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Down, but not out!


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By now I'm sure a lot of people have gotten the majority, if not all of their responses. I was wondering how many people got rejected across the board, and what their battle plan is from here on out?

For me, I knew this round of applications was a bit of reach because I am in the middle of my MPH (I will finish in the Spring of 2011). However, I couldn't help but try, since I know it's my end goal anyway, and my MPH is not funded. From the feedback I've gotten, it looks like one of the biggest complaints about my application was that my MPH was not finished, so I'm very hopeful for the next round. In the meantime, I'll be sprucing up my SOP and running it by as many people as possible, and hopefully picking up some real world experience during the Summer.

For the first few days after I knew I wasn't starting my PhD in the fall, I was pretty depressed. But I've gotten to the point where I just see opportunities to find better programs, wait for next year which will hopefully be better financially ( = better funding), and to get a better idea of exactly what research I want to focus in for my doctorate.

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I'd also add that you'll now stand a bit above next year's applicant pool (at least at the institutions where you reapply) since you can (1) maintain and build on those contacts for the next 8-10 months and (2) you can demonstrate growth, commitment, and a stick-to-it attitude. Be sure to stay in contact with those profs, even visiting in person if possible (or at least going to your field's annual conference).

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I'm definitely not ready to throw in the towel and am gearing myself up for round 2. Round 2 for me, however, involves applying to a terminal MA program (at a very affordable in-state school) which I have been told by faculty members I have a "very good chance" of getting in. If not, then I shall enter said program non-matriculated for a semester and kick ass (pardon my casual typing, the admissions committee won't be reading this!) and work my way in. In 2 years then I shall reapply for the PhDs, with hopefully a publication, a 4.0 Master's, a higher GRE scores, and even better LORs.

Kudos for the awesome positive attitude!

And hopefully the economy will come around which will open up more opportunities for us all as far as funding and admittance are concerned! (I heard due to economic constraints one university decided to reject all applicants in my subfield on the basis of no funding, and other departments decreased the amount of acceptances even though they had record high numbers of applicants due to the strained economy).

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Round 2 for me, as well. Writing a new SoP. Swapped out two of my referees. Retaking the general GRE to try to get my scores into the stratosphere (LOL! laugh.gif ). And I spent the last three weeks reviewing programs for fit. I'll be contacting DGSs and POIs in a few months. This is my game plan to patch all the holes in what I did wrong this time rolleyes.gif . I'll echo lily's kudos to you for the positive attitude. And also like lily, I'm hoping that the extra year will give the economy time to turn around. I've already had one DGS tell me that they couldn't fund students this year at their "usual level," but next year they are "hoping to increase the offerings." I took that as a great sign and am trying to soothe myself with it a bit. Also, maybe it'll give my family more time to be stable about the move, get the house prepped to sell, etc. I'm looking for positives here. If nothing else, it's giving me an opportunity to present myself to these (hopefully) future colleagues in a better light. I bought that SoP writing book several folks have recommended and hope to avoid all the kisses of death (KODs anyone?) I threw in there this year. Egad.

~ m

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Round 2 here - (although haven't heard back from UVA - I doubt I got in).

Am registering for an online summer class and writing a new writing sample - in my chosen field, focused, and research based (rather than close reading). will be writing a new SOP as well. I'll also be applying to a broader range of schools (10-12 rather than 4, all focused on fit - I didn't do my research properly this round), have already improved my general GRE score (but too late for this year, obviously), and am taking the subject test in three weeks and hoping for above a 700.

So hopefully, next year, I'll be a MUCH more attractive candidate. I'm also applying to at least 3 funded terminal MA's (either scholarship or TA) just in case I don't get into a PhD program again (or get kick-ass tech writing position and pay in-state tuition somewhere - which could take a while considering I'm moving back to the US from Israel LOL so I'm hoping for funding).

I will go to grad school. That's what I'm supposed to do. Everything is leading to that B).

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Add me to the list.

I applied to only four schools - I was testing the waters. I graduated in 2008, with one of those uneven profiles: rocked everything else, but my GPA was mediocre at best. (I can only blame late-stage adolescent rebellion...100% my fault, unfortunately.)

With that GPA, plus a missing letter (argh!), it just wasn't going to happen. I've got potential - but nobody cares. Scratch that, my mom cares. But she's not on the admissions committee. Therefore, I need actual data to support my argument that I do not, in fact, suck at life. tongue.gif

I'm still debating what the heck to do. It's clear that what I need are references - not having enough killed me. And it's also clear that I'm not going to cough up $50K/year to do a terminal masters. (I'd like to pay off my student loans before I retire, dammit!) So here's my tentative plan:

1] Stay in my job for the upcoming school year. I'm in an academic lab, which does stuff that can be spun (with effort) to be relevant to my interests. I was hired to do grunt work, but there are a lot of resources here. Should be more aggressive in using them.

a] During (1), take a math course per semester to beef up my background. And take the Subject GRE. And take a practice run at NSF, maybe.

2] Starting in the summer of 2011, take graduate-level courses (part-time). Not enough to get a degree, but at least two should be done and graded by the time applications go in.

a] With the rest of my time, I will get a relevant job - working for free, if I have to. Need another reference.

b] And apply to a whole lot more than 4 schools. A dozen should do.

It goes without saying that I will need to kick ass in all of the above. But if I do...2012 is my year!...and if it isn't, I'll finish the masters, get a reasonable job, and have a good enough life. But I'm not done yet. Bring it on baby! biggrin.gif

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Add me to the list.

I applied to only four schools - I was testing the waters. I graduated in 2008, with one of those uneven profiles: rocked everything else, but my GPA was mediocre at best. (I can only blame late-stage adolescent rebellion...100% my fault, unfortunately.)

With that GPA, plus a missing letter (argh!), it just wasn't going to happen. I've got potential - but nobody cares. Scratch that, my mom cares. But she's not on the admissions committee. Therefore, I need actual data to support my argument that I do not, in fact, suck at life. tongue.gif

Yeah I wish my mom was on the admissions committee too.

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