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A school I was very interested in was very generous with travel funds and very nice about everything, yet I just have a better offer. Some schools have just sent me emails and not really shown as much interest, so I'm just going to turn them down with a kind of generic email. But as far as the two schools that I have met with faculty and visited and which spent money on me, is it a faux pas to tell them why I'm not choosing them? I have an offer I can't refuse and these schools I feel like deserve a better explanation than "it's with regrets that I must withdraw my application." I feel obligated to let them know my better offer. Is that appropriate?

EDIT: Oh man, I hate it when I make typos in an English forum.

Edited by woolfie
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A school I was very interested in was very generous with travel funds and very nice about everything, yet I just have a better offer. Some schools have just sent me emails and not really shown as much interest, so I'm just going to turn them down with a kind of generic email. But as far as the two schools that I have met with faculty and visited and which spent money on me, is it a faux pas to tell them why I'm not choosing them? I have an offer I can't refuse and these schools I feel like deserve a better explanation than "it's with regrets that I must withdraw my application." I feel obligated to let them know my better offer. Is that appropriate?

EDIT: Oh man, I hate it when I make typos in an English forum.

I think an explanation that focuses on why the best offer can't be refused is not only acceptable, but expected. It's not just about politeness; these programs need as much information as they can get W/R/T student choices.

Of course, don't say anything negative about the schools you're turning down (I'm guessing you were on top of that part already).

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I honestly think something like this is all you need if you didn't have a lot of contact with the school:

Dear so and so,

I will be accepting an offer at another school, so I will have to decline your offer. I wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you can extend my funding to someone else.

Thank you for the offer,

me

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I honestly think something like this is all you need if you didn't have a lot of contact with the school:

Dear so and so,

I will be accepting an offer at another school, so I will have to decline your offer. I wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you can extend my funding to someone else.

Thank you for the offer,

me

You don't think the specifics of the accepted offer are helpful to the declined school?

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I am happy to share the info but only if they ask-- I just don't want to presume that they really want to know or care. I think if I knew where I'd be going I'd say "I have accepted an offer at blank school" . At this point, though, I do know I'm accepting another offer. I haven't decided which offer, though. I just wanted to decline the schools I'd for sure ruled out.

They are, and you'll most likely be asked if you'd be willing to provide them.

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The only explanation I'm offering in my turn-down emails and letters is along the lines of "I'm accepting a better-funded offer", since I want the schools to know that 1) paying for a degree isn't in most potential students' game-plans, and 2) I'm not turning them down because of fit, location, any number of other considerations.

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The only explanation I'm offering in my turn-down emails and letters is along the lines of "I'm accepting a better-funded offer", since I want the schools to know that 1) paying for a degree isn't in most potential students' game-plans, and 2) I'm not turning them down because of fit, location, any number of other considerations.

That certainly sounds sufficient to me. I wasn't advocating saying something like "the program director is super-hot."

Edited by Rhet Man
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  • 11 months later...

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