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DO NOT apply to Wisconsin Madison


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I don't think its wrong for public universities to prefer people who fund them (through taxes) over people who haven't contributed any money to the institution. Furthermore those tax payer dollars allow the schools to educate more students, and the goal of these universities is to educate its citizens. THAT IS THE SOLE REASON THEY EXIST.

By the way, I think that you should make a distinction between undergrads and grad students here.

And I don't think that that's the sole reason they exist. Universities can also be seen as research institutes. However, research does not exist only for undergrads... That's absurd. 

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Hi everybody!   I promised to myself to let students who live outside the US know about the way Wisconsin Madison treated me last year.  Here's the story:   I applied to the Genetics program. My B

Move on, you shouldn't be surprised that a state-funded university serves citizens first. Are you also going to complain that the US government creates grants which require those it funds be US citize

The verdict is in: Grad Cafe has no problem with the prospect of an international student spending many hours on an application and paying $100 and having zero probability of acceptance.

By the way, I think that you should make a distinction between undergrads and grad students here.

And I don't think that that's the sole reason they exist. Universities can also be seen as research institutes. However, research does not exist only for undergrads... That's absurd. 

 

 

I am talking about graduate students. We all understand your point. You just had unrealistic expectations, and are now calling an institution unethical. 

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Yeah... That's exactly what I said... That UWM is an unethical institution... Could you please stop inventing what I said? 

 

I said that I believe that the way the genetics department is managing the graduate admissions is unethical. I have no idea how you jumped from this to the idea that I'm calling an institution unethical. 

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All playing devils advocate here, but I wonder how many of us, both domestic and international, had applications that were never reviewed and we never knew any better. Unfortunatly in order to receive an education you have to play the game and the system, no matter how unfair or unethical you may think it is.

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That seems like a bizarre way to handle applicants from outside the U.S. I mean, if money is the problem, they could just cap the reimbursement at the rate of domestic students, which is what a lot of the schools did.

I read the same FAQ that Justin123 quoted above:  it also states that International applicants who meet the admissions criteria are "often" invited to participate in an interview via telephone.

 

http://www.genetics.wisc.edu/PHDGradProgram.htm

 

  

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Also, according to the University of Wisconsin, they have one of the highest rates of International students of all U.S. universities.  

http://www.iss.wisc.edu

 

I saw this claim and I checked their numbers -- they have 4700 international students (according to the Director's letter) and a total population of 42000 students, so this is about 11%. Most state schools are in the ~10% ballpark, so while 11% might barely beat 10%, it's a pretty weak claim.

 

And state schools have much smaller rates than private schools. Harvard has 4,500 international students out of 28,000 students, which is about 16%, however the population of international students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is 34% (http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/dean_and_administration/gsas_fact_sheet.php). Similarly, at my current (also private) school, 40% of students are international.

 

So, while UW-M could have "one of" the highest international student populations in the US (i.e. perhaps right behind all of the private schools, which there aren't too many of), I would say that it is only marginally higher and not really a significant statistic!

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Yeah... That's exactly what I said... That UWM is an unethical institution... Could you please stop inventing what I said? 

 

I said that I believe that the way the genetics department is managing the graduate admissions is unethical. I have no idea how you jumped from this to the idea that I'm calling an institution unethical. 

 

Every school in the US has the ability to ignore people below a certain bar (GRE, GPA, experience, etc.) and every year that standard can shift. If the bar one year is exceptionally high from the profiles of the cheap students (aka domestic and permanent residents) then no one else will be considered. It is exactly the same as having a GPA cutoff. They are in no way obligated to do anything and when they have everyone they need, they stop wasting time looking for more. 

 

There is only X amount of funding, once its gone, then there is NO MORE money to give. Why bother reviewing applications when you can't offer any more admissions?

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Interesting argument that shows quite a bit about how people interpret ambiguous terms in different ways. Like "application fee" or "processing". I find myself pretty much leaning toward Justin123's point of view, which is that in exchange for his application fee, his application should have been evaluated by someone qualified to make the evaluation. I don't feel this is "entitlement" or "whiny" or someone complaining about not getting into a school or into a safety school. I think it's reasonable to expect service for payment. Had the university made it clear what the application fee was not to pay for evaluation of the application, I don't think Justin123 would have made this thread in the first place.

 

But, to review:

 

1. The student paid the university an application fee.

2. The student submitted the application.

 

What should the student then reasonably expect in exchange for the money spent on the application fee?

 

1. That the application will be reviewed by at least one person with the qualifications to evaluate the suitability of the student.

or 2. That the application will be "processed", which has an ambiguous meaning that involves anything from full adcomm review to a low-paid office worker sorting applications into stacks based on predetermined criteria that he or she has absolutely no say in and, further, who possesses no qualifications for evaluating the suitability of the application in any event. He or she might even be a computer program.

 

In other words, in exchange for the application fee, what responsibilities does the graduate school have and the individual program have in regards to that application? The essential disagreement seems to be this:

 

1. The application should be reviewed by the adcomm.

vs. 2. The application should be processed, that is, put into the system by people not qualified to evaluate an applicant's suitability, where it will be available for review should the adcomm choose to review it.

 

My belief is that in exchange for an application fee, each application should be evaluated at some point by someone qualified to evaluate the applicant's suitability. In this view, what the program did to some international applicants is unethical. Though, frankly, I would be shocked if there was a program on the planet that didn't believe that their only responsibility toward an application in exchange for an application fee was to have some low-wage peon put it in the system, if a computer program didn't already do that for them.

 

Additionally, the OP's emailer is a PR moron. American business institutions have perfected the art of prevarication. S/he should be fired for being so honest.

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In no case, ever, does the money collected in application fees pay for a "qualified" person (i.e., admissions committee) to review the applications. 

 

They all do that for free. 

 

It does pay for a full time person to manage graduate applications and admission at the university. 

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I think learning to take rejection gracefully is a good goal before graduate school. If you can't handle being turned down, you are in for a rough ride in academia. It happens to all of us at times. No need to hold grudges. 

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Wow. This is like Logic 101:

   1. We complete reviews, interviews, and admissions for applicants within the U.S. borders first.
   2. We then review external applicants.

   3. Frequently, [the] first phase fills the slots available.

 

Does it follow from this policy that international applicants should not apply? (no)
Does it follow from this policy that international applicants are ever not fully reviewed? (no)

Does it follow from this policy that international applicants might have a harder time getting in? (yes)

Does it follow from this policy that international applicants frequently fail to get admitted due simply to the number of seats available? (yes)

 

However:

 

Have you read the e-mail that the OP posted? Take another look. Read it a few times. Read the part that I highlighted. The admissions committee member stated that international applications are frequently not reviewed.

 

Let me make a real simple word problem for you. If all positions are filled in phase 1, what is the probability that an applicant in phase 2 is accepted? There's a brain buster.

 

The application fee does not require that they accept you, or have enough seats for all highly qualified applicants.

If it means anything ethically it is that they must 'review' you. Reread their stated policy. They review everyone.

Edited by elkheart
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