Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

MA in English program at University of Dayton


Recommended Posts

So I've been accepted into the English MA program at UD for the fall, BUT without funding or a teaching assistantship. It may sound petty, shallow, etc., but since I first started researching writing programs a few years back, I've promised myself that I wouldn't go unless I got full funding, and preferably the opportunity for some good teaching experience in the bargain. Now that I've been accepted into a program, however... I find myself wavering.

 

Maybe it's partly a loss of confidence -- I was turned down by Michigan, UW:Madison, and Cornell last year, and two of the three schools I applied to this year as well. But I'm really struggling with whether to take this opportunity while it's offered, or hold out and wait for application season to roll around again next year.

 

Any and all thoughts on the issue would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony, that is a tough situation. Here are some thoughts and observations based on what I know about you (almost nothing):

 

The general rule, which you obviously recognize yourself, is: don't pay for grad school.

 

It looks like in your first season you applied exclusively to really selective schools (and not very many of them) and the second season looks like you applied to three different kinds of programs (Higher Ed Admin, Student Affairs, and CW). To me, it looks like you haven't applied widely enough to give yourself a chance at success. I also cannot tell what your goals are, do you think this might be coming across in your SOP?

 

Two questions you should ask yourself: Can you tough out another season? Why am I considering changing the obligations I laid out for myself at the beginning of this process; what has changed in my attitude/situation that warrants this?

 

I hope this helps at least a little bit.

Edited by ToldAgain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does, and I appreciate your thoughts!

 

It says you've decided... where will you be going?

Edited by TonyB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really sorry to hear about your application season. My first year out of undergrad, I applied to only one really competitive school in my field. Come April 16th, I was rejected. And even though I ended up working at a vineyard (best job ever), the gap year was draining. 
 
You made a good promise to yourself: don't go to graduate school in the humanities without funding. That's not petty or shallow; that's living within your means.
 
I would politely turn down the offer, and start researching funded programs. The worst part of my gap year was explaining to other people why I was taking a gap year. It sucked to say that I got rejected from the only school I'd applied to, which is why I applied to ten places this year. Overkill? Perhaps. But four acceptances later, I had decisions to make. Decisions are good.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm definitely leaning in the direction of turning them down... unfortunately I already (impulsively) confirmed my enrollment when I first got the offer, so I don't know how polite I'll be able to be! :-/

 

I know that I definitely need to apply to more programs this year. Ten or so would be ideal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm definitely leaning in the direction of turning them down... unfortunately I already (impulsively) confirmed my enrollment when I first got the offer, so I don't know how polite I'll be able to be! :-/

 

Traditionally, it's not good to rescind an enrollment confirmation. However, this is an unfunded offer (they haven't invested in you as a scholar). The rules may be different, especially since you're not asking them to release you to another school. If you're really worried, you could say that you will not be able to enroll due to an "unexpected family concern" or something. Then thank them for their time/consideration. 

 

I'm just guessing here, but I don't think you'll have much of a problem un-enrolling. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Empress, my understanding of the April 15th deadline is:

 

- You can accept an offer at any time AND

- Rescind that acceptance without hassle up to the April 15th date BUT

- Rescinding an offer after 4/15 requires written permission from the program.

 

I know that most programs would maybe have some hard feelings if you rescinded before 4/15 and that it is generally better (more ethical?) to stick to your word, but if we're just considering the rules of the game, I always thought it was okay to take your acceptance off the table up to that point. Maybe somebody can chime in to confirm or deny this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to kind of give the alternate side, I've been accepted into a program that is in-state, making it affordable enough that I would have no loans. In addition, there are opportunities to work on campus as a tutor, at the writing center, etc. They also give MA students the chance to apply for a GA for their second year and receive full funding, and there are often open GA positions at the University Writing Center. I know that the general rule is to never accept an offer that doesn't fully fund your education, but there can be extenuating circumstances. I wouldn't want to go into debt or be in poverty to get an MA in English Lit, but if you won't have to, I don't think it would be the stupidest decision of your life to accept their offer.

 

Take this with a grain of salt...I have individual circumstances that affect my decision-making process. I also haven't yet attended an MA program, so I could actually be making dumb decision, ha! Let's hope not...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've pretty much decided that I'm not going to attend the program at this point. That's the direction most of the advice I'm getting seems to be leaning, and to be honest, it's where my own inclinations are leading me as well. I'd be looking at incurring AT LEAST another $10k worth of debt (and that's assuming I was able to get funding for my second year, which is by no means a certainty), and it's questionable whether the program would include any teaching experience as well.

 

I guess my next question, then, would be what's the best way to handle the situation? Email, phone call? Should I "make something up" (fictitious family emergency, etc.). or be straight about my reasoning, or just say that I've decided not to attend and avoid getting into my motivations altogether? Any advice, as usual, would be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be straight forward about the financial reasons. It's a very understandable reason, and it's good for programs to know they are missing out on good candidates because of a lack of funding.

Something as simple as: "while I'm thrilled to have been accepted to your program, upon further reflection of my current financial situation, I have to decline your offer." Expand as needed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've pretty much decided that I'm not going to attend the program at this point. That's the direction most of the advice I'm getting seems to be leaning, and to be honest, it's where my own inclinations are leading me as well. I'd be looking at incurring AT LEAST another $10k worth of debt (and that's assuming I was able to get funding for my second year, which is by no means a certainty), and it's questionable whether the program would include any teaching experience as well.

 

I think you've made a good decision. You promised yourself not to take an unfunded degree, and you should try not to break (too many) promises to yourself. 

 

Something as simple as: "while I'm thrilled to have been accepted to your program, upon further reflection of my current financial situation, I have to decline your offer." Expand as needed!

 

That's the perfect thing to write. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.