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HOW IS THE OUTBREAK AFFECTING YOUR GRAD SCHOOL PLANS?


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So, here we are, in full panic mode!! Some of us got into schools this cycle, congrats. You might have commited to a school already. You might have had crystal clear plans. You might have even order school apparels to flex or because you like how they look like. But now things are not so clear. Please let us know how the virus and the subsequent "quarantine effects" have affected your choice or plan for grad school.

 

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I think for me, the stress/surrounding panic, general uneasy vibe (I live in a state where we are shutting down restaurants/entertainment, etc) is contributing to the stress of making a decision. It's also delaying one US school in getting back to me, though thankfully I've already heard from most of them. I'm trying to just put it aside though and make a decision without worrying about the current situation - just telling myself, hey, if I choose the Canadian school and borders are still closed in September, I'll figure it out and I'm sure the dept will be accommodating. 

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I'm interested in this as well. Universities are switching to online learning and students are being mandated to move out of residence halls. I am weighing my options. I really don't want to delay my plans, but I have a secure job right now. I mean, the Universities HAVE to carry on with the core functions of research and teaching, right? I'm waiting to hear from my schools.

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I'm worried about the long-term economic impacts and how that will affect funding and the job market. I saw someone online suggest that we could go through another round of what happened in academia during the 2008 financial crisis. I was fairly young then, however, so I don't know much about that. I'm curious if anyone can speak to it? What sort of changes could we expect?

Edited by feralgrad
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I am likewise concerned about the long-term economic effects - in my case, how will this affect funding for future programs? It's only March, and I'm growing highly concerned about my chances for applying this fall, by which point I'll already be two years out of graduation. Grad school can't be pushed back forever, and my BA alone isn't what most people would describe as particularly useful...

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On 3/19/2020 at 8:35 AM, feralgrad said:

I'm worried about the long-term economic impacts and how that will affect funding and the job market. I saw someone online suggest that we could go through another round of what happened in academia during the 2008 financial crisis. I was fairly young then, however, so I don't know much about that. I'm curious if anyone can speak to it? What sort of changes could we expect?

I don't know a lot, but my advisor told me some stories. Basically schools stopped hiring new faculty, research budgets got slashed, and grad student admissions plummeted. He had a student around that time who, despite being told that he needed to widen his net, refused to apply to schools outside of California. Naturally, he didn't get a single offer that year.

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I'm currently halfway done through my second semester of graduate school here at Fordham. I was doing my 100 hour social justice practicum at a Title 1 middle school in lower Manhattan where I was counseling 7th grade students and in the process of doing a case study presentation about one of the students I was counseling over the course of 8 weeks until the coronavirus pandemic hit us. As of last Monday, all of the schools in NYC closed, thus I can't go back to the school I was doing my practicum at nor go back to Fordham for my in-person classes for the rest of the semester since we're doing online. They said that the schools might open by April 20th, but we don't even know if that will even happen and the closure could end up lasting longer. As a first year graduate school, this is certainly not how I wanted my experience to go and it has saddened me because I was starting to know my students more and more over the past few weeks I have been counseling them and if the schools don't open back next month, it will hurt me knowing that two weeks ago, I was seeing my students and not know that that was going to be the last time they will ever see more and vice versa. I'm learning to become a school counselor and it will pain me that I couldn't give my students a proper termination and say goodbye to them. My professor isn't allowing my class to counsel our students via telecommunication given that we're in our first year, we haven't been trained on how to counsel through tools like this, and also because of ethical reasons cause the sessions could be recorded and many of our students are underage, so I may not be able to see them anymore. 😢

I was also in the process of doing some interviews at a few high schools where I would like to do my internship for my second year in the program and only managed to do one interview a couple weeks before the pandemic became official and before the schools closed. I may have to continue other interviews via webcam, but yeah that was so sudden. I've also been trying to adjust to the online learning at home because I was just getting used to my school and I do like face-to-face classes. While yes it's nice that I can do my classes right from the comforts of home in PJs in bed, it's definitely not the same and I feel the stress of drastic changes and having to self isolate from society in order to keep my health in tact. Like I said, this isn't what I wanted my first year of grad school to be like and I hate how I can't see my professors, classmates, students, friends, or anyone outside of my immediate family in person. It's hard having to be home all the time and having to remind myself to not stare at the screens for too long all day. 

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Thank you all for sharing! I wish I could find words of encouragement. But I can't. Some of us will come out of this unscathed, most of us won't. All we can do now is wait for the storm to pass by. If you are worried about dying, call your parents, call your crush, tell them what you want them to know. 

#stayathome

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For me the stress has been getting to me. I’m concerned about family but also about school. I have money saved so I can pay to secure my spot but one school wanted $500 and that’s a lot since I am not working. I’ve had a clear idea of how I wanted grad school to play out and now that won’t happen. I’m a planner so I’ve just had to say whatever happens happens. It has already taken me 3yrs post BA to figure out what I really wanted to do and work for it. I’d like to start my program in the fall but I also don’t want to be at risk or put people at risk. 

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On 3/19/2020 at 10:35 AM, feralgrad said:

I'm worried about the long-term economic impacts and how that will affect funding and the job market. I saw someone online suggest that we could go through another round of what happened in academia during the 2008 financial crisis. I was fairly young then, however, so I don't know much about that. I'm curious if anyone can speak to it? What sort of changes could we expect?

I am old (well, one of the older members of this forum) and remember 2008 very well. 

 

In 2008 I had decided to go back to school.  I had already went to school earlier in life for Film, then switching to Screenwriting... only to have dropped out right before my senior year because I felt I had learned enough. And that despite being in a Screenwriting program we still had film some of our projects, which back then was at a cost of about $300/minute.   Yes, film.  The cost did include developing the film and of course sometimes the lab messed up and your footage was ruined, or you didn't get the shot.  The capstone project was to be a 30 minute screenplay and short.  

In 2008 things were not that bad.  In 2009 things started to get hectic which lasted until around 2013.  Undergraduate institutions received more applications and competition increased, sure, but it was grad schools that had become flooded.  This was also around the time when it became really popular to apply to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and so on, both for undergrad and grad.  It was mostly with MS programs and in part because graduating undergrads wanted to stave off student loan repayment as they were graduating into a weak economy but it was mostly older adults hoping that an MS would give them job security and/or more earning potential.  Ph.D. programs, too, saw an uptick in applications although I remember acceptances had dropped.  Universities had put a halt on hiring and professors looking to retire stayed around a little bit longer.  Community colleges, on the other hand, were hiring and many it seemed to even expand.   

Public schools lost a lot of funding but private institutions fared fairly well, iirc. Tuition also started to go up dramatically around this time, I believe.  For academic research I want to say that it was the Humanities hit the hardest.  

However, there was no world-wide pandemic.  It's still too early to tell how the 2020/2021 admissions cycle, funding, or job outlook will be affected.  

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On 3/19/2020 at 7:35 AM, feralgrad said:

I'm worried about the long-term economic impacts and how that will affect funding and the job market. I saw someone online suggest that we could go through another round of what happened in academia during the 2008 financial crisis. I was fairly young then, however, so I don't know much about that. I'm curious if anyone can speak to it? What sort of changes could we expect?

Like Crucial BBQ, I am also a bit older and thus I remember 2008 all too well.  In fact, I finished my undergrad degree and was looking to launch my career just as the economic crisis was solidifying.  All I can tell you is, in terms of achieving your goals, EVERYTHING is harder during an economic crisis.  Getting into your preferred graduate program is harder, both because there are less funding spots and because there are way more applicants (that brilliant idea you had to further your education while the job market sucks...it turns out, you're not the only person who has thought of that :).  Getting the job you want is obviously much harder.

So my advice is, whichever program gives you the best offer, TAKE IT.  Don't assume that same offer, or any other offer, is going to be there if you apply next year. 

Now that being said, I would guess that we're not at the beginning of a 2nd Great Recession.  The Great Recession, as far as recessions go, was uniquely dreadful especially consider how long it dragged on for (fun fact: the unemployment rate in 2013 was 8 percent, a full six years after the crisis began).  But I would make a sizable wager that many if not most universities -- especially public universities -- will be dealing with budget cuts during the next application cycle, a consideration that will undoubtedly affect how many funding spots are available.

So get yours while there is something to be got.  Winter is coming.

Edited by derek245
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I set myself up for maximum flexibility so I guess I'm not really going to be screwed, but I'd hate to defer until the Spring term if classes will be online. I'm a bit worried about funding offers, because the emails I've gotten recently have been very brief and short on information. Even if I had to defer, I wouldn't have to worry about negotiating a lease since I'm technically subletting, Also, my position at work is contracted until next Summer and only my immediate supervisors know anything about my grad school plans (and they've kept quiet). Given that a number of my friends have lost work and/or health insurance recently, I feel pretty fortunate.

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WELL YOU WANT IT...

So I got admitted to a PhD program that that I finally decide to attend. I had had 4 other offers, some even higher ranked schools that the one I accepted to join. I rejected all those 4 offers and accepted this program. 

Then what happened?

This school emailed me and said that they had to cancel all the admissions for my program. So they had to rescind all the offers they made. Probably because of COVID19. I was shocked. 

I contacted all the other 4 schools I rejected and asked if I could be reconsidered for the position. They said that they already gave my spot to waitlisted students and informed them. So I literally went from 5 offers to choose from to 0. 

At the moment, I am all fucked. Not sure how anything will resolve. 

What I don't get is that how they can be so unprofessional. It makes NO SENSE.

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25 minutes ago, Richelieu20 said:

WELL YOU WANT IT...

So I got admitted to a PhD program that that I finally decide to attend. I had had 4 other offers, some even higher ranked schools that the one I accepted to join. I rejected all those 4 offers and accepted this program. 

Then what happened?

This school emailed me and said that they had to cancel all the admissions for my program. So they had to rescind all the offers they made. Probably because of COVID19. I was shocked. 

I contacted all the other 4 schools I rejected and asked if I could be reconsidered for the position. They said that they already gave my spot to waitlisted students and informed them. So I literally went from 5 offers to choose from to 0. 

At the moment, I am all fucked. Not sure how anything will resolve. 

What I don't get is that how they can be so unprofessional. It makes NO SENSE.

That honestly sucks @Richelieu20. 2020 is not the best year to be in. 

Didn't know why the school would rescind due to the outbreak. I understand internships but not graduate admissions.  Suppose they couldn't do on-campus classes, they would have to transition the classes to outline which isn't hard to do.

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1 hour ago, BlueLion said:

That honestly sucks @Richelieu20. 2020 is not the best year to be in. 

Didn't know why the school would rescind due to the outbreak. I understand internships but not graduate admissions.  Suppose they couldn't do on-campus classes, they would have to transition the classes to outline which isn't hard to do.

Was the school that cancelled your admission a well-respected public school or a less than 1 billion endowment private? Assuming that they need to cut programming due to budgetary pressures?

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16 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

Was the school that cancelled your admission a well-respected public school or a less than 1 billion endowment private? Assuming that they need to cut programming due to budgetary pressures?

No. So my admission was before the outbreak back in 2019.  I'm actually a first year grad student at Drexel. 

Edited by BlueLion
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/31/2020 at 4:24 AM, derek245 said:

Like Crucial BBQ, I am also a bit older and thus I remember 2008 all too well.  In fact, I finished my undergrad degree and was looking to launch my career just as the economic crisis was solidifying.  All I can tell you is, in terms of achieving your goals, EVERYTHING is harder during an economic crisis.  Getting into your preferred graduate program is harder, both because there are less funding spots and because there are way more applicants (that brilliant idea you had to further your education while the job market sucks...it turns out, you're not the only person who has thought of that :).  Getting the job you want is obviously much harder.

So my advice is, whichever program gives you the best offer, TAKE IT.  Don't assume that same offer, or any other offer, is going to be there if you apply next year. 

Now that being said, I would guess that we're not at the beginning of a 2nd Great Recession.  The Great Recession, as far as recessions go, was uniquely dreadful especially consider how long it dragged on for (fun fact: the unemployment rate in 2013 was 8 percent, a full six years after the crisis began).  But I would make a sizable wager that many if not most universities -- especially public universities -- will be dealing with budget cuts during the next application cycle, a consideration that will undoubtedly affect how many funding spots are available.

So get yours while there is something to be got.  Winter is coming.

I'm going to reiterate some of this. I also graduated undergrad during the recession. And it was rough. It's been 11 years since undergrad, and I finally am in line to do the type of work I wanted. I'm also lined up to go back for my DrPH in a few years. 

For anyone heading into graduate school or the workforce, be savvy and aggressive. You'll find more funding if you're research can make an argument to help rebuilding the nation after CO-VID and the protests. Be will to take what's available, work yourself bare, and keep fighting to get where you eventually want to be.

Also, be willing to build and use a network. You never know what connection, or what job will be your breakthrough. Most of the jobs I thought were 'hold overs' ended up being the ones with the key players and stakeholders.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/20/2020 at 9:13 PM, Richelieu20 said:

WELL YOU WANT IT...

So I got admitted to a PhD program that that I finally decide to attend. I had had 4 other offers, some even higher ranked schools that the one I accepted to join. I rejected all those 4 offers and accepted this program. 

Then what happened?

This school emailed me and said that they had to cancel all the admissions for my program. So they had to rescind all the offers they made. Probably because of COVID19. I was shocked. 

I contacted all the other 4 schools I rejected and asked if I could be reconsidered for the position. They said that they already gave my spot to waitlisted students and informed them. So I literally went from 5 offers to choose from to 0. 

At the moment, I am all fucked. Not sure how anything will resolve. 

What I don't get is that how they can be so unprofessional. It makes NO SENSE.

Sorry to hear about this! Ask if they can admit you this upcoming cycle without applying

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Honestly, I'm pretty discouraged. I graduated with my B.A. in 2011 and it took me some time to figure out what I really wanted to do (shouldn't have let people push me towards college right after high school). Then I realized that, to be decently prepared and get into a M.A. program, I needed a second bachelor's degree. Originally I planned to start graduate school in the fall of 2019, but there was a scheduling issue with a course for my B.S. and I wasn't able to graduate until this past December.

I did actually get into the school that I wanted to go to for the fall of 2019, but deferred until fall of 2020. What's even worse is that I got interviews for two of the three assistantships that I applied for, only to be told a month after these interviews that they weren't going to be hiring anyone (I'm assuming because of pandemic related funding issues). I can't afford graduate school without funding (see debt for two bachelor's degrees) and I can't defer admission to this school more than once, so I get to reapply.

All this to go into a field that is going to be difficult to find a job in and will likely not pay a ton once/if I get there. It sucks because it took me so much agonizing to figure out what I wanted to do.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/19/2020 at 3:35 PM, TaciturnTales said:

Honestly, I'm pretty discouraged. I graduated with my B.A. in 2011 and it took me some time to figure out what I really wanted to do (shouldn't have let people push me towards college right after high school). Then I realized that, to be decently prepared and get into a M.A. program, I needed a second bachelor's degree. Originally I planned to start graduate school in the fall of 2019, but there was a scheduling issue with a course for my B.S. and I wasn't able to graduate until this past December.

I did actually get into the school that I wanted to go to for the fall of 2019, but deferred until fall of 2020. What's even worse is that I got interviews for two of the three assistantships that I applied for, only to be told a month after these interviews that they weren't going to be hiring anyone (I'm assuming because of pandemic related funding issues). I can't afford graduate school without funding (see debt for two bachelor's degrees) and I can't defer admission to this school more than once, so I get to reapply.

All this to go into a field that is going to be difficult to find a job in and will likely not pay a ton once/if I get there. It sucks because it took me so much agonizing to figure out what I wanted to do.

Stay strong, There a light at the end of the tunnel

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  • 1 month later...

I know there is still time, but I am doing a VRS opportunity in the United States in September 2021. Really scared that it may not happen if the pandemic is not under control in Canada and the US by then. 

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