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Positive replies from Profs and then got rejected?


GI1

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I had actually some positive responses from profs before applying (It was like: you have strong background, or I will review your application, or I encourage you to apply, etc.), I have not received any news yet (acceptance,rejection) and it's making me totally crazy, I'm not sure how much can I count on their responses?:unsure: I'm sure many of you have similar experiences but did you get rejected afterwards? and how was the profs replies like? :rolleyes:

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Unfortunately, those replies seem pretty generic and don't necessarily mean that you would get an acceptance. There are lots of applicants with strong backgrounds that apply, in many cases, more strong applicants than places available. If the prof said something specific about your particular application - that they liked any publications you had, or maybe they had a relationship with a letter writer of yours who had recommended you - then that would be mean that they had a specific interest in you and that could lead to acceptance.

It's good that you had profs that said they would look out for your application, but you also need to keep in mind that sometimes, even if a prof decides s/he wants an applicant, there may not be enough funding for them to admit you, or the adcomm might not even recommend admission. So while it's good that profs say that they will look out for your application, that alone doesn't mean very much unfortunately.

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I agree with newms. It is unfortunate but even when you have a lot of really good replies from POI's it is still common for them to reject you. I had a really nice 45 minute phone conversation with one POI and I received a prompt rejection from that school. It happens. However, I'd like to think that most positive replies (more than just "I encourage you to apply", but things like "your background is exemplary", "you would be a great fit here", ect) have a positive impact on your application.

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This happens and I do think professors can be genuinely excited about your application and think that you have a strong chance of admission (based on their recollection of past admission pools), but then it doesn't work out. Sometimes this happens due to funding or department politics (as mentioned above), but sometimes the applicant pool that you applied in happens to be much stronger than what they have seen in the past. Your strong application is now not quite as strong and you don't end up getting in. It's frustrating so that is why I like to say getting in is a combination of good credentials, timing, and luck.

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well, for example, you can be excited about ice-cream, but you also love fried chicken - the professor probably was excited about your application, but same goes for other good applications as well :) i've had similar experiences to other posters's, but for research jobs - you think you hit it off sooooooo well with everyone in the lab, that the rejection came as a really bitter, almost personal, offense o_O But, if we're in academia, we're gonna be in that situation again and again, sigh. in any case, don't give up hope yet!

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Yes this happens.

I had written to the chair of the dept on a Sunday. He is possibly the most famous person in his subfield. He wrote me back within a hour. On a Sunday. Very interested in working with me. Reject

I went down and spoke with the dean of College of Arts and Sciences who is a pretty prominent sociologist at another school of interest. He is a friend of my mentor, he sent along a personal note to the committee, assuring them he would be personally interested in advising me if I was accepted. Rejected.

At the school I am at now, I don't think I spoke to ANYONE before I got in.

Crapshoot I tell ya!

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It absolutely happens! It happeend to me quite a few times last year.

I thought I had really good rapport with one of the professors and I knew that he was due for another graduate student. We maintained close contact right up to my application submission. No news for a long, long time.... boom! Got rejected. I e-mailed him to find out what happened... and he gave me legit reasons.

So... that and other things have led me to be much more cautious this round. They can say all they want but my answer is, "Just show me the money first." I ain't gonna believe anyone until I see the official letter.

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I had a professor tell me that he and his colleagues were greatly impressed by my application and he was hopeful that I'd get offered funding. No word yet...he told me to talk to him later though. So.

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I may be a little confused about the discussion here, but there seems to be an assumption that one prof has some sort of absolute power in a department; that whatever they want they'll get. I guess this differs by department and field, but from what I know, an adcomm is exactly that: a committee. So one prof comes in and says "I really want so and so" but so do the other four or five or however many, and they hash it out. There aren't enough spots for everyone that profs might have expressed interests in. There may also have been problems with other parts of your application which the prof you contacted wasn't aware of, and which came out during the admissions process. Bottom line: don't assume anything.

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So what were the reasons?

Reasons which I believe are tied to departmental politics. :rolleyes: Other professor is back from sabbatical last year and should be able to give my app a good push this year.

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