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Fully funded acceptance offer: How do I respond if I am already attending a recruitment weekend?


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Hey all,


I got an invitation to a recruitment weekend to a university (my 2nd choice) on Monday, and from what I hear, it's like an unofficial acceptance.  They're inviting me and a handful of other candidates to visit the campus and meet the faculty for a weekend, all expenses paid.  


Later that same day, I received an email from my 1st choice's DGS saying that I had been accepted with a Teaching Assistantship, including tuition waiver and a generous stipend.


I've been told by my advisor, family, friends, and current grad students to weigh my options and attend the recruitment day at my second choice.  I do think that is a good idea.  


However, I inquired from my top choice about a deadline for a decision (only after expressing how thankful and honored I was by their acceptance and generous offer).  


They said there is no decision deadline except for "as soon as possible," and that the TAships are very precious (I definitely can see why!! So generous!), so they'd like to know ASAP so they can offer someone my TAship if I do not attend.


Now, they did say that they would wait for my decision because they really want me to be the one to have the position.  So I'm not rationally worried about the school revoking my funding if I don't make a decision lickety-split.  


So, my questions are as follows:


1. Is waiting until after March 4 (when my recruitment weekend ends) too long to make a decision, given that their "deadline" is ASAP rather than April 15?


2. Is giving this university a solid date (after March 4) an appropriate move, or should I just stick with "I'll give you my decision as soon as possible?"

Edited by gingin6789
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I had a similar dilemma. I told them that I needed time to decide in order to make the best decision for where to go (I hadn't been accepted to the other schools but I was attending interviews). Then I asked for a few weeks. In your case, sometime after March 4th. My rationale is that the schools want us to make a good decision and a little extra time wouldn't hurt. We still have plenty of time before the April 15th deadline!

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March 4th should be fine and it's still fairly early that they can make the offer to someone else if you should choose to go elsewhere. 


I would ask your top choice school about a visit as well. I wouldn't want to take an offer without visiting and talking to people, even if it was my "top choice" prior to the visit. For efficiency, perhaps they can even schedule it before March 4th. 


In your shoes, I would just tell the top choice school up front that I was considering an offer from my second choice school too, and that I am visiting that school on March 4th and that I would make a decision shortly after visiting that program (and top choice program if a visit is possible).

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MPP, sociologynerd, and Takeru, you have all been so helpful!  Thank you very much for your advice! I asked my thesis advisor as well, and she concurs with all of you.


She also mentioned that perhaps we should ask about the second school's offer and when it might be official, but then she said we could chat more about it tomorrow.  I'll be meeting and having dinner with a POI from the second choice school this weekend at a conference, too, so we might be able to get some information from her, too!


Takeru, that is a great idea!  I have visited the campus before (one of the reasons it is my top choice), but I haven't met anyone there yet!

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