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Anyone else starting to get pi%^ed off!?


CP3

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So, I'm normally pretty humble and patient on this site, but today I feel like ranting and raving a little bit.

 

Can anyone explain why in the hell it takes a school over 3 months to notify applicants!?

 

I won't mention names. XXXX university had a December 1st deadline, the app fee was 100 dollars (this doesn't count transcripts, postage, GRE, etc.) Why in the hell should I have to wait over 3 months to get a response??

 

I applied to a few schools early Jan that notified me several weeks later, and they cost half the price to apply. 

 

I don't want to put negative vibes out there, but honestly!? I could've applied to 2-3 schools with cheaper app fees in early December. It's completely frustrating. The worst, most aggravating part for me is that I can't help but feel like the decisions were made a long time ago. (SIDE NOTE: this school doesn't do interviews)

 

I'm sure a lot of schools take this long, but it is still aggravating. 

 

Does anyone want to express any frustrations or constructive insight??? 

 

It would be much appreciated     #fedupapplicant

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I wish I had some great insight to offer you, but I don't.  Just that I hear you.  One of the programs I'm applying to apparently does not operate on a rolling admissions policy.  I am receiving my undergraduate degree on May 11th and they "require" me to have it by May 1st.  This is an online program requirement.  It is not their in-seat requirement, because that makes no sense.  I asked, "So is this how undergraduates at your institution are treated if they wish to pursue their graduate degree in your online program?"  Of course, they won't answer that because they're the "online component" of their school.  I spent weeks on an essay, bothering recommenders for their letters, and paying for transcripts to apply.  I was complete in mid January, only to be told that I will not receive an admission decision until JULY because of when I will have a conferred bachelor's degree.  What about an offer of admission contingent upon my successful completion of my degree?  Not going to happen.  I have heard from this school that it is because they are "so competitive".  However, they have an even HIGHER competitive counterpart that doesn't operate this way.  Thus, I may have wasted my $85 because I'll likely have my school selection completed by then.  Had I known this, I might have applied to a different school and not raced to finish this stuff when I did.  

 

Oh, and for the record, NOWHERE was this stated on their website or in any of the communications with my enrollment advisers until they received my undergraduate transcript.  Then I was contacted to inform me that I will be hearing about this in July.

 

I swear, if admissions committees were businesses, they would be out of business by now...but I guess "we" need "them", so...we wait.  

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Wow, that's pretty crazy. I feel your pain. 

 

When I was applying to schools, I began to notice trends with websites. After awhile, I started to realize that some of the websites were really difficult to navigate and didn't offer good information. 

 

I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't apply to a school who didn't have their stuff together online. A bad website with little info is typically a good indicator as to how the school conducts itself.

 

I emailed a University several months ago. I sent an email to a professor AND the admissions office just to introduce myself and get some information.

Didn't get a SINGLE response. I found it to be unbelievable that a school would not respond, considering the amount of dough they make off of application fees!!! Needless to say, I didn't apply.

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I almost didn't apply to one of mine because the website was in such poor shape. It really is the public face of the program for potential graduate students. I did end up applying, because I am pretty desperate to get in somewhere on my first round of applications, but I definitely hesitated on this one. Broken links all over the place, no info to be found on things that were standard on other university sites, etc. I chalked it up to the re-certification process and that they are probably editing the website. Just last week the website did work better and showed up in a google search. HA!

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When I applied for my MS degree a few years ago, I had a similarly horrific experience. The program deadline was May 30th and I applied extremely early, in December. In January, I get an email from the admissions coordinator (who I later find out had a reputation for being just awful) saying that everything is in, they are just waiting on my subject test score. I was livid - the website stated that no subject test was required, and so I had cancelled my scheduled exam back in November. The PhD program didn't even require the subject test! I told her this and she was extremely nasty, told me if I had emailed her sooner she would've told me. WELL I did email her earlier, back in November before I cancelled my exam to double check the program requirements, and she told me only the general GRE was required. So I cancelled.

 

The next subject GRE wasn't offered until April. So I had to wait to take the exam. After I took the exam, she emailed me in May to say they were just waiting to receive my scores before they could send my file to the committee. Once they had my scores they took FOREVER to get back to me. Keep in mind, I did not live anywhere near this school so would need to make moving arrangements. It was June and I was still waiting!! Fed up, I emailed her to see what was going on. She tells me "oh, we think you're better suited for the PhD program so we sent your materials over to that committee instead." Um WHAT? SO MAD! If I wanted to do a PhD, I would've applied for that program!!! So I told her to send it back ASAP.

 

A few weeks later I get an acceptance contingent upon me finding a lab that will let me join (no rotations in the MS program, you need a POI before you start). AHH! I had a few weeks to find someone and still needed to figure out where to live and all that. I literally emailed and called 100 Professors to find a lab before I got a "yes".

 

Now here's the real kicker - I was talking to my cohort (6 students including me) and found out only one other student (who also applied very early) and I had to take the subject test GRE! So what happened was this evil woman made a mistake early on, told me and the other student the subject test was required, found out later on she was wrong, told the other 4 students who applied in April (before the subject test I had to take) that it wasn't required, and was too full of herself to confess it wasn't true and send my application onto the committee in April with the other students! This was only the beginning of my issues with her, URGH! So glad that's over!! :angry:

 

I swear, they do it to torture us.

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When I applied for my MS degree a few years ago, I had a similarly horrific experience. The program deadline was May 30th and I applied extremely early, in December. In January, I get an email from the admissions coordinator (who I later find out had a reputation for being just awful) saying that everything is in, they are just waiting on my subject test score. I was livid - the website stated that no subject test was required, and so I had cancelled my scheduled exam back in November. The PhD program didn't even require the subject test! I told her this and she was extremely nasty, told me if I had emailed her sooner she would've told me. WELL I did email her earlier, back in November before I cancelled my exam to double check the program requirements, and she told me only the general GRE was required. So I cancelled.

 

The next subject GRE wasn't offered until April. So I had to wait to take the exam. After I took the exam, she emailed me in May to say they were just waiting to receive my scores before they could send my file to the committee. Once they had my scores they took FOREVER to get back to me. Keep in mind, I did not live anywhere near this school so would need to make moving arrangements. It was June and I was still waiting!! Fed up, I emailed her to see what was going on. She tells me "oh, we think you're better suited for the PhD program so we sent your materials over to that committee instead." Um WHAT? SO MAD! If I wanted to do a PhD, I would've applied for that program!!! So I told her to send it back ASAP.

 

A few weeks later I get an acceptance contingent upon me finding a lab that will let me join (no rotations in the MS program, you need a POI before you start). AHH! I had a few weeks to find someone and still needed to figure out where to live and all that. I literally emailed and called 100 Professors to find a lab before I got a "yes".

 

Now here's the real kicker - I was talking to my cohort (6 students including me) and found out only one other student (who also applied very early) and I had to take the subject test GRE! So what happened was this evil woman made a mistake early on, told me and the other student the subject test was required, found out later on she was wrong, told the other 4 students who applied in April (before the subject test I had to take) that it wasn't required, and was too full of herself to confess it wasn't true and send my application onto the committee in April with the other students! This was only the beginning of my issues with her, URGH! So glad that's over!! :angry:

 

I swear, they do it to torture us.

Oh my gosh... that sounds like a nightmare and a half.

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I emailed a University several months ago. I sent an email to a professor AND the admissions office just to introduce myself and get some information.

Didn't get a SINGLE response. I found it to be unbelievable that a school would not respond, considering the amount of dough they make off of application fees!!! Needless to say, I didn't apply.

 

Exactly the reason I didn't apply to XXXXX university. Their linguistics department is great, but I emailed a professor whose work I was interested in, and didn't receive so much as an acknowledgment of my message. I understand they're busy, but I didn't write said person a novel - just a very short two paragraph message expressing interest and asking a couple of questions. After that I called the department to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions, and the immediate response of the person on the phone was, "Oh... okaaaaaaaay." They were clearly too busy to invest time in the very people who were giving them $80 for a chance to maybe have their applications considered for a few minutes. I am all about giving prestigious programs a shot, but I'm also not willing to crawl across hot coals for a program that treats me like I'm the lucky one for being there. They're lucky to have any of us too. :)

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I really think this is the type of thing you should report, regardless of whether you attend. That e-mail thread ought to be sent to the director of admissions with a CC to the graduate school. It's not unprofessional if you don't whine, and it'll help make the process better for all involved.

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My experience with the schools that wait forever to tell you anything is that they just haven't gotten around to rejecting you. In fact I emailed a few schools last year for updates after months, and they responded with the link to the regret letter.

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Exactly the reason I didn't apply to XXXXX university. Their linguistics department is great, but I emailed a professor whose work I was interested in, and didn't receive so much as an acknowledgment of my message. I understand they're busy, but I didn't write said person a novel - just a very short two paragraph message expressing interest and asking a couple of questions. After that I called the department to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions, and the immediate response of the person on the phone was, "Oh... okaaaaaaaay." They were clearly too busy to invest time in the very people who were giving them $80 for a chance to maybe have their applications considered for a few minutes. I am all about giving prestigious programs a shot, but I'm also not willing to crawl across hot coals for a program that treats me like I'm the lucky one for being there. They're lucky to have any of us too. :)

That stinks :( However, I've had several professors (the well-published ones) complain that they are regularly bombarded with emails from hopeful PhD students, especially international students.  They say they wouldn't mind if the students are genuinely interested and qualified, but that usually isn't the case.  Apparently, students routinely send the same email to, like, 5 professors in the department ( just changing the Prof's name and a few words) .  I guess I can understand why they might be tempted to just ignore ALL emails if they have had several bad experiences :/

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Exactly the reason I didn't apply to XXXXX university. Their linguistics department is great, but I emailed a professor whose work I was interested in, and didn't receive so much as an acknowledgment of my message. I understand they're busy, but I didn't write said person a novel - just a very short two paragraph message expressing interest and asking a couple of questions. After that I called the department to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions, and the immediate response of the person on the phone was, "Oh... okaaaaaaaay." They were clearly too busy to invest time in the very people who were giving them $80 for a chance to maybe have their applications considered for a few minutes. I am all about giving prestigious programs a shot, but I'm also not willing to crawl across hot coals for a program that treats me like I'm the lucky one for being there. They're lucky to have any of us too. :)

 

A professor at my alma matter once told me he gets hundreds of emails a day from prospective students. As the poster above mentioned, most of them aren't qualified. If professors made sure to read and respond to each and every email, they wouldn't have time to do anything else. All you can do is send another email forwarding your original email and hope. You can't except them to be at your beck and call when literally thousands of students are trying to do the same each week.

 

Really though, an enormous number of applicants aren't qualified, especially when it comes to the "prestigious programs." Do you realize how busy these people are? Do you really think they have the time to answer a phone call from a random person who statistically isn't prepared for their program anyway? An email or two is fine, a professor can read them if they are so inclined on their own time. A phone call that hasn't been organized in advance though? That essentially forces someone to put down whatever they are doing and respond to you on your time? It's such a massive faux pas I can't believe that you're the one annoyed at them.

Edited by Arcanen
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Do you realize how busy these people are? Do you really think they have the time to answer a phone call from a random person who statistically isn't prepared for their program anyway? An email or two is fine, a professor can read them if they are so inclined on their own time. A phone call that hasn't been organized in advance though? That essentially forces someone to put down whatever they are doing and respond to you on your time? It's such a massive faux pas I can't believe that you're the one annoyed at them.

 When I read that part about the phone call, I thought it sounded like they called the front desk/receptionist for the dept. just to ask that person some general questions... not that they were actually calling up the prof expecting to speak with him...

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Like people have mentioned, you've got to try looking at the situation from their perspective -- in their eyes, everyone that's applied is more or less equal, until they begin reviewing applications. Once they've seen your application, you may not hear back for a while (even if they're fairly confident that they will reject you), because this is a big decision for them, as well. They put the quality of the work coming out of their institution on the line, and thereby their reputation; so, they want to be sure that 1) they let the best applicants they have in, and 2) they don't let anyone in that will be a liability. 

 

My feeling is: you asked for the chance to go to -- and in the case of a Ph.D. be funded by (in some cases) -- their school. Give them the time they need to decide. If you don't want to wait as long as they take, then either ask them what the status is, or move on. I generally agree that if there is no shot of them accepting you, they should let you know as soon as they can -- but who's to say that isn't what happens? Do you have any idea how many people are actively working on applications? Depending on the school / program, it could be a small number of people. Remember, their intention isn't to piss people off; they actually do want people to go to their school, so chances are, they're doing what they can. (I know in some cases, people may neglect the pile of 'rejections', which is unfortunate, and unfriendly. But, other than calling/e-mailing, there isn't much you can do about that. I suppose you could complain, but, they've rejected you; so what do they care?)

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