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Need to formally accept before funding information??


deci:belle

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Is this right?

I've been accepted into one school so far (University at Buffalo), but their email was extremely vague. No date stated as a due date for commitment or no word on financial aid. It more or less said email us back if you accept or deny, and do so promptly. So I called up and asked a few questions, and the person on the phone had no information on any of this. However, she did state I NEEDED to say from now if I accepted or not, to recieve any kind of information on funding or any more information/instructions in general.

Something about this seems odd to me. How am I supposed to make a choice when I do not have the options in front of me? At the rate at which these programs are giving notifications, it is WAY too early for me to accept or deny. What if I accept and another school offers me better funding? Or if I hold out on my choice I could miss opportunities I could have gotten if I replied earlier. Wouldn't I be screwed?
I heard people in the past say you are not obligated to commit by a certain date...(Does anyone know this date for 2014?), but this seems to go directly against that.

 

 

 

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April 15 is the commit date. The problem with programs like the one you are applying to, is that they do not tell you about funding until after you accept their offer. So if you are planning to go there, the earlier you tell them the better because then you will be privy to funding opportunities. So your options are the following:

 

1. Accept at Buffalo, meaning you can not accept anywhere else. You've chosen. You will get funding info from Buffalo.

2. Weigh your options. Wait for all your offers to come in and then decide. If you end up choosing Buffalo you may be at a disadvantage, as people who have chosen earlier will have gotten the better funding packages.

3. Realize that Buffalo is not the place for you, and go somewhere else with a funding system where they don't essentially hold you hostage.

 

Two schools that I was very interested in (and was accepted to) do funding the same way. That was a dealbreaker for me. I personally have to know abut funding before I commit. The choice is of course yours....

Edited by iphi
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This is ridiculous. You have every right to know what you'll be paid before you accept a job. I honestly would not even consider attending a program that wouldn't tell me my salary until after I committed -- it seems likely that the only possible rationale for this is that their stipend isn't livable and they're trying to trap you into it. 

 

I don't know how many options you have or how highly you're considering this school, but if this were me, I would send an email to the director of the graduate program saying that I need to know the stipend to evaluate whether or not I'd like to attend the school, and that I absolutely cannot commit if they won't tell me. 

Edited by elanorci
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I think this probably depends on the discipline/department you are applying to. 

 

I applied to public health schools and at one of my interviews, the school indicated that all/most of the schools of public health have agreed on an approximate date (April) that all those accepted will have to respond by to give them a fair opportunity to hear back from every school they've applied to and some time to consider their decision. No one is required/pressured (at least in theory) to respond before that agreed deadline. 

 

Maybe you can contact someone from the program directly (such as director of programs/chair of the department you applied to/POI) to inquire about the funding situation. For one acceptance, thus far, I was notified via email that I was accepted and then received a letter with the funding being offered/response deadline about a week later. Are you suppose to receive an official letter? If the school has indicated that they will offer you funding, they should be able to tell you prior to receiving your acceptance/rejection to help you make your decision. The only situation where they don't have to is if they don't guarantee funding or indicate that there are scholarships that will be decided at a later time. 

 

Good luck!

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It's the program for sure. Since its a clinical doctorate there is little funding to go around. So a few people get assistantships, it is RARE that someone gets fully/half funded so I'm guessing thats why their so tight lipped about it. 

 

Its like a lose lose situation. Accept with blind faith or wait it out and possibly still lose. This is only 1/6 schools so anything can happen.

 

 

 

1. Accept at Buffalo, meaning you can not accept anywhere else. You've chosen. You will get funding info from Buffalo.

 

 

 If you accept and put down a deposit to one place, is it possible to say no later (accepting the fact that you lost your deposit) and commit to somewhere else?

I did that in undergrad late in the game when another school stepped up, but does that same process not hold up at this level?

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@iammaffyou- that would be a relief. I hope my department does decide the same

 

Definitely email or call the department (someone who actually knows something, like the director of the program)- it is TOTALLY appropriate to ask this, AND to say you can't accept without funding info. Funding is by department NOT school-wide, but I have never heard of a department in any discipline requiring a response before funding info is provide (note: this does happen at foreign institutions though), but it could be the case. I was accepted to Buffalo a few years back (I did not attend so I'm not "in-the-know" or anything), but I did receive funding info before I had to make a decision. But like I said it is department based. So email the department, and also read your program's website very carefully, do they mention funding? Do they guarantee funding (if they don't then, well, you could be out of luck and I certainly wouldn't accept the offer without a firm funding offer)? Do they note funding being decided after matriculation? Also, I hear that in the sciences funding often comes from a certain professors grant, so you could email the professor you would be working with as well. You certainly aren't required to respond immediately, so be patient, ask about funding at UB, and wait to see if you hear from a school that will offer you funding off-the-bat!

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To further elucidate on this matter, as its quite prevalent here, UB has multiple ways to fund students. Some are from the university itself and thus students are accepted prior to receiving an official funding offer to try and secure funding from outside the department. Obviously there are many advantages to that, primarily being the department can accept a student without the financial burden. For example, I was accepted early because the department thought I would be a prime candidate for the Schomburg Fellowship which provides students with a larger stipend and for a longer duration. 

 

My best advice is to contact the faculty member who coordinates everything and ask for more details. Personally, I would do this over the telephone as details are often hard to convey through email. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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I agree - I would also contact the department and tell them that I cannot commit to attending until I had funding information.  That is absurd - how can you commit to going if you don't know how much it will cost?  Seriously, who does that?

 

Personally, if they insisted I would decline their offer on principle.

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I agree - I would also contact the department and tell them that I cannot commit to attending until I had funding information.  That is absurd - how can you commit to going if you don't know how much it will cost?  Seriously, who does that?

 

Personally, if they insisted I would decline their offer on principle.

 

I agree with this. Maybe it's a specific thing to this field though? But otherwise, I would take this as a sign of other bad stuff that might happen if you did attend there!

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This happened to me at another school. My advisor told me to "accept" for the College but that the department knew I would not really come unless/until they came up with an attractive funding package and unless I did not accept an offer from another school. The advisor could not "hunt" for funding for me in the College until I "accepted" the offer of the College. So, I "accepted" the offer from the College but emailed my advisor and the department chair that my acceptance was provisional until a funding offer was made and until I received notification from other schools as I was doing a national search. The professors knew what was going on, and it is hoops jumping. Not all schools do this, so be careful not to offend people by appearing double-faced. I would suggest you see what your advisor recommends and be totally up front with her/him.

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This happened to me at another school. My advisor told me to "accept" for the College but that the department knew I would not really come unless/until they came up with an attractive funding package and unless I did not accept an offer from another school. The advisor could not "hunt" for funding for me in the College until I "accepted" the offer of the College. So, I "accepted" the offer from the College but emailed my advisor and the department chair that my acceptance was provisional until a funding offer was made and until I received notification from other schools as I was doing a national search. The professors knew what was going on, and it is hoops jumping. Not all schools do this, so be careful not to offend people by appearing double-faced. I would suggest you see what your advisor recommends and be totally up front with her/him.

This is great advice! ( tried to upvote, but my finger accidentally pressed down on the tablet. Sorry! :(. ) You really should try and get some more info.

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