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Rude to email grad departments about their amount of deferrals to 2021?

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Hi all. I had prepared to make this The Year in which I would get my applications in order.  Of course, seeing the amount of people here and on reddit possibly deferring til 2021 has made me a little nervous about my chances. I'm considering putting off applying until next year to qualify for Fall 2022 instead.

Would it look rude or desperate if I emailed the departments I was interested in to ask if they had a significant number of deferrals from this year to next, and if so, how this would affect my chances of being admitted as a fresh applicant in 2021? Or if they advise me to apply this year at all? (I imagine they would encourage it either way, but who knows).

I'd just really like a clearer idea of whether I'm duking it out with other hopefuls for one of 5 spots rather than the usual 10. And I really, really do not want to have to shell out for application fees two years in a row.

Let me know what you think, if I shouldn't ask at all, or if there's a more polite or roundabout way to figure out my chances, etc. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks and good luck all!

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I don’t think it would be rude, but it would completely inappropriate and most likely they wouldn’t share that information with you. 

I don’t think people would necessarily tell apply “anyway”. When I was looking for programs, several professors told me they were not accepting students or recommended not applying BC of how low my stipend would be as an international student.

The best way to get a sense of deferrals is to see how many students there are in this year. If cohorts are typically 10 and now there are 5 students, you can assume some have deferred.

You could also contact the graduate school and ask them how they envision balancing admissions for 2021 and deferrals from 2020. When you have a broad idea, you can then follow up with the program, if necessary.

 Remember that no one will have these policies in place right now. This semester is uncertain for everyone. 

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@AP @gentvenus I appreciate the frank responses. I can see I might've worded my question poorly and made it look like I would be requesting specific numbers from the department rather than advice; that's on me. I think I might email a few individual professors I'm interested in working with, as well. Thanks again.

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