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Hi everyone,

Adding to the stress of choosing between offers – for those of us lucky enough to be in that sort of position – is the stress of needing to decide in April where we're going without knowing what the world will look like in August. Will the economy be on the rebound or still in the tank? Will the housing market be frozen? Will campus even be open?

For my wife and me, with three kids and a slew of pets, the question about whether we'd be able to sell our house is especially concerning. It's kind of important! Which has me wondering: Is it possible to defer acceptance for a year, when (hopefully) things will be a little more settled? What are the cons of doing that? Will universities even let you do that? If it was just me or me and my wife, we'd totally take the plunge and see what happens, but with kids in tow, it feels like we need to be responsible adults and not commit ourselves if we can't even make housing work when the time comes.

I'd love to hear any feedback from others looking at the same scenario or those with a lot more knowledge about the process. Is this even feasible, or should we just hope for the best and make some alternative plans?

Thanks in advance!

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Hi there, I asked admission team if there any possibility on deferral. I know that (as for now) CMU and Univ. of Chicago are not offering deferral.

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13 hours ago, Rauschenbusch said:

Hi everyone,

Adding to the stress of choosing between offers – for those of us lucky enough to be in that sort of position – is the stress of needing to decide in April where we're going without knowing what the world will look like in August. Will the economy be on the rebound or still in the tank? Will the housing market be frozen? Will campus even be open?

For my wife and me, with three kids and a slew of pets, the question about whether we'd be able to sell our house is especially concerning. It's kind of important! Which has me wondering: Is it possible to defer acceptance for a year, when (hopefully) things will be a little more settled? What are the cons of doing that? Will universities even let you do that? If it was just me or me and my wife, we'd totally take the plunge and see what happens, but with kids in tow, it feels like we need to be responsible adults and not commit ourselves if we can't even make housing work when the time comes.

I'd love to hear any feedback from others looking at the same scenario or those with a lot more knowledge about the process. Is this even feasible, or should we just hope for the best and make some alternative plans?

Thanks in advance!

I would reach out to the departments directly and ask. Then I would hang up the phone, call the graduate school and ask the same questions. (Because a department's policiies may not align with the graduate school's.)

Based upon the information in your post, profile, and signature, I'd either defer or not go unless I had an iron clad contract for funding for at least four years.

The situation in Florida is still unfolding AND hurricane season is arriving. 

Washington state's economy is taking a tremendous hit. (Yesterday, I was on a team conference call. A team member who lives in Washington was beside himself.) Unless tech companies, especially Microsoft and the federal government pour money, jobs, and medical resources into the state, the road to economic recovery is going to be a hard one. Also, on a controversial subject, WA has different 2A sensibilities than Texas. I am not offering an opinion or value judgement here. I'm simply point out that you will have a different set of factors when it comes to making decisions.

Something to consider is that information one hears/sees about  impact of COVID-19 on a school's financial health is likely conservative unless the source sits on sitting on specific committees or has a skill set centering around higher education finances, the forecasts are probably conservative.

IME, the way financial statements are put together, it can be very hard to figure out the origins of all the inputs into the revenue "bucket." A public institution that gets revenue from sales taxes could take a cascading hit as consumer spending tales off locally, regionally, and state wide. Forecasting the impact of the cascading hit can be extraordinarily difficult if one is working with financial statements that are not "right sized" an audience and if that audience doesn't have direct access to someone who truly understands the nuts and bolts of the coding of each and every line item.

On the expense side,  projections may not have critical line items because those items are complex, contentious, and the numbers are so daunting that the decision has been made year after year, to kick the can down the road. An example from my work experience is the looming costs of deferred maintenance.

Expenses can have a cascading impact on each other as well as on revenue. A highly skilled student athlete goes elsewhere because she doesn't want to practice in facilities that are not state of the art. An academic superstar turns down an offer for an endowed chair because she doesn't want to contribute to a dynamic in which undergraduates are packed into lecture halls with inadequate HVAC systems. The loss of the two women results in a school having less pull for programs and grants and events that could generate revenue of one form or another.

In the case of WSU and FSU, revenue generated by sports programs could be going to your program in ways no one in the department realizes.

$0.02.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the  response, Sigaba. I did end up asking both programs about deferrals, and the response I received back was that they would allow it, contingent on available funding – and it may very well be that there is no funding for new Ph.D. students next fall, depending on how COVID-19 interacts with classes and enrollment this summer/fall. So it seems like taking  the plunge this year is the best option because then at least the funding is guaranteed.

Edited by Rauschenbusch

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On 4/2/2020 at 10:30 PM, Rauschenbusch said:

Hi everyone,

Adding to the stress of choosing between offers – for those of us lucky enough to be in that sort of position – is the stress of needing to decide in April where we're going without knowing what the world will look like in August. Will the economy be on the rebound or still in the tank? Will the housing market be frozen? Will campus even be open?

For my wife and me, with three kids and a slew of pets, the question about whether we'd be able to sell our house is especially concerning. It's kind of important! Which has me wondering: Is it possible to defer acceptance for a year, when (hopefully) things will be a little more settled? What are the cons of doing that? Will universities even let you do that? If it was just me or me and my wife, we'd totally take the plunge and see what happens, but with kids in tow, it feels like we need to be responsible adults and not commit ourselves if we can't even make housing work when the time comes.

I'd love to hear any feedback from others looking at the same scenario or those with a lot more knowledge about the process. Is this even feasible, or should we just hope for the best and make some alternative plans?

Thanks in advance!

I am in somewhat of a similar situation. I was accepted to Northern Colorado so my husband, son, two dogs, and myself will be relocating there over the summer. We are planning to list our house in Texas next week with the hope that we will sell it before August. I have spoken to a couple of real estate agents that said the housing market has not been significantly affected and that one benefit is it has essentially eliminated the weekend window shoppers. Obviously, they are trying to make their money too so I'm not placing all my faith in their positivity, but I am hopeful. 

I think this whole process is somewhat of a leap of faith and as a result of Covid-19, we just have to make a bigger leap. Good luck to you and your family and know that you aren't alone in the dilemma!

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On 4/29/2020 at 11:01 PM, Ginger0211 said:

I am in somewhat of a similar situation. I was accepted to Northern Colorado so my husband, son, two dogs, and myself will be relocating there over the summer. We are planning to list our house in Texas next week with the hope that we will sell it before August. I have spoken to a couple of real estate agents that said the housing market has not been significantly affected and that one benefit is it has essentially eliminated the weekend window shoppers. Obviously, they are trying to make their money too so I'm not placing all my faith in their positivity, but I am hopeful. 

I think this whole process is somewhat of a leap of faith and as a result of Covid-19, we just have to make a bigger leap. Good luck to you and your family and know that you aren't alone in the dilemma!

I received back was that they would allow it, contingent on available funding – and it may very well be that there is no funding for new Ph.D. students next fall, depending on how COVID-19 interacts with classes and enrollment this summer/fall.

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19 hours ago, Themply said:

I received back was that they would allow it, contingent on available funding and it may very well be that there is no funding for new Ph.D. students next fall, depending on how COVID-19 interacts with classes  and enrollment this summer/fall.

I have spoken to a couple of real estate agents that said the housing market has not been significantly affected and that one benefit is it has essentially eliminated the weekend window shoppers.

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