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dherres

POSITIVE rejections?

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Hi all,

I saw a thread from last year's batch regarding hurtful rejection letters, and thought this alternative might make for an interesting topic. Has anyone been impressed or touched or whatever else by a rejection letter they've received?

The last sentence of mine states, "We hope that you will be admitted to another university and will be able to achieve your educational goals." Awww..... Maybe I'm just foolish, but that bit sort of kind of makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, lol! (And then I remember that it's a REJECTION letter, and icy fear overtakes me once more.)

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That indeed is sadistic! You would think that a word like "congratulations" would be sparingly contextualized by universities but noooooooo, they have to just insert it into the start of nearly every damn correspondence (congrats on starting your app., congrats on completing your app., congrats your (supp material) has arrived, congrats you were put on the waiting list, congrats you were deemed unworthy... etc. etc)

I guess one way a rejection could be construed as positive would be if they transfer your app. to another department/program they consider you to be a stronger candidate for. Or, if they are even explicit about what exactly the application was lacking would go some way towards alleviating the post-rejection angst.

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If they said something really specific like, "sorry, we couldn't take any students in your subdiscipline this year," or "sorry, you are totally brilliant but we had to give preference to in-state students," or anything that made it seem not your fault...it would make me feel better. (I tend to assume things like that anyway, even though they're not true, because if I'm going to be ignorant either way I might as well be happy and ignorant.)

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I was rejected off the waitlist at a school. The letter said that they accepted 4% of their applicant pool that year. That made me feel a bit better, because just to get on the waitlist was an accomplishment considering I was applying straight out of undergrad.

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Perhaps they are trying to coach their phrasing into something more politically correct.

Sometimes it seems to me as if everything is getting more mushy in terms of saying things but meaning others... (a zeitgeist, perhaps?)

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I had about the nicest rejection one could get. it was an e-mail from my prospective adviser (long before official rejections come). She wrote to inform me that she is retiring in 4 yrs, and that "3-4 years is not enough time to get anyone through the PhD program, even someone whose qualifications are as strong as yours." She also praised my writing sample and told me she would be using some of it for her class next semester!

She also thoroughly answered a research question I asked her, and attached a pdf of an article she thought would be useful.

That's pretty damn nice! It is in a way worse than a standard rejection because it only made me want to work with her more!

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