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How To Say "NO" politely to Advisor?


faccha

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Hi guys..

I got an admit from "Univ of Michigan, AA" into PhD program and have been in contact with my advisor. In fact i did my summer internship under the same professor in last summers. So, it was pretty obvious that I would get through and we have been in contact for last half year .

But i just got a MS offer from UTA (full funding). And i am planning to go there. But today, Michigan Prof mailed me and asked me if I had made up my mind about where to go? And stuff..

I don't know how to say No in a good way that wont hamper my relations (which are very good btw) with that prof. Could any1 please help me?

Thanks in advance

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Hi guys..

I got an admit from "Univ of Michigan, AA" into PhD program and have been in contact with my advisor. In fact i did my summer internship under the same professor in last summers. So, it was pretty obvious that I would get through and we have been in contact for last half year .

But i just got a MS offer from UTA (full funding). And i am planning to go there. But today, Michigan Prof mailed me and asked me if I had made up my mind about where to go? And stuff..

I don't know how to say No in a good way that wont hamper my relations (which are very good btw) with that prof. Could any1 please help me?

Thanks in advance

So I take it that "Univ of Michigan, AA" didn't offer you funding and that is why you are saying no to them? Or is UTA a better fit, or higher ranked in your field? Otherwise I'm not sure why you would turn down a Ph.D. offer for a MS offer.

If it is the funding, you could use that to explain why you are saying no.

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They understand that they're not going to get every student who is offered admission. What they really want to know is WHY you're saying no and WHERE you're going instead (although you're not obligated to tell them either).

I would say something like "Dr. X, This year, I was lucky to receive several competitive offers from stellar programs, including Michigan's PhD progam. I have given all offers of admission much thought, and I have made the very difficult decision to attend UTA this fall. Please understand that this decision has been principally financial in nature, as I understand this has been a tough year for graduate programs all over the country. I offer my most sincere gratitude for your consideration, the best of luck to your incoming cohort, and the hope that we may work together professionally at some point in the future. I will submit a formal notice of my withdrawal shortly [if they require it]"

PLEASE DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THAT, ANYBODY. I can't tell you how many times at my job I've received the same wording from several people on something that is supposed to express sincerity. Really sad.

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I would say something like "Dr. X, This year, I was lucky to receive several competitive offers from stellar programs, including Michigan's PhD progam. I have given all offers of admission much thought, and I have made the very difficult decision to attend UTA this fall. Please understand that this decision has been principally financial in nature, as I understand this has been a tough year for graduate programs all over the country. I offer my most sincere gratitude for your consideration, the best of luck to your incoming cohort, and the hope that we may work together professionally at some point in the future. I will submit a formal notice of my withdrawal shortly [if they require it]"

The warning in CAPS may not be sufficient for me to resist the temptation of copy pasting this awesome (reverse) rejection email. ;) Just kidding..

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Thanks a lot guys ..

but actually, it has nothing to do with funding bcoz U Mich is also offering me 100% funding.. its just that I feel too young to go into PhD program(I am 20).. I might continue for PhD after my MS, but i haven't decided that yet.

So if the decision is not due to financial reason, what should i say then?

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Thanks a lot guys ..

but actually, it has nothing to do with funding bcoz U Mich is also offering me 100% funding.. its just that I feel too young to go into PhD program(I am 20).. I might continue for PhD after my MS, but i haven't decided that yet.

So if the decision is not due to financial reason, what should i say then?

Why do you feel too young to go into a Ph.D. program?

Just sincerely thank them for their consideration and support of your application to their program. Let them know that it was not an easy decision. Then you should be fine.

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Thanks a lot guys ..

but actually, it has nothing to do with funding bcoz U Mich is also offering me 100% funding.. its just that I feel too young to go into PhD program(I am 20).. I might continue for PhD after my MS, but i haven't decided that yet.

So if the decision is not due to financial reason, what should i say then?

"Too young"? I know someone who started a Ph.D. program at 18.

That doesn't make much sense as a reason not to go. If you go to U Mich and decide you don't want to get a Ph.D. you can leave with a MA. If you go to a MA program now, you'll have to go through this whole application process again, and if you change schools some of your credits might not transfer and it would therefore take longer to get your degree.

Anyway, you've gotten some good advice on how to turn them down.

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