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Got one offer, no response from other universities, and the deadline is near


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Hi everyone,

I applied for 4 phd programs and one M.S. I got accepted in a phd in US with funding, and the deadline for their offer is April 15th. I did not get any result from any of the other programs.

I like the university that I've been accepted in, and I don't want to lose the opportunity, but also there are one or two universities that I prefer, and if I get an offer from them later after I accepted this one, I will be really sad.

I've been waiting for their answer for about 4 months! I don't know what's taking so long!

So, what should I do? Should I email those universities and explain the situation? (if so, can you suggest a template for my email?)

Or should I just be happy with this offer and accept it?

Or should I accept this offer and later, if I get accepted to another university, reject it? What are the consequences of this action?

+ I can't accept an offer without funding, unfortunately.

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2 hours ago, notsomuch said:

I've been waiting for their answer for about 4 months! I don't know what's taking so long!

 

You are probably on their informal waitlist. You might receive an offer even on 13-14 of April, contingent upon their first choices declining the spot. Conversely, you might receive a rejection as well, if they accept it. If I were you, I'd wait at least until then.

 

2 hours ago, notsomuch said:

Or should I accept this offer and later, if I get accepted to another university, reject it? What are the consequences of this action?

 

I really wouldn't recommend that you do that.

Ethically speaking, you would be ruining that spot for someone else, someone who might be considering that school as their dream school.

But more importantly for yourself, you should know that postgraduate research community is pretty small, and everyone knows each other in your prospective field of research. You will be in a community that constantly interacts with each other in conferences. People talk, and when your name comes up, people who's offer you've accepted, then declined will definitely talk about this. That will affect how people see you within the community and it may also affect your future prospects if you are known as the person who pulls this kind of stuff.

If you want to be proactive about this, you can contact the schools that have been silent and tell them that you have another offer that you have to respond to before April 15th and that you don't want to lose that opportunity, but you consider their school as your first choice and you will accept it immediately if an offer is made.

I know waiting is exhausting but you've made it this far. You wouldn't want to do anything that will harm you in the future based on an emotional decision. 

I hope this helps.

Edited by KKMan
typo
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6 hours ago, notsomuch said:

Hi everyone,

I applied for 4 phd programs and one M.S. I got accepted in a phd in US with funding, and the deadline for their offer is April 15th. I did not get any result from any of the other programs.

I like the university that I've been accepted in, and I don't want to lose the opportunity, but also there are one or two universities that I prefer, and if I get an offer from them later after I accepted this one, I will be really sad.

I've been waiting for their answer for about 4 months! I don't know what's taking so long!

So, what should I do? Should I email those universities and explain the situation? (if so, can you suggest a template for my email?)

Or should I just be happy with this offer and accept it?

Or should I accept this offer and later, if I get accepted to another university, reject it? What are the consequences of this action?

+ I can't accept an offer without funding, unfortunately.

There is nothing wrong with politely emailing the schools on which you are waiting, mentioning that you've not heard from them yet, and saying that you are inquiring as to the status of your application. Do mention that you remain very excited about the prospect of attending University X and would hope to attend if admitted. Many times, if a school knows that you WILL accept an offer if they extend one, they're more likely to do so.

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With only a few days left until the 15th, I would definitely suggest shooting them an email. Let them know that you have an offer already and politely ask them if a decision will be made by the deadline so you will have the opportunity to make an informed decision on your end. I can only imagine how busy faculty/administration have been in dealing with the switch to distance learning, so some delays in admission decisions is understandable I guess. To be honest, if I were you, I would  have emailed the DGS at those programs in March just to see what's up.

On 4/9/2020 at 6:06 PM, notsomuch said:

Or should I accept this offer and later, if I get accepted to another university, reject it? What are the consequences of this action?

Different people have different opinions with regards to this question. I am personally quite against doing something like that. It just feels...wrong. But after all it is one of the most important decisions many of us will ever make in our lives, so if you really feel like that's what you should do, then do it. We as applicants/grad students are generally pretty powerless vis-a-vis university administration/faculty, so some would argue that in this situation, do what's best for you. But again, I wouldn't do it.

Edited by jonliu
typo
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  • 9 months later...
On 4/9/2020 at 7:06 AM, notsomuch said:

Hi everyone,

I applied for 4 phd programs and one M.S. I got accepted in a phd in US with funding, and the deadline for their offer is April 15th. I did not get any result from any of the other programs.

I like the university that I've been accepted in, and I don't want to lose the opportunity, but also there are one or two universities that I prefer, and if I get an offer from them later after I accepted this one, I will be really sad.

I've been waiting for their answer for about 4 months! I don't know what's taking so long!

So, what should I do? Should I email those universities and explain the situation? (if so, can you suggest a template for my email?)

Or should I just be happy with this offer and accept it?

Or should I accept this offer and later, if I get accepted to another university, reject it? What are the consequences of this action?

+ I can't accept an offer without funding, unfortunately.

What did you do, brother? 

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