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A weird sort of conflict for a multi-school interview/visitation

cafe americano

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I have kind of a weird situation. I've been accepted into a wonderful PhD program at UNC, and have already planned a visitation and booked a non-refundable ticket for Wed-Fri, Feb. 22-24. I just found out today that I've been invited for an interview/prospective student weekend at UVA beginning Sat. Feb. 25. I live in Colorado, and flights between here and the East Coast are LONG and pretty much always have LONG layovers.

Thus, I would have two long days of travel in a row on that Friday and Saturday, and from my perspective out west, Virginia and North Carolina seem awfully close locations. It sounds far more appealing to cancel my return flight from UNC, or try to get it transferred to a return flight from Virginia, book a hotel for Friday night, and then take the train between the two on Saturday morning.

I've never changed or cancelled a flight in my life, so I don't know how difficult or expensive it is. Also, both schools have offered to reimburse a certain amount of my travel expenses. UNC's offer covered the flight, but not more. UVA's travel grant is considerably higher.

What is the etiquette for asking one school to cover transportation from another school? Or to cover airline cancellation fees? If anybody has any advice, or just wants to say what they would do in my situation, I'd appreciate it!

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Yeah, I think it's fine to ask if they'll cover transportation to VA instead of home, especially if it ends up saving them money. It's also probably good for them (UNC, the school that accepted you already) to know you have other offers, because they want you, and if they think you're seriously considering another school they might even work harder to court you.

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You probably don't even have to cancel the original return ticket, provided your reimbursement doesn't require boarding passes. Just book a one-way flight to UVA or train ticket or whatever, book a one-way return ticket to CO, and make the hotel reservation. Use the money from UVA to cover the three things I just mentioned.

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