Grad school - advice for when the program is cancelled after acceptance
January 15, 2017 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Asking for your ideas about what it'd be smart and reasonable to ask for from the program director if your chosen graduate school cancelled a program after sending out acceptances. I got word less than a month from when the program would have begun. There is the potential that this program would start two semesters from now. A phone conversation with their team confirmed that my acceptance would carry over, but I am not confident that this program will start on that timeline, and am applying to other programs, mostly for a fall start.

They have already said in their email that they would not cash my deposit until they offer the program and I accept that offer. They are refunding our application fees as well. Other facts for your consideration that I have been mulling over as a request to the director of the program:

1. this school is part of a graduate network. Would it be reasonable to ask for the director's support and connection (or even recommendation) to their peers at other programs within their network?

2. would it be appropriate and more importantly, helpful to mention in my outreach to other programs what happened to me ("I'd been accepted by program X, but they're not running the program")?

3. would it be worth contacting other programs that have deadlines that had passed to ask if they are still accepting applications even though the deadline has formally passed? This is potentially an industry-wide issue, so my second question above is tied pretty closely to this one.

posted by vacuumsealed to Education (5 answers total)
I'd cancel your deposit and go with 1 and 3. The cancellation raises red flags about the quality of the program and the support it receives from the university- I wouldn't bother waiting around for it nor would I think getting into a such a program would help your chances elsewhere- other than as an explanation as why you're applying late. This is a pretty crap situation for you- best of luck!
posted by emd3737 at 2:16 AM on January 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

What a strange situation. They accepted students and then canceled a program? Or the program never got off the ground to begin with?

I'd run screaming in the opposite direction from any such institution. Sure, ask for recommendations of alternatives. But is this in some esoteric specialized area or a standard sort of discipline or field? Makes a big difference if it was some sort of one of a kind thing vs. being in an established grad degree field.

You were fucked over by these people. They owe you a lot more than your deposit back if you now have to wait a year to reapply to other programs. I would not give them another minute of thought. Totally unprofessional.
posted by spitbull at 4:25 AM on January 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes, unless they can give you an excellent, and very specific, reason why it was cancelled this year but won't be in the future (I can't imagine what that might be), then I'd avoid them. I presume this was a professional program of some sort rather than a PhD?

I'd be wary of using your admittance as evidence of success in other programs, or even having the director connect you to other programs - I can't imagine that a program that would do this would be particularly well-respected by their peers, and it may harm your application or just make you look naive about the field.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:52 AM on January 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Definitely do 3, there are often not enough people accepting the first pass of offers, so a second or third round of offers is made. Often these come from the same initial pool, but they don't really have to.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:04 AM on January 16, 2017

I got into a program (even got a year of scholarship!) even though I applied a good month after the initial deadline.
posted by rockindata at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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