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How to turn down offers via emails to POIs


Question

What's the most polite and best way to turn down an offer from a school with whose professor you have been in touch with for a while? There's been a bit of back and forth and I feel like an asshole while sending an email rejecting the offer. Would anyone who has done this have advice on how to sound less rude (at least to myself)?

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I'd open the email thanking them for the offer and recognizing the work and time they put into reviewing your app, and then move to briefly explaining that you were accepted into another school that is more aligned with your goals and scholarship! Im also in the exact same position as you but I've been informed that schools dont really hold things against applicants who choose a different school. I will probably also express interest in working with the faculty member in some capacity in the future (in my field pppl from different institutions frequently collaborate) because I am genuinely interested in their work!

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Thank you so much @AnxiousBeaver!!! I ended up sending a very similar message just because my PIs have also had some background conversations with the professor.

Dear Professor [XYZ],

I am incredibly grateful for all of your time and consideration during the admissions process. I wanted to inform you that I have two other offers [from wherever, optional mentioned]. After a lot of thought, I have decided to chose to attend one of these schools and I'm sure another applicant will be very glad to have a shot at [old uni] now. I do appreciate your kind words about my application and I would love to stay in touch, given the intersection in our fields of interest as I have also heard about your work from [Prof XYZ], one of my current PIs.

Best,

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