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Advice on a Canadian Offer?


lore

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I know there's some kind of agreement of generally respecting a reasonable timeframe for accepting offers in the United States, but I am not aware of such a thing in Canada.

 

I'm currently applying four places to do a masters degree and I have heard from one of them so far. They have offered me some funding for my first year (which should cover the tuition) and the program looks really cool. However, they want a response by the end of Feb and I'm worried that I won't hear back from the other schools I applied to in time to make an informed decision. I had hoped to contrast this program (English Language) against the best of the Linguistics programs that I was accepted to (ranked U of T, SFU, and then UVic).

 

I've also applied for SSHRC funding (CGS-M) which I won't know about until later on.

 

If I were to accept the offer, and I really am interested, would it be possible to go elsewhere if another institution offered more funding or the CGS-M?

 

 

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You could try contacting the other programs and telling them you have an early deadline, and ask if they can tell you anything about your status. I did this, and half of my remaining programs gave me useful information as a result (including one acceptance). You can also ask for an extension on your current offer.

 

I think it is generally possible, but not recommended, to rescind your acceptance and accept another offer later. I would avoid this if at all possible.

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SFU often does this. 

Some people who were there longer than I was have told me that the U does this to try to get people to commit before they can get potentially better offers elsewhere. I do not know this for a fact, however, but given my own experience with the admin, I would not doubt it too much.

 

But since you say UBC does this too, it may well be one of those areas where some provincial practices are out of step with everyone else. 

 

 

I myself have come to this conclusion, if I were starting all over again:

 

Both UBC and SFU draw from many international applicants, and are well integrated into general North American standards and practices. They know full well about the April standard, yet still put forward their own February deadlines.

 

Therefore, there is nothing ethically unsound with telling them yes but still potentially accepting elsewhere and backing out later. Accepted applicants in my own department have done so, and the departments, while disappointed, are probably used to it. So if I was you, I would not internalize the blame for a situation BC unfairly places on applicants. Keep all your options open. Tell them 'yes' but see what else comes in before actually ruling anyone else out.

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SFU often does this. 

Some people who were there longer than I was have told me that the U does this to try to get people to commit before they can get potentially better offers elsewhere. I do not know this for a fact, however, but given my own experience with the admin, I would not doubt it too much.

 

But since you say UBC does this too, it may well be one of those areas where some provincial practices are out of step with everyone else. 

 

 

I myself have come to this conclusion, if I were starting all over again:

 

Both UBC and SFU draw from many international applicants, and are well integrated into general North American standards and practices. They know full well about the April standard, yet still put forward their own February deadlines.

 

Therefore, there is nothing ethically unsound with telling them yes but still potentially accepting elsewhere and backing out later. Accepted applicants in my own department have done so, and the departments, while disappointed, are probably used to it. So if I was you, I would not internalize the blame for a situation BC unfairly places on applicants. Keep all your options open. Tell them 'yes' but see what else comes in before actually ruling anyone else out.

It's not UBC-wide. I know their math department respects the April 15 resolution, so I'm surprised they're pushing here. I don't think there's anything regional here - the school not playing nice for me is not in BC.

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As far as I know the agreed upon deadline by all CDN institutions for graduate school acceptances is April 15th. They always ask you to be as time sensitive as possible but I'm pretty sure they can't actually retract your acceptance if you do not decide by February. Have you tried contacting the graduate admissions dept or your POI and asking for the official deadline? 

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As far as I know the agreed upon deadline by all CDN institutions for graduate school acceptances is April 15th. They always ask you to be as time sensitive as possible but I'm pretty sure they can't actually retract your acceptance if you do not decide by February. Have you tried contacting the graduate admissions dept or your POI and asking for the official deadline? 

Some schools have signed on for the April 15 resolution in Canada, but definitely not all. That agreement does not apply to all offers, either.

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UBC Physics also follows the April 15 thing. 

 

I think the best option is to first try to figure out how long the other schools will take to get back to you and to ask your first school to extend the deadline. My experience with all Canadian schools was that they are generally willing to extend it if you are waiting (i.e. they are not trying to get you to make an early decision). However, they don't want to just give you until April 15 in case people just procrastinate. I also had a mid-Feb deadline so I asked another school (whose application deadline was Mar 1) when they would make a decision. They ended up accepting me prior to the end of February!

 

So, I think you should first act in good faith and try to figure out a decision timeline and ask for an extension. Only if the schools absolutely refuse to "play nice" should you take the action of accepting and then rejecting them if another offer comes along.

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Some schools have signed on for the April 15 resolution in Canada, but definitely not all. That agreement does not apply to all offers, either.

 

That's unfortunate! I guess I should of added that my information is regarding experimental and clinical Psychology programs. 

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Thanks for the insight, guys. I think I'll send an email to UVic and U of T to ask when they will be making their decisions. Depending what they respond with, I suppose I'll go from there. 

 

The real thing I'm worried about is the CGS-M competition.Like, if I say yes to UBC and I'm unsuccessful there, it would be really hard if another school offered it to me. ($17,500 is a significant amount of funding.)

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