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It seems like there are a couple of us here waiting to hear back about our waitlist situations, and quite a few of us for whom our waitlisted schools are our last chances at getting into a phd program this cycle, so I figured that I'd start this thread for us to share our anxieties as we wait it out. How's everyone keeping their respective programs updated on their application outcomes? Does anyone intend to visit the schools where they're waitlisted? 

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So I've been thinking about this more and in my own case, I'm still undecided. But I also want to share some further ideas for anyone else who might be in a similar situation. Last night I was re

I’m on the waitlist at Michigan, but I figure coming off the list is unlikely so I’m all but writing it off as a rejection at this point. Kind of pessimistic, I know, but I browsed the results thread a couple years back and it doesn’t look like anyone ever posted about getting in off the list, so...

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I'm in purgatory too! I assume this thread might be a little barren, since by definition we don't have much news to report. I still haven't heard back from Fordham, but am thinking that because there are both acceptances and rejections on the board, and because waitlist notifications have tended to go out after acceptances and rejections, I may be waitlisted. Which would be cool!

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Waitlists are definitely complicating my decision. I have a favorite among my acceptances, but being accepted off the waitlist at UVA or Rutgers could completely change my perspective. The uncertainty is tough.

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While I'm definitely very excited about and super grateful for my acceptances, I would almost certainly attend UNC Chapel Hill if I'm accepted off the waitlist, so I'm really going to be on the edge of my seat until April 15. And, in addition to my interest in the program itself, it's looking like an acceptance to UNC will make the difference between needing and not needing to be long-distance with my partner. Due to concerns about my partner's career prospects and his comfort level with the cost of living in each of the areas of the schools to which I've been accepted/waitlisted, UNC seems like our only really viable option for living in the same city. Suffice it to say, I'm really, really, really hoping that I get off the waitlist. The DGS seemed positive about my chances, letting me know that they "routinely admit from the waiting list," and that "the likelihood of admission remains a real possibility," and even inviting me to the open house (with a hotel room etc.), so I'm hopeful, but very stressed. A number of past applicants on gradcafe seem to have been accepted off the waitlist, at least according to the results board, but I'm really not sure about how many are ultimately accepted off the waitlist vs. how many they waitlisted in the first place. Of course I'm still glad and relieved to have acceptances elsewhere, but I'm really hoping UNC pulls through, because it'd be by far the best option for not only myself but for my partner and our future together. 

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Yep, this is me. 4 waitlists, two of which were top choices. I'm hoping for good news but trying not to get too attached.

What is everyone else doing to learn about the programs/prepare to potentially make a last-minute decision? These schools didn't invite me to accepted students weekends or anything like that and I'm not sure if I could/(should?) foot the bill to visit on my own. I may ask to be put in touch with current students to ask questions. Any other thoughts?

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I'm on the UVA and Chapel Hill waitlists, which is all I have besides rejections. Obviously I would love to hear some good news from either school, as otherwise I'll have to reapply next year (and this is already the second time I've been waitlisted at one of these places). I'll be visiting UNC at the end of the month. I don't really have it in me to worry that it's awkward to visit from the waitlist. It might be, but I'm tired of caring at this point.

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9 hours ago, grace2137 said:

What is everyone else doing to learn about the programs/prepare to potentially make a last-minute decision? These schools didn't invite me to accepted students weekends or anything like that and I'm not sure if I could/(should?) foot the bill to visit on my own. I may ask to be put in touch with current students to ask questions. Any other thoughts?

I’m an international student, so it’ll be really expensive for me to travel to the US for self-arranged visits, although I have certainly considered that. If you can afford to travel, though, I doubt there’s any harm in contacting the DGS to schedule your own visits outside of regular visiting weekends (especially since you’ve potentially, in a best case scenario, four schools to choose from). Otherwise, I think speaking to current students will be your best option. It’ll be a good way for you to form a support network early anyway, so you can better navigate whatever program you might commit yourself to/wherever you might be moving to this fall. 

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Posted (edited)

@karamazov @kolyagogolova congratulations on the UNC waitlists! It’s wonderful that the school’s paying for your travels to their visiting weekend, since it only goes to show how much they’d like to have you in their program. Anyway, while I suppose Durham differs slightly from Raleigh, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the general environment/culture in North Carolina after your respective visits, given that I’ll very likely be committing to Duke (sight-unseen) should the opportunity arise. Having never stepped foot in the States, let alone NC, I suppose this will be a rather risky move, so I’m trying to find out as much as I can from others to ensure that I’ll make the right decision (if I'm given the chance to). 

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12 hours ago, BwO said:

@karamazov @kolyagogolova congratulations on the UNC waitlists! It’s wonderful that the school’s paying for your travels to their visiting weekend, since it only goes to show how much they’d like to have you in their program. Anyway, while I suppose Durham differs slightly from Raleigh, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the general environment/culture in North Carolina after your respective visits, given that I’ll very likely be committing to Duke (sight-unseen) should the opportunity arise. Having never stepped foot in the States, let alone NC, I suppose this will be a rather risky move, so I’m trying to find out as much as I can from others to ensure that I’ll make the right decision (if I'm given the chance to). 

I'll definitely send you a DM after the visit to give you my impression of the area! 

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6 minutes ago, onerepublic96 said:

Does anyone know what the proper etiquette is for communicating continued interest and inquiring about waitlist movement?

Do it! As long as you aren't pushy, I think it's much better to reach out than not; just politely say that you remain very interested in the program and would like some more information about how the waitlist works (i.e. is it ranked or by subfield, etc.). I did this for Cornell, and the DGS wrote back and said that Cornell's decisions about taking people off the waitlist are partly based on a perception of continued interest (i. e. they're more likely to accept people off the waitlist who have made it clear they're still interested), so it was very good I reached out. This may not be true everywhere, but as long as you aren't being obnoxious I can't imagine that expressing continued interest could possibly hurt your chances of getting off the waitlist.

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I told waitlist A that I was in at waitlist B. I am still waiting on one app which I can’t tell if I am on a waitlist or just not rejected yet. I think waitlist A is out of the running assuming I get complete details from waitlist B and they are solid. However if the third option becomes a possibility that would upend the whole calculus! Only a little while longer to wait. Wishing everyone on here patience and good luck!

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Two waitlists, no acceptances, and one of the schools has been completely non-responsive to my emails (one mid-Feb, one last week). I'm at the point in time where I need to start reaching out to faculty and grad students directly if I want to have those pre-decision conversations about program life. I had been hoping to be connected to people via the DGS or whomever, the way that if you are invited to campus, you are given a schedule of meetings with people who are--presumably--excited to speak with you and already plan to convey a significant amount of information to you in an organized way, but it doesn't appear that this is in the cards. 

I get that faculty have many important responsibilities, all the more so during the current coronavirus outbreak, but I'm feeling quite down today about waitlist-as-not-priority-student all the same. The calculus makes sense--you have limited time and thus devote it to the admitted students, that's fair--but my existing insecurities make this legwork to connect with people in the program all the more agonizing. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I emailed an administrator who sent out waitlist notifications a month ago for more information on the waitlist process (my position, etc.), didn't hear back from him, emailed the DGS and received confirmation from her that she'd received my email and would get back to me that week. It's now been several weeks. I followed up with her again over a week ago. I know departments and faculty members are dealing with a lot of transition and work right now, but I'm also trying not to hold up a school that has admitted me. Is it rude or annoying to keep emailing? Should I just assume I'll never get a response?

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19 minutes ago, AnachronisticPoet said:

I emailed an administrator who sent out waitlist notifications a month ago for more information on the waitlist process (my position, etc.), didn't hear back from him, emailed the DGS and received confirmation from her that she'd received my email and would get back to me that week. It's now been several weeks. I followed up with her again over a week ago. I know departments and faculty members are dealing with a lot of transition and work right now, but I'm also trying not to hold up a school that has admitted me. Is it rude or annoying to keep emailing? Should I just assume I'll never get a response?

Yeah, I've sent two people at UT Austin a combined three emails and nobody has ever gotten back to me... #solidarity

I don't have an acceptance currently, so no reason for me to really need an answer before April 15. If you haven't told them you're sitting on an acceptance, might be good to throw that out there in case it helps them understand the urgency. 

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48 minutes ago, AnachronisticPoet said:

I emailed an administrator who sent out waitlist notifications a month ago for more information on the waitlist process (my position, etc.), didn't hear back from him, emailed the DGS and received confirmation from her that she'd received my email and would get back to me that week. It's now been several weeks. I followed up with her again over a week ago. I know departments and faculty members are dealing with a lot of transition and work right now, but I'm also trying not to hold up a school that has admitted me. Is it rude or annoying to keep emailing? Should I just assume I'll never get a response?

I know the DGS is probably under a lot of pressure lately, however I've noticed that the programs i was accepted to have stayed in contact while those I'm waitlisted at are completely silent towards any emails. I don't think it's rude to email if you really need answer, but i don't think that a string of emails is going to motivate them to answer if they don't want to or don't have time to. And i don't know if people on the waitlist only ever hear back if they get accepted, but i don't believe they'll send rejection letters either. I guess from my experience, the university will probably be more concerned with trying to convince the students they've already accepted take the offer rather than waist that energy on the waitlist. 

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32 minutes ago, caffeinated applicant said:

Yeah, I've sent two people at UT Austin a combined three emails and nobody has ever gotten back to me... #solidarity

I don't have an acceptance currently, so no reason for me to really need an answer before April 15. If you haven't told them you're sitting on an acceptance, might be good to throw that out there in case it helps them understand the urgency. 

SAME re: UT Austin - glad I'm not the only one! It was making me a bit nervous at first because two of my other waitlist programs have been extremely responsive and involved answering my questions about the program and connecting me w current students, etc.

As others have said, though, given the current state of affairs in the world, I wouldn't take anything personally or read into it if a program isn't super responsive to emails. There is simply so much going on. If you are ready to commit to the other program, I would let them know as a sort of last call - they might be able to tell you the likelihood of movement/how things are looking so far, etc. But, at the same time, I think the lack of in person visits and general weirdness of this cycle is likely to stretch out decision-making until the last minute for lots of folks, so they may not have much clarity to offer.

I'm not expecting to hear anything decisive until after the 15th, honestly - but boy has this been a wild ride. At least this global crisis has kept me distracted from stressing about waitlist movement for the past few weeks, lol.

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I am in a "I-haven't-heard-back-from-everywhere-yet-but-have-offers-to-respond-to" place.

It is similar to a waitlist, probably. I just want my information to all come together!

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On 3/26/2020 at 1:01 PM, grace2137 said:

SAME re: UT Austin - glad I'm not the only one! It was making me a bit nervous at first because two of my other waitlist programs have been extremely responsive and involved answering my questions about the program and connecting me w current students, etc.

As others have said, though, given the current state of affairs in the world, I wouldn't take anything personally or read into it if a program isn't super responsive to emails. There is simply so much going on. If you are ready to commit to the other program, I would let them know as a sort of last call - they might be able to tell you the likelihood of movement/how things are looking so far, etc. But, at the same time, I think the lack of in person visits and general weirdness of this cycle is likely to stretch out decision-making until the last minute for lots of folks, so they may not have much clarity to offer.

I'm not expecting to hear anything decisive until after the 15th, honestly - but boy has this been a wild ride. At least this global crisis has kept me distracted from stressing about waitlist movement for the past few weeks, lol.

 

On 3/26/2020 at 12:16 PM, caffeinated applicant said:

Yeah, I've sent two people at UT Austin a combined three emails and nobody has ever gotten back to me... #solidarity

I don't have an acceptance currently, so no reason for me to really need an answer before April 15. If you haven't told them you're sitting on an acceptance, might be good to throw that out there in case it helps them understand the urgency. 

Hey y'all-- I'm also waitlisted at UT Austin and managed to get in touch with someone at the department in early March (before Coronavirus, so this information may have changed). This is what I was told:

When someone we’ve admitted declines our offer, we accept someone from the waitlist.  However, I cannot begin that process until 2 or 3 applicants turn us down.  I have not yet admitted anyone from the waitlist. Whom we then admit depends upon the fields of those who decline.  However, people have until April 15 to accept our offer. As a result, in the past we were not able to go to the waitlist until the end of March or early April. That pattern seems likely this year as well. 

Not really any surprises with that info, but I just thought I'd pass that on! Best of luck! 

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Two weeks till April 15. Am this close to tearing my hair out knowing that most schools will notify of our final decisions in the coming days. 

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Hi all-- I got in touch with Indiana University's DGS today re their timeline for notifying waitlisted students of their application status, and this was her response (I'm assuming other programs are in a similar situation):

At this stage we are unlikely to be able to offer admission to students who remain on the waitlist. There are a few reasons for this, but one is that it appears to be the case that the pandemic has encouraged students to accept their offers earlier than usual, perhaps because (and I truly suspect because) they come with an offer of guaranteed funding and health insurance. At this stage, it is probably best for me to say that further admission notifications are unlikely to go out.

Sad. 😞 

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14 hours ago, LilyNags said:

There are a few reasons for this, but one is that it appears to be the case that the pandemic has encouraged students to accept their offers earlier than usual, perhaps because (and I truly suspect because) they come with an offer of guaranteed funding and health insurance.

Do you think this is the case for most programs this year? I've had a rather optimistic email from the school that I'm waitlisted at, but I'm not sure how to interpret it, given that so many programs haven't drawn from their waitlists this year, lest I get my hopes up for nothing. 

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@BwO I'm honestly not sure. I reached out yesterday to another program I am waitlisted at, and the DGS told me that most people have neither accepted nor denied their offer of admission. She thought they may "not be able to go to the waitlist until another week passes," but said that they are committed to the April 15th deadline. So while my conversation with this DGS did not make me feel confident that they would pull from the waitlist, I definitely feel more optimistic than I did after speaking with the DGS at Indiana. 

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