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In at Davis!!! My first English acceptance of this cycle. Really exciting and particularly validating since I was rejected from their program in my last app cycle. I'm so happy! Funding details to com

Anyone else getting this weird message on their pending applications or is it just me? Guessing this is a hint from the adcoms that I should refresh a few more times

I got into my first MA program!!! I know most of y'all are PhD applicants, but this is so huge for me!! I got offered a teaching assistantship for two years!!!! This means I can move out of my parents

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1 hour ago, missmarianne said:

No idea, but hoping for UT Austin.

I interviewed last Monday with UT Rhetoric, and they said they were hopeful decisions would be released this week-- not sure if this will also be true with UT English, but hopefully they're not too far behind!

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1 minute ago, Doc Sportello said:

I interviewed last Monday with UT Rhetoric, and they said they were hopeful decisions would be released this week-- not sure if this will also be true with UT English, but hopefully they're not too far behind!

Ooo! Okay. Do you know if they interviewed everyone or only the rhetoric people? Congrats on your interview! ❤️

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Just now, missmarianne said:

Ooo! Okay. Do you know if they interviewed everyone or only the rhetoric people? Congrats on your interview! ❤️

Thank you! ☺️ I got the sense it was just for potential rhetoric admits-- the rhetoric & English departments actually seem to be pretty separate even though you apply for the rhetoric department through the English department. 

I don't think either has historically done interviews, so I think the rhetoric department might have just added it this year. It felt like it was mostly just to gauge department fit. As far as I can tell, the English department is still sticking with the "no interviews" thing. Best of luck to you!!! Hopefully we'll hear good news this week!

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5 minutes ago, Doc Sportello said:

Thank you! ☺️ I got the sense it was just for potential rhetoric admits-- the rhetoric & English departments actually seem to be pretty separate even though you apply for the rhetoric department through the English department. 

I don't think either has historically done interviews, so I think the rhetoric department might have just added it this year. It felt like it was mostly just to gauge department fit. As far as I can tell, the English department is still sticking with the "no interviews" thing. Best of luck to you!!! Hopefully we'll hear good news this week!

Thank you so much for giving me an impression of the interview! My English PhD friend mentioned interviews for rhetoric people, last week, but he said he hadn't heard anyone mention anything about lit people. I really appreciate everyone on here being so helpful and reassuring in what is always going to be a very tough process. Good luck to you, too!

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20 hours ago, WildeThing said:

, here's my take: school prestige is a thing and it is very important.

To add to this, I think it's important to realize that school prestige is different between different departments and even between subfields and can change significantly in the years. I think Davis and Indiana are both new to the USNew's top 20 (2017?) list. Likewise, there have been schools which have jumped in rankings and others who have slid in rankings. I'd like to stress that professors leaving a program might also impact that program's overall rankings as well as their placement. Paying attention to new hires (whether they're at the assistant or associate or full professor level) might indicate the direction in which a program is heading.

This article from the WSJ shows just how far rankings can jump depending on "information ranging from test scores to surveys of alumni satisfaction with education and job prospects." By contrast, I think it's important to note that current USNews rankings don't consider placement when they're doing rank. But rather the USNEWS process is outlined below:
(Source is here)
 

  • Programs in the social sciences and humanities are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to academics in each discipline by IPSOS Public Affair
  • For the surveys conducted in fall 2016, Ipsos sent each school offering a doctoral program two surveys per discipline.
  • Questionnaires were sent to department heads and directors of graduate studies in economics, English, history, political science, psychology and sociology – or, alternatively, a senior faculty member who teaches graduate students – at schools that had granted a total of five or more doctorates in each discipline during the five-year period from 2011 through 2015, as indicated by the National Center for Education Statistics' Completions survey.
  • The questionnaires asked respondents to rate the academic quality of the programs at other institutions on a 5-point scale: outstanding (5), strong (4), good (3), adequate (2) or marginal (1). Individuals who were unfamiliar with a particular school's programs were asked to select "don't know."
  • Scores for each school were determined by computing a trimmed mean – eliminating the two highest and two lowest responses – of the ratings of all respondents who rated that school; average scores were then sorted in descending order.
  • 138 programs in English were evaluated. The response rate for English was 14%. This means that 276 surveys were sent and only 38/39 responses were sent back

    It's improbable that all 138 programs are paying attention to all other programs so the data can be impacted significantly from who's paying attention to which program. It's more likely that schools are paying attention to only schools that share overlapping traits with them or are within the same city.  It's also unlikely that schools are not as aware with programs who are strong in certain areas if they are not strong in the same subfield.
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Got accepted to Auburn for their M.A. I originally applied to their PhD, but they recommended I start at the M.A level. I'm from Alabama, so I'm fine with that. I'm excited because this would've made my second year being shut out. Let me know if you're also considering Auburn.

Also, I went to law school at IU if anyone has questions about the school or Bloomington.

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45 minutes ago, Warelin said:

To add to this, I think it's important to realize that school prestige is different between different departments and even between subfields and can change significantly in the years. I think Davis and Indiana are both new to the USNew's top 20 (2017?) list. Likewise, there have been schools which have jumped in rankings and others who have slid in rankings.

This has been really hard for me to deal with when it's coming down to decision making.  Is it the best school for me, or is it just the highest ranked school I got into?  I had all these personal rankings before I applied that I essentially threw out the window once I got into some USNews-well-ranked universities.  Now I'm struggling to decide how important the ranking is to my future, especially in terms of job applications.

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24 minutes ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

This has been really hard for me to deal with when it's coming down to decision making.  Is it the best school for me, or is it just the highest ranked school I got into?  I had all these personal rankings before I applied that I essentially threw out the window once I got into some USNews-well-ranked universities.  Now I'm struggling to decide how important the ranking is to my future, especially in terms of job applications.

In my, admittedly, limited experience (I already did my MA but have not yet embarked on my PhD), school rank/prestige is important in the post-grad job market, but your enjoyment of the program and your success therein directly correlates to how good a fit the program is for you and you, for it. 

If you are in a program where you feel supported and you have excellent faculty to work with, you will end up being more productive and much happier, which may end up making you a better candidate in the long run (better/more research and writing, more teaching experience, better support when you hit burnout, etc).

I would trust your instincts. Getting into excellent programs is flattering and exciting, but there may be a happy medium for you. Think over your communications with the departments, your interviews and everything you have gleaned thus far. Every program will be rigorous, but a program that is truly invested in you will make getting through it enjoyable as well as viable.  

 

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1 hour ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

This has been really hard for me to deal with when it's coming down to decision making.  Is it the best school for me, or is it just the highest ranked school I got into?  I had all these personal rankings before I applied that I essentially threw out the window once I got into some USNews-well-ranked universities.  Now I'm struggling to decide how important the ranking is to my future, especially in terms of job applications.

To add onto @mashatheicebear,

There are several "top" programs that don't have certain subfields. It would be rather difficult to pursue a subfield if it isn't something the university currently has. If accepted, you'll be able to do your own research on it but not having someone to guide you through that process is going to make you not feel as supported by the department. It'll also likely make the job application process more difficult.

I don't think there is any wrong answer to this. I think one of the best things you can do is figure out what your goals are. If your ultimate goal is strictly to teach at an R1 school, your chances are significantly higher if you attend a top 10 school. Though there have been cases where people not attending a top 10 school have gotten tenure-track jobs at an R1 school. Likewise if your goal is to teach at a small liberal arts college, certain schools might decrease your chances because they might not think you have a good understanding of what their culture is.

Years ago, a job applicant got their job offer rescinded from a school because the applicant was making requests that would be more commonplace at an R1 school. A school is making significant investments when they make offers so they really want to make sure you understand the culture of the school and would be happy there. There are things that you can do to make you seem like you understand the culture more but it be nearly impossible to do for every type of school. This is often also the reason why a lot of schools also tend to place better in their geographical location. While nobody is guaranteed a tenure-track job, it might be worthwhile to consider whether there are any locations you be content to be living in and apply to schools within that region.

It might also be worthwhile to consider how many students are a part of a typical cohort and comparing that with how many students get placed. There's a big difference between 2 students (of a cohort of 3) being placed per year and 4 students (of a cohort of 18) being placed per year. Think of you'd be happy being placed at the types of schools they're placing at.

Consider if their stipend is enough for you to live on. If you prefer to live alone, is it enough to get by without roommates? If the city is expensive, how far would you need to be from campus in order to afford rent? Do students need to work additionally in order to live there?

What's the college like? While sports might not impact you, it might also be considering how undergrads deeply involved with D1 sports might impact the way you teach or interact with the town at large. Would you feel okay with living to a town that revolves around the university (a college town) or would you prefer to live in a city? What about the weather? Do you prefer cold weather? Do you prefer hot weather?

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2 hours ago, 1 Pint of Ricotta said:

This has been really hard for me to deal with when it's coming down to decision making.  Is it the best school for me, or is it just the highest ranked school I got into?  I had all these personal rankings before I applied that I essentially threw out the window once I got into some USNews-well-ranked universities.  Now I'm struggling to decide how important the ranking is to my future, especially in terms of job applications.

This is difficult for me too! But I’m considering finances.

I currently have two acceptances. One has incredible prestige and is highly ranked but the stipend is decent. Still the town is great, the faculty is wonderful, and its a great fit. It was actually my top choice!

The other program is less highly ranked but has a higher stipend and  awarded me an additional diversity scholarship/fellowship. So now, this school is offering almost $10k more than than what the other university is offering (22k vs 31k). This school is also only 4 hours from my current location while the highly ranked school is a 16 hour drive. So the lower ranked school also has a much cheaper moving cost. The fellowship would also look good on my CV. The program is good but truthfully, but not highly ranked. They are not as shiny of a name as #1 despite offering more money.

Part of me really wants to follow the money. But another part of me knows that both stipends are still below the poverty line so why prioritize it. I have no idea what i’m going to do... rank or cash????

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1 hour ago, Warelin said:

you'll be able to do your own research on it but not having someone to guide you through that process is going to make you not feel as supported by the department. It'll also likely make the job application process more difficult.

^I couldn't agree more with the importance of this!

Just to echo it: one of the most important things to consider is potential advisors. A lot of this depends, of course, but you want to find out if there is a person who can support, as well as challenge in order to help you develop, your research. While certainly any professor can be a critical and incisive reader of your research/dissertation, it would be even better (imo) if they are familiar with your research areas and their contours. In some (most?) cases, it's crucial.

And speaking of the abysmal job market, I would suggest putting more importance on the quality of the next 5-7 years than what might come after. They are both speculative, but I think it's worth it to put the most weight behind finding a milieu and a program where you imagine yourself being the most supported, where there is the most potential for growth, and where you will feel the most satisfied and (dare I say it) happy. It would arguably make for better job portfolios in the end anyway. You obviously can't know everything ahead of time, but you can ask a lot of questions to gauge the responses and trust your gut. This is often what happens in interviews: both parties try to get a sense of the mutual fit. If you didn't/don't have an interview, it's perfectly reasonable to reach out to ask these types of questions.

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1 hour ago, Oklash said:

The other program is less highly ranked but has a higher stipend and  awarded me an additional diversity scholarship/fellowship. So now, this school is offering almost $10k more than than what the other university is offering (22k vs 31k). This school is also only 4 hours from my current location while the highly ranked school is a 16 hour drive. So the lower ranked school also has a much cheaper moving cost. The fellowship would also look good on my CV. The program is good but truthfully, but not highly ranked. They are not as shiny of a name as #1 despite offering more money.

I don't have an answer to your question because there are so many factors and so many questions to navigate (and for the most part they have been addressed on this forum). I just wanted to say that you should make sure to investigate cost of living before making a decision based on finances. I'm sure you've already considered this, but 10k can seem like a big difference but if rent is higher at the latter place then you might find that the offers are equivalent.

I would also say, if money is the reason why you'd choose one over the other, it might be worth going back to the first school and seeing if they'd increase their offer.

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8 hours ago, queenofcarrotflowers said:

 and Rutgers *might* start releasing acceptances this weekend (if not, I'm assuming next weekend, since they seem to mostly release on weekends)

I'm not sure if you're already aware of this info, but take a look at the English department's calendar. I think your estimate is spot on: https://english.rutgers.edu/news-events/events-98/range.listevents/-.html

 

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4 hours ago, WildeThing said:

I don't have an answer to your question because there are so many factors and so many questions to navigate (and for the most part they have been addressed on this forum). I just wanted to say that you should make sure to investigate cost of living before making a decision based on finances. I'm sure you've already considered this, but 10k can seem like a big difference but if rent is higher at the latter place then you might find that the offers are equivalent.

I would also say, if money is the reason why you'd choose one over the other, it might be worth going back to the first school and seeing if they'd increase their offer.

+1. And @Oklashif you're coming in with an MA, some schools will allow you to use that to justify a bump up in rank (and pay) immediately once you start TAing, so I'd inquire about that and take it into consideration as well when crunching the numbers.

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5 hours ago, Rootbound said:

I'm not sure if you're already aware of this info, but take a look at the English department's calendar. I think your estimate is spot on: https://english.rutgers.edu/news-events/events-98/range.listevents/-.html

 

Did not know about that- thanks!! At least that's one we know when to expect!

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12 hours ago, Mikha said:

+1. And @Oklashif you're coming in with an MA, some schools will allow you to use that to justify a bump up in rank (and pay) immediately once you start TAing, so I'd inquire about that and take it into consideration as well when crunching the numbers.

Wait? You can do that?

You can actually ask for a rank increase.

(and yes, I do have an MA)

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20 hours ago, Warelin said:

To add onto @mashatheicebear,

There are several "top" programs that don't have certain subfields. It would be rather difficult to pursue a subfield if it isn't something the university currently has. If accepted, you'll be able to do your own research on it but not having someone to guide you through that process is going to make you not feel as supported by the department. It'll also likely make the job application process more difficult.
 

There’s one university that does not have anyone in my subfield!

But after looking at their student placements, I found that they have produced a few dissertations within the field. I took it as a sign that the department was interested in the field and had a bit of experience.

I’m hesitant to make a decision until I actually speak to someone. And I am very concerned about the potential lack of support.

But if it helps anyone, try looking into and reading a few dissertations from recent graduates. See if any are in the subfield. And when meeting department talk about that project and get a sense of how the department handles your subfield. See how they could support you if you end up in this situation 

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