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Ongoing Impact on Fall 2021 Admissions?


andromedutch
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11 minutes ago, andromedutch said:

I've heard from a trustworthy source that UNC might not be admitting this Fall--any other thoughts, ideas, or predictions?

They're not. See website (or below I have copied and pasted their announcement): https://politicalscience.unc.edu/graduate/admissions/ 

"Prospective Students:

We regret to announce that UNC’s Political Science Department will not accept applications to our graduate program during the 2021 admissions cycle. To ensure that the department has resources to adequately support its educational mission during the Covid-19 pandemic, we will hold off on bringing new students to the program until 2022. The decision to eliminate a cohort of future graduate students was a difficult one, and we apologize for any inconvenience.  We look forward to reading applications again in the fall of 2021 for the 2022 cohort."

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6 hours ago, andromedutch said:

I've heard from a trustworthy source that UNC might not be admitting this Fall--any other thoughts, ideas, or predictions?

I'm not at UNC but I think this will be a continuing possibility for multiple programs/departments/schools. No one knows what is ahead right now. Even with the vaccine, the economic forecast seems to be ranging from a partial recovery beginning in 2021 to a prolonged and worsening recession that could last for years. Most schools will hedge their bets. I would imagine that many will focus on professional/terminal degrees in the short term. Professional programs are unpopular when the economy is doing well but they are cash cows when there's an economic downturn; everyone wants to be a lawyer or an MBA when the job market sucks, even if it's a $200k investment that won't pay off. Not trying to fear monger or scare anyone off, just remembering what happened during the last recession.

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3 hours ago, andromedutch said:

Do you think PhD applications will increase or decrease in number next year then?

Hard to speculate, but I think (and have read) that historically during recessions people tend to go back to school. I'm guessing if the COVID-19 situation remains similar throughout the year then application numbers will continue to increase (as guaranteed funding for 5 years is valuable/attractive in this economy)

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5 minutes ago, polisci_gal said:

I'm guessing if the COVID-19 situation remains similar throughout the year then application numbers will continue to increase

In terms of ongoing impact, I'm curious to see what the impact of waiving the GRE requirement will be. I am interested that the two schools about which we've seen tweets mention a 2-fold increase in applicants, and both waived the GRE, I believe. Of course MIT and Yale are only two cases, and we don't have a counterfactual.

Hopefully more faculty on adcoms will speak (tweet) out or admission decisions will divulge how much specific schools saw applications increase so that we can speculate more on how the GRE factor affected applicants.

I wonder if this forced trial run will prove to have been beneficial for those schools (better and more diverse applicants) or if it was too logistically taxing (more applications with fewer metrics for culling). 

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1 minute ago, _nutella_ said:

 Of course MIT and Yale are only two cases, and we don't have a counterfactual.

Fair enough. I think because these are some of the top schools perhaps more people applied because they waived the GRE this year and felt as though they had more of a shot at getting in than if they had to submit GRE scores? Just a thought. I'm curious to see if other schools (more lower ranked ones) had an influx in applicants or not... 

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8 hours ago, andromedutch said:

Do you think PhD applications will increase or decrease in number next year then?

During the last recession, applications rose. There is a wealth of material online on the effects of the last recession on academia. An economist at Stanford, Caroline Hoxby, is probably my favourite researcher on this. (https://news.stanford.edu/2015/03/06/higher-ed-hoxby-030615/)

If anyone wants some insight into how similar things were here for PhD applicants during the last recession in 2008, read this:

 

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