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Declining Offers/Withdrawing Applications Thread

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5 hours ago, ContractMonsterSlayer said:

Do you happen to be sitting on funded offers from Western Michigan or Toledo as well?ÔĽŅ

No, unfortunately.

 

10 hours ago, DoodleBob said:

Hi Philosopuppy, I don’t have an answer to your question, but I am curious how you learned your position on the waitlist. 

 

Was it stated in your waitlist email? Did you ask? From my memory, Tim O’Keefe stated he would not let prospective students know their position on the waitlist or their chances of getting in. 

I wasn't on the waitlist for admission - I was already admitted, just with a less-enticing funding package. So at that point usually programs will work with you a bit more.

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Declined Northwestern and will shortly remove myself from waitlists at UMass and Toronto

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Posted (edited)

So this is my first time applying, but it seems to me, given that the deadline is only ten days away,  that there hasn't been much movement on waitlists (presumably because most people have not made up their minds and accepted offers). This was confirmed to me by Professor Ott (from UVA) who said yesterday in an email that this is unusually late for people to not have turned down nor have accepted ANY of their (UVA's) offers. 

I was also struck by the fact that there may be people who are stuck in the following scenario which may stall the process till the very end:  Person A may be accepted at NYU but waitlisted at Princeton which happens to be their first choice while person B has conversely been accepted to Princeton and waitlisted at NYU which is their first choice. Under such circumstances, I don't see how you can get the ball rolling except to just accept their offers which they will probably wait until the very end to do so. If many people are in such situations across the top 5 programs (which is not unimaginable), I can imagine the whole thing stalling quite a bit till the very end and people who are at the waitlist at lowered ranked programs being screwed. 

Edited by VentralStream

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2 minutes ago, VentralStream said:

This was confirmed to me by Professor Ott (from UVA) who said yesterday in an email that this is unusually late for people to not have turned down nor have accepted ANY of their (UVA's) offers.¬†ÔĽŅ

I hope this indicates that many people are just waiting for very late visits, as UVA's is mere days before the deadline. Then after they visit, they'll make a decision on the 13th or 14th--though that's not too much time for others to act, it is better than 5pm on the 15th.

Though I'd say in general, you're probably correct--with so many people holding onto waitlists until the last minute while sitting on other acceptances, it's going to make for a crazy day on April 15th. I'd say almost moreso than usual, given the late visit times so many schools seem to be having this year. We'll all have to do our best to be conscientious of our offers and waitlists and give others as much room as possible. 

One thing I highly recommend waitlisters do as we near April 15th is to get in contact with schools to determine likelihood of getting off the waitlist. Especially on the 14th or 15th, if you reach out to them, you'll get a much clearer picture of expectations going forward than if you just wait for their email. I know they're probably all going to be very overwhelmed on those days, but if you look at last year's April 15 thread, a lot of people did get responses to their emails and were more informed about their status as a result. It'll help you make a timely decision if you remain in contact, I'd imagine. Of course if anyone who has applied in previous years has any input on this point, please share!

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3 hours ago, Nothingtown said:

I hope this indicates that many people are just waiting for very late visits, as UVA's is mere days before the deadline.

This is a good point of how the departments have something to do with this too.  I mean Stanford only released, what, two weeks ago? Late decisions and visits must put a lot of pressure on people and encourage some delays.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, VentralStream said:

I was also struck by the fact that there may be people who are stuck in the following scenario which may stall the process till the very end:  Person A may be accepted at NYU but waitlisted at Princeton which happens to be their first choice while person B has conversely been accepted to Princeton and waitlisted at NYU which is their first choice. Under such circumstances, I don't see how you can get the ball rolling except to just accept their offers which they will probably wait until the very end to do so. If many people are in such situations across the top 5 programs (which is not unimaginable), I can imagine the whole thing stalling quite a bit till the very end and people who are at the waitlist at lowered ranked programs being screwed. 

Yup, this is the cascade effect that occurs every year. There is no way around it. We can only mitigate how terrible it can be:

Looking back at the post, it apparently got some haters? Lol. Stating facts in order to help people apparently makes some people sad. (No one gave any pushback, so I don't take the reactions seriously)

Edited by Duns Eith

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8 hours ago, VentralStream said:

So this is my first time applying, but it seems to me, given that the deadline is only ten days away,  that there hasn't been much movement on waitlists (presumably because most people have not made up their minds and accepted offers). This was confirmed to me by Professor Ott (from UVA) who said yesterday in an email that this is unusually late for people to not have turned down nor have accepted ANY of their (UVA's) offers.  

Yeah, I was told that 'the large majority' of offer-holders at UW-Madison haven't gotten back to them, though I don't know if this is unusually late by their standards. Waitlists definitely went right to the final day last year, so that's what I'm shoring myself up for!

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30 minutes ago, Kantattheairport said:

Yeah, I was told that 'the large majority' of offer-holders at UW-Madison haven't gotten back to them, though I don't know if this is unusually late by their standards. Waitlists definitely went right to the final day last year, so that's what I'm shoring myself up for!

I’ve heard similar things. 

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2 hours ago, Duns Eith said:

Yup, this is the cascade effect that occurs every year. There is no way around it. We can only mitigate how terrible it can be:

Looking back at the post, it apparently got some haters? Lol. Stating facts in order to help people apparently makes some people sad. (No one gave any pushback, so I don't take the reactions seriously)

Isn't there anyway to mitigate such "cascade" effects? Would it make sense to start a thread where everyone posts their current situation/ideal outcome? I know this process isn't so straightforward that two people could simply "swap" by declining each other's preferred school...but something approaching this must be possible? Seems too bleak to think things must necessarily play out this way...

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, 759 said:

 

Isn't there anyway to mitigate such "cascade" effects? Would it make sense to start a thread where everyone posts their current situation/ideal outcome? I know this process isn't so straightforward that two people could simply "swap" by declining each other's preferred school...but something approaching this must be possible? Seems too bleak to think things must necessarily play out this way...

I suggested in my link some ways to mitigate how terrible it can be.

Others include:

  • Investigating schools well enough that you have a personal ranking system before you hear back from any school. As in, if you got offers from your 7th and 8th personally ranked school, you could in principle turn down the 8th. You might need to pause to make a decision if there's information you couldn't have had access to before (such as a scholarship), but you won't need to pause for, say, comparing your 4th to your 8th. The idea is that if you get your 4th, you can tell your 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ... etc. all the way down that you'd like to withdraw. You don't need to say yes to your 4th yet, but there is little sense waiting to tell all of the lesser ones you are content at a better offer elsewhere.
  • Encourage others to do likewise.
  • Don't hold onto offers because of FOMO. You can't swap but there might be enough shifting that your #8 school you turn down is someone's preferred school, and that it sets the chain reaction to opening up your #4 school. Recognize when you're getting FOMO hard, and talk it out with someone who is more decisive than you. Go with their decision. Or take their decision seriously. Because, after all, you will likely tell them what you really want to hear anyway.
Edited by Duns Eith

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32 minutes ago, Duns Eith said:

I suggested in my link some ways to mitigate how terrible it can be.

Others include:

  • Investigating schools well enough that you have a personal ranking system before you hear back from any school. As in, if you got offers from your 7th and 8th personally ranked school, you could in principle turn down the 8th. You might need to pause to make a decision if there's information you couldn't have had access to before (such as a scholarship), but you won't need to pause for, say, comparing your 4th to your 8th. The idea is that if you get your 4th, you can tell your 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ... etc. all the way down that you'd like to withdraw. You don't need to say yes to your 4th yet, but there is little sense waiting to tell all of the lesser ones you are content at a better offer elsewhere.
  • Encourage others to do likewise.
  • Don't hold onto offers because of FOMO. You can't swap but there might be enough shifting that your #8 school you turn down is someone's preferred school, and that it sets the chain reaction to opening up your #4 school. Recognize when you're getting FOMO hard, and talk it out with someone who is more decisive than you. Go with their decision. Or take their decision seriously. Because, after all, you will likely tell them what you really want to hear anyway.

Good advice. I just assumed everyone was already doing your first bullet point, I think. 

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This is my first time having applied out so I am trying to understand the system. So after April 15, will there be no offers extended to those on the waitlist should they not hear back (or in time) from the initial offers? How exactly does the deadline work with he waitlists? I ask because I am waitlisted at my top two choices, and I have yet to hear anything from them. 

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6 hours ago, Anti-Climacus said:

This is my first time having applied out so I am trying to understand the system. So after April 15, will there be no offers extended to those on the waitlist should they not hear back (or in time) from the initial offers? How exactly does the deadline work with he waitlists? I ask because I am waitlisted at my top two choices, and I have yet to hear anything from them. 

Accepted applicants have until April 15 to say yes or no. After that, programs can rescind their offers if they haven’t heard back and give them to someone else. It is not unusual for programs to accept waitlisted applicants after April 15. 

7 hours ago, 759 said:

 

Isn't there anyway to mitigate such "cascade" effects? Would it make sense to start a thread where everyone posts their current situation/ideal outcome? I know this process isn't so straightforward that two people could simply "swap" by declining each other's preferred school...but something approaching this must be possible? Seems too bleak to think things must necessarily play out this way...

Lots of programs over-admit on the assumption some will turn down. You’re right that you can’t swap your spot with someone else, you have no way of knowing you’d get an offer if some gradcafe person says they’ll turn down an offer. Even if an offer was made to someone, it might not be to you (same AOI doesn’t mean you have a claim to the spot). Bleak is the name of the game. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, 759 said:

Good advice. I just assumed everyone was already doing your first bullet point, I think. 

Talking with many people in different app processes, I have found that

  • often people don't look in depth beyond faculty specialties (and special faculty), PGR¬†ranking, and the fact that there is funding
  • people rank schools¬†loosely;¬†rarely do they create an ordinal list where there are few or no ties -- doing so requires further investigation of every program, like comparing¬†faculty for your intended diss topic, precise funding package as it relates to¬†estimated cost of living, actual placement records, etc.

There is some economy to not researching each place well, since you'll be turned down by many schools you would be investigating. You need a low resolution until a viable option is actually offered. It requires a higher resolution to make an ordinal list where you can actually say "I have my 4th school, I'll turn down 6, 7, 8, 9, 10..."

Edited by Duns Eith

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