Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
habanero

How do we reject the schools and POIs?

Recommended Posts

I doubt you're going to get any "fresh" takes on these because the consensus is the same:

"Dear so-and-so,

Thank you for reviewing my application; however I have accepted an offer from University X."

There is no reason to over complicate it, and likely whomever is in charge of grad admissions is just going to check mark your name off and move on.

Edited by ANDS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt you're going to get any "fresh" takes on these because the consensus is the same:

"Dear so-and-so,

Thank you for reviewing my application; however I have accepted an offer from University X."

There is no reason to over complicate it, and likely whomever is in charge of grad admissions is just going to check mark your name off and move on.

While I do agree that your email may be appropriate for the program admission supervisor, I think that it'd be best to put a bit more effort into the emails to professors. They spent a lot of time trying to get us to work with them. I don't see this as overcomplicating the situation; we should certainly keep a good working relationship with people who will be our colleagues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think offers mean a lot more to the applicant than they do to the admissions committee because the students are investing their entire lives into this whereas the school is investing a few years, if that at all. They don't really care and don't take it personally. I think what matters is that you tell them in a timely manner as it is more respectful that way. You can follow up with the people who interviewed you, but I don't think it's entirely necessary unless they thought you were going to join their lab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about it too much. As said, most schools will cross you off the list and accept someone off the wait-list, thus potentially making that person's year.

I probably will send personal emails to the professors I met with while I was at my prospective schools. Nothing too fancy, just thanking them for their time, telling them how pleased I was with their faculty, etc. I'm kinda going to throw the whole, "It's not you, it's me" thing at them. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about it too much. As said, most schools will cross you off the list and accept someone off the wait-list, thus potentially making that person's year.

I probably will send personal emails to the professors I met with while I was at my prospective schools. Nothing too fancy, just thanking them for their time, telling them how pleased I was with their faculty, etc. I'm kinda going to throw the whole, "It's not you, it's me" thing at them. B)

Exactly. Perhaps people want to over complicate things because it is a big step in their life, and each action demands some grand gesture. Unless you're an exceptional candidate and the department went out of their way to recruit you (read: did they do anything they didn't do, or wont do again, to another candidate) a simple email suffices.

But hey I'm sure someone will come along and tell the OP what they want to hear: personalized hand written cards (perhaps scented) expressing deepest regrets and the hope that this doesn't completely shatter their graduate program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After I had gotten into a few programs I really liked, about a month ago I tried to decline a department that was not nearly as good a fit (location, size) but that had offered me a special fellowship. I took the recommended simple approach with a short but warm email. I just wanted to do the right thing and free up a spot and funding for someone else, you know? The director would have none of that, though, and proceeded to engage me into some borderline aggressive email back-and-forths about why I turned them down, where I was thinking of going, etc. The director made some incredible overtures during this and ended up telling me I had a standing offer for future years if I realized I made a mistake and wanted to transfer. It was really flattering, to be sure, but also incredibly draining and stressful to keep doing this volleying and continue justifying my decision not to go in the face of all this generosity. I'm honestly still not sure if they've crossed me off the list yet because I'm still getting inane snail mail from the grad school about immunizations.

So, yeah, I wish it were always as easy as a short email. I'd still recommend that, I guess, but be prepared to defend your decision if they bristle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But hey I'm sure someone will come along and tell the OP what they want to hear: personalized hand written cards (perhaps scented) expressing deepest regrets and the hope that this doesn't completely shatter their graduate program.

ANDS!: I am sure you mean well, but many of your posts seem to have a severely negative tone. I was drawn to TheGradCafe.com for the supportive and positive environment. I think that many other posters feel the same way about this forum. In the future, I would prefer that you refrain from responding to my posts if you cannot be cordial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that a simpIe email to the program as a whole is all that is required, but think it is definitely a good idea to email all the POIs and to tell them that unfortunately you will be declining the offer. I would thank them for their time and mention that you really wanted to work with them and hope to see them at conferences. It may not be completely necessary, but it is good to build connections in academia no matter what some of the other posters have said. These people may be on a hiring committee or in a program you would like to do a post-doc, so it always good to follow up and thank them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ANDS!: I am sure you mean well, but many of your posts seem to have a severely negative tone.

There is no negative tone. It is simply me not shining you on; you asked for opinions, I gave you one which you reject out of hand which lead me to conclude you don't actually want opinions just validation for a decision you have already made. Nature of the beast.

I was drawn to TheGradCafe.com for the supportive and positive environment.

I amended my recommendation to be more in line what you were seeking. . .did you not see?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had no one-on-one contact with professors, the short email to admissions is fine. But I agree that if you've had extended correspondence with one or two professors at an institution, its only polite to send them a more personal email letting them know your decision. It doesn't have to be long, just clearly sent to them alone. A simple "Thank you very much for the help you've been during this process. I've chosen to attend ABC University, but I very much hope to see you at conference/meetings/etc in the future. Best of luck with the rest of your semester..." There's no need to gush, and as others have said, unless you're a prodigy they probably aren't crushed you've chosen another university. But I feel safe in saying that they will remember a student they invested even a small amount of time in, and were then never informed of a decision, or thanked for their help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no negative tone. It is simply me not shining you on; you asked for opinions, I gave you one which you reject out of hand which lead me to conclude you don't actually want opinions just validation for a decision you have already made. Nature of the beast.

I amended my recommendation to be more in line what you were seeking. . .did you not see?

I agree with the OP that your posts in this thread have been pretty negative. I don't think the OP was trying to get advice to send "handwritten scented cards" as you suggested in the last post, but to get some advice of what to say to POIs from a rejected program. I think it is bad advice to tell someone that a professor that they have been in contact and accepted them to work with will not want to hear from them. As we all know grad school is extremely competitive and often professors in a program will only pick one or two students that they would like to work with and will suggest them for admittance. Professors often spend a significant amount of time fighting for certain students and it would be unwise to not send an email thanking them for their support and telling them of your final decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like what TXTiger2012 said, a short, respectful email is probably the best way to go. I made sure to thank them for the offer, say that it was a difficult decision, etc. I did not say exactly what program I did accept but did say I was staying domestic for my husband's work (which was the main reason). And I disagree that POI won't necessarily remember you in however many years, there is no reason to burn bridges by not keeping them informed, it really seems like common courtesy to me.

My offer rejection email was fairly short, maybe 7 sentences. It kept it short enough that if they didn't care they could get the idea of it quickly, but explained enough that it didn't seem like I was rejecting them out of hand and respected their offer and their time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way one burns bridges with the customary "Thank you for the opportunity but I've decided to go elsewhere. . ." email is if the person you are responding to is pretty petty in the first place. If an applicant had more of a connection that warranted just a "teensy bit extra" in the email, by all means have it; however (at least from the mouths of faculty I've spoken with), applicants run the risk of saying the wrong thing or simply expounding on things they don't need to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a short, concise email will be fine. I also think a slightly longer, more personalized email will be fine, too, especially if you've been having conversations with these professors over the course of the app season. Just don't go overboard, obviously. Anyway, when I have to send out my own "rejection" emails, I'll probably opt for the more personalized approach, because I have been seriously hounding these poor POIs with questions and they've donated a lot of their time and very helpful/honest opinions to me and my crazy indecisiveness. This year, after writing a personalized withdraw email to a master's program, the prof responded with congratulations and tips on which PhD program I should choose for my interests!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar dilemma. I've been accepted at many places by the profs working in my area. Moreover, I've spoken multiple times with these guys, so I've to be a little careful here. Also, these profs know my reference writers pretty well. Some of these profs went out of the way to offer me an admission, like calling me just two days after I submitted the application.

Any advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar dilemma. I've been accepted at many places by the profs working in my area. Moreover, I've spoken multiple times with these guys, so I've to be a little careful here. Also, these profs know my reference writers pretty well. Some of these profs went out of the way to offer me an admission, like calling me just two days after I submitted the application.

Any advice?

Now this is a situation that would merit a more in depth explanation of why you've decided to travel elsewhere. The person you've spoken with has obviously invested more than the average amount of time in getting to know you and your suitability for their program and working with them, and has connections to people already in your network (which isn't out of the ordinary, but if you're talking multiple connections. . .)

I would pow-wow with your current advisors, or whomever is writing your letters and ask them - since they seem to know these professors personally/professionally - what might best be the approach to take with each of these professors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I accepted an offer at a school, and now I need to decline other schools! What is the most respectful way to do this? I found a few other threads, but I'd like to get some new & fresh ideas. ;)

I don't think you need to worry too much about getting new and fresh ideas. It feels like a big deal for us, definitely, I never thought i'd be in a position to decline offers but this happens to schools every year, they are used to people going other places or taking students from programs themselves... As long as you are polite and let the grad school itself know, as well as any POI who made an effort in some way on your application (not just someone you asked some questions though). A brief, "sorry i'm going somewhere else but it wasn't an easy decision, thanks for your help" should be fine. In fact, I would recommend you do this soon, rather than spend a long time trying to craft something more in depth and personal. A program I declined a few days ago emailed me back a lovely message and also mentioned exactly that - letting them know asap makes their lives a heck of a lot easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok all, thank you for the advice. I said something along the lines of:

Dear X,

Thank you for your interest/time/etc. X University is amazing, and I had such a good time/X/XXX/whatever. It has been a difficult decision, but I've decided to attend XX. I very much look forward to seeing you at X conference. +something personal

Best,

HABANERO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive considered taking some lines from an admissions rejection email i've received and using them when I email schools to tell them I will not be going there.

Something like:

Thank you for your interest in me for your graduate program at -. I have given it careful consideration but regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. I realize this news may be disappointing to you, but I received offers from an unusually large number of well qualified schools and ultimately can only accept one. You will receive official notification by regular postal service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive considered taking some lines from an admissions rejection email i've received and using them when I email schools to tell them I will not be going there.

Something like:

Thank you for your interest in me for your graduate program at -. I have given it careful consideration but regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. I realize this news may be disappointing to you, but I received offers from an unusually large number of well qualified schools and ultimately can only accept one. You will receive official notification by regular postal service.

Haha, perfect! :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.