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Institution details?


Long time lurker, first time poster; have mercy. Many people on this forum put their stats up online for people to know their background and to evaluate what their chances are. Yet something has always struck me as odd with this. Whenever anyone details their previous institutions they always put something along the lines of, "top 50 research university", or something along those lines. Why the anonymity? Unless you're study at a super small institutions I would think it virtually impossible for anyone to find out who anyone is.

Is it to do with people wanting their anonymity? 

Is it to prevent bickering over institution rankings?

Are people worried that admissions officers will know that we check for application updates every two minutes? 

Can someone please shine a light on this topic?

Tune in next week same bat-time, same bat-channel

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Probably all of the above. Once something is online, it is very hard to get it removed (side note, this is a good time to remind people of TheGradCafe policy on editing posts, linked below). So it is a good idea to consider how much details are necessary to get the answer you need to a question. On a related note, in most cases, there isn't much difference between similar schools and while each school is somewhat unique, I think there are more in common between grad students at other schools than differences. So, it is often not necessary to name the particular school.

That said, there is no rule against revealing your own personal details if you wish. If you want to include these details in your own post, for whatever reason, it's your choice :) Sometimes people do name schools specifically because it's relevant to their question. Just remember that it's hard to remove stuff that's written online, so use your discretion!


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