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Contacting POI/Department For Feedback Following a Rejection


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I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to share their experiences (whether positive or negative) with contacting a POI/Department for feedback following a rejection.  I understand that many psychology departments maintain a "no feedback" policy, however, I can't help wonder if anyone has disregarded this type of instruction in the past and emailed for feedback anyways (e.g., why ultimately they weren't admitted, where they could improve, whether their POI might have a place for them the following year, etc.). 

 

Any opinions/thoughts/discussion would be appreciated!

 

 

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I've sent out some of those emails. Most don't respond. Others told me:

Funding is limited

My GREs are preventing me from getting any serious consideration (apparently most clinical applicants who make it at that school are above 80th and 90th percentile)

They didn't think it would be a good match, even though they considered my application one of the strongest (this is another school, i'm guessing they didnt emphasize the GRE as much.. I didnt do poorly on it, just didnt get above 80th)

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I contacted the majority of my schools (departments) last year.  Most of them didn't reply, but a few did.  Of the ones that did, I believe one gave me a run of the mill response (your application was competitive but we had an overwhelming number of competitive applications, better luck next year), and the others gave me detailed information.  One went as far as to mention other schools that I might want to consider when I reapply, in addition to that school, based on my research interests.  Another basically broke down my application to all the different factors (GPA, GRE, etc.) and gave me very detailed information about where I stood with the other applicants and where she thought I could possibly improve.  I was really grateful for this information because there really wasn't anything substantially wrong with my application and she saw that and really tried to help give me ideas for improvement.

 

It really just depends on the school and the person in charge of answering these emails.  In my opinion, it doesn't hurt to ask.

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My first rejection was Nebraska-Lincoln. It was a bittersweet experience, being that it was not my top choice. I asked for a follow-up from the my contact person, and he informed me that they had already extended all their interviews. I very politely thank him and told him I would reapply next year if I didn't get in anywhere, and he actually offered to give me pointers if I don't get in anywhere.

 

So in this case, I suppose this is the best case scenario, but it certainly has left me thinking it doesn't hurt to ask.

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You should definitely email the prof you put in your statement of purpose.  If you had contact with this prof before applying, you should get a reply.  I have gotten a couple of considerate replies.  That said, I also got two schools who have ignore every email I've sent them.  So, depends on the quality and sensitivity of the individual you have as your contact.  It's worth trying for sure!

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