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Not Accepted, Not Waitlisted, But Not Rejected - Just In LIMBO


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Hi all! I imagine many people are nervous and frustrated as I am during this time. Who else is in this limbo, unknown status? I have not received interview invites (and I'm pretty positive my schools held interviews already); I have not been rejected; and obviously not waitlisted. My applications, at all schools, still say "under department review." Naturally, I cannot get any responses from the respective schools. 

I read that many admission committees keep a large pool of undecided applicants (hence the reason for very late rejection letters)...these are the students who are not top choices, not alternates, but basically last resort (assuming the first two groups do not accept offers). Anyone have any thoughts, experiences, etc. It feels so cruel.

My field/applications are for Psychology (Social and Clinical) - PhD programs.

Edited by Lizardbeth42
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5 minutes ago, Lizardbeth42 said:

Hi all! I imagine many people are nervous and frustrated as I am during this time. Who else is in this limbo, unknown status? I have not received interview invites (and I'm pretty positive my schools held interviews already); I have not been rejected; and obviously not waitlisted. My applications, at all schools, still say "under department review." Naturally, I cannot get any responses from the respective schools. 

I read that many admission committees keep a large pool of undecided applicants (hence the reason for very late rejection letters)...these are the students who are not top choices, not alternates, but basically last resort (assuming the first two groups do not accept offers). Anyone have any thoughts, experiences, etc. It feels so cruel.

My field/applications are for Psychology (Social and Clinical) - PhD programs.

Feel you, an i-school applicant here with no clarity in sight. Pretty miserable without knowing what's happening. 

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2 hours ago, Lizardbeth42 said:

Hi all! I imagine many people are nervous and frustrated as I am during this time. Who else is in this limbo, unknown status? I have not received interview invites (and I'm pretty positive my schools held interviews already); I have not been rejected; and obviously not waitlisted. My applications, at all schools, still say "under department review." Naturally, I cannot get any responses from the respective schools. 

I read that many admission committees keep a large pool of undecided applicants (hence the reason for very late rejection letters)...these are the students who are not top choices, not alternates, but basically last resort (assuming the first two groups do not accept offers). Anyone have any thoughts, experiences, etc. It feels so cruel.

My field/applications are for Psychology (Social and Clinical) - PhD programs.

It is cruel.

I would assume however, that “undecided applicants” are waitlisted. 

Edited by LtotheOG
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I was hopeful about being on the "secret" waitlist (as to why I am in this limbo group) until I went and looked at results from past years on the two schools I am concerned about. It appears both schools send immediate rejections to those who do not qualify, then they pick their top choices along with a "short-list," they phone these applicants for informal interviews, those people then get notified that they have been rejected/waitlisted, or invited to interview days. This sort of tells me...there is no need for a "secret" waitlist. Any thoughts on this observation???

Sooooooooo, I now believe my app is just sitting in a huge ass pile that these schools may or may not get around to taking the time to inform me that I was rejected. So, yes, it is extremely cruel...we are all busy (faculty and applicants), so I don't think that should be an excuse.

It also feels like....did they even look at my application...do they know it even exist? With applications being up in numbers, I'm wondering if they even really go through all of them.

I hope you all have better experiences and outcomes!

*side note: I'm usually not this negative/pissy....I'm just having a moment :)

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I feel you. Decisions are starting to roll in on the result page. (None of my programs is on there, so I'm still optimistic.) 

But it still really sucks that I haven't heard anything back. I had informal interviews with a PI earlier this month. He was hopeful, but anything can change. 

I think the pandemic kinda delays everything too.

I hope you get admitted to the programs that you want. : ) 

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I am with you all as well. 

   I have heard back from a few places, but there are still some top choices that I am fighting reaching out too.. I have been having a huge dilemma about reaching out to a poi after an informal interview over a month ago.. to just gather some idea about what's going on (even tho some invites I think have already went out)... its so hard to just chill in limbo. 

The pandemic definitely is slowing down the process overall I think, but I wish you all the best (and I hope you get in where you want!!) My inbox is always open if anyone needs to vent tbh. 

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I also feel similar. This waiting around is killing me. I have not heard a single thing back -- but to my knowledge, no one else has either -- so that is my only comfort. Waiting is the WORST part of this process...

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I concur with everything that has been said — the waiting game has left me with anxiety. I only applied to three PhD programs because I was overwhelmed with work. As I hear about increased applications and lower intakes for 2021, I feel my chances are pretty low. Haven't heard back from any of my schools yet as they plan to reach out some time this month. My top choice has invited a few candidates for interview, but I haven't heard anything yet, which is disheartening. At times, I wish I can just receive my rejection emails so that I plan the next step. Sigh. 

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It's reassuring and comforting to read everyone else is feeling the same - we're not alone! All of my applications are 'under review' and I haven't seen any results come in here, but I'm in a niche field and all in Canada so I worry I just don't have as much information from this site. I got accepted into my Master's on Feb 2 and Feb 26 - so my anxiety is now through the roof waiting to hear about my PhD apps. Feels like I'm in the danger zone now! And my heart skips whenever I get an email. Oi. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Same boat for me. I heard one rejection and the rest are under review. One program hasn’t started sending anything back yet according to the results page, and the rest have seen a few admits. I talked to POIs at almost every university before submitting an application, so I’d hope that is the reason I haven’t been contacted for interviews. Keeping my fingers crossed and trying to just forget about it, but failing miserably lol. 

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On 2/1/2021 at 11:54 AM, JArather said:

I am with you all as well. 

   I have heard back from a few places, but there are still some top choices that I am fighting reaching out too.. I have been having a huge dilemma about reaching out to a poi after an informal interview over a month ago.. to just gather some idea about what's going on (even tho some invites I think have already went out)... its so hard to just chill in limbo. 

The pandemic definitely is slowing down the process overall I think, but I wish you all the best (and I hope you get in where you want!!) My inbox is always open if anyone needs to vent tbh. 

To JArather: I'm trapped in the same angsty dilemma rn. Like I've had an *informal* interview with two profs half a month ago when the committee hasn't even started reviewing applications. Have no idea how many applicants they've interviewed and what this whole torturous thing even means to me (and to them). Bruhhhh it's just so hard to keep my sanity in this limbo situation, always on the verge of bombarding their mailboxes :') 

anyway, wish y'all luck and fingers crossed. 

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