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Accepted, but hoping for another waitlist acceptance


MangoSmoothie
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I'll start this by saying I am planning on enrolling in a professional master's program in speech-language pathology, so the situation might be handled differently from PhD or academic masters (that maybe have funding). I have waitlist confusion and really don't know what to do.

 

In the first round of acceptances before April 15th, I made my decision on school A and was happy to accept. However, it's a very expensive program, and I told myself if I got off the waitlist at a cheaper program I'd take it. They're all 6 semesters long, including two summer semesters.

 

Recently I got off the waitlist at school B. School B was tied as my number 1 when I applied, although it's still out-of-state. It has international opportunities and they do research in a particular area of my interest. This may not be totally relevant to me, but it's possible to get an hourly position in the lab, and they still have faculty well-versed in this area. However, although international experiences were important to me, it's something I'm willing to compromise on, especially because of cost.

 

I am not off the waitlist on school C. I am ranked 17 on their waitlist. They have 4 spots available at this time. Historically they've admitted around 30 people from the waitlist, but they've also had years when they only admitted 5. The average for the last 3 years is 30 off the waitlist.

 

So basically:

 

Program A:

Accepted

Around 55K (not including living expenses)

Great clinical opportunities

International Experience, but it lengthens program length a semester

3.5 hours from family

Small city, cost of living is higher than B but less than C

 

Program B:

Accepted

Around 41K (not including living expenses)

Lab I'd like to work in

International Experiences, although these will raise the cost so much I might not be able to do it

10 hours from family

Smaller town, lowest cost of living

 

Program C:

On waitlist, ranked 17

Around 33K (not including living expenses)

Lab I'd like to work in

Clinical Experiences B doesn't offer

40 minutes from my family

Big city, higher cost of living

 

Being near to family is only important to me because I have a young niece and nephew whose lives I want to be in. I've been more or less disowned, so the rest of my family being nearby doesn't matter. But being able to see those two is appealing since I was abroad for three years.

 

So basically, I'd prefer School B over A because of cost. School C is a good compromise of what I want and cost, and I think I have decided I would like to go there. But I'm not off the waitlist at C yet. I might not get off the waitlist, but if history is correct, I stand a good chance.

 

So... Should I cancel my intent to enroll at A and accept at B? And be willing to cancel at B to accept at C if that time comes?

 

Or should I stay with school A and just hope I get off at school C? This seems risky, but also it seems horribly unprofessional to cancel an acceptance more than once, and I don't want to just keep going down the line of schools I get in to. School B was very clear that you should be 100% when you intend to enroll and really looks down on students who intend to enroll, then change their mind.

 

Or is this not as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be?

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If you get accepted into school C and that's where your heart is, then it won't matter what the other schools think of you if/when you withdraw your acceptance offer. There are questions you should probably ask yourself though:

 

1) How much funding are you being offered at school A?

2) Does it make you feel a negative way that you aren't school C's first choice?

 

I think if you could answer these questions for yourself, you'll clear your conscience about committing to school A or withdrawing your offer to them.

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