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The "Fiscal Cliff"?


rockbender

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Has anyone else gotten a response from a POI that mentioned the "fiscal cliff"/political uncertainty? I just received the following email:

"Thanks for contacting me. It's too soon to know if I will have funding for a new student for next fall, and I probably won't know until admissions decision time (February). I'm waiting to hear about the effects of the "fiscal cliff", as you might imagine.

Nonetheless, I hope you will apply to our program and even if I don't have the funding, there may be someone else with similar interests that will have funding."

I'm not sure if this is a genuine concern about funding availability or if it is just a jazzed-up version of the standard response of "sure apply to our program, why not?" My impression is that he is not interested in talking with me any further, but I can't tell if the "fiscal cliff"/financial uncertainty is the true reason or just the excuse he is giving me. None of the other POIs that I have emailed have mentioned it.

I wonder if the "fiscal cliff" is something I should be concerned about - especially how it might affect acceptance rates in this year's application cycle... Is anyone else thinking about it?

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Don't take it personally. It's great that they were honest with you. This is why it can be so important to contact your POIs ahead of time, to know what's going on, on their end. I had a POI tell me that her lab was just too full and of course from there I didn't pursue it. As for your situation, if you want to keep talking with them, I'm sure you could, but the POI was honest about openings and such, you should assume as of now, they don't have a slot for you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider applying, it's a risk, but if you could find another POI in the same school, it would be a lot more worthwhile to apply.

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I posted a detailed explanation of how the fiscal cliff and funding have changed admissions since 2010 I'd encourage you to post on that thread and add to the discussion, it would bring in a fresh voice that can attest that this issue is having a direct impact on current applicants.

Edited by Usmivka
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