trump's Wharton acceptance) nor am I saying that I think this *should* be an issue that tips the scales, but I'd be shocked if it's a throwaway question on Cornell's application form.  We can argue about whether finances SHOULD be an issue, but I'm highly skeptical that they're not considered in the process.

On an unrelated note, your field of study sounds really interesting, cyborg!

 

This is such a controversial topic, and something that, in my opinion, should be further addressed and debated. There are already so many financial restrictions for graduate school. Most of us applying are probably not rich but financially privileged¬†in some way or another... so that's one first ‚Äúfilter‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†I wonder what the stats say about this, and if there are any recent sociological studies analyzing class and wealth¬†issues in relation to graduate schools, especially the prestigious ones..¬†

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17 minutes ago, cyborg213 said:

This is such a controversial topic, and something thaÔĽŅÔĽŅt, in my opinion, should be further addressed and debated. There are already so many financial restrictions for graduate school. Most of us applying are probably not rich but financially privileged¬†in some way or another... so that's one first ‚Äúfilter‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†I wonder what the stats say about this, and if there are any recent sociological studies analyzing class and wealth¬†issues in relation to graduate schools, especially the prestigious ones..¬†

Sure, but none of my applications asked for any information about my finances whatsoever, and I think most schools try to avoid any socioeconomic bias by refraining from asking for that information.  As I said earlier, your additional finances simply demonstrates to the program that you have achieved something by winning it (and as telkanuru mentioned, indicates that you have potential grantwriting abilities from the start) and lets them know that you have additional resources to put towards your studies.  Regardless of your socioeconomic background you had the same chance of winning the award that you did as a billionaire or a broke college student.

Two things that do really suck financially and serve as a major economic restrictions, however, are application fees, test taking fees, and the cost of sending the test scores to your chosen schools.  All in all it worked out to be over $100 apiece at most of my schools, in addition to the cost of taking the GRE itself.  I'm fortunate enough to have parents who were willing to let me move back in with them between my MA and PhD so I could work and save money and thus the costs were an annoyance more than anything else, but not everyone is in that position.  If you're forced to live paycheck to paycheck and have to take a test and apply to, say, 8 schools, that ~$1,000 will likely make for some seriously lean months leading up to the submission of your applications.

I'd be interested to know the experiences of everyone else who qualified for financial hardship application fee waivers.  Of the four schools to which I applied, only Cornell offered one (Columbia did offer one, but only if you were currently attending an educational institution whose office could provide you with the appropriate paperwork).

Edited by fortsibut

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On 1/7/2019 at 1:01 AM, cyborg213 said:

Hi everyone! 

I've been silently following this thread for some months and I'm impressed by the amazing advice so many of you have provided. It's been extremely helpful in my process, especially because I'm from a non-English speaking country in Europe and many of the intricacies and nuances of the application world in the US - which I was totally unaware of until I found this forum - seem now to be at least a bit more familiar to me. So I just wanted to say THANK YOU for such thoughtful and useful comments and advice.  

I just submitted my last application and¬†I'm extremely uncertain about everything (as I imagine many of you are!!!). Being an international applicant adds an extra¬†layer of uncertainty (and clumsiness) to the process. For instance,¬†I tragically found out about the GRE a month before the deadlines (I mean, I discovered its existence, and became aware of the fact that I had to pay for it, study for it and actually take it haha. Somehow my mind wasn't ready to accept that there was a standardized test for graduate school¬†ūüėÖ¬†-even though I read many times the admissions requirements that clearly stated it). And I guess being unfamiliar with¬†the academic culture in the US makes it¬†harder to have any clue about my chances and ‚Äúposition‚ÄĚ among other applicants (I know, for instance, what my European colleagues ‚Äúlook like‚ÄĚ and have a sense of the ‚Äúlevel‚ÄĚ they have). And well, at the end of the day¬†this is a competition,¬†and¬†consequently¬†we are all insistently (and involuntarily) wondering what our ‚Äúposition‚ÄĚ is or will turn out to be once we get the results. Will this anxiety-provoking scenario (that is likely to¬†increase)¬†ever let us think, write and enjoy what we do? Of course yes, but I imagine this requires some level of mastery. And I guess all of us¬†are already acquiring some level of mastery just by applying. Anyways, I don't know why I'm saying this, but I do know that this has already been an exhausting adventure,¬†and I truly empathize with all the efforts, anxiety and uncertainty many of you have been struggling with in the last months.

Cheers for us, and good luck!! 

I totally relate to it. This really seems my story XD (except that I do not have a fellowship, so maybe my application is not as strong as yours ahah)

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19 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Sure, but none of my applications asked for any information about my finances whatsoever, and I think most schools try to avoid any socioeconomic bias by refraining from asking for that information.  As I said earlier, your additional finances simply demonstrates to the program that you have achieved something by winning it (and as telkanuru mentioned, indicates that you have potential grantwriting abilities from the start) and lets them know that you have additional resources to put towards your studies.  Regardless of your socioeconomic background you had the same chance of winning the award that you did as a billionaire or a broke college student.

I'd be interested to know the experiences of everyone else who qualified for financial hardship application fee waivers.  Of the four schools to which I applied, only Cornell offered one (Columbia did offer one, but only if you were currently attending an educational institution whose office could provide you with the appropriate paperwork).

4

To address your first point, I think you know it's obviously untrue that socioeconomic background plays no role in attaining prestigious awards. You're making a meritocratic argument, which, of course, implies that academic success happens in a vacuum. The opportunity to even get to the position where you are vying for prestigious awards is often derived from prior socioeconomic circumstances (i.e. where you went to school, how much time and energy you can put toward your education, etc.)

Anyway, I qualified for application fee waivers at the universities  I applied to. Most asked to see evidence of past and current financial hardship. I had to provide evidence that I received particular types of aid during undergrad and I also had to report my current economic situation. As for what @cyborg213 mentioned about studies that provide data about the implications of class on graduate study, I was looking for such a thing when I was writing my personal statements. I found some good federal data about rates of matriculation and graduation, but nothing granular enough for what I wanted to use the data for (then again, I didn't look particularly hard). 

This is all to say I'm rooting for everyone here! Hoping to hear something. I'm horrified of being strung along until April and ultimately never getting an acceptance or hard rejection. 

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I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

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11 minutes ago, Carltonjacobs said:

I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

While I don't know what it means, I have also received that email.

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20 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Sure, but none of my applications asked for any information about my finances whatsoever, and I think most schools try to avoid any socioeconomic bias by refraining from asking for that information.  As I said earlier, your additional finances simply demonstrates to the program that you have achieved something by winning it (and as telkanuru mentioned, indicates that you have potential grantwriting abilities from the start) and lets them know that you have additional resources to put towards your studies.  Regardless of your socioeconomic background you had the same chance of winning the award that you did as a billionaire or a broke college student.

4

Finances and socioeconomic background are not always one in backgrounds who have a blue blood education.) Because academics often try to replicate themselves, members of departmental admissions committees and graduate schools, may read applications with a keen eye for the sublte cues. As all of these factors are now beyond one's control, I would recommend that one not spend too much time reading tea leaves and cracked bones.

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38 minutes ago, Carltonjacobs said:

I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

I received the very same email (and I asked the same question in the EALC section, because my field is Japanese History). I thought that by now they had done some sort of 'skimming' process but maybe I'm completely wrong.

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My friend and I both received the e-mail so I have the feeling that it was definitely sent to everyone.

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51 minutes ago, Carltonjacobs said:

I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

I received it as well. To be honest, I didn't think much of it, I assumed it was standard procedure and that everyone who applied received it. Not to rain on anyone's parade, perhaps it does mean something, who knows!

I have not posted here in ages, but I have been reading the thread, and I hope everyone's feeling relaxed throughout the waiting process! On my end, I have applied to 8 programs, and have been thinking up some pretty solid back-up plans in case I don't get in, so I'm feeling good about whatever comes next either way. Best of luck to you all! :)

Edited by Karou

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1 minute ago, potsupotsu said:

My friend and I both received the e-mail so I have the feeling that it was definitely sent to everyone.

And also, there's chatter in the comp/lit forum about a similar request going out in at least one other discipline.
 

Ideally, someone with familiarity with the Harvard process will chime in to say if the request is SOP or if it reflects something else. An example of "something else" would be an action item generated from a study of the correlation between day one language proficiency and program completion.

 

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2 hours ago, Carltonjacobs said:

I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

I also got this.

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I applied to Harvard's PhD in Ancient History (part of the Classics department, not History) and received the same email. Definitely looks like a blanket email

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My friend got an acceptance today (in psych). He was accepted for an MA, but not a PhD. Are these the letters that usually go out around this time?

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About Harvard: when I applied two years ago, there was a "language preparation" section of the application, or at least I recall one. Maybe someone screwed up this year and didn't put one in.

3 hours ago, historygeek said:

My friend got an acceptance today (in psych). He was accepted for an MA, but not a PhD. Are these the letters that usually go out around this time?

Sciences tend to hear earlier, in my experience. Univ. of Minnesota accepted me into its History of Science PhD in late December, but that was apparently an extraordinarily early acceptance. Most programs tell you in February/early March.

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I want to echo psstein's comments. I had 2 interviews and both interviewers said the committee will make a decision in early-February. This is not always the rule, though. Last cycle, I received news from all my universities in the first week of March (all were waiting lists with interviews).

Speaking of interviews, is it the norm to send "thank you emails" to professors after the interview? I'm used to sending a quick email after a job interview, but was not sure if it was a "must do" for PhD interviews. Google gives conflicting answers, so better to run it by the community before shooting myself in the foot.

Edited by Tigla

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23 hours ago, FedeHikari said:
  On 1/12/2019 at 1:25 AM, Carltonjacobs said:

I was wondering if a "Request for Additional Information" is a good sign?  I received a request from Harvard this morning stating that "the admissions committee has requested additional information from applicants regarding prior language study and language proficiency."  I am not sure if everyone gets this, but they didn't ask for language information on the original application (though I volunteered it).  Could this just be standard procedure?  It is an after-the-fact request.  Does anyone know if this is requested from all applicants or perhaps those who have been "filtered?"  Any thoughts?

I got this too! I would like to ask for some help on what I could fill in "Other Means of Language Skill Acquisition"

Does volunteering in an English-speaking country count? or are there other terms that would cover learning English through volunteering, travelling, reading, etc. ? 

Thank you!  

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How common are interviews for history applicants?  Are they only for certain programs/fields/schools?  Columbia's website under FAQs states that they do not do interviews given the large number of applicants, but it sounds like candidates for other schools are already participating in them.

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33 minutes ago, Carltonjacobs said:

How common are interviews for history applicants?  Are they only for certain programs/fields/schools?  Columbia's website under FAQs states that they do not do interviews given the large number of applicants, but it sounds like candidates for other schools are already participating in them.

Very few, Usually the History of Science programs do.  Don't even worry about them. If you want to look more, go back to last year's thread around this time of the year a year ago.

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5 hours ago, TMP said:

Very few, Usually the History of Science programs do.  Don't even worry about them. If you want to look more, go back to last year's thread around this time of the year a year ago.

So just to be clear, if the Results page shows some people receiving interviews for PhD History programs that doesn't necessarily mean that others won't be admitted without an interview at all?

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6 hours ago, Carltonjacobs said:

Columbia's website under FAQs states that they do not do interviews given the large number of applicants

Mhm...I think things might start to change from this year (I'm not completely sure, but I had a conversation with my supervisor about interviews a few months ago). If it's the History-East Asia program, then those on the shortlist would probably be interviewed (there wouldn't be many people on the shortlist anyway). I was interviewed before offered admission last year. :) Maybe it's different for those in non-East Asia fields, but it never hurts to get prepared. :)

I was also interviewed by the history departments of UCSB and UPenn.

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results search says someone has heard from northwestern for an interview (history phd)-- can anyone speak to this?

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I tell you this. If you get interviewed, that means you’re probably very high on the list or at the very least, you’re in the running for candidature for your field. That means your app impressed someone (most likely your poi). However, the place I got into and accepted didn’t interview me.

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