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Reccomendations for next Years applicants


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Hello,

As were winding down towards decisions, I think it would be interesting to compile some feedback on what recommendations people have for next years students. 

 

To start it off, I think it would be helpful to get an honest assessment from someone close to the process about your chances (perhaps someone at your school on the admissions committee), that way you know what range of school to apply to. As cyberwulf pointed out on the admissions thread, it seems that results are more tiered that I had previously expected going in.

 

If anyone else has any other insight, (international, masters, PHD, funding), feel free to post here

 

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If you come from a lower ranked or less well-known school, make sure you get the strongest letters of recommendation that you posibly can (i.e. make sure that the professor can give specific examples of your work in their class and your research potential, that they will say you are in the top 10% of students they've ever taught, etc.). That is the best way to level the playing field with applicants from more elite undergraduate institutions.

 

I also agree that you should try to get a sense of what schools to apply to, but I would add that it doesn't hurt to throw in a few "reach" schools (if you have the money). Just do not make the mistake of making your list too top-heavy (I think I made that mistake).

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One mistake I made was that I focused my search too much on specific research interests. I wish I had been more flexible and applied to more good schools that, while not a screamingly obvious fit for my interests, were good all-around programs. I'd recommend this especially for those coming straight out of undergrad, since you almost certainly haven't done enough research or taken enough coursework to know for sure what you'd like to write a thesis on, so flexibility in that regard is good.

 

 

If you come from a lower ranked or less well-known school, make sure you get the strongest letters of recommendation that you posibly can (i.e. make sure that the professor can give specific examples of your work in their class and your research potential, that they will say you are in the top 10% of students they've ever taught, etc.). That is the best way to level the playing field with applicants from more elite undergraduate institutions.

 

I also agree that you should try to get a sense of what schools to apply to, but I would add that it doesn't hurt to throw in a few "reach" schools (if you have the money). Just do not make the mistake of making your list too top-heavy (I think I made that mistake).

 

Agree with all of this. I only had the confidence to apply to top schools because I knew I would have strong letters, and even then I got rejected from most of the ones I applied to. And it's good to ask people knowledgable of admissions for an honest assessment of where you'll get in. It seems that stat programs are getting more competitive, however, so try to find someone who's involved with it now vs. was involved with it years ago.

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