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Help! April 15th Deadline! Should I refuse this other offer before I-20 has arrived?


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I have been accepted into multiple universities. University A was by far my first choice and I accepted their offer on 25th Feb. However, I haven't yet responded to the rest of the offers (was waiting for April 15th deadline). Now, university A admitted me and dispatched my I-20 on 5th of March but I have not received it yet and there's very little communication from university A's admissions office. Basically, they just tell me to wait for it.

 

My question is: should I decline the other offers? What if my I-20 is lost? Can I risk declining all other offers when I don't have an I-20 in my hand yet? Is there any other alternative by which I can safeguard my I-20 before declining other offers? (For international students, "admission" means nothing if you don't have an I-20 in your hand).

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I think once they issue the I-20, you cannot accept other offers, even if you want to, since your Sevis number is already taken. I receivedthe I-20 two days after it was issued. In the case of India, it might take a little more. Call them and tell them it's been a month and you've not received it yet.

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If your I-20 is lost, they will issue you another I-20. That is, other than the things we discussed in your other post, there is nothing you need to do. Unless you think this school is not a legitimate school and trying to scam you, you will get your I-20 eventually. I understand that you are worried and that the I-20 is important, but you will get it!

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UPDATE: I have declined the offer from other universities. Their reply: Thank you for your response, -------.  We wish you the best of luck!

 

For some reason, I am feeling very sad right now to have declined these offers. I do realize that other waitlisted students would now have an opportunity and I am glad about that. But somehow, it just doesn't feel good after having sent those 'decline' emails. Only a fellow PhD student can understand how hard we work to get those 'acceptances' and funding. I'm going to need some major distractions today--maybe watch the new season of Game of Thrones.

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I know how you feel. Someone else explained this feeling very well and it helped. They said something like:

 

You are always going to feel sad when you make your final choice, no matter how great the school you chose or how much you wanted to go there. The opportunity/potential to attend all of these great programs is always bigger than attending any single great program. However, it's important to remember that it's not possible to attend all these programs simultaneously. Declining the other schools can feel like you are closing these opportunities but in reality, you never had the option to attend more than one school!!

 

Of course, this is something we all knew coming in but knowing about something and actually experiencing it can be really different!! Good luck with your PhD studies!!

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I think once they issue the I-20, you cannot accept other offers, even if you want to, since your Sevis number is already taken.

 

Are you sure about this? Because I remember reading somewhere that it is very much possible to get multiple I-20s from different universities, and just showing the one corresponding to the university that you plan to join at the time of the VISA interview. However, accepting offers and then declining them later is frowned upon. So, I didn't do this. But it is possible I think.

Edited by thegraydude
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Are you sure about this? Because I remember reading somewhere that it is very much possible to get multiple I-20s from different universities, and just showing the one corresponding to the university that you plan to join at the time of the VISA interview. However, accepting offers and then declining them later is frowned upon. So, I didn't do this. But it is possible I think.

I was confused because I read one post here. Yes, you can have multiple I-20s, but once you pay your sevis fee, you will need to do some extra work in order to change to a different school.

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