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Defer due to health reasons


compscian
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Posting from a friend's account.

 

Hello everyone, I am in a very peculiar situation, and it would be great if you can help me out with your comments and possible experiences.

 

I have got two offers: an unfunded MS offer from school A and a fully funded PhD offer from school B. Both are top 5 schools. In school A, I made a huge mistake by applying to their MS program thinking I wouldn't have a shot with their PhD program, but it turns out I greatly underestimated my applications. My ultimate goal was to obtain a PhD, but I am not so sure of it at the moment. :unsure: 

 

I am an international student, and I have a peculiar health condition (with lungs), and I am somewhat scared to make a 6 year commitment right off the bat at school B. Also, I have a cousin and a few friends at school A,  which gives me a lot of moral support, and I can hopefully do very well there. At school B, I don't know anyone, and it might be very hard for me to adjust and live there - I am quite scared of attending.

 

I contacted school A, and they told me that it is fairly easy to transfer to the PhD program once I pass the qualifying exams, and I may get some funding till I pass them, but it is not guaranteed. I did speak to a couple of students who managed to do this transfer, and their opinion was that it is quite possible to manage the switch - the only limiting factor might be lack of funds till then. 3 or 4 students routinely make the switch every year (MS class size is about 25, PhD ~ 15 per year) - point to be noted however is that most students who enter the MS program are not actually interested in a PhD: so its quite likely that everyone who really wanted to make the switch did indeed manage it.

 

If I do manage the switch, I would not mind staying at school A since it is as good if not better than school B. If I feel that a PhD is not for me (either due to academics or due to my illness) after 1.5 years, I have a clear out option. At the same time, after I come to the US, and settle in for a year or two, I might be open to the idea of studying in school B as well.

 

My question: Would it be possible to explain the scenario to school B, and ask for a possible deferral to Fall 2016 (I already asked the school for additional time to make the decision, and they did agree to this, so I have time till 20th to make a choice). Would they do it knowing that I might not be joining next year as well? If they decide to not grant my deferral request, if i applied to them (assuming I am up for it) next year, will they seriously give my application a thought or will they simply throw my application out?

 

Please share your thoughts, and any related experiences you might have encountered. Thanks :)

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It's perfectly acceptable to ask for a deferral for health reasons. If you do so, I wouldn't mention that you're thinking about the other school. (Side note: I wouldn't attend School A without funding, especially since there's no guarantee that you would be admitted to their Ph.D. program.)

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I don't know about your specific schools but I deferred my Master's degree last fall until this upcoming fall due to health reasons and my school was very accepting of it.

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