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It's April 14th and I don't have an OFFICIAL letter yet


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I have a letter from my Program saying that they have recommended me for Admission by the Graduate School, but the Graduate School has yet to send me an official letter offering me admission. Is that normal? I am so worried that something could potentially go wrong! Shouldn't I have like my finalized TA appointment by this point as well or is the letter detailing the ranges of payment for TAships enough at this point?

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1 hour ago, cabraloca said:

I have a letter from my Program saying that they have recommended me for Admission by the Graduate School, but the Graduate School has yet to send me an official letter offering me admission. Is that normal? I am so worried that something could potentially go wrong! Shouldn't I have like my finalized TA appointment by this point as well or is the letter detailing the ranges of payment for TAships enough at this point?

I'd get it in writing before you sign. Funding matters. 

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Definitely contact them and ask about the status of the official letter.

My question for you is: Are you deciding between this school and another school? If this school is the only option you'd consider accepting, then you don't have to panic that it's April 14. However, if you would prefer to take another offer if the details of the letter aren't acceptable, then I would contact the other school and try to get an extension (assuming that other school is asking you to respond by April 15).

But if this school is the only option you're interested in, then you should just contact them to ensure the letter wasn't lost or something. If they don't send the official letter until after April 15 then obviously they will give you longer than April 15 to respond to the offer.

Finally, you asked about finalized TA appointment. No, you should not have an actual appointment at this point. Instead, you should have a promise of X amount of funding from source A. It could be range in values, and it could be X, Y, or Z amount of funding coming from A, B, or C sources. So in terms of funding, you don't really need to know exactly what work you are doing for the money, just that the money will be there. The exception is if you specifically wanted the money to come from a certain source (e.g. some people prefer RA funding over TA funding) then you want to ensure the letter says that. But if you are expecting TA funding, then you won't know your assignment at this point (usually it's decided over the summer and not final-final until a week or two before classes begin).

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Hi, it took me a month (after getting the informal acceptance from the department) and a LOT of emails and phone calls to the department, admissions, and financial aid to get an official letter from Brandeis. Don't be afraid to be proactive about this-- it's your future! If there's someone in the department with whom you've already established some sort of relationship or conversation, try talking to them first. 

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On 4/14/2017 at 3:17 PM, cabraloca said:

Shouldn't I have like my finalized TA appointment by this point as well or is the letter detailing the ranges of payment for TAships enough at this point?

Also, I think it's normal not to have that stuff finalized till August or so. If they've guaranteed you a TA spot, you'll get it. 

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I never got anything from my university after being recommended for admission, and I've confirmed with several people within and outside of my department that I'm not supposed to. While it's an odd way to do things and definitely not the norm, it does happen. However, I did have a funding offer from my department (a signed letter on departmental letterhead sent to me in pdf format), the response to which was considered our official response to the offer. If you were offered a TA'ship I think that should be good enough. I did have an amount in writing, but as long as the position itself is guaranteed in writing as well as the benefits and approximately salary thereof, then I would say that that's good enough.

Edited by ThousandsHardships
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I'm going through the same thing. I was worried about it and decided to talk to both my mentors whom reassured me that it's not a big problem...that there's probably a lot of letters to sign and they haven't got to it yet. I also called the graduate admissions office to double check on the status & she said it doesn't affect my acceptance, they just need to do some administrative work and that's it. As for the TA offer, as long as you already said you'll accept it, it shouldn't be an issue.

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