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Hi all! This is not psychology-exclusive discussion but I wanted to know how people are doing, especially those who are applying this coming cycle for Fall 2021.

Personally, my volunteer position at a lab (which was going to start in early March) got postponed until further notice. I've already been out of school for almost an year so I was VERY excited to start the research again so that I can add something extra on my CV for this cycle's application (and I LOVE conducting research)

Now everything is put on all-stop worldwide. I am guessing it would also affect not only the current students and faculties but also people like me who are planning to apply in December. I heard some people saying the competition could be comparably harder if admitted students from Fall 2020 decide to defer their enrollment until this pandemic settles down. Clinical psych is notorious for its competitiveness itself and that doesn't really make it any easier for us. The thought of waiting one more year crossed my mind but I'm not sure how realistic it would be. I mean, what can we do? We gotta take what we can get, right?  

Anyway, I'm interested in hearing how this pandemic has or how possibly it could affect your life regarding applying to grad school. 

I know I directed the question to people who are planning to apply this new cycle but you are absolutely welcome to share your story! I just specified it so that potential students like me would also comment.  

Stay safe, guys!

 

Edited by SheMadeItEventually
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Hi, thank you for sharing your excitement despite this situation. I am applying this year and this is my third year of applying, after the first year of full rejection and this year on wait list for one Uni. I have been lagging in my GRE study plan, but yesterday I started to look again at my list of uni to motivate me again. I've been out of formal work for more than a year and graduated from my master's in 2016. I'm fortunate to start my research volunteering before the Covid19, so there's a good slot of distraction each week even I feel that I am not performing super well. I think you should just apply, because based on my experience, it's lucky to get a PhD in one shot, so better start now. You never now what and when luck brings. Good luck!

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If it makes you feel any better, I imagine that most people won't defer their acceptances. I know I'm not! It might even be less competitive as people may decide not to apply in the fall if they did not have enough time to study for the GRE, get publications accepted, etc. So if you feel you will be in a good position to apply this fall I think that the current situation could actually work to your advantage.

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As an applicant this year who got admitted, I was very worried that funding will be an issue. If you read on the results page, some people have noted that this pandemic has caused faculty to lose a spot that they were expecting. I feel bad for the students who had to deal with that type of rejection because it isn’t really a rejection.

thankfully, I was given full funding. To comment your concern, I think if anything, unless funding was pulled, applicants with acceptances are taking their offers rather than deferring considering the fear of these changing next year. Why risk less funding next year when you have a spot now and can solidify funding. of course, all of us are at the mercy of our programs because funding is not guaranteed. Just my two cents

 

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I'm in the same boat - I've been volunteering in a lab since around October and have been able to do some basic work remotely, but I feel that I've really been stagnating (and not just because of the lockdown). I've been active in applying to full-time positions for about a month now. I've had a little preliminary interest, but the challenge of securing something will be greater than ever. I am likewise anxious about how this situation will impact funding and competitiveness of programs (at least those worth applying to!) I suspect that impact will vary somewhat between universities, however, for example NYC schools might take more of a hit than state universities in the south or midwest. I have been planning on applying this year, but at the rate I have been going my CV won't be competitive enough, especially considering I'll be up against so many others, and I'm doing clinical! I can't afford to do an unfunded program, and time is really not on my side.

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I'm intending on applying, and I'm curious as to what will happen post-covid (universities may end up losing money, if this trickles down to individual departments, maybe less funded spots? GREs waived in some programs in biomedical sciences--will that touch clinical psych? GRE is now moved online, so will that be a barrier or an advantage for folks? will more people apply? less people apply?) but at this point, who knows.

Edited by higaisha
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24 minutes ago, higaisha said:

GREs waived in some programs in biomedical sciences--will that touch clinical psych? GRE is now moved online, so will that be a barrier or an advantage for folks? will more people apply? less people apply?) but at this point, who knows.

I've been starting to wonder this myself. I had considered that perhaps schools might (hopefully) be more lenient about requiring scores this coming cycle, but learning that the Educational Torture Senter ETS is allowing for at-home test-taking, I think schools may very well forge ahead as usual. Especially since we may see an influx of applications this fall , schools will want every means of filtering at their disposal.

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2 hours ago, higaisha said:

I'm intending on applying, and I'm curious as to what will happen post-covid (universities may end up losing money, if this trickles down to individual departments, maybe less funded spots? GREs waived in some programs in biomedical sciences--will that touch clinical psych? GRE is now moved online, so will that be a barrier or an advantage for folks? will more people apply? less people apply?) but at this point, who knows.

Re: the GRE, I don't know that it will have a huge impact. The testing experience is similar, you are still proctored during the exam. Maybe a small advantage for some that are highly anxious in typical testing situations? 

I'll be applying this fall for the 3rd time. I'm hoping the pandemic reduces the number of applications, but I've heard that applications to graduate school increase during recessions (which we seem to be running full steam ahead for right now). I have a feeling that it might take a year for those effects to take place. Who knows, it is truly an unprecedented time in history. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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On 4/9/2020 at 12:34 AM, Rerun said:

Hi, thank you for sharing your excitement despite this situation. I am applying this year and this is my third year of applying, after the first year of full rejection and this year on wait list for one Uni. I have been lagging in my GRE study plan, but yesterday I started to look again at my list of uni to motivate me again. I've been out of formal work for more than a year and graduated from my master's in 2016. I'm fortunate to start my research volunteering before the Covid19, so there's a good slot of distraction each week even I feel that I am not performing super well. I think you should just apply, because based on my experience, it's lucky to get a PhD in one shot, so better start now. You never now what and when luck brings. Good luck!

Hi there! I'm glad I found my future fellow applicant! This will be my very first one and I can't even tell you how nervous I am. And I totally understand because I HATED studying GRE. it was just dreading for me. But I hope you will have better experience with GRE than me haha. I just heard that this research position I mentioned above is cancelled or as they put it "indefinitely postponed" so I'm a bit lost on how i am supposed to stay active in research (or anything in general right now) Yes, as you said, I think I will try to apply this time I am sorting out more schools based on how they are dealing with the current covid-19 situation. I know it's not black and white but I think it could at least give us some idea about their general attitudes towards students and members. Good luck with your research by the way!

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On 4/9/2020 at 1:13 AM, Psychintraining said:

If it makes you feel any better, I imagine that most people won't defer their acceptances. I know I'm not! It might even be less competitive as people may decide not to apply in the fall if they did not have enough time to study for the GRE, get publications accepted, etc. So if you feel you will be in a good position to apply this fall I think that the current situation could actually work to your advantage.

Oh now that you mentioned it.... yeah i think a lot of people I've seen here said they won't defer their enrollment since no one really knows what will happen with the funding next year. So I guess it makes sense that people will accept their offers rather than risking less funding for next term. I'm split between wanting to apply this year and waiting one more year since I just want to get more research experience and possible publication but at this point getting more research experience seems impossible. Well, mine just got cancelled along with the whole research project. So I will just have to wait and see. And a big congratulation for your offer! That is so great! 

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On 4/9/2020 at 1:23 AM, EileanDonan said:

I'm in the same boat - I've been volunteering in a lab since around October and have been able to do some basic work remotely, but I feel that I've really been stagnating (and not just because of the lockdown). I've been active in applying to full-time positions for about a month now. I've had a little preliminary interest, but the challenge of securing something will be greater than ever. I am likewise anxious about how this situation will impact funding and competitiveness of programs (at least those worth applying to!) I suspect that impact will vary somewhat between universities, however, for example NYC schools might take more of a hit than state universities in the south or midwest. I have been planning on applying this year, but at the rate I have been going my CV won't be competitive enough, especially considering I'll be up against so many others, and I'm doing clinical! I can't afford to do an unfunded program, and time is really not on my side.

Hi there! I can so relate to you. I used all my time up until Jan-Feb for GRE and as I was about to start the new research assistant position in March, bamm, COVID-19 hits the world. My position was originally postponed for two weeks which quickly became four weeks and now it's indefinitely postponed. But that is basically saying it is cancelled because the research itself is completely put on hold until next semester or later. So yes, I'm now stuck between getting a clinical (psychological counseling center) position or just working on personal statement and things. I wnated this position so bad so that i could make up the lack of research productivity during the last 6 months but it looks like it won't happen any time soon haha.  

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Honestly, I’m losing my mind.

I’m currently a lab manager for a developmental lab and our world has just been entirely turned upside down. I was working on a study and only needed 15 more kids for us to write up the paper. Now we need to start the study all over through online platforms. My hours have been cut drastically. I was going to do primate research this summer as part of my job and now that’s not happening. 

In fact, it even seems possible that this might extend up through the fall. That is so terrifying to me. I hadn’t accomplished nearly as much in my lab manager position as I had hoped I would. I hardly got to know my PI. Everything just sucks and all day along I oscillate between feeling anxious and depressed.

Who knows if labs will even be accepting grad students this year! There is just so much uncertainty and I honestly can’t take it. 

Edited by Alligator97
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Hi all - I just dropped by to update the forum on the Psych Grad Wiki but saw this post, and wanted to allay a few concerns with some information. I'm faculty at an R1 psych dept - we will be accepting PhD students this fall. That right now isn't in question; we need graduate students to TA our classes (UF is fully funded; students receive a stipend + tuition waiver, in exchange for TA work) and assist in research. The real question is how many, which depends on a lot of factors. For instance, we want to prioritize funding for students already here, who may need an extra year given the impact this has on the academic job market. That might mean less funding to admit new students. But some of us have funding from grants or from startup, which aren't already allocated, and which can go towards recruiting new students. Those factors - how much money is available, what pot it's coming from, and whether current students need those funds - will vary a lot from department to department, and from university to university. So while the number of positions may decline or vary, there will still be labs accepting graduates students this fall. None of our accepted students are deferring, and none plan to (I was on our admissions committee this year, for the department), and I haven't heard of that happening elsewhere. This is for funded grad programs - most PhD programs, a few master's programs, etc. 

For programs where you pay tuition/no stipend, I would not expect this to affect grad admissions much if at all; the universities need the revenue from paying students, master's students included. 

Edited by ErinWestgate
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I am terrified for this admissions cycle. It is my first one. All of my research positions have been put on hold and I still need to retake the GRE. I still have one semester left of my bachelor's. I heard somewhere that this cycle would probably be especially bad because of funding but I really just have no idea. I hate the added uncertainty!

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