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3 weeks to accept/decline offer (Carleton University)?


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Hello all,

I've recently received an offer of admission for a grad program at Carleton, to begin Fall 2021, and have been given 21 days to accept or decline this offer. This seems quite odd to me: many of the other programs I applied to I have either not heard back yet, or will not hear back about funding options, etc. until about mid to late March, or as late as April. Even without that, to figure out whether I can move to Ottawa, gather my financial resources, etc. for the next two years, all within three weeks, seems like a lot more than what is manageable.

Is this normal for Carleton (or, perhaps, for Canadian universities)? Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this? Is it ever possible to get an extension? The earliest deadline I'd otherwise gotten to respond to grad offers was May, and all else were later than that. Really not sure how I'm supposed to make a decision within this time.

I do understand that it is good practice to accept/decline as soon as one as one is able, but Carleton is a prospect I am taking very seriously and genuinely need more significantly more time to decide on. This involves moving with a partner, them figuring out what employment, us figuring out a living space together, etc. I need a few months, not a few weeks.

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Hello there!

I am a Canadian who is doing a Canadian MA, and just got into PhD's for next year. I would say this is very much to be expected. Like you mention, the goal is to open up spots for others/finalize next year's cohort as soon as possible. 

I do have experience asking for a deadline. Last year, I had a MA offer due before I heard about the other. I asked for a one week deadline and the grad coordinator was happy to give it to me. That would be my main advice: engage with the grad coordinator. Remember while these deadlines may seem hard and fast, that they're set by people. All schools want the same thing, to finalize the cohorts; but remember, you were accepted. That means they want you too! I would recommend reaching out and being honest. I'm sure a deadline, or perhaps some other work around, can be arranged! Above all, I would reach out and get your name on the board. This will help the coordinator in figuring things out - and you when the time comes to ask for an extension (as they will be aware the request was coming)!

As for the amount of "significantly", I'm not sure what can be honoured by that specific department, but I think mid April could be granted! A big ask, but I think it would be possible. Depends on factors unbeknownst to you and I, but not the grad coordinator!

I hope that helps!

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