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Waitlistedbuthopeful

What are people's experiences being waitlisted?

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I'm waitlisted at my top choice and am kind of freaking out. I know waitlisting experiences vary so much across year and program, and realistically the chances of being extended an offer are slim since this program is amazing but I'd love to hear folks'  experiences/impressions of being wait-listed...

What was it like and when did you finally hear back (with or without an offer)?  How do you keep your spirits up?  Did you re-apply to the same program?  

😭 *sobbing intensifies*

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17 minutes ago, Waitlistedbuthopeful said:

I'm waitlisted at my top choice and am kind of freaking out. I know waitlisting experiences vary so much across year and program, and realistically the chances of being extended an offer are slim since this program is amazing but I'd love to hear folks'  experiences/impressions of being wait-listed...

What was it like and when did you finally hear back (with or without an offer)?  How do you keep your spirits up?  Did you re-apply to the same program?  

😭 *sobbing intensifies*

As far as what I know, there is usually a decent chance that at least one person will turn down an acceptance if there have been at least two applicants accepted to a particular professor. But as you said, it varies so much year by year and by program as well as institution. Most people probably won't turn down an offer from, say, Stanford. I was told personally by a professor that most of the time they go back to the waitlist multiple times, but there have been years where applicants accepted immediately. Keep your head up though, being waitlisted is still a great chance to get in and I'm sure something will work itself out for you!

Edited by Keyz

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In my previous application cycle, I was waitlisted for one MA program and one PhD program. I was ultimately rejected from the PhD program, although I got into the MA program after an additional interview with my mentor and cleared her concerns about whether I would be happy doing research on child and adolescent populations. Not going to lie, I cried a lot during the day that I got rejected by the PhD program because the POI was someone that heavily influenced my interest in mental health stigma and help seeking research and it hurts knowing how close I was to getting into the program (The amount of times I had Miss Y by Marina and the Diamonds on repeat while doing so is embarrassing in hindsight). However, I found that a good way of coping is to flip it from being rejected to a motivating challenge to prove myself to the POI that I am worth investing time and effort into mentoring when I reapply to the program.

I ended up pushing myself as hard as I can in lab because I wanted to pull a Pretty Woman and go "Do you remember me? Big mistake. Big. Huge!" when I meet the POI again (Okay, not literally, but the point is that it's a great motivator to be able to meet the POI again and show how much progress you made since last time. Great daydream fantasy though), and my CV grew a lot from it. Haven't heard back from this POI yet (Although the program is known for being on the slower side on the admissions process, and timing of the e-mail confirming that the graduate office sent the materials to the psychology department confirms that's the case for this year as well), but I did get more interviews this year as a result, so I think it definitely paid off. Regardless if the POI actually offers me an interview again, I'm definitely at a point where I'm grateful for the POI's impact had on me.

Long story short, it's fine to cry it out if it turns out you are rejected. The wait is emotionally draining, and it's understandable that it hurts to be that close to getting into a program. However, you can also utilize it as a motivating force to get into a program the next cycle. On the flip side, I wouldn't see it as a zero-chance of getting in. Like I mentioned earlier, I was waitlisted for an MA program, but I got in at the end. It also turns out that was the case for about a third of my cohort, so there's definitely still a chance of getting in.

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9 hours ago, Psygeek said:

I got in April 11th for my top choice lol - but was indeed waitlisted originally. 

Wow that sounds nerve-wracking but still amazing! I'm so glad it worked out for you - fingers crossed for myself too.  

9 hours ago, Marginally Significant said:

In my previous application cycle, I was waitlisted for one MA program and one PhD program. I was ultimately rejected from the PhD program, although I got into the MA program after an additional interview with my mentor and cleared her concerns about whether I would be happy doing research on child and adolescent populations. Not going to lie, I cried a lot during the day that I got rejected by the PhD program because the POI was someone that heavily influenced my interest in mental health stigma and help seeking research and it hurts knowing how close I was to getting into the program (The amount of times I had Miss Y by Marina and the Diamonds on repeat while doing so is embarrassing in hindsight). However, I found that a good way of coping is to flip it from being rejected to a motivating challenge to prove myself to the POI that I am worth investing time and effort into mentoring when I reapply to the program.

I ended up pushing myself as hard as I can in lab because I wanted to pull a Pretty Woman and go "Do you remember me? Big mistake. Big. Huge!" when I meet the POI again (Okay, not literally, but the point is that it's a great motivator to be able to meet the POI again and show how much progress you made since last time. Great daydream fantasy though), and my CV grew a lot from it. Haven't heard back from this POI yet (Although the program is known for being on the slower side on the admissions process, and timing of the e-mail confirming that the graduate office sent the materials to the psychology department confirms that's the case for this year as well), but I did get more interviews this year as a result, so I think it definitely paid off. Regardless if the POI actually offers me an interview again, I'm definitely at a point where I'm grateful for the POI's impact had on me.

Long story short, it's fine to cry it out if it turns out you are rejected. The wait is emotionally draining, and it's understandable that it hurts to be that close to getting into a program. However, you can also utilize it as a motivating force to get into a program the next cycle. On the flip side, I wouldn't see it as a zero-chance of getting in. Like I mentioned earlier, I was waitlisted for an MA program, but I got in at the end. It also turns out that was the case for about a third of my cohort, so there's definitely still a chance of getting in.

Thank you for sharing, this is a really helpful perspective and I hope as the initial disappointment wears off, I can look at it this way.  I wanted to "love" this post but looks like I've maxed out my allotted reactions on gradcafe today!   I'll have to check that song out, lol I've been having my own rotation on repeat since yesterday.

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Did you interview with any other programs? Or was this your only interview? Also, is this your first round of applications?

It sucks but time heals everything, trust me. Like @Marginally Significant mentioned above, you use the hurt/energy to make yourself 23892389x more competitive for the next round. This similar situation happened to me last time I applied. The program I was in "love with" that waitlisted me/ultimately rejected me last time invited me to interview again this time around (and they are clearly impressed with my application/materials/growth in my accomplishments), but: This time around, they're no longer my #1 lol. I would say they're not even my top 4... Which is insane to think about, how your interests change over time.  

If you do not get accepted this time around, you will definitely learn from your mistakes and use it to your advantage for the next time you decide to apply.

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1 hour ago, checkingmyemail said:

Did you interview with any other programs? Or was this your only interview? Also, is this your first round of applications?

It sucks but time heals everything, trust me. Like @Marginally Significant mentioned above, you use the hurt/energy to make yourself 23892389x more competitive for the next round. This similar situation happened to me last time I applied. The program I was in "love with" that waitlisted me/ultimately rejected me last time invited me to interview again this time around (and they are clearly impressed with my application/materials/growth in my accomplishments), but: This time around, they're no longer my #1 lol. I would say they're not even my top 4... Which is insane to think about, how your interests change over time.  

If you do not get accepted this time around, you will definitely learn from your mistakes and use it to your advantage for the next time you decide to apply.

Thanks for the encouragement!  It's comforting to hear from someone who has been in this position, and I hope you end up in the right program for you!

I guess my situation feels a little unique - I'm geographically limited in where I can realistically go, and my interests are fairly niche (forensics, violence).  This was my first attempt - I applied to 6 programs, interviewed at 3 (and of these, was rejected at 1, waitlisted here at my top choice, and am waiting to hear from the last program, which while it seems great is a bit of a gamble since it is new and not yet APA accredited which is a big risk to take).  

I'm just not sure how I can concretely improve my applications for another attempt. I've been a research coordinator for a couple of years now, and have gotten quality research experience (plus two first-author publications, and other co-authored papers/posters) albeit in another field, and clinical experience in my area of interest.  I'm not sure that additional publications or new clinical/volunteer work will tip the scales that much in my favor, but I guess it's worth a try.  Maybe I will reach out to my POI's and ask how I can improve myself for another attempt.  I've been told that there are a lot of factors that go into these decisions and that being waitlisted doesn't necessarily mean I lack qualifications, as there could be other forces at work....but its still depressing af haha. 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Waitlistedbuthopeful said:

I guess my situation feels a little unique - I'm geographically limited in where I can realistically go, and my interests are fairly niche (forensics, violence).  This was my first attempt - I applied to 6 programs, interviewed at 3 (and of these, was rejected at 1, waitlisted here at my top choice, and am waiting to hear from the last program, which while it seems great is a bit of a gamble since it is new and not yet APA accredited which is a big risk to take). 

What about expanding your school search to other areas? Or do you feel that for the next app round, you'll still be geographically limited?

I think you did excellent this time around with only 6 schools (And in the same area!), so focus on what you did right, which led you to 50% of programs wanting to interview you. Definitely reach out to the faculty (Sometime in April, not now), and ask for feedback- At least for the programs that rejected/waitlisted. I did, and it helped me immensely.

This process is brutal, unfair, often times ridiculous, and many factors are at play which we can't control as applicants. If this is truly the career path you envision for the rest of your life, try again, and do not give up.❤️ 

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Thank you, so much.  Just gotta take this one day at a time, and do exactly as you're saying.   This message is so uplifting and encouraging, I'm going to come back here and read it first thing in the morning every day lmao.  😊  Thank you for being such a positive and encouraging presence here on TGC!!  

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I could really use some advice right now on not feeling discouraged. This is my first time applying, and I received 7 interviews out of the 9 schools I applied to. I have gone to 3 interviews so far and was waitlisted by 2 schools. I haven't heard anything yet from the 3rd school, but I'm not feeling great since it's been 2 weeks since the interview day. I haven't interviewed yet at the 2 schools I am most excited about, but the results so far are making me feel like it is something about me or how I'm interviewing that is causing me to not get accepted. I know it is still early in the process, but it's hard not to feel like there's not something wrong with me.

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I only got one interview last year, for my top choice. I was waitlisted for it (got an email three weeks after my interview), and I didn't get in. I was surprised I was waitlisted because I was still in undergrad.

I decided to gain experience after I graduated college, got a clinic position, and re-applied this cycle. I got three interview invites, one for that top choice program. I did my interview on 2/6, and should be hearing back soon. 

Reapplying is definitely worth it imo. However, if I don't get in, I'll probably apply to a few schools including this one, not expect anything, and keep working. I'll just push myself harder than ever before *shrugs*

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Just wanted to pop in with some numbers-based encouragement. If you look at the admissions data at almost any program, you’ll see that students are accepted  from the wait list every year. E.g., at UCLA’s clinical program last year, they had to make 14 offers to get an incoming cohort of 8. Most programs have similar numbers. 

I know the uncertainty is stressful, but don’t give up hope! A lot of waitlisted applicants get accepted in the first few weeks of April as people start narrowing down their options and making final choices.

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6 minutes ago, PsycUndergrad said:

Just wanted to pop in with some numbers-based encouragement. If you look at the admissions data at almost any program, you’ll see that students are accepted  from the wait list every year. E.g., at UCLA’s clinical program last year, they had to make 14 offers to get an incoming cohort of 8. Most programs have similar numbers. 

I know the uncertainty is stressful, but don’t give up hope! A lot of waitlisted applicants get accepted in the first few weeks of April as people start narrowing down their options and making final choices.

This is a good point. If a program releases this data on their admissions outcomes, you can look into that (unfortunately a lot of programs don’t.) For example, one program I was looking at had to give out 18 acceptances in order to get a cohort of 6 last year, meaning they had gone to the waitlist many times. 

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12 minutes ago, PsycUndergrad said:

Just wanted to pop in with some numbers-based encouragement. If you look at the admissions data at almost any program, you’ll see that students are accepted  from the wait list every year. E.g., at UCLA’s clinical program last year, they had to make 14 offers to get an incoming cohort of 8. Most programs have similar numbers. 

I know the uncertainty is stressful, but don’t give up hope! A lot of waitlisted applicants get accepted in the first few weeks of April as people start narrowing down their options and making final choices.

 

4 minutes ago, Keyz said:

This is a good point. If a program releases this data on their admissions outcomes, you can look into that (unfortunately a lot of programs don’t.) For example, one program I was looking at had to give out 18 acceptances in order to get a cohort of 6 last year, meaning they had gone to the waitlist many times. 

Oooh... is this data just on the "Student Admissions, Outcomes, and other data" tab, if they include it? I'm trying to find info on offers for my schools but no luck!

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Just now, FreudEgg said:

 

Oooh... is this data just on the "Student Admissions, Outcomes, and other data" tab, if they include it? I'm trying to find info on offers for my schools but no luck!

Yes, some programs include a section at the bottom along the lines of "Other information relevant to student admissions" which may or may not include number of applicants, number of acceptances given, number of acceptances actually accepted, number of applicants funded, etc. 

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3 minutes ago, Keyz said:

Yes, some programs include a section at the bottom along the lines of "Other information relevant to student admissions" which may or may not include number of applicants, number of acceptances given, number of acceptances actually accepted, number of applicants funded, etc. 

Ok thanks, that's super helpful info if your schools include it on their sites! 

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Just now, FreudEgg said:

Ok thanks, that's super helpful info if your schools include it on their sites! 

No problem. For example, here's the aforementioned UCLA one.

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 1.57.04 PM.png

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Forgive me if I’m wrong, but these numbers don’t necessarily mean the people come from the waitlist correct? One of the programs I interviewed at told me they aim for a cohort of 8 and always offer to 10 immediately, assuming a couple people will decline. Their cohort has fluctuated between 6-10 depending on how many people accept the offer, but they never pull from the waitlist unless they go under 6. I assume a lot of programs use a similar system?

Edited by psychgradf2018

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18 minutes ago, psychgradf2018 said:

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but these numbers don’t necessarily mean the people come from the waitlist correct? One of the programs I interviewed at told me they aim for a cohort of 8 and always offer to 10 immediately, assuming a couple people will decline. Their cohort has fluctuated between 6-10 depending on how many people accept the offer, but they never pull from the waitlist unless they go under 6. I assume a lot of programs use a similar system?

It's hard because each program is so different so it won't apply to every program. I know some programs offer acceptance to their top 5-6 applicants after interviews and then waitlist some of the other interviewees, sometimes even all of the other interviewees in case. Others will over accept interviewees and count on some acceptances being declined. Thats the thing: every program and institution is so different that there's no clear-cut answer.

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Sometimes the waitlists are also tied to specific lab. I had a PI explicitly tell me I was an alternate if his interviewees don't work out. Even if every other offer is turned down, I still wouldn't be admitted as long as his accept. : / 

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Waitlists really just feel random. Last year I was stuck on a waitlist for a school with a cohort size of about 8 until the very end of March, when I finally got the official denial. That same year, another school I applied to (that didn't offer me an interview) ended up with only half of their expected cohort size because they worked through their entire waitlist and still didn't have enough applicants accept their offer to fill their cohort of 15. 

It's so frustrating to wait, but like others have said, it's more likely you'll get a decision later in the application season when applicants start settling on their decisions and schools know how many slots they still have to fill. 

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I'm in a similar situation. This is my third time applying. The first time I know I just didn't have enough research experience, second time was just a half assed attempt applying to just three places, and this is my first real go at it, but round 3. I have a good GPA, several research publications and posters, etc. and interviewed with my top 3 choices this year. I'm waitlisted at my top 2 and super stressed. At this point I don't know what I should do before applying again if I don't get off the waitlist. I'm just hoping for the best... 

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2 minutes ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

I'm in a similar situation. This is my third time applying. The first time I know I just didn't have enough research experience, second time was just a half assed attempt applying to just three places, and this is my first real go at it, but round 3. I have a good GPA, several research publications and posters, etc. and interviewed with my top 3 choices this year. I'm waitlisted at my top 2 and super stressed. At this point I don't know what I should do before applying again if I don't get off the waitlist. I'm just hoping for the best... 

I feel you, the thing about waitlists is that it just feels like you are in some sort of purgatory and I think that it makes the entire process more maddening because you have to endure up to 2 more months of waiting for some form of closure. But I'm really glad that you are waitlisted at your top two because it shows that you ARE good enough for this and have an extremely good chance of getting in, so I wish the best of luck to you and hope that you will get accepted off of the waitlist!

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I don’t have a ton of experience because this is my first time applying to grad school programs... but I was waitlisted at both of the schools I applied to. I got a call from the director of my top program saying if someone decides to not accept the offer, they will call me again and offer me a spot. I did email a follow up restating my interest and letting them know to keep me on the waitlist. The other program just sent me an email saying I was selected as an alternate and that if a spot opens they would contact me depending on my position on the waitlist. I feel mixed emotions about being on the waitlist haha but all I know is I am back in the agonizing waiting game (with a glimmer of hope!!). Thanks to everyone who is sharing their experiences!

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Hoping we all hear good news soon!  

It hasn't even been a full week since I received my status, but it feels like it was ages ago....is time slowing down lol?  Keeping myself distracted has been difficult but helpful when I do manage it. Here are some things I've been doing, how about everyone else? 

  1. Learned to make home-made artisan bread! Something about the smell of fresh-baked bread soothes the soul. Here's the recipe I used: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018203-simple-crusty-bread  
  2. Rereading an old favorite book, and started a new season of a TV series I've been watching lately (Life Below Zero - does anyone else watch it?) 
  3. Booked a last-minute trip to Australia in 3 weeks!  My husband is traveling there for business, and although I wasn't originally planning to join, I decided to just go for it, since planning and looking forward to the trip will definitely keep me busy.  Currently I'm looking into camping in the Blue Mountains just outside the city.
  4. Putting on chill lofi music in the background while I'm at work.  I usually prefer silence when I'm working, but this has been surprisingly relaxing and pleasant. Here's a good channel to start with:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9CLdkkNn20

 

 

Has anyone listened to interesting/binge-worthy podcasts recently?  Radiolab is one of my go-to's but it's been a little dull lately....

Two more months till April 15! Fingers crossed for all of us. 

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