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On 3/17/2020 at 2:00 PM, meghan_sparkle said:

admins reaching out, admins requesting additional documentation (for the THIRD TIME) for reimbursement for a nonrefundable flight for a cancelled visit (which I'm starting to think I'm unlikely to ever see, which means I'm out $400)

If you purchased with a credit card, can you dispute the charge? That's what my husband and I have been doing for hotel and airline costs that the travel companies are being difficult about refunding. It's a public health crisis, a national emergency, these companies need to refund people, and my bank (hopefully) has more sway and can get the job done.

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Accepted off the Michigan waitlist! Beyond thrilled.

After a ridiculously wonderful visit at Yale, I've decided not to visit Michigan and Cornell and have officially accepted Yale's offer. SUCH PEACE!

Annnnd I just accepted my offer from the University of Pennsylvania. This was an agonizing decision but I'm convinced that I've made the right choice. So pleased to be joining a program featuring so m

1 minute ago, punctilious said:

If you purchased with a credit card, can you dispute the charge? That's what my husband and I have been doing for hotel and airline costs that the travel companies are being difficult about refunding. It's a public health crisis, a national emergency, these companies need to refund people, and my bank (hopefully) has more sway and can get the job done.

good idea—if all else fails with the university i'll try this! thank you

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I have a number of MA offers and I don't know what to do.

Half of my MA applications have got back with me. 2 of them offer some financial assistance. The others said they are waiting to award graduate assistantships.

How do I proceed? What website or metric best ranks areas to live? Do I start messaging schools I've not heard back from yet and tell them deadlines for others are approaching? This is stressful.

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18 minutes ago, Puurple said:

I have a number of MA offers and I don't know what to do.

Half of my MA applications have got back with me. 2 of them offer some financial assistance. The others said they are waiting to award graduate assistantships.

How do I proceed? What website or metric best ranks areas to live? Do I start messaging schools I've not heard back from yet and tell them deadlines for others are approaching? This is stressful.

I am in a similar situation. Waiting to hear back from Villanova about funding, and waiting on any word at all from Bucknell. I am not as experienced as others here, but I would say that you should not cave to pressure from programs to decide before the Apr 15 deadline. Take all the time you need, and let them know as soon as you've made a decision. That is your only obligation

For me, the single biggest deciding factor with the MA is cost of attendance. It's really hard to get a funded terminal MA, as you probably know, and it is not a degree you want to go into debt for. As for choosing between funded offers, I understand it's sort of a crapshoot. If you plan to go on to a PhD, you should try and figure out which of the programs you're considering has a better placement record (this can be done by probing sites like this one, and by querying current or former students). If you're thinking of teaching at a community college, obviously you would want good teaching experience and support. Another consideration, honestly, is the level of financial support. Is the stipend enough to live on? I have one funded MA offer with a stipend that is probably not livable, so will likely decline for that reason. 

But definitely wait to hear back from everyone about funding before you make a decision! I think it would be unwise to choose a program with a decision still pending. If they don't reach out to you soon, you may want to contact them directly, yes. I definitely share your anxiety on this one, it's terrifying.

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After several great, slightly patchy virtual conversations, I've accepted my offer from NYU. This is literally everything I dream of in a program (complete with a small cohort size), so it's unbelievable to me that it happened. This means I will give up my other offers and my waitlist spots. Best of luck to everyone making a decision!

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21 minutes ago, tinymica said:

What are everyone’s thoughts on cohort size? What do you prefer and why?

The program I'm in takes between 6-8 students a year, and I think this is the perfect size. It's large enough that there can be a real community of grad students (in your own cohort, if you're lucky enough to get along, and in the department generally)... but it's not so large that professors don't know who you are, or have to split their time among too many students (especially for bigger-name profs, who are asked to be on a lot of people's committees). 

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I was in a 4 person cohort where we hardly saw each other outside of class and I don’t think most people really connected with faculty whereas now the cohort is 10 (+30 MA who, for the first two years, are indistinguishable from the rest in terms of classwork etc.) and it’s very close-knit and I’ve never felt ignored by a professor. There’s certainly a sweet spot but I think personality is gonna be the big factor and it can ruin a good-sized cohort and save the opposite.

Edited by WildeThing
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6 hours ago, tinymica said:

What are everyone’s thoughts on cohort size? What do you prefer and why?

I think somewhere between 7 and 12 is good - not so big that you get lost in the crowd (not to mention a large cohort is unethical in this day and age) but not so small that you have no one to get along with. A friend of mine who's in her first year at a top program has a cohort of 9, and she says she enjoys that size because they all have such different personalities that if there were only, say, 4 of them, it would be difficult for her to make a friend in the cohort.

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Does anyone know about conditional offer?

On the offer I received from Oxford, one of the academic conditions asks me to "attain a GPA of 3.75 (with 3.85 in the major) in the current Bachelor of Arts Honours Course." While my overall GPA can get 3.75, my major GPA in English cannot reach 3.85 when I graduate (it will probably only get 3.67 or 3.7)...But since I'm also a double major in English and Psychology, my Psychology major GPA might get 3.9 when I graduate. I'm wondering if I could count both majors together as my major GPA? Or should I just tell the graduate department directly that I could not get 3.85 in my English major?

 Will they just withdraw my offer directly because I cannot fill the major GPA? Because it's an offer of master degree, I really get scared that they don't want me that much.

 

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On 3/22/2020 at 3:13 AM, summer breeze said:

Does anyone know about conditional offer?

On the offer I received from Oxford, one of the academic conditions asks me to "attain a GPA of 3.75 (with 3.85 in the major) in the current Bachelor of Arts Honours Course." While my overall GPA can get 3.75, my major GPA in English cannot reach 3.85 when I graduate (it will probably only get 3.67 or 3.7)...But since I'm also a double major in English and Psychology, my Psychology major GPA might get 3.9 when I graduate. I'm wondering if I could count both majors together as my major GPA? Or should I just tell the graduate department directly that I could not get 3.85 in my English major?

 Will they just withdraw my offer directly because I cannot fill the major GPA? Because it's an offer of master degree, I really get scared that they don't want me that much.

 

Oxford English Faculty has set conditional offers and they likely have little clue what a lot of the international ones mean. (The UK ones for example have flexibility--I think the standard one for the Oxford English MSt is a "high 2.1" which they functionally define as 65 and above—you'd think 65/66 would be more of a mid 2.1)

I think you could quite easily do nothing and count the psych GPA as major GPA, given the conditions they've laid out that you quote, and be fine. But if you're worried about it, you could also email the graduate officer asking for clarification, saying that you have a double major and given the GPA you applied with, you could only feasibly attain the offer with the GPA in one of the majors, is that alright, etc. It's not that they don't want you that much and will reject you outright—it's more just bureaucracy.

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I accepted Syracuse's offer yesterday! OSU is not taking anyone off their waitlist this year, and I got the official "no" from Virginia on Monday. Is anyone else heading to Syracuse in the Fall? If so, feel free to reach out to me! I won't be checking this site as much now that my application cycle is over, but good luck to everyone else who is still waiting to hear definitive news or who still choosing between programs!

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I've been vacillating between my two choices over and over and over again. They're both excellent programs with vibrant, collaborative communities and I know I can't make a "wrong" decision but I keep getting stuck on some things. I think the fact is that I don't want to move cross-country, but I feel like I should for the sake of a (possibly) less stressful teaching experience and a bit more funding. So I feel like I shouldn't say no to that, but I can't push myself to pick that place because I'd have give up some personal comforts that I think would be important to have. (Including the part where I....don't think I want to live there.) But then when I lean the other way, to a place closer to home and with weather I'd more easily adapt to, I feel put-off by the detriments of that program (no summer funding, immediate teaching). Basically I can't budge and I'm losing sleep every night and everyone is waiting for me to make a decision including me :(

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1 hour ago, tinymica said:

I've been vacillating between my two choices over and over and over again. They're both excellent programs with vibrant, collaborative communities and I know I can't make a "wrong" decision but I keep getting stuck on some things. I think the fact is that I don't want to move cross-country, but I feel like I should for the sake of a (possibly) less stressful teaching experience and a bit more funding. So I feel like I shouldn't say no to that, but I can't push myself to pick that place because I'd have give up some personal comforts that I think would be important to have. (Including the part where I....don't think I want to live there.) But then when I lean the other way, to a place closer to home and with weather I'd more easily adapt to, I feel put-off by the detriments of that program (no summer funding, immediate teaching). Basically I can't budge and I'm losing sleep every night and everyone is waiting for me to make a decision including me :(

One thing that has been helpful to me while trying to sort through my longings and instinctual impulses is remembering that the decision isn't just about the next year or two, but has to still feel right even in three or four years when dissertating. In that vein, a less stressful teaching experience should weigh more heavily in terms of your daily working schedule. Whereas having to move cross country—although it's a hassle, inconvenient, a lot of work and may distance you from family/friends—is something that will probably feel like a blip 6 months in when it's over and done with and you've started building a community of friends within your cohort + started to fall in love with a new city. I also note you said "possibly" less stressful teaching experience; maybe it will help to talk to a few more current students so you can see what the teaching is like functionally for them?

At least for me, the question at bottom is: What's the ideal environment where I can most contentedly see myself writing for the next 5-6 years? Liking the city you live in certainly factors into that. But tbh, no summer funding and immediate teaching are both huge deals. Even in cities where it's reliably easy to obtain summer income through teaching summer schools/tutoring/research assistant work, that's a lot to wrangle each year, and a lot of work totally unrelated to your research. Plus there's no guarantee of it—for instance saw the other day that Stanford students (not English I don't think but other departments) who normally relied on teaching summer schools for summer income now have nothing because all those summer programs have been cancelled due to COVID. 

If they're both excellent programs with vibrant communities, you probably can't go wrong—pretty much all I would encourage is making sure that your instinctual pull covers quality of life (in terms of teaching, cost of living, general happiness) across the years of your program, as difficult it is to think big-picture in terms of such a large timespan.

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After a solid two months of agonizing, I am beyond thrilled to say that I've accepted my offer to the MA/PhD program at Penn State! If anyone else winds up PSU-bound, hit me up--I'd love a chance to get to know some of the incoming cohort since we weren't able to meet at the open house.

Also, good luck (thoughts, prayers, the best of vibes) to those of you still deliberating--whichever way you go, hopefully there's some comfort to be found in the fact that there are only nine days left of this part.

Edited by politics 'n prose
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A query regarding decision etiquette: is it good manners to contact all the POIs you've had contact with at schools you've decided not to attend to thank them for their kindness and attention and (regretfully) let them know of your decision to attend elsewhere? Or is that weird? I have for sure one professor I feel I owe a very grateful "it's not you, it's me" message to, as he went very far out of his way to be kind and welcoming to me, but for those I just chatted with on the phone, for instance, is that excessive?

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22 minutes ago, The Hoosier Oxonian said:

A query regarding decision etiquette: is it good manners to contact all the POIs you've had contact with at schools you've decided not to attend to thank them for their kindness and attention and (regretfully) let them know of your decision to attend elsewhere? Or is that weird? I have for sure one professor I feel I owe a very grateful "it's not you, it's me" message to, as he went very far out of his way to be kind and welcoming to me, but for those I just chatted with on the phone, for instance, is that excessive?

I've gotten varied responses on this subject, but I'd say do what you feel most comfortable with. For some profs I'd spoken to quite a bit I felt the desire to send a personal note so they'd be hearing the news from me, and it seemed to go over well/wasn't awkward. Idk if there's a 'right' or 'wrong' way with this sort of thing but I'm a pretty sensitive soul so I sent some emails, had some phone calls etc. - maybe excessive to some but that brought me some measure of peace. But bottom line, I don't think you 'owe' this to anyone, my goal was to communicate my gratitude and ultimately my decision. 

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I'm heading to UNC in the fall! My decision was tough but after talking to a number of students and faculty members at my two top programs, I really believe this is the best choice for me. Super excited! 

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20 hours ago, tinymica said:

I’ve accepted my offer at UW and declined mine at BU. Hope this helps someone who wants BU more than I do!

 

18 minutes ago, karamazov said:

I'm heading to UNC in the fall! My decision was tough but after talking to a number of students and faculty members at my two top programs, I really believe this is the best choice for me. Super excited! 

Congratulations to both of you on making your decision! Decision-making is a very exciting part of the year. :)

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Hi everyone! I'm currently still deciding between two programs for my PhD in rhet/comp, and I could use a little perspective. One of the programs has a 1:2 teaching load for the entirety of the program, and the other program doesn't have any teaching requirement for the first year. Is this something that should be weighed heavily, or is a 1:2 load manageable?

I was also just admitted from the waitlist for the program that doesn't have a teaching requirement in the first year, and because of that, I've had little interaction with the faculty and students. When I've reached out, they've been slower to respond (some haven't even responded yet and it's been four days), than the first program. Is this a significant red flag or have other people experienced slower responses from programs they are choosing to attend? I'm not sure if this is reflective of how the communication will be in the future or if this is a result of the pandemic. Regardless, that program seems more hands off, but it also has a higher stipend, there's no teaching requirement in the first year so I can pursue other opportunities/focus on coursework, etc., the stipend accounts for all of summer (program 1 only offers a small stipend for summer), and a 1:1 teaching load after the first year. I suppose the main question is this: Do all of those factors just listed outweigh the slow/impersonal communication I've experienced from program 2? I want to be supported and mentored and I know program 1 can offer that, whereas I'm just not sure yet if program 2 can. Program 1 has been nothing short of phenomenal with making me feel like a part of their community and the current grad students have been accessible and so friendly.

 

Thanks for anyone's advice! 

 

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