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laekkauai

how accountable are programs to honor their offers?

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I was offered admission via email on June 1 by the dept head. Visited the school/program on June 6th. 

When I contacted the admissions person, I was told that she was not aware of this communication, so I had to forward her the email I received. If it's not a formal offer, do they still have a chance to not offer me admission? Are they accountable to the offer they made via email?

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How was your offer worded? Did it say anything about the decision being forwarded to admissions or anything? I'm not sure if they'd be accountable or not, but I'd think that an email from the department head is pretty solid.

This type of offer situation sounds like one of mine as well. My department head worded it as I was being offered a spot and that the graduate department would contact me with my official offer "soon" but to contact him directly with any questions. The official offer took about 2 weeks because of paper work and having to organize my funding, so his email seemed just like a placeholder so I wouldn't accept an offer to a different program while waiting for the "official" acceptance. 

 

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16 hours ago, laekkauai said:

I was offered admission via email on June 1 by the dept head. Visited the school/program on June 6th. 

When I contacted the admissions person, I was told that she was not aware of this communication, so I had to forward her the email I received. If it's not a formal offer, do they still have a chance to not offer me admission? Are they accountable to the offer they made via email?

The chances that you won't receive the official offer exist but they are diminishingly small. Admissions may or may not go through the admissions office (those usually deal more with undergrads) and may take a bit of time to finalize, even if decisions do through that office (that is, the process may still be stuck department-internally for whatever reason, e.g. an admin who's on vacation). I understand the anxiety, but I don't think you have anything to worry about at this point. 

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14 hours ago, srays said:

How was your offer worded? Did it say anything about the decision being forwarded to admissions or anything? I'm not sure if they'd be accountable or not, but I'd think that an email from the department head is pretty solid.

This type of offer situation sounds like one of mine as well. My department head worded it as I was being offered a spot and that the graduate department would contact me with my official offer "soon" but to contact him directly with any questions. The official offer took about 2 weeks because of paper work and having to organize my funding, so his email seemed just like a placeholder so I wouldn't accept an offer to a different program while waiting for the "official" acceptance. 

 

Thank you and I hope my situation is similar to yours! It was worded along the lines of "we would like to offer you admission for the  ... degree program" if I was interested. My response was that I was excited but that I wanted to visit and learn more before making a decision.

@fuzzylogician thank you. I sure hope so. It was a little concerning that the contact person wasn't aware I was offered admission. I was told yesterday she has to confirm with the dept head and professor if I really am admitted.

 

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1 hour ago, laekkauai said:

... it was worded along the lines of "we would like to offer you admission for the  ... degree program" if I was interested. My response was that I was excited but that I wanted to visit and learn more before making a decision.

Oh well that sounds a little different. That doesn't sound like an offer yet, but more like a "would you be interested" preliminary step. Given your response and the fact that you visited only 4 business days ago, I'm not too surprised that things aren't finalized yet. It doesn't actually sound like you got a "congratulations! You've been accepted" email yet. I hope you followed up with whoever wrote you and expressed your enthusiasm for the program after your visit. Writing the admissions person might have been skipping a step. 

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19 minutes ago, fuzzylogician said:

Oh well that sounds a little different. That doesn't sound like an offer yet, but more like a "would you be interested" preliminary step. Given your response and the fact that you visited only 4 business days ago, I'm not too surprised that things aren't finalized yet. It doesn't actually sound like you got a "congratulations! You've been accepted" email yet. I hope you followed up with whoever wrote you and expressed your enthusiasm for the program after your visit. Writing the admissions person might have been skipping a step. 

I did follow up to say that I was still very much interested and wanted to learn about housing since it's quite late. But I do understand it's been a short time since my visit.  I called the admissions/secretary to follow up afterwards. I'm interested in this -- so an offer of admission is not the same as an acceptance?  He also told me about the funding and stipend situation.

Just a little on my toes, as I had already committed to another program since the deadline to respond was April 15th. Also secured housing since I had not heard from the program for the entire month of April and May on a decision. Housing lease begins in a month and a half and I'd need to find a replacement for my roommates. 

 

Edited by laekkauai

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