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Asking for feedback or explanation after rejection?


gubbith

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Hi all, so I got my first rejection letter today, woo! :') I applied to the physics PhD program at University of Minnesota. I felt I was a pretty strong applicant for the particular subfield I'm going in to, my statement of purpose was very strong, and I had good LORs. My grades/GPA are not the best, but I got an interview, which I took as a pretty good sign. I was really hoping to get in there. 

The rejection letter gave a very generic explanation, so I'm just very curious to know what specifically led them to reject me. So I have two questions: 

1) Is it appropriate to respond and ask for feedback on my application / ask for a specific explanation for why I was rejected? I got the rejection through the application website, so there is not a specific person that informed me of the decision. If this is an okay thing to ask, who would I contact? 

2) Do you think it's better to know or to not know the reason(s) for rejection? Of course I want to know why I was rejected just out of curiosity. In some sense, I think it would give me some closure to understand why I didn't cut it, instead of being left wondering about it for the next several months. On the other hand, I think knowing might just make me feel worse. It might be like a "do you really want to know?" moment. Would you rather know or not know?

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I’m so really sorry to hear you got a rejection today! ?? I hate this admitted/rejected game. 
 

If I were you, I’d ask my POI why I was rejected. It’s important to know why you’ve been rejected in case you want to reapply in the future. 

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Definitely ask them. It's especially important if you intend on applying the next admission cycle, so that you know what was your weakness this time around, and can do whatever you can about it. 

 

That is, if they are willing to be more specific about your rejection, some place may not be. 

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32 minutes ago, IvanC said:

I’m so really sorry to hear you got a rejection today! ?? I hate this admitted/rejected game. 
 

If I were you, I’d ask my POI why I was rejected. It’s important to know why you’ve been rejected in case you want to reapply in the future. 

That's okay, hopefully I get admitted somewhere else this year :(

I never met with my POI, so do you think it would be acceptable to ask my interviewer instead? He is not in my subfield, he is just on the admissions committee. 

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32 minutes ago, venus rose said:

Definitely ask them. It's especially important if you intend on applying the next admission cycle, so that you know what was your weakness this time around, and can do whatever you can about it. 

 

That is, if they are willing to be more specific about your rejection, some place may not be. 

That's what I was thinking, I will probably ask. Would it be acceptable to ask my interviewer or just email the admissions office? I never met with my POI but the interviewer seemed to like me.

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Just now, gubbith said:

That's what I was thinking, I will probably ask. Would it be acceptable to ask my interviewer or just email the admissions office? I never met with my POI but the interviewer seemed to like me.

Ask the interviewer :)

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54 minutes ago, gubbith said:

That's okay, hopefully I get admitted somewhere else this year :(

I never met with my POI, so do you think it would be acceptable to ask my interviewer instead? He is not in my subfield, he is just on the admissions committee. 

Sure! Ask the interviewer! You spent time and money to apply to this program, it’s their “obligation” to explain why they rejected you. 
 

I’m certain you’ll be accepted somewhere else this year!

 

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