Should I, Can I change grad schools?
May 28, 2012 9:21 PM Subscribe
The school I wanted to go to seemed like they weren't going to accept me so I took them off the list a few months ago. I was accepted to another program which starts tomorrow. Whoops, on Saturday I got an acceptance letter from the first school. Now what??
posted by Danila to education (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I need help navigating this problem. I don't even know if switching schools is possible or even if it's what I ought to do. I just need information to help me work this out. I don't have anyone I can ask about graduate school protocols. Note these are both online programs.
Some background: Months ago I applied to several schools and sent out transcripts. I was almost immediately accepted to a program located across the country, I call it School Alpha. They offer a unique program in line with my career interests as well as a nice scholarship. They are the sister school of my bachelors alma mater and I understand their organization and how they work very well. However, it's a for-profit school which means it is more expensive and it's too far away for me to attend graduation.
I'd also applied to a state school much closer to home with a more research-intensive program. This is School Beta. Not only would it be much cheaper (public school plus in-state tuition) but their program interests me greatly, even if it's more of a departure from my bachelors. But after some contact with them I didn't think I was much of a priority and they kept asking for more and more documentation beyond what they'd originally said. The admissions department for Alpha was a lot easier to work with than Beta. Finally all contact with Beta dropped off about seven weeks ago.
A month ago I decided to go with Alpha and it was to start for the summer semester. This starts tomorrow. Oh, I mean today. My first assignment is already due. Books are read. Advisors involved. I was settled down and then I got the letter from Beta: conditional acceptance for the Fall semester. They still want some more documentation that must be submitted before the end of the first semester but I guess I meet their requirements.
So here are my questions:
1. Can I change schools and if so, when? To drop the first course without repercussions I have to do it within the next two days. Financial aid and everything is already lined up.
2. Should I just go ahead and finish the first course and then leave? I admit I'm having some trouble with the idea of just dropping the whole thing right now. Especially since the last time I talked to the admissions counselor I was gung ho and ready to go. Now I feel I'll look like a flake.
3. Grad school is different from undergrad. It would be pretty easy to change schools in undergrad, in fact, I did it. But I don't know how to do it now. Can you even transfer or would I have to reapply to Beta in order to go? Would Beta School be miffed if they found out I was in another school?
4. Should I just ignore the greener grass and stick with the program I'm in? I think I could get over not going to Beta. On the other hand, the easier thing to do is call Beta and tell them "no thanks" and get on with my classwork.
5. Would this mess up my financial aid? I don't even know. Beta wants me to start the financial aid process with them but I'm already getting financial aid for another school!
Well I'm in a panic and ignorant so I would appreciate any help.