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Question about the structure of admissions:


dgswaim
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I was wondering whether someone might be able to shed some light on this for me. One of the many schools to which I've applied is Baylor, and I don't know, strictly speaking, whether or not i should read anything at all into the fact that they've sent out a number of rejection notices at this point, and so far I've yet to hear anything. I guess I was wondering whether or not anyone might know something that I don't about the structure of admissions so as to suggest that this should be taken as a positive sign, or conversely that it is completely meaningless. I come from an undergrad institution with no grad students, so I know very little about this sort of thing. I appreciate anyone that who might be willing to indulge me on this. Thanks.

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I was wondering whether someone might be able to shed some light on this for me. One of the many schools to which I've applied is Baylor, and I don't know, strictly speaking, whether or not i should read anything at all into the fact that they've sent out a number of rejection notices at this point, and so far I've yet to hear anything. I guess I was wondering whether or not anyone might know something that I don't about the structure of admissions so as to suggest that this should be taken as a positive sign, or conversely that it is completely meaningless. I come from an undergrad institution with no grad students, so I know very little about this sort of thing. I appreciate anyone that who might be willing to indulge me on this. Thanks.

 

As far as I understand it, the usual procedure is to first focus on elimination and then, once a small enough pool is left, start looking really hard to decide who to send offers to and who to wait-list. 

 

Baylor is pretty unusual in sending our rejections first. It's not clear whether they do that in waves (elimination 100 students at a time or something) or all at once. Still, you can probably feel confident you survived the first cut. 

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Thanks for that. I feel like I know so very little about what's going on. It feels as though there's a thick veil of secrecy behind which these committees tinker with our destinies. I feel like a chess novice trying to read the moves of a master... though I'm sure its not nearly so bad as it seems to me.

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As far as I understand it, the usual procedure is to first focus on elimination and then, once a small enough pool is left, start looking really hard to decide who to send offers to and who to wait-list. 

 

Baylor is pretty unusual in sending our rejections first. It's not clear whether they do that in waves (elimination 100 students at a time or something) or all at once. Still, you can probably feel confident you survived the first cut. 

 

My understanding is different (but not necessarily "correct"):  Departments usually send out acceptances, then wait-lists, then rejections, in that order.  Almost always the acceptances go first, but steps two and three are sometimes switched.  I.e. Acceptances, rejections, wait-lists.  

 

Keep in mind a number of other things, among them: one, it may be that the responsibility of contacting people is divided among several members of faculty over many days; two, some departments don't send out wait-list notifications.  On that latter point, some departments (notably UCLA, historically*) send out acceptances and hold off on rejections for weeks, gradually sending acceptances as needed.  In effect, everyone is wait-listed until accepted or rejected.

 

There's always another possibility.  Something got lost along the way.  Perhaps the department/university attempted to contact you.

 

If acceptances, wait-lists, AND rejections have been sent out, and if you still haven't heard, I recommend that you contact the department.

 

*So I'm told by a former student.

Edited by ianfaircloud
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My understanding is different (but not necessarily "correct"):  Departments usually send out acceptances, then wait-lists, then rejections, in that order.  Almost always the acceptances go first, but steps two and three are sometimes switched.  I.e. Acceptances, rejections, wait-lists.  

 

I don't think our understandings differ (at least with respect to what you describe). That's definitely the normal order for sending things out (I mentioned that Baylor was unusual if they sent out rejections first).

 

However, my understanding is that when evaluating applications they focus on narrowing the pool first, which usually doesn't mean rejecting people officially (because they hold off on that until much later) but it does mean excluding them from the pool of applicants that are initially accepted or wait-listed. I inferred from that that if Baylor was only sending out rejections, they may prioritize elimination both in evaluation and in sending out notification.

Edited by Monadology
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So far Baylor has only sent out rejections... or at least, the only results posted thus far have been rejections.

 

Oh, I must have overlooked that in the results postings.  If that's the case, then as we all seem to agree, that's very unusual. 

 

I think your qualification is important: "the only results posted . . . have been rejections."  I could engage in some serious speculation here, but I won't.  However, I would not be surprised if many of the first-round admits to Baylor don't post their results on TGR.

 

I don't think our understandings differ (at least with respect to what you describe). That's definitely the normal order for sending things out (I mentioned that Baylor was unusual if they sent out rejections first).

 

However, my understanding is that when evaluating applications they focus on narrowing the pool first, which usually doesn't mean rejecting people officially (because they hold off on that until much later) but it does mean excluding them from the pool of applicants that are initially accepted or wait-listed. I inferred from that that if Baylor was only sending out rejections, they may prioritize elimination both in evaluation and in sending out notification.

 

Yes, agreed.  I see your point here.

Edited by ianfaircloud
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Well... if nothing else it seems that my application wasn't so repulsive that it was rejected right off. If that counts as anything, I'll count it as a good and pretend to myself that there's no such thing as confirmation bias. 

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Well... if nothing else it seems that my application wasn't so repulsive that it was rejected right off. If that counts as anything, I'll count it as a good and pretend to myself that there's no such thing as confirmation bias. 

 

Hahaha!  Good attitude.  There IS a real possibility that, in this case especially, no news is good news.  So I think there's reason to be optimistic.  There's definitely reason to drink tonight.

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Well... if nothing else it seems that my application wasn't so repulsive that it was rejected right off. If that counts as anything, I'll count it as a good and pretend to myself that there's no such thing as confirmation bias. 

 

I don't want to rain on your parade, dgswaim, but I wouldn't infer that your application was not, according to Baylor, "repulsive." The first UNC rejections went out on the first or second of February (if memory serves), and yet I didn't receive my rejection until yesterday (the 5th). Moreover, according to the results page, the rejection emails sent on the first or second were written by a member of the philosophy department, whereas mine, and that of at least one other person rejected on the 5th, was an automated email written by the dean of the graduate school. I inferred from all of that that I was really rejected. I wasn't even good enough to be let down by a philosopher. ... Hopefully, Baylor does things differently! :) Good luck!

Edited by DHumeDominates
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I don't want to rain on your parade, dgswaim, but I wouldn't infer that your application was not, according to Baylor, "repulsive." The first UNC rejections went out on the first or second of February (if memory serves), and yet I didn't receive my rejection until yesterday (the 5th). Moreover, according to the results page, the rejection emails sent on the first or second were written by a member of the philosophy department, whereas mine, and that of at least one other person rejected on the 5th, was an automated email written by the dean of the graduate school. I inferred from all of that that I was really rejected. I wasn't even good enough to be let down by a philosopher. ... Hopefully, Baylor does things differently! :) Good luck!

I'm all too aware that this could very well be the case. Please, however, do not rob me of my delusions. ; )

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