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How to Handle an Interview Admission Offer


Oatmeal1

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OK, so I am already admitted into a "safety" school and all is well - I hope everyone else is having luck this early. So, another school (School B ), which is a little more desirable, is hosting an interview in a few weeks. School B said they plan to offer admissions at the end of the interview day. I figure I am a 99% shoe-in as I did summer research there and am buddy-buddy with about half the admissions council.

I know about the April 15th thing and School B is supposedly a part of that resolution. However, what would be the best way to "gracefully" accept an in-person offer of admission without letting them know I'm waiting for better offers? (assuming they offer admission, of course! :) ).

i.e., I don't want them to know they are a safety school by not immediately accepting and I don't want to look like a jerk by accepting and later declining, either. Any help with this social finesse?

Edited by Kenny
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If school B offers admission in person, you can definitely say you are waiting for hear back from all other schools you applied to before making a decision. Schools know they can be competing for students, and should be willing to wait until April 15.

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However, what would be the best way to "gracefully" accept an in-person offer of admission without letting them know I'm waiting for better offers? (assuming they offer admission, of course! :) ).

I realize that this was probably accidental usage of the same word but if you aren't Accepting don't 'gracefully accept' the offer, 'gracefully acknowledge.' It really depends on how you are told, who is telling you, etc. but it may even be the case that the professor(s) may even ask about their competition - they know that recipients of first round offers for them are likely to be first or second round offer receivers from other universities. Being honestly upbeat about the offer, asking additional questions about what life would be like/how that department functions for grad students (it sounds like you are pretty familiar but you probably don't know everything there is to know), discussing the biggest concerns you have (is it in your mind that this school is a 'safety' just because you know you can get in, or is it a 'safety' because it is also is lower on your list for some reason?), give the professor(s) a chance to address those concerns - you are moving into the-school-convincing-you stage from the you-convincing-the-school stage of the process, take advantage of it. Obviously, tact is still required, but don't be afraid to discuss things that you are truly concerned about that may lead you to a different school - the professors will be (should be) glad to have the opportunity.

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Congrats on your admit! Just let them know that you will need some time to make your decision and that you appreciate the offer. Schools know that applicants apply to many schools and have to ultimately make a choice based on a variety of factors. When you do make your choice however, and if it isn't that school, let them know ASAP so that they can offer your place to someone else if possible.

Edited by newms
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OK, so I am already admitted into a "safety" school and all is well - I hope everyone else is having luck this early. So, another school (School B ), which is a little more desirable, is hosting an interview in a few weeks. School B said they plan to offer admissions at the end of the interview day. I figure I am a 99% shoe-in as I did summer research there and am buddy-buddy with about half the admissions council.

I know about the April 15th thing and School B is supposedly a part of that resolution. However, what would be the best way to "gracefully" accept an in-person offer of admission without letting them know I'm waiting for better offers? (assuming they offer admission, of course! :) ).

i.e., I don't want them to know they are a safety school by not immediately accepting and I don't want to look like a jerk by accepting and later declining, either. Any help with this social finesse?

It may be a silly question for you guys, but, what is April 15th thing is really about?

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The April 15th deadline is about having a framework for when accepted offers are considered binding. You have until then to accept an offer from any University that is part of the Council of Graduate Schools resolution here. If you have agreed to an acceptance, then after April 15 it is seen as binding.

The general spirit of the Resolution is that students should have an opportunity to consider more than one offer and should have until April 15 to do so, that institutions and students should be able to view acceptances in force after April 15 as binding, that everyone should know what the rules are, and that an offer by the institution and its acceptance by the student constitute an agreement which both expect to honor.
Edited by newms
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