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April 15th Passed...No Answer....What Does This Mean???


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Is anyone still waiting to hear back from universities? :unsure:  It's past April 15th, which was the deadline to accept an offer on the university's website. I feel so confused, anxious, and worried all at the same time! I got through the interview for one university, but none of the professors responded back after the interview. Did anyone else experience this before? Like what does it mean? Am I on a wait list or am I being silently rejected?  :unsure:

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While I cannot say whether or not what you are experiencing is a rejection, some of the schools I applied to have a different acceptance deadline if you are offered admission after April 1. I think it is possible you could still be granted admission. You should probably call the program coordinator/secretary/whoever handles administrative crap and will actually pick up the phone and inquire. Clearly your emails aren't getting it done. I think if you were to receive hypothetical admission tomorrow you would have/might have until May 7 to accept.

Edited by twentysix
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I received my rejections for the Fall 2015 semester from the Ph.D. programs I applied to by the end of March (4).  However, I am still in the active interview phase for the M.A. programs I applied to as back-ups. I had an initial interview for one university at the beginning of the week and one scheduled for the beginning of next week. I still have three schools I have received no word from at all, and one I have received an acceptance from. I had never heard of the April 15th deadline for notices, but given how far behind some of the programs I applied to are, I would guess it's on a school by school basis. How can I abide by their deadline if they are still interviewing candidates! It can not hurt to contact the school to get an update via phone or if possible, in person.

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It's hard to tell. It might be a silent rejection or a "currently silent" rejection. Since I'd imagine April 15 and the days following it are extremely busy, the schools might wait until all of that is resolved before sending official rejection notices.

 

It could also be that you are now currently being considered for a late offer. The deadline for students to respond is April 15 and while some schools do have a plan in place if Student X declines, we'll make an offer to Student Y immediately, other schools might take a few days to assess who accepted and who declined and then make a round of late offers. So, for schools with April 15 deadlines, I'd expect the last set of offers to be made in the ~1 week or so following.

 

And finally, you might be next on the waitlist but a few people might have asked for an extension of a couple of days because they are also waiting for another school etc. 

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I received my rejections for the Fall 2015 semester from the Ph.D. programs I applied to by the end of March (4).  However, I am still in the active interview phase for the M.A. programs I applied to as back-ups. I had an initial interview for one university at the beginning of the week and one scheduled for the beginning of next week. I still have three schools I have received no word from at all, and one I have received an acceptance from. I had never heard of the April 15th deadline for notices, but given how far behind some of the programs I applied to are, I would guess it's on a school by school basis. How can I abide by their deadline if they are still interviewing candidates! It can not hurt to contact the school to get an update via phone or if possible, in person.

 

The April 15th thing is a Council of Graduate Schools date that was agreed upon by most of the universities in the US. I don't think the date applies outside the US.

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I am also waiting.  I only applied at one program.  I never had an interview, though I did have an informal skype interview with the POI prior to submitting my application.  I emailed the dept. admin. on Wednesday.  I heard back this evening via email, that my application is still under consideration.  Very frustrating, but I guess it's not over until it is over!

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I was hoping to get your inputs!! 

 

I applied to Emory University Laney Graduate School Masters in Development Practice. I got an email notice saying they finished the dilberation period and will be notifying us in the next few days. 

 

THEN... i get an email from the director of the program to set up a time to talk on the phone. I'm wondered what the heck does that mean? 

I mean the email wasn't a rejection nor an acceptance! 

 

any thoughts?! 

 

I scheduled to talk on the phone on Wednesday!

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I am so glad I found this space. Thought I was going to find out last week but there were delays. Got a call last Friday and had an interview on Wednesday this week. When I ask they hoped this week but said it could be next week. I honestly cannot sleep. Hopefully, it will serve as training for late night studying in the doctorate program.

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I was hoping to get your inputs!! 

 

I applied to Emory University Laney Graduate School Masters in Development Practice. I got an email notice saying they finished the dilberation period and will be notifying us in the next few days. 

 

THEN... i get an email from the director of the program to set up a time to talk on the phone. I'm wondered what the heck does that mean? 

I mean the email wasn't a rejection nor an acceptance! 

 

any thoughts?! 

 

I scheduled to talk on the phone on Wednesday!

 

Some programs where you don't directly speak with the POI has the director of the department the program is housed under to speak to each candidate. Getting an opportunity for a meeting, in person or on the phone, is a great thing! 

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The final deadline mostly varies on different programs. Some school may have hard deadlines, say April 15, but other don't. I'm sure all the schools you applied will either accept or reject you via a letter, with the condition that you completed and submitted your application. You can check in the application system to make sure required materials are received. You can definitely call or email the chair of the admission committee to check your status. Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's now May 18th and I haven't heard from 3 of the 6 PhD programs that I applied to for Fall 2015.  Honestly, I'm starting to question whether I ever will.  Seems unprofessional to not officially inform an applicant of your decision and I hope that that won't be the case.  Anyone else in the same boat or heard of this situation?    

Edited by Dannimo
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It's sadly quite common for universities to never inform applicants, or inform them sometime in the summer of rejections. 

 

It's possible you're on a silent wait list, it's possible you're getting a silent rejection, or it's possible that the University will send out rejections in the next couple of months. 

 

While it does suck, it's not a bad thing to get used to. Most job's, academic or not, won't notify people they don't hire- they just contact those that they want to hire, and you don't find out where you fell until you notice that the position has been filled. It's kind of hard to term it "unprofessional", when the common professional MO is that rejections aren't noted.

 

The priority of the school is notifying and working with the students they're interested in, and while most try to send out rejections in a timely manner, they're usually significantly understaffed and tight on time.

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There are differences from job postings, sure- namely, you're not necessary to their work as a graduate student. Accordingly, they don't have personal devoted to handling the applications full time (aka, HR). 

 

As such, your application fee goes to (usually) paying the material expenses and a small portion of the salary of the administrative coordinator that collects all the packets, puts them together etc. 

 

Also to note, rarely does the department you're applying to get the application fee. It's usually the graduate school that gets the fee, and uses it for their overhead in the process. 

 

But the graduate school isn't the one who issues the decision(s), nor do they have staff to do so.

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So what? That excuse is completely unacceptable. They know long in advance that they will get applications, and they know roughly how many applications they will get. I don't know if there's technically a stipulation in the fine print that you're agreeing to pay, say, $100 for a yes/no answer, but as far as I'm concerned, it's theft not to give a response.

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I agree that the application fee aspect of the process makes it slightly different than a job posting. However, unless the application form says you will hear your decision by X date, you cannot impose such a deadline.

 

In my opinion, every school should inform their applicants of a yes or no (could just be automatic) by the start date of the program they are applying for. I think this is actually true--most systems have a process in the summer that will search for all remaining applications and send an auto-reject.

 

I don't think schools need to inform applicants by April 15, or even within several weeks of April 15. But they should do so before the program you are applying to actually starts. I know some students who get a last minute offer just weeks or days before the program begins. Not ideal, but the student is free to choose to attend another school if they don't like it.

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Yes, I'm not suggesting what the deadline should be. That's a different issue. But some schools definitely do fail to inform some applicants one way or the other, essentially stealing their money. I think one school I applied to about half a dozen years ago might have done that to me, but I can't remember for sure.

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Technically, the school isn't agreeing to give you a response in exchange for your $100. They're agreeing to review your application materials for $100. And if you're not comfortable with paying an application fee without assurance of a response, it's completely your choice whether or not to pay the money, and if you feel it's worth the cost or not. 

 

It's not theft when you're getting what you agree to. Additionally, you're always free to call the institution in question and ask what your status is. 

 

I think schools should let you know, but couching it in terms of "obligated to", or "theft not to" or "essentially stealing money" is just absurd.

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I agree with Eigen that technically, they are not obligated to give you a response at all.

 

I would interpret that "review application" involves making a decision, not simply looking at it, but simply a form/automatic rejection on August 31 when the computer system deletes all outstanding application still counts. Or, if they say "If you have not heard by X date, consider it a rejection", then I think that counts as a decision too.

 

I also think that there is a difference between what a school is obligated to do in terms of the law and what the school should do, in terms of being a "good neighbour" in the academic community. I think it's silly to consider this "theft" or "stealing" but it's certainly not "good neighbour" behaviour for the school to give no response at all. 

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On the list of things that I'm going to spend the energy to get upset about, this is pretty close to the bottom. If you hit April and you haven't heard anything assume you've been rejected. There may be some sort of unofficial waitlist, but I wouldn't count on it. If you really, absolutely must know, call the program.

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The exchange of money does create a business transaction and not giving an answer to the applicant is UNPROFESSIONAL (and unprofessional is a really civil way to put it).   

 

As I see it, it does not matter to the applicant how their fee is ultimately utilized by the institution.  The fee is payed for a yes/no answer, and the argument that the department doesn't receive the fee directly, and therefor not bound to respond in a timely and professional manner, "has nothing to do with the price of the rice". 

 

I also agree that this is a giant red flag when selecting a program to enter, however I am alarmed by the frequency of this behavior by graduate programs (in my case 3 of 6 PhD programs sent no answer).  I have now received notification from 2 of those 3 programs but only after contacting multiple people, multiple times, over a period of 2 weeks.  If this is S.O.P. than revision is required.

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The exchange of money does create a business transaction and not giving an answer to the applicant is UNPROFESSIONAL (and unprofessional is a really civil way to put it).   

 

As I see it, it does not matter to the applicant how their fee is ultimately utilized by the institution.  The fee is payed for a yes/no answer, and the argument that the department doesn't receive the fee directly, and therefor not bound to respond in a timely and professional manner, "has nothing to do with the price of the rice". 

 

I also agree that this is a giant red flag when selecting a program to enter, however I am alarmed by the frequency of this behavior by graduate programs (in my case 3 of 6 PhD programs sent no answer).  I have now received notification from 2 of those 3 programs but only after contacting multiple people, multiple times, over a period of 2 weeks.  If this is S.O.P. than revision is required.

 

I would say it's only unprofessional if you do not receive a response by the start date of the program you're applying to. It's almost June now and most programs do not start for another 2-3 months. I think it's fair to say that anyone without a response by now should assume rejection or at least they are on the very bottom of the priority list. In theory, schools can make admissions offer through the summer, so I don't think they are required to give a response by now. 

 

(I agree with everything else though, but personally, I think there are a lot of other things more worrisome about graduate programs than non-responses).

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