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NSF GRFP Late Acceptance?


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I'm finishing up my undergrad and will be graduating Spring 2012. I've just applied for a Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF, and have been told by prior recipients that I have a very competitive application.

If I receive the grant, I plan on going to graduate school. Otherwise, I won't be attending.

I know that schools are generally excited to accept NSF fellows because they come with funding.

Is it necessary that I apply to graduate schools prior to the official deadlines? I'm wondering if I can circumvent the application costs by waiting until I figure out whether or not I have been awarded a GRF.

Is there any history of graduate school admissions accepted NSF fellows after the official application process has expired?

First post! Thanks in advance for any responses.

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I'm not aware of any history, but I have been told by past fellows whom are now professors that one may basically just call up a school (after winning the NSF) and say "I have an NSF, I want to go here". and that would work out.

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Yes and no.

Fit with the school is still really important.

It's also important to remember that the NSF fellowship is only 3 years of funding, and the average PhD is 5-7 years. The fellowship funds about half of your graduate career. There's also the funding for lab space, project materials, etc.

There have been cases on this board (you can probably find them searching) both of people having rejections turned around after winning an NSF, but also of not being able to get in anywhere with a fellowship and having to give up the fellowship.

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If you are good enough to get NSF funding, you are good enough to get funding from graduate programs too. If you wait too long (April award announcement), you will lose the opportunity to get funding from the department. Usually funding decisions are made Dec-Jan at the latest.

Edited by Teelee
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