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Making a Decision Before Any Word on Funding?

Rachel B

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I was just accepted into a program that has now become my second/third choice and is one that fits my interests extremely well. The program does not offer any type of scholarships or grants, so prospective and current students are encouraged to apply for an assistantship or internship, which offer close to a full tuition waiver and a reasonable living allowance. I've already applied for the assistantship/internship program, but I realized that interviews for these positions will not be held until late April, several days after the official April 15th deadline. Additionally, the interview obviously does not guarantee I will get the position, and even if I do, I still won't find out until early May. I feel as though choosing this program is going to become a huge gamble provided that I get partially-funded offers from my other choices.

Unfortunately, funding is one of the major factors of whether or not I will even go to graduate school. My current financial situation means that if I was accepted into my dream school without any funding, I would not be able to attend.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on my situation with this one school? If I don't get any other offers for funding and choose this program but do not get the assistantship/internship position, would it come off as extremely rude to have to withdraw my initial acceptance of admission since it will already be so late in the game?

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I don't think it would be extremely rude to rescind your acceptance if the funding doesn't work out. I think that would be reasonable and understandable.

I'm more so worried about the gamble of choosing another program with partial funding or taking the gamble in selecting this program with the hopes I'd get the position :(

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I think it would be fine to write that you would be delighted to accept their offer of admission and attend their program, contingent upon successfully obtaining funding that would enable you to do so.

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I agree with Macchiato.

I was in a similar situation. I received acceptance notices from several programs that were great for me, however I told myself that I would only go to graduate school if I received the outside funding that I had applied for. I told my program of choice that I would attend contingent upon receiving aid. They did not seem to mind such a response at all.

You could also ask questions to determine the likelihood that you will get funding through a TA or RA as an incoming student.

When is the acceptance deadline for this program? I would ride it out as long as you can to see if other opportunities open up as you do not seem super excited about joining this particular department.

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