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Why can't schools let you know if you've been rejected?


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I am really frustrated. I have been waiting to hear from several schools. I emailed 3 of them and was told I was rejected. I called the 4th and they said I was rejected two weeks ago. I never got an email/postal mail from any of these four schools saying I was rejected. What the heck? All of these schools say applicants will be notified.

So why wasn't I notified? Has this happened to others? Frustrating.

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I'm sorry to hear that. I applied to 5 schools. I've gotten 2 rejections and 1 acceptance. I asked one school to quit reviewing my application. That leaves one school, and I have no idea if they are one of the "silent" type schools.

I think some schools send out their rejections last minute because they hope that the rejected applicants will have some acceptances by then, so the rejection won't hurt so much. Of course, I've also heard of schools not sending out any notification at all. The reason probably depends on the specific program. Of course, the notifications I have gotten so far have been pretty speedy, so maybe you just happened to pick schools that are really slow. It could also be that your name was held on the wait list for a while, so your application was in review for a long time.

How many schools did you apply to? I hope there were some acceptances in there.

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It also might be administrative convenience. They send out the acceptances. Then they have an internal wait-list for if too many of the accepted ones decline. And only once all spots are filled do they notify all others in one batch...

Sometimes I wonder whether those administrating the process know what it feels like for applicants...

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I do have one acceptance with great funding. All it takes is one, right?

My irritation is that on all the schools websites they say the applicant will be notified of a decision (or something to that effect). I had to email/call and find I was rejected - and in one case the reject was two weeks prior. The woman said "we aren't always able to notify everyone". I think an email or post mail letter would is warranted if you take the time to apply and pay the fees.

Still waiting on two other schools. Maybe I'm on an internal waitlist? One other acceptance would be nice as it would give me some options. Time will tell.

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My irritation is that on all the schools websites they say the applicant will be notified of a decision (or something to that effect). I had to email/call and find I was rejected - and in one case the reject was two weeks prior. The woman said "we aren't always able to notify everyone". I think an email or post mail letter would is warranted if you take the time to apply and pay the fees.

I agree completely. Considering that we are paying them for this (and it's not exactly cheap), a notification should always be sent, and if it's not, they need to say so somewhere on the application/website. I mean, it's really not that hard to send an email.

I would expect that kind of behavior to happen from maybe one or two schools, but four?? Wow, that's just really inconsiderate and kind of unprofessional.

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I don't know what their problem is! Out of the 10 schools I applied to, I have only gotten two "official" rejections so far. I wonder if I'll get any other emails, or if I just assume that the majority of the schools I applied to will never tell me anything at all.

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Generally they only send out rejections when everything is set in stone already. I know some of the schools I applied to sent out rejections if they didn't send you on to the interview phase. However if you got an interview and don't hear anything back and were rejected, you probably aren't going to hear anything back for a while, simply because they won't definitely let your application go until they have everything finalized. Unfortunately that takes a while. Sometimes candidates let offers go for weeks or even months or don't contact the program at all. The PI of the lab I work in now is also on the adcom for the graduate program here and he's told me that sometimes they will send out an offer and the applicant won't contact the program until the very last minute, and then its just to say they won't be attending because they chose another school. This is why they can't send out rejections until so late, because they never know when or who they might have to contact if that first applicant turns the offer down. The other thing is that by that point, most of the candidates on the waitlist have probably accepted an offer somewhere else. He's said they have had years where they meant to accept maybe 4 or 5 candidates, but only gotten maybe 3 accepted offers since candidates on the waitlist had made other plans. I don't think this happens very often, but it certainly gives you an idea of why they're waiting until the last minute to send out rejections.

Edited by Marius
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Generally they only send out rejections when everything is set in stone already. I know some of the schools I applied to sent out rejections if they didn't send you on to the interview phase. However if you got an interview and don't hear anything back and were rejected, you probably aren't going to hear anything back for a while, simply because they won't definitely let your application go until they have everything finalized. Unfortunately that takes a while. Sometimes candidates let offers go for weeks or even months or don't contact the program at all. The PI of the lab I work in now is also on the adcom for the graduate program here and he's told me that sometimes they will send out an offer and the applicant won't contact the program until the very last minute, and then its just to say they won't be attending because they chose another school. This is why they can't send out rejections until so late, because they never know when or who they might have to contact if that first applicant turns the offer down. The other thing is that by that point, most of the candidates on the waitlist have probably accepted an offer somewhere else. He's said they have had years where they meant to accept maybe 4 or 5 candidates, but only gotten maybe 3 accepted offers since candidates on the waitlist had made other plans. I don't think this happens very often, but it certainly gives you an idea of why they're waiting until the last minute to send out rejections.

Thank you! That was a helpful answer and things make a lot more sense now.

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  • 11 months later...

I know this sounds repetitive :/ but does this mean that I may have a shot even if I have not heard anything till March 6? Or does this mean that I am merely waiting for an official rejection notification?

 

The excruciating wait is taking a toll on my comprehension abilities!

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I was rejected yesterday, but I was never notified. It took a lot of effort, sifting through their online portals, for me to find the rejection. I feel as though they could at least send an email, since I paid so much to hear a no from them ;).

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This is my biggest fear. I have been accepted into two schools, but I have not heard a peep from the other four, two of which I applied to in early January. I don't know if I am just being impatient or if these schools have unofficially rejected me already.

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it is really annoying like at this evry moment thanks to this forum i know one of the schools I have applied to have sent out acceptances but then they did not send me a rejection-why not? Especially when I have been emailing them for over a week now! Its terrible! ANd I do think that the huge application fee at least warrants an intimation of acceptance or rejection- waitlisting is of course the worst thing that can happen to you!

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