What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
lemonjuice
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:55 am

What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby lemonjuice » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:48 am

I applied to 15 schools and have received 3 acceptances with funding and 1 rejection. I have yet to hear from the other 11. I called some of them and they basically said that if I didn't get accepted or rejected, then I am on the waiting list. They said they will let me know mid April-ish. They are waiting to see if the people from the 1st round of offers decline admission. The problem is that the schools that I did get into have a deadline of April 15th to let them know if I am attending. I don't want to make the final decision until I hear from the other schools, some of which I really wanted to go to. Am I allowed to accept an offer and then decline it later?

mhancock743
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:08 pm

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby mhancock743 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:55 am

I'm sort of in your same boat, but just waiting on 1 school realistically ( 11 must be hell :shock: :( ).

From cgs:
... an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made.

I'm going to do everything I can to avoid this scenario obviously.
FYI, there's a few posts about this over on the gradcafe, but I would love to hear more input from the folks here as well.

arsenalmath
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby arsenalmath » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:17 pm

I'm in the same boat. My second choice school told me that I must accept their offer by April 6th, while my first choice says I am on the waitlist and will have to wait for another week to find out. So I don't know what to do at all if I haven't heard from my top choice before April 6th. Is it acceptable to write and ask for an extension? Or is it actually possible to accept one offer and realistically get released if a different and better offer comes in later?

dasgut
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:20 am

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby dasgut » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:10 pm

arsenalmath wrote:I'm in the same boat. My second choice school told me that I must accept their offer by April 6th, while my first choice says I am on the waitlist and will have to wait for another week to find out. So I don't know what to do at all if I haven't heard from my top choice before April 6th. Is it acceptable to write and ask for an extension? Or is it actually possible to accept one offer and realistically get released if a different and better offer comes in later?


I've had friends ask for extensions. I've heard most uni's are pretty flexible if you ask.

arsenalmath
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby arsenalmath » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:13 pm

dasgut wrote: I've had friends ask for extensions. I've heard most uni's are pretty flexible if you ask.



Really? That's great to hear. I might try that next week if I haven't heard anything.

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

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby owlpride » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:58 pm

In my own experience, departments really don't like to grant extensions but most seem to be quite flexible about releasing you if you get another offer after April 15. (How would they force you to attend anyway?) Sometimes university policy makes it difficult for departments to extend response deadlines, and a conditional commitment is better than no commitment at all ( = an extension) in any case. You could even ask department X ahead of time if they would be willing to release you if you got an offer from department Y after April 15.

However, I have only heard of one "big" department (Michigan) that extended offers after April 15 in the last few years. Most waitlist offers seem to be made in the week of April 15, on or before April 15.

lemonjuice
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:55 am

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby lemonjuice » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. I think it will be better if I accept the one that I want to for now, and then ask to be released if a better one comes along later as opposed to asking for an extension, for the reasons outlined by owlpride. And I was thinking the same thing also, how can they force you to go anyway? lol. I'm sure this is a common thing since so many people get waitlisted and hence final decisions cannot be made until after April 15th.

cauchy2012
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:04 am

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby cauchy2012 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:48 am

From my experience, I don't think waiting list matters much. For example, I applied for U of Rochester for this fall. When I asked my status in Feb, they said they have already sent out 25 offers and expected that if 5 of them accept the offers, that's OK. I assume that other univerisites also send out more offers than planned. In this situation, students on the waiting list obviously have small chances.

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

Re: What to do with acceptances while waiting for other schools?

Postby owlpride » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:19 pm

It seems that many programs (or at least the selective ones) "under-admit" to avoid scenarios like the one that happened at Penn a few years ago. (Penn typically admitted 30 students for an incoming class of ~12. However, one year almost 20 of the 30 accepted students decided to enroll and the department scrambled to find funding for all students.)

Last year, I personally know students who were admitted off the waitlist at Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Michigan, Austin, Penn and Rutgers. All of them (except for Penn) accepted a multiple of the number of students that they expected to enroll, but still fell short of their target incoming class size in first-round admissions. Extrapolating from my small sample set of a few friends, I am expecting waitlist activity to be quite common. But maybe I shouldn't extrapolate beyond the top 20 programs?




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