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Nardo

Reapplying to schools who rejected/waitlisted

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What are your guys thoughts, does one stand a better chance the second time around after being either waitlisted or flat out rejected? Is it worth it to look for an entirely new set of programs?

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It can help. Anecdotal evidence: I know a guy who just could not get into grad school, but really wanted a certain program so he reapplied roughly three years in a row. Eventually the program took him. I'd guess that proved to them he was seriously interested in their program and would not be throwing away an offer with him.

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I strongly suggest applying again, particularly if you KNOW that you want to be in a certain program. The first time I applied to doctoral programs, I didn't receive an acceptance anywhere. I instead applied late to a Master's program, got in, then re-applied to doctoral programs again two years later. I'm grateful for having not been accepted the first time because I've had the chance to really develop my academic interests, hone my writing skills, and make connections with people in my field. After realizing that I still wanted to pursue a doctoral degree, I re-applied a second time this past Fall. In addition to having had graduate school experience, my writing sample and personal statement better reflected my academic interests and I had more insightful recommendations from professors. I was accepted into my top three schools and I'm very happy with the result. So, my advice is to re-apply. Don't give up :D

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If you're going to reapply, definitely contact again the professors who you were having conversations with before you applied, and ask them how you could improve your application. Try to (intelligently) spin that into a discussion of your professional goals, and express some interest in what they're working on. People love talking about themselves, especially people who are paid to talk. Moreover, if you keep them talking (without being a pest or resorting to small talk), you will be able to 1) receive ongoing advice during the application process and 2) possibly convince some people to fight for you when it' decision time. At worst, you'll generate some positive name recognition.

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I reapplied to a school that I was waitlisted at last year and I've just been invited to their interview weekend (I wasn't invited last year). My potential advisor encouraged me to reapply. So if you have connections or a very strong desire to go to a particular school, persistence can potentially pay off.

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