Grad Programs, Don’t Jump the Gun


I’ve been asked to remind folks that graduate programs are not supposed to be asking their prospective students to respond to admissions and financial support offers before April 15th. There are reports of at least one violation of this practice.

Recall that the practice is the product of a resolution by the Council of Graduate Studies. The resolution includes the following language:

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, 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.   

(Thanks to Geoff Pynn for the link to the resolution.)

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M
M
5 years ago

On the other side, students who have their offers in hand should get their asses in gear and make decisions. The enormous cascade of offers from waitlists can’t get going until folks who are trying to choose between Rutgers and NYU overcome their deliberative paralysis and make the call.Report

Leon Hart
Leon Hart
Reply to  M
5 years ago

It takes grad programs four months to make their decisions, and then students sometimes have only a matter of days or even hours to make the most important decision yet in many of their lives. Definitely the applicants that are at fault, not the programs.Report

M
M
Reply to  Leon Hart
5 years ago

If this were at all an accurate representation of the deliberative situation that admitted students face, then that situation would be pretty objectionable.Report

Fritz Warfield
Fritz Warfield
5 years ago

*Requiring* responses to offers of financial support before April 15 is not permitted under the agreement. If a department representative is doing this, that person and department should be reported to the graduate school at the university in question: such a department is almost certainly acting against university policy.
*Asking* for students to make decisions earlier (at the option of the *student* and while providing a copy of the agreement specifying the key April 15th date) is not the same as requiring such a decision.
I don’t know what department(s), if any, are violating the relevant agreement this year — if I did I would name and report them.Report