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abrayto1

The Silence is Killing Me!

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Hello everyone!

So has anyone else been given the silent treatment. I applied to 9 social psych grad programs: 8 Ph.D's and 1 Masters. I am going crazy because I have only heard back from one school and that was my undergrad institution which is also my safety school. Don't get me wrong I loved my undergrad school and my potential mentor would be really amazing but I really really want to hear from other places.

Right now I am worried that all the silence means I'm rejected from all the other schools which is an incredibly soul crushing thought. I've seen a few rejections and interviews on the results page but not a ton. I've also e-mailed some schools but they all respond with "your application has gone to committee review." Is there any hope for me that the silence doesn't mean rejection?

Also how bad would it be to attend my undergrad school for grad school? I've heard of it as academic inbreeding but right now its looking like my only choice if I want to start grad school next fall.

Thanks!

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I hear ya! I have not heard from ANY schools yet, and probably won't until April. I am so envious everytime I see someone say that have got an acceptance. I just want to hear back...even if it's just one school.

Hang in there though! Silence means we are still in the game!

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Count me in.. I haven't heard anything and it'll soon be 2 months since I submitted my first app..

I don't know how much longer I can take of this.. Everyday without an email or a phone call just crushes me more and more.. I just want an email..please o please..

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Me too :-(

Heard absolutely NOTHING yet from any of the 10 programs I applied too :(

One of them has a couple of acceptances on the results page. I really don't get it: If they already know who's accepted and who's not, why can't they just click a button to update the online apps, so I can KNOW I've been rejected and move on?... So frustrating... :angry:

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I have a theory, so take this only as my theory, and now for my theory.

How does a top program handle the hundreds upon hundreds of applications? The answer is they don't.

What they do is apply an algorithm to the hundreds of applications and pop out the oh I don't know let's say

top 50. And from those 50 applications they play their game. Some are offered admits, some get rejects and

some get wait listed. And as for all the applications which did not make it into the top 50, well they just sit and wait

until which time the university feels is a realistic time frame that it would take to actually go threw all of those

applications, and then send out rejections to all of them. And so in fact the under top 50 apps are not even looked

at. It is called "How do you convert 750 applications into just 50 applications".

It would explain why some of us are watching others getting accepted, rejected, and wait listed while we just sit and

wait.

Edited by regal

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Regal's theory is probably right, but how frustrating. Ugh. I also haven't heard from any schools I've applied to any staring at the results survey is only serving to bum me out. Stanford appears to have sent out interview information. Silence. I would just love to know something, anything at all. Bah, applications.

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I have a theory, so take this only as my theory, and now for my theory.

How does a top program handle the hundreds upon hundreds of applications? The answer is they don't.

What they do is apply an algorithm to the hundreds of applications and pop out the oh I don't know let's say

top 50. And from those 50 applications they play their game. Some are offered admits, some get rejects and

some get wait listed. And as for all the applications which did not make it into the top 50, well they just sit and wait

until which time the university feels is a realistic time frame that it would take to actually go threw all of those

applications, and then send out rejections to all of them. And so in fact the under top 50 apps are not even looked

at. It is called "How do you convert 750 applications into just 50 applications".

It would explain why some of us are watching others getting accepted, rejected, and wait listed while we just sit and

wait.

I thought schools filter applicants by GPA, before they evaluate applications as a whole (as in, the statements, the letters and GRE scores).

I have been told that adcom only spend roughly 30 seconds to glimpse through an essay. So if there are two essays, then 1 minute per application. That way they will have group of 3-10 people that they are willing to offer early acceptance / interviews. Then the rest will be evaluated more carefully. But still, when a top-tier school says the minimum required GPA is 3.0, typically they look at a minimum of 3.4/3.5 GPA (or more, depends on your program), which means that there are very few successful applicants who have an uncompetitive stats, which may be able to compensated by research experience (can be expressed in terms of numbers) and strong recommendation (names of the faculty can be searched using search engine).

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As far as I'm aware (and this could be true only of social psych or of my program only), they take the entire pile of applications and divide it up based on POIs listed. I don't think there is a secret algorithm in the formal sense, but each faculty member basically gets to divide up their pile how they see fit. Some put more weight on GPA, others on years of research experience, etc, but I do believe that they essentially make a few piles outright: (1) scores are high so look at the file closely and positively, (2) scores are middle-range so if they have a great research background move them to the first pile, and (3) scores are too low so barely look and only spend more than a minute if something amazing jumps out of the essay. Truth is, dealing with the anybody who doesn't make it into pile #1 after a review is a very low priority and why it takes SO long to hear from some places. POIs are busy and they choose to spend the energy wooing the top candidates rather than easing the misery of the rest of the applicants. Hell, NU makes their admission decisions and posts them online but doesn't bother to send an email out saying they are up--that is how sad the process gets and precisely why it is so frustrating to an applicant.

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AHHHHHHH. Thanks for listening. :lol:

I really need to hear something... I am ranging through so many emotions. One day I am :) then I am :( then I am :angry: and most of all I am :blink: but I will keep the faith.

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I was told by the Graduate Program Director of a top-ranking school where I applied that they really seriously look at all the applications they get - perhaps this is true for only this program, though it would be nice to know that all schools follow this rule..

Last years' results show that this program decides late, so I can understand not hearing from them yet.

But I am confounded by the silence from other schools where I applied - no email, no status update, no results submission by others, while other programs are posting decisions as shown by the results page.

Edited by Seeking

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I know that what I am about to say is going to be resoundingly unpopular, but I think that those of us who are waiting could do with a serious reality check: if you haven't heard anything by now, you most likely have been rejected. You may get an acceptance call/email in the next couple of weeks--or even a waitlist notification in March--but it is less and less likely as the days go by.

Regal's explanation is pretty accurate, although there are also some programs that are as Watson described. However, in general, most acceptances happen in January (the strong candidates that the schools really want), some happen in February and rejections come in March.

In short, if you haven't heard anything by, at least, February 15, then I would start working on your plan B.

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I don't know if this will help anyone else, but it sure has helped me ...you will require the following things, another human being, a timer, a bucket, 2 pairs of handcuffs, a chair, a blindfold, and a bathroom. Now go into the bathroom, set the timer for 30 mins, sit in the chair have the human being blind fold you, then handcuff your hands and feet to objects so as to prevent you from moving. Now after this is accomplished make sure they dim the lights and gently turn on a water faucet as to make the water drip into the bucket super slowly. Have them either be super silent or leave the area whilst this goes on for 30 mins. After the time elapses, They will uncuff you and remove the blindfold. I suggest doing this 4-5 times a week if you ever find yourself stressed out about grad school applications. I hope this helps!

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I know that what I am about to say is going to be resoundingly unpopular, but I think that those of us who are waiting could do with a serious reality check: if you haven't heard anything by now, you most likely have been rejected. You may get an acceptance call/email in the next couple of weeks--or even a waitlist notification in March--but it is less and less likely as the days go by.

Regal's explanation is pretty accurate, although there are also some programs that are as Watson described. However, in general, most acceptances happen in January (the strong candidates that the schools really want), some happen in February and rejections come in March.

In short, if you haven't heard anything by, at least, February 15, then I would start working on your plan B.

That is not true for all people. My programs don't inform me until later this month early March.

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That is not true for all people. My programs don't inform me until later this month early March.

You're absolutely right; my post didn't really apply to those who do not hear until March.

Rather, my post was intended for those who, like me, submitted apps in December and January and who "still haven't heard anything yet" but wait, with false hope. In our cases, not hearing anything usually means a rejection in March. I just hate the idea of people waiting with false hope.

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I see. Well that clears things up. I am not sure if that is nice to think it is false hope. I see it as wishful thinking. Hell if you don't have that, sometimes things get really dark for people.

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You're absolutely right; my post didn't really apply to those who do not hear until March.

Rather, my post was intended for those who, like me, submitted apps in December and January and who "still haven't heard anything yet" but wait, with false hope. In our cases, not hearing anything usually means a rejection in March. I just hate the idea of people waiting with false hope.

It also depends largely on what field you are applying to. For example, last year none of the top thirty PhD programs in Economics sent out any acceptances until mid-February to mid-March. I think figuring out when your programs sent out acceptances in past years is the best benchmark for when to get pessimistic

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It also depends largely on what field you are applying to. For example, last year none of the top thirty PhD programs in Economics sent out any acceptances until mid-February to mid-March. I think figuring out when your programs sent out acceptances in past years is the best benchmark for when to get pessimistic

Very true. I know for psych (and particularly for non-clinical areas) the time frame is January and February for the most part. If you're on the top of a waiting list and get in that way you may hear from places in March as well, though you're usually informed if you're on a waiting list by the end of February/first week of March. I actually think it's pretty cruel how many applicants are already rejected but not informed for months because of this process--my current program is a particularly bad offender in this regard.

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I applied in November to most of my programs. Not a peep. Not one out of 5. I wish there was rolling admissions for the programs I checked. I also wish that if you know I have no chance at all and the answer is no, just say so already!

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Very true. I know for psych (and particularly for non-clinical areas) the time frame is January and February for the most part. If you're on the top of a waiting list and get in that way you may hear from places in March as well, though you're usually informed if you're on a waiting list by the end of February/first week of March. I actually think it's pretty cruel how many applicants are already rejected but not informed for months because of this process--my current program is a particularly bad offender in this regard.

This is exactly what I was trying to say. Some people might like to hope--in spite of all evidence to the contrary--that they have gotten in b/c they still haven't heard anything. However, I have found that it is usually in vain.

And I also agree that it is very cruel to make applicants wait like that only to receive a rejection, which was why I was trying to put anyone in that position out of his/her misery. It's a lot healthier to just accept it and move on to something more productive.

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As much as the silence may suck, unfortunately the schools are usually taking applications during their Christmas/Winter break, so the AdComms need time and as sucky as it is, I would prefer they take their time to carefully make a decision.

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As much as I would like to, I dont believe that adcoms really look at each and every application. The applications are pre-screened and sorted according to Gpa. If you make the cut, then and only then will they consider the other aspects of the application. This is when fantastic supporting documents can help you leapfrog over the uber-smart applicants. Because the stats of applicants can change from year to year, you really dont know what the 'average' gpa of applicants is this time around. Last year it could have been A-, this year it could be B. So basically, you cant possibly know how competitive you are. For that reason, hang on to the hope that you have a chance even if you haven't heard back yet. Only a very small percentage of people post results here so I'd take what you read with a healthy dose of skepticism. :) ....but it also wouldn't hurt to start working on a plan B to have all of your bases covered...and hope that you wont have to use i t ;)

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Only a very small percentage of people post results here so I'd take what you read with a healthy dose of skepticism. :) ....but it also wouldn't hurt to start working on a plan B to have all of your bases covered...and hope that you wont have to use i t ;)

That is a way to fill the void of the silence

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the silence is pretty terrifying. i know my programs don't inform any students until March but i can't stop compulsively checking my applications and email.

i was contacted by the assistant dean at my first choice because ETS didn't send them my GRE scores. she had me fax them over, confirmed that they arrived, and then said my application was being forwarded to the adcom. that was a week ago. and of course i am in the grip of a "what does this MEAN?!" panic attack. sigh!

courage, everyone.

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I like to think they actually do reaad through the applications. I doubt my application would make it through some of the filters because I only had a 3.2 GPA from undergrad, but I know that a couple of the schools have read my application. American definitely did because they saw that they had accidentally sent my app to the wrong program based on my SOP, and I talked to someone at Texas during a school visit who knew who I was/my application based on me introducing myself with just my first name.

I agree that they probably skim quite a few of them, but I think it's a little excessive to think that only a small percentage are even read.

I know I have another month of silence ahead of me...

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