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Decision needed when I'm missing information!


jesso21
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School A offered a decent fin aid package to me and wants me to decide by April 17th if I will accept or decline it.

The problem: I haven't heard ANY funding info from Schools B,C, or D. How can I make this decision when I'm missing this info?

Should I contact these other schools and ask them if offers are coming? Who would I contact? What would I even say? Should I just ask School A for an extension on the decision?

I don't want to regret this decision. Has anyone been in a similar position? Thanks for any advice!

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I think you should contact the directors of graduate studies at these other schools and let them know that school A wants you to convey a commitment to them by the 17th and that you would be unable to attend without financial aid and that if school B (or C or D) were to make a fin aid offer to you, you might want to consider attending B (or C or D) instead of A. So tell them that you need a response positively before the 16th at least.

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Who would I contact? What would I even say? Should I just ask School A for an extension on the decision?

Definitely the grad director, and be very simple and tactful about it. Say that you'd like to get a better idea of what financial support the program *typically* offers to incoming students such as yourself. You understand that right now there may not be concrete info on this blah blah but you'd need to have an idea of reliable trends in funding before you can make your final decisions with the admission offers you've received.

That way you don't make it look to them that you don't value their dept, and you also aren't coming off as too demanding. Sometimes a school just doesn't know about funding till sept, but what they almost always know is funding patterns and you can be confident in that you have a right to know the expected funding scenario.

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I'm in the exact same boat--same discipline too. It seems that library schools are under particular stress right now. With only two days to go before decisions are due at two of my schools, I have received financial aid information from none. I emailed every office last week (except for IU's, because they don't have a reply deadline) and asked for an extension. I have received a reply from only one, which didn't actually contain a reply (it was just the text of my email quoted, with someone's signature at the bottom). If they have not replied by the fifteenth, I will send in the card saying I'm coming so they don't take my spot away and then retract later when the packages arrive. It's morally questionable, but I'm not going to let these schools cheat me out of $40k because of inane policies and a penchant for ignoring polite inquiries.

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tkm256,

IU is the only school I've heard from about funding, but they want me to decide by Friday, the 17th...

None of my other schools have said a peep about funding, and now I'm nervous. IU's package is good, but it is crazy to make a decision when I have no clue what's up with these other schools!!

I might ask IU for an extension. I've sent out emails to other schools (one of which was weirdly undeliverable), but no word yet. UGH!

*frets*

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You received funding from IU? I'm so jealous. I'm an IU undergrad and I haven't heard anything, which by this point means "sorry..." Now I'm half tempted to say "On second thought, it would be horrible of you to make the other applicants wait; you should turn it down now so they can give the package to me!" :P

But seriously, I think you should ask for an extension for all the schools, including IU. The secretary here is exceptionally nice, and since there isn't a deadline for everyone else, it isn't very fair that they imposed one on you. Let me know how it works out!

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IU's package is good, but it is crazy to make a decision when I have no clue what's up with these other schools!!

I think it's still possible to make a decision based on just the information you have, if IU is your top/near top choice. They obviously want you, and you say they've offered good funding. It's certainly a great school. If IU is near the bottom of your options, definitely start calling the other schools and see what's up with funding, and ask for an extension from IU. But personally, I think being ignored by a school (a DGS or professor, not secretary) during this phase would not give me a good feeling about the school. I would only bug schools I would go to over IU, if I were funded, and be wary of letting IU think they are your last choice, since you can't accept their offer without hearing from all of your other options.

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There! Jesso21, we've made a decision: IU. Enjoy!

LMAO! After emailing U of Kentucky, they've now offered a funding package too. One that is a bit sweeter than IU.

I know IU has a great reputation, but it is hard not to follow the money. This decision is impossible!

I'll have to ask IU for an extension and make some serious pro/con lists, do some soul searching, and stress about how this decision will change the rest of my life! (oh gawd, how dramatic!) :oops:

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A "bit" sweeter financial deal vs. nationally recognized U. Are they sending the football team over to wake you up with waffles and a morning serenade?

mmm, I can't decide which part of this "funding" package I'd like more.

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A "bit" sweeter financial deal vs. nationally recognized U.

As a Hoosier myself, I'm pro-IU in general, but not for this reason. If the OP was planning on becoming a researcher, reputation would matter; but as a librarian, where he/she earns the degree means next to nothing. It's like nursing or K-12 teaching: employers don't care where you obtained your certification as long as you have it. Work experience is infinitely more important, and most potential librarians choose their school based on geographical convenience and finances as opposed to what's the 'best.' It also isn't the sort of discipline that you need top resources to succeed in.

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tkm256, I agree with what you're saying to a point. . .

But I'm not sure we have enough info on what the OP plans to do careerwise. If the degree is indeed just to "check the box," then yes, it probably doesn't matter (other than maybe missing out on some of the educational resources of IU). However, if the OP anticipates being in a situation where the degree might matter (for example, if OP is considering being an academic librarian), it could give OP a little bit of an edge.

If the "bit" sweeter is $2,000 a year, then I wouldn't let that make the decision. If it's 10k a year difference, then yes, it probably deserves some consideration.

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I'm planning on becoming an academic librarian, and I might return and get my PhD in LS later as well.

The bit sweeter part (while waffles and footballers would be awesome!) is health insurance and $4500 stipend, plus a fellowship that matches that stipend (everything else about the 2 offers is almost equal--jobs+tuition).

**edited to remove the TMI**

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However, if the OP anticipates being in a situation where the degree might matter (for example, if OP is considering being an academic librarian), it could give OP a little bit of an edge.

As an academic librarian, it won't matter where the OP gets his/her MLS; it will matter where he/she gets the degree(s) that come after it. A PhD in library science from IU, or an advanced degree in the specialty (music, medicine, etc.), may carry more weight than the same degree from Kentucky when looking for faculty positions, but we aren't there yet. It isn't necessary to return to the same institution you earned your MLS from to continue to the PhD, and even if the OP chooses to do so Kentucky is still in the top 30 US library schools. That extra health insurance and stipend are "sweets" enough to justify jumping on the other offer.

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