Recommended for admission?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
mdornbos
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:11 am

Recommended for admission?

Postby mdornbos » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:59 pm

I got a letter in the mail from one of the schools I applied to and they said the mathematics department congratulates me on being recommended for admission to the graduate school and that the graduate school still has the final decision to offer admission. Does this mean I'm getting in, or is it still up in the air?

StarKid
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:45 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby StarKid » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:44 pm

Sounds like the math department wants you but the general graduate admissions dept. hasn't made a decision yet.

mdornbos
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:11 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby mdornbos » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:49 pm

Thanks for the response. Yeah I actually just called them to see what that meant and they said that I've been accepted to the math department but it just needs to be made official by the graduate department, and said I have nothing to worry about.

cbreeden
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:37 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby cbreeden » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:19 am

What school is this if you don't mind me asking? I see that you haven't participated in sharing our application process.

owlpride
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby owlpride » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:55 am

That seems to be the official procedure almost everywhere: the department makes a "recommendation" to the graduate school and the graduate school makes the official offers. Unless there's a red flag in your record (e.g. a GPA below the grad school cut-off), the graduate school won't veto the departmental recommendation.

mdornbos
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:11 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby mdornbos » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:53 am

I have my profile up under the 2011 profiles, I'm one of the last ones. The school was UIC.
Thanks for the responses, I wasn't sure if this was normal or not.

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:46 pm

mdornbos wrote:The school was UIC.


Hey, I got into UIC too and got the same letter! I still haven't formally been admitted by "the graduate school" yet. I'm planning to visit the weekend of April 7th and 8th (thurs and fri.) PM me if you want to talk more.

alex
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby alex » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:44 pm

same here with UIC. i'm visiting this friday. we should all compare notes!

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:32 pm

alex wrote:same here with UIC. i'm visiting this friday. we should all compare notes!


Excellent idea. Please post your thoughts on UIC when you return.

Are either of you (alex, mdornbos) on gradcafe.com? If so, it might be good for us to start a UIC thread there, maybe?

alex
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby alex » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:45 am

i'll PM you guys this weekend about it. i'm not on gradcafe, but i could be.

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:59 pm

I was also accepted to UIC, and will most likely be attending there. I'm going to visit this week (on Wednesday). I have two appointments with some professors, and am supposed to have lunch with a grad student that same day. I'll post the results of those meetings here if you'd all like?

If you don't mind me asking, were any of you guaranteed more than a year long TAship? I don't know what the standard is, but I was given a TAship only for one year (I imagine they'll extend it assuming I don't seriously screw up my first year -- which I wont).

For those of you planning to attend, I look forward to meeting you next fall!

alex
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby alex » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:35 pm

astathis wrote:If you don't mind me asking, were any of you guaranteed more than a year long TAship? I don't know what the standard is, but I was given a TAship only for one year (I imagine they'll extend it assuming I don't seriously screw up my first year -- which I wont).


this was absolutely my first question when i got there, and i'm happy to report that it's not an issue. everyone gets renewed unless they find another source of funding (RA or whatever). it's not a complete guarantee since they're on a state budget, but everyone that i asked about this acted like i was absurd for even bringing up the notion that they might use this as a way to weed people out after the first year.

anyway, i had a great visit, and i hope that you do too. i think that they're on spring break this week so it might be a little quiet.

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:55 pm

alex wrote:i'm happy to report that it's not an issue. everyone gets renewed unless they find another source of funding (RA or whatever). it's not a complete guarantee since they're on a state budget, but everyone that i asked about this acted like i was absurd for even bringing up the notion


Wow, I hadn't even considered this might be an issue. I guess I've been spoiled by the notion of essentially-guaranteed TA renewal.

Alex, thank you for the information. Nevertheless, it does in theory look like they reserve the right to discontinue your TA if funding or undergrad enrollment are low and give priority to farther-advanced PhD students. See this page for evidence:

http://www.math.uic.edu/graduate/curren ... udents.pdf

But I'll take your word for it for now and not bug the graduate secretary about it via email. (I will, however, ask them directly once I go up there.)

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:35 am

Ergodic wrote:
alex wrote:i'm happy to report that it's not an issue. everyone gets renewed unless they find another source of funding (RA or whatever). it's not a complete guarantee since they're on a state budget, but everyone that i asked about this acted like i was absurd for even bringing up the notion


Wow, I hadn't even considered this might be an issue. I guess I've been spoiled by the notion of essentially-guaranteed TA renewal.

Alex, thank you for the information. Nevertheless, it does in theory look like they reserve the right to discontinue your TA if funding or undergrad enrollment are low and give priority to farther-advanced PhD students. See this page for evidence:

http://www.math.uic.edu/graduate/curren ... udents.pdf

But I'll take your word for it for now and not bug the graduate secretary about it via email. (I will, however, ask them directly once I go up there.)


Yeah, but why would they pay 16.8k to then kick you out unless you gave them good reason? It doesn't make sense. By only guaranteeing you a year, however, they have the right to deny funding later if you don't complete classes, etc. I think they'd only take advantage of that if you don't do what you're supposed to.

alex
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby alex » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:16 am

astathis wrote:why would they pay 16.8k to then kick you out unless you gave them good reason?


i've heard tale (completely unverified) of other math phd programs that will fund more students than they want during the first year and then use the fact that there's no guarantee to cut down the size after that. i don't know. i agree with you that this method seems stupid and wasteful. it also seems like no one would ever want to go to a program like that since no one wants to get kicked to curb after one year. i was just personally worried about it with UIC because like we've said they didn't guarantee funding for more than a year whereas everywhere else that i got offers from did (so long as i remain in good standing). also, 16.8?! i only got 16.4! Ga!
Last edited by alex on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:31 am

Hey alex, you quoted me but used someone else's words! Not cool! :D

I have heard stories like what you said, but second-hand. One of my professors did his doctorate at Berkeley in the 90s and had funding cut, at least briefly...but then again, it *is* California; who knows what budget woes they were going through at the time.

If, like you said, the faculty at UIC have told you that it's nearly unheard of for a student in good academic standing to get his TA non-renewed, then I don't think you should worry too much *if* UIC is your top choice. In my case, both UIC and the city of Chicago are really going to have to impress me, since I have a 5-year guarantee of funding (and *more* funding) from Purdue which, in my current impression, is at least as prestigious as UIC.

alex
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby alex » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:04 am

quote problem fixed! damn button!

yeah, i was really impressed with UIC, but funding is still a concern for me. let me PM you like i promised i would.

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:24 pm

alex wrote: i was just personally worried about it with UIC because like we've said they didn't guarantee funding for more than a year whereas everywhere else that i got offers from did (so long as i remain in good standing). also, 16.8?! i only got 16.4! Ga!


Sorry, I also got 16480; I misremembered it as 16.8.

I am currently completing my undergrad at a UC, and I have to admit, the funding is definitely rough right now. I can't see anyone in the department at my school accepting people they didn't intend to keep, but I could see them having to adjust their spending due to budget cuts (which are really heavy right now, especially in departments like mathematics).

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:42 pm

astathis wrote:I am currently completing my undergrad at a UC, and I have to admit, the funding is definitely rough right now.

But, again, it is California. Does anyone know the current state of Illinois' budget? I don't...maybe it's not so hot either?

owlpride
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby owlpride » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:54 pm

Berkeley did that for quite a while, but apparently not anymore. Two of my professors got their PhD from Berkeley, one in the mid 70s and the other in the late 80s. Both said that funding was renewed competitively (*very* competitively) each year when they were students there. The department got a horrible reputation for that. I am not sure if it was due to recruitment issues or pressure from the graduate school, but the department eventually cut the size of their incoming class and now pledges to fund all students for at least 5 years. (When I visited, grad students complained about their teaching+grading load but did not seem at all concerned about continued support. In fact, it seemed that the department was happy to fund students for additional years if necessary.)

UC Santa Barbara, on the other hand, does not guarantee continued support.

decrepify
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby decrepify » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:26 am

Ergodic wrote:
astathis wrote:I am currently completing my undergrad at a UC, and I have to admit, the funding is definitely rough right now.

But, again, it is California. Does anyone know the current state of Illinois' budget? I don't...maybe it's not so hot either?


The state of california has no bearing on the UC's, that's partly why they are so great. They are completely sound and their funding is probably one of the better ones.

fireandgladstone
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:57 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby fireandgladstone » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:34 am

decrepify wrote:
Ergodic wrote:
astathis wrote:I am currently completing my undergrad at a UC, and I have to admit, the funding is definitely rough right now.

But, again, it is California. Does anyone know the current state of Illinois' budget? I don't...maybe it's not so hot either?


The state of california has no bearing on the UC's, that's partly why they are so great. They are completely sound and their funding is probably one of the better ones.


lolwut

decrepify
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby decrepify » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:07 am

fireandgladstone wrote:
lolwut


http://www.google.com


mdornbos
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:11 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby mdornbos » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:35 pm

I'm in a bit of a dilemma here and would like some advice. I have gotten accepted to UIC without funding, although they said as the summer comes around that could change and I might still have a chance of funding. However, I also recently found out another school I got admitted to is Northern Illinois University, and with a tuition waiver. They also said there's still a chance at assistantship.

Also, I live in Chicago so wouldn't have to worry about housing with UIC, but would with NIU. I don't know what to do here. UIC is clearly a way better school, but I'd have to pay tuition as opposed to going for free at NIU. Any suggestions? Thank you.

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm

@decrepify,

You're wrong. I'm at a UC at the moment, and much of the funding is determined by the state's budget. The state has recently made HUGE budget cuts to the school system, which has caused tons of cutbacks, including less funding for graduate students. My school was supposed to accept a much larger number of students with TAships this year, but they were unable to due to funding.

Anyways, I got back from visiting UIC yesterday, and I was super impressed. I had never been to Chicago before, and despite being as cold as everyone says it is, the city is really awesome. It was much cleaner than I expected it to be. I met with two of the mathematics staff, and also with a few grad students from the mathematics, statistics, and computer science department, and everyone seemed very welcoming. It seems like UIC has a strong department that also seems rather informal and personal. Both of the staff members also knew a couple of the staff at my current university, so that was cool too.

I would highly recommend checking it out if you were accepted, and to those of you planning to attend, I look forward to meeting you in the fall.

As far as funding goes (at UIC), I talked with Kari Dueball (the person who handles it all), and she confirmed that funding is pretty much guaranteed for the length of your degree pending no unsatisfactory behavior. She also said that summer TAships are kind of limited, but that most of the people who want one get one. It seemed to me like the only people who ever got excluded from that were 1st and 2nd year graduate students, as allocation of summer TAships is done via seniority. She essentially said that the school understands that the department's grad students support a large number of students from a variety of departments (it's math, everyone needs that), and so funding is found to support them. This is very different from the school I'm at now, and was very impressive to me.

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby Ergodic » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:52 pm

astathis wrote:Anyways, I got back from visiting UIC yesterday, and I was super impressed...I met with two of the mathematics staff, and also with a few grad students from the mathematics, statistics, and computer science department, and everyone seemed very welcoming. It seems like UIC has a strong department that also seems rather informal and personal...I would highly recommend checking it out if you were accepted, and to those of you planning to attend, I look forward to meeting you in the fall.


Asta, would you mind telling us what your research interests are? I get the impression that UIC is very strong in areas like algebra and differential equations but weaker in, say, combinatorics and mathematical finance.

I'm visiting UIC two weeks from today. Maybe after that we can start a UIC thread that summarizes what we've learned there and what we've discussed here.

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:06 pm

Yeah, I met with two professors, one who was in the Algebraic Geometry group, and the other did number theory and representation theory, and that's certainly where my interests lie.

I would say you're right in that. I remember one of the professors mentioned something along the lines of having weaknesses in some areas and strengths in others.

decrepify
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby decrepify » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:21 am

which UC are you at. factoring cost of living, funded offers from UC look much better than similar ranking schools from what I've seen. My understanding is that funding cuts do not affect grad students that much or faculty. The taships this year are about the same and they are giving less because they have been overadmitting for some years. Point is you shouldn't decide whether to go based on funding, it is not an issue for grad students. They have a couple of drawbridges that other schools just don't even given the state of california as a whole.

astathis
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby astathis » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:03 am

I'm at UCSC. I can tell you for a fact (as I had been in close contact with the graduate director here about funding) that funding (or lack thereof) DOES affect offers presented to admitted grad students. Grad students and faculty are two very different things, and if I'm correct, are considered under different circumstances, so I don't know about faculty. UCSC has several students leaving this year (as they are graduating with PhDs), so it was expected that the department would be able to fund several new graduate students. As a result of the budget cuts, they were given permission to fund TWO. This is in high contrast to last year when they admitted and funded somewhere between five and ten.
As far as I know, the TAship offer I got from UIC was very similar (almost the exact same amount) to the offers that the grad students got last year when admitted to UCSC. Because the cost of living is about the same, this is not unreasonable. However, I have a friend who was admitted to UCSD and was given a much higher offer (I don't know cost of living there).
However, I agree with you. I don't see UCSC discontinuing funding to a grad student after they've begun attending there.

decrepify
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Recommended for admission?

Postby decrepify » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:33 pm

Ahh ok I stand corrected then. The offers I've seen from ucsd and ucla are very generous compared to say rutgers or umich since I have somewhat of an idea of how expensive these areas are. The ucsd offers look very good as long as you don't live in la jolla I guess but it's kinda boring there anyway. Still I love the UCs.




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