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Unexpected Second-Round Funding from SIPA = DILEMMA


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Grad school is a HUGE decision that isn't to be taken lightly. And the school you choose has a huge impact on your future for multiple reasons. Personally I think you need to take as much time as you need until you are absolutely certain that the school you choose is the one you can commit to wholeheartedly.Clearly Dani hadn't reached that stage if she changed her mind. It was the reason she paid both deposits. Though I agree that now that she has realized she can't give up SIPA she should notify Fletcher as soon as possible. But seriously what is up with all the attacks that go on in these forums? Is the anonymity going to peoples heads? Or is your life so sad that you like to stir up drama? 

 

I do not think either of the previous two people were attacking her to be honest.  The truth hurts sometimes.

 

And I disagree, that you should "take as much time as you need".  There are deadlines for a reason because the adcoms need time to refer to the waitlist if needed.  Everyone else has to obey their guidelines, so what makes her so special?

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If I could like this 1000x I would.    It is awful to think how selfish you are being right now.  What you have done in paying two deposits and simply going "in circles" is certainly not illegal, bu

It's not the fact that "everyone is probably as over this decision" as you are that should make you feel embarrassed.     It's the fact that you're sitting on scholarship money at these institutions

Wow! Okay, first, let me just say that I agree that tying up funding is a pretty selfish thing to do, and that's why there are earlier deadlines for those who receive funding...after which the school

Wow! Okay, first, let me just say that I agree that tying up funding is a pretty selfish thing to do, and that's why there are earlier deadlines for those who receive funding...after which the school can reallocate funding to alternate students should someone turn down their offer.

 

However, as one of these second-round funding recipients at SIPA, I had actually already paid my non-refundable deposit to Fletcher BEFORE I found out about my SIPA funding. After being notified of my SIPA fellowship, I only had 5 days before their deadline, which simply was not enough time to make a decision, especially as I had not attended their open house. So yes, I paid their deposit as well to buy myself some extra time to connect with current students and alumni and get more information on the program. As Hlove said (and thank you), this is a huge decision for both my present and my future and even with the funding it is the biggest financial decision I have ever made. I simply cannot restrict such a decsion to 5 days.

 

Lastly, the May 1 deadline I was given for SIPA was also the last deadline for both Fletcher and SIPA. So, at that point, all students had to have made their decisions already. So after May 1, my turning down funding at one of these schools will only mean a pleasant surprise to a student who has already accepted their offer. It will be too late to act as a factor in their decision. As for the waitlisted students, my spot will still go to one of them when I finalize my decision in the next few days. At that point they will likely have to make a decision similar to mine - they've probably already made a deposit to another school and have mentally committed themselves to attending it, and now they'll have a completely different option to consider and a short time frame to do so. Such is the nature of the waitlist... It is an extremely difficult situation to be in, and I can certainly empathize. But I will not jeapordize my future by making a hasty decision simply to put them in this same position a few days earlier than they will be after I make a more informed decision.

 

Believe me, had I received funding from SIPA outright, I would have attended both open houses and used the month or so you're given to make an informed decision and meet the specified deadlines. I certainly wouldn't have paid both non-refundable deposits and lost $500-1000. However, that wasn't the case. While my decision trajectory isn't the norm, neither was my funding decision. I am simply making the best of a complicated and confusing situation. Come May 19th, I will have given myself a full month to decide at which school I will be dropping upwards 80K and spending the next two years of my life...I feel like that's a fair thing to do.

Edited by DaniCM
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Dani, I agree that your only making the best out of a great, but confusing situation. I committed to SIPA immediately upon receiving my acceptance because my excitement and interest in being there far outweighed my other acceptances (JH w/o IDEV :(, GW, American, and NYU). I think you should take your time as long as you are being fair.

 

That said, I have done a ton of research into SIPA due to my slightly obsessive compulsive nature (courses, opportunities, etc.) If you have any questions about anything that might make your decision easier let me know. I also currently live in Boston so I'm familiar with the nature of living here. Feel free to PM me or send me a message on the SIPA google group!

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If I could like this 1000x I would. 

 

It is awful to think how selfish you are being right now.  What you have done in paying two deposits and simply going "in circles" is certainly not illegal, but it is unethical and defeats the good faith that all of these schools have put on you to weigh the pros/cons and make a decision in a timely manner.  You had plenty of time to make up your mind.  Just go to the "Waiting it out" section on this forum and read about the people who are still waiting to get into ONE school.  The longer you hold out means that one person on the Fletcher waitlist is going to miss out on his/her dream school and be forced to enroll elsewhere.  I understand that this is a major decision in your life, but it is rather disgusting to think that you might be one of my classmates at SIPA this fall because of what you are doing. 

 

Am I being too harsh on some random on an internet forum? Yeah, probably. Am I going to get a bunch of negatives?  Maybe.  Just grow up a little and think about the bigger picture.

 

 

I'm sorry I disgust you as a possible classmate, be sure I wont bother you trying to friends...

 

However, I certainly didn't have plenty of time to make a decision. SIPA gave me 5 days to make a decision. Yes, I had looked into SIPA enough to know I wanted to apply and researched them while waiting for their decision, but getting no funding from SIPA initially was tantamount to a rejection. As such, I wrote SIPA off. I committed mentally and fiscally to Fletcher at that point and didn't attend any of SIPA's admitted student events, nor did I look into the admitted student resources, nor did I compare SIPA to Fletcher to see which was the best fit for me. What was the point if I knew I wasn't going to go? I had no indication I was being considered for second round funding. It wasn't until after I paid my deposit to Fletcher and only 5 days before the final deadline to decide I found out about my SIPA funding. Had I at least known I was on a funding waitlist I would have gone to all the SIPA events...but I thought that dream was dead in the water and I wasn't going to torture myself and waste money attending events for a school I couldn't afford.

 

Personally, I don't consider 5 days plenty of time to make an 80-90k decision that will impact so much of my life and future.

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Dani, I agree that your only making the best out of a great, but confusing situation. I committed to SIPA immediately upon receiving my acceptance because my excitement and interest in being there far outweighed my other acceptances (JH w/o IDEV :(, GW, American, and NYU). I think you should take your time as long as you are being fair.

 

That said, I have done a ton of research into SIPA due to my slightly obsessive compulsive nature (courses, opportunities, etc.) If you have any questions about anything that might make your decision easier let me know. I also currently live in Boston so I'm familiar with the nature of living here. Feel free to PM me or send me a message on the SIPA google group!

 

Thanks so much, Denisse! I've seen you post on the google group. I'll definitely PM you for some info. I appreciate your understanding and your offer to help inform my decision.

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Date of post announcing that you'd received 2nd round funding from SIPA = April 22

 

Final decision deadline, Fletcher and SIPA = May 1

 

Today's date = May 16

 

SMH.

 

You started this thread because you wanted advice, so here's mine: land the plane.  Nothing is going to change in the next three days.  And the choice of one elite program over another or one great American city over another WILL NOT drastically alter your life's trajectory.

 

PS.  I sincerely hope for your sake that the admissions officers at the school you end up declining don't decide to call their colleagues at the other institution to try to get your funding revoked.  I've seen it happen before...and it's awful.  

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Date of post announcing that you'd received 2nd round funding from SIPA = April 22

 

Final decision deadline, Fletcher and SIPA = May 1

 

Today's date = May 16

 

SMH.

 

You started this thread because you wanted advice, so here's mine: land the plane.  Nothing is going to change in the next three days.  And the choice of one elite program over another or one great American city over another WILL NOT drastically alter your life's trajectory.

 

PS.  I sincerely hope for your sake that the admissions officers at the school you end up declining don't decide to call their colleagues at the other institution to try to get your funding revoked.  I've seen it happen before...and it's awful.  

 

Excuse me, I had 10 days to decide before the final decision for both schools. That was a genuine mistake on which week I got the SIPA funding offer. But everything else is still correct, including the fact I'd like to give myself one full month to decide. I still think one month is a reasonable amount of time and I disagree with you on the magnitude of this decision.

 

Additionally, since I had already paid the deposit to Fletcher before the SIPA funding decision, I would have absolutely no choice but to pay two deposits should SIPA be my ultimate choice. That fact would remain even if I had commited to SIPA the day they gave me the funding offer.

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Stooooooooopppppp Iiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!

 

This is silly. Dani, I certainly don't feel you have to defend yourself here. Your prerogative is your prerogative. This is a huge moment for you. There was space needed for you to properly decide, and you are fortunate that you were provided more time. It also sounds like you're trying to be as thoughtful as you can be to others. Kudos. 

 

No one here knows all of the personal variables that you are calculating, nor the realties that you are facing. The AdComm likely deals with situations like yours every year, and I'm sure they have mechanisms in place to safeguard themselves as well.

 

I, personally, don't think you can go wrong. Best of luck moving forward!

Edited by Damis
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Here is a suggestion. If you really feel like you have nothing to hide and that your decision was justified contact both schools and explain to them about your double deposit.  If they are understanding about your situation then I'm sure "Are we there yet?" and you can meet at SIPA and (s)he would be happy to eat some crow pie.  Keeping them in the dark now for two weeks is just wrong in my opinion.

Edited by hova1
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SIPA does know about the double deposit. When I spoke with their admissions office about my fellowship offer, one of the things we discussed was my funding offer from Fletcher and the fact I had already made a depost. As Damis pointed out, these things happen each year and schools have mechanisms for dealing with it. In fact, one of the things they mentioned at Fletcher's open house is that admitted students aren't granted access to most Fletcher resources (such as career listings and internship databases) until after matriculating, as not all admits who make deposits end up attending in the fall.

 

Anyway, I honestly don't know why I'm expelling so much energy defending myself on such a personal and serious decision. Like I said, I'm doing the best I can given my circumstance and timeline. I'm trying to be as considerate as I can to those my ultimate decision will affect, but first and foremost my decision will have the biggest impact on me, and I can't disregard that. I find it interesting and unfortunate how quickly people will turn on you with such little consideration to the specifics of your situation and without giving regard to the fact that there are likely a plethora of personal factors at play. Anyway, thank you to those who have been understanding and have bothered to voice their support and offered constructive advice and/or assistance.

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Damn, this is getting absurd. I think we are just arguing over each other.  One side that feels you should just take your time and the other saying that you are just asking for bad karma.  But hey that is life, right?  Just one question my roommate had a Tufts deadline of 4/19 and she got $ too. Did you really have until May 1?  Seems strange that there would that long a window.

 

As you know, I disagree with you how you have done it so far but we will be spending the next two years in NY with a couple hundred other overeager people (google group emails every 5 min are getting annoying lol) so we will have plenty of time to argue about ethical qualms and lots of IR issues in person. I'm thinking about EPD and Media Communications. What about you?

 

Lastly, I am more than happy to eat crow if you call the adcoms and explain your situation. I think you will be surprised by their reaction.  But if I'm wrong, I'll take two servings.  See you in the fall.

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Okay, granted she may be tying up funding and this is a less than ideal way to go about things, but the situation itself seems less than ideal and out of the norm. To say she "disgusts" you is WAY out of proportion to the situation at hand. Jesus, there are some real drama queens on this board...

Anyway, Dani, sorry to hear you probably won't be at Fletcher, since you were one of the original major cheerleaders for it on this board and I've somewhat come to associate it with you and a couple others on here, but best of luck at SIPA!

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Jesus. These forums are ridiculous sometimes. Even if you think she has taken an excessive amount of time, it's not anyone's place to try to publicly shame her for it, especially if you have no actual stake in the outcome (which some of you clearly don't). Now that I think about it, it wasn't anyone's place to report someone's activity in a private Google group on a public board in the first place, and I regret it ever happened. 

@are we there yet? You can change the Google group settings so you can get fewer e-mails (or none). 

Edited by soaps
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I know I've already said it, but I'd like to reiterate my gratitude for those who have demonstrated understanding for my situation, and especially to those who, even if they think I took longer than they might have, have not used this incident as a justification to personally attack my character or publically harangue me. You certainly didn't have to put yourself out there to defend me or de-escalate the situation, and I truly appreciate your kindness in doing so. People can get carried away with the anonymity of the internet, and sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are speaking to actual people even if it is online.

 

After careful deliberation this weekend, I made my final decision. I am attending SIPA in the fall. I emailed Fletcher this morning, and received a very kind email wishing me the best in my choice and actually thanking me for informing them so early in the summer. (which probably indicates that similar decisions to mine are made each year, and some much later in the summer.) I then received a second email from the director restating well wishings and thanking me for my interest in Fletcher. The response from Fletcher was entirely opposite of the caustic response I received from some here. It is also demonstrative of Fletcher's overall positive and supportive community, which I am disappointed to say I will not be apart of come fall. 

 

To all my would-be classmates at Fletcher, I wish you all the absolute very best this fall and throughout your studies. I hope to meet many of you following graduation as we begin our careers or during career trips to NYC and DC. I have no doubt that Fletcher will be amazing and I'm sure there will be days I'll second-guess myself and wonder what life at Fletcher would have been like.

 

To those headed to SIPA, I'll see you this fall. As I've operated under considerably less anonymity than most (my name is Dani and my personal photo is displayed with everything I post), I'm sure you'll spot me at some point. Feel free to say hi. I'll be interested to see how people will treat me in person compated to what they've felt comfortable saying online.

 

Anyway, I really excited to begin grad school in the fall and for all that lays ahead of us. Best of luck to everyone and thanks for a wonderful ride and for sharing your experience. Should anyone in the future reading this find themselves in a situation similar to mine, please don't hessitate to contact me.

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