Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

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Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by is2718 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:14 pm

I'm in a bit of weird situation with this one, so maybe some people here can help me proceed in the most respectful, polite way.

Anyhow, I was accepted to Brown off the waitlist (hooray!), as well as a couple other schools. For whatever reason it took a while for me to get the official acceptance letter from Brown, so by the time I started thinking about visiting the school, the soonest I could do so (without missing finals or tickets being extremely expensive) was the beginning of April. I bought tickets and arranged a visit, and then sometime afterwards other schools began contacting me to see if I had given any thought to their offer. Ideally, I would have liked to visit those schools and Brown and then make a decision afterwards. However, I realized that since I was only visiting Brown in April, I would only be able to make my decision within a week from the April 15th deadline. I'm pretty sure I want to go to Brown, and I felt like waiting so late would be unfair to those other schools and the people on their waitlists, so I officially accepted Brown's offer.

Now here's the weird part. I've still got a visit to the school lined up (which I am looking forward to). Is it distasteful to visit a school (on their dime) if you've gone and already accepted their offer? Should I tell the faculty that I've accepted their offer before/while I visit? On the one hand, it might make for a more meaningful visit; I can speak with profs. I want to work with on specifics. On the other hand, what is the point of visiting if I'm going to go there anyhow?

How do I deal with this tactfully? Thanks.

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by Amicable_PairTY » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:32 pm

I am in the exact same situation, although not with Brown (congrats!). Except I have not told them that I accept for the very reasons you listed, I thought they might not want to fund the trip to visit since I won't be able to go until the second week in April which is literally days before the 15th deadline. I'm very interested to hear others opinions on this situation.

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by L3inad » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:41 pm

I think you should have accepted after the visit IMO. What if there is something about the school that really bugs you?

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by m_s » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:54 pm

First of all, congratulations! I think that it's not distasteful to visit them. In contrast, you will be given the opportunity to meet some faculty and discuss about the program and faculty's research interests so it will be very useful, regardless the fact that you have already accepted. If you feel uncomfortable with the fact that you have already accepted their offer, you could let the person with wich you are in contact for the visit (professor or director) know and they can tell you, if they think that it is not still necessary.

@Amicable_PairTY In my case, visiting some universities was very helpful in forming a decision, so even if you have already decided, it can help you understand the program better,meet faculty and even learn a bit about the student life there. So I think that you should go and I do not find it "immoral" in any way. For me the "important part" is to let the rest of the universities (maybe not your second choice due to what L3inad says) know that you will not accept, in order to make things easier for people on the waitlist.

Have a nice visit!

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by MathFreaked » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:00 pm

If you've officially accepted the offer, wouldn't the department/faculty have that information? If you're really worried about it I suppose you could make sure they know beforehand, but I would guess they'd still be okay with it. The reason I think this is that they need to be able to justify this portion of the budget (i.e. flying people out to visit the campus) for future years to keep getting that budget. The way that this is justified is by showing a positive correlation between campus visits and acceptances. You, therefore, add positively to that statistic.

Also, in the future (for others who may read this, since I don't think you'll be applying to PhD programs again) I don't think it's necessarily rude to wait until a week before the deadline (or whatever point in time you have all the information you need to make an educated decision). That week is still plenty of time. It's just rude when you have all your information and still hold out for any period of time for no good reason.

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by Legendre » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:48 pm

I was told by the schools that made me an offer that no acceptance of an offer is official until April 15th - this is a joint agreement by almost all the schools in the USA. (however, turning down an offer is always official)

They would still want you to visit because you can get a better offer between now and April 15th, and reject their offer legitimately.

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by IIIII » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:56 am

Here is how I would look at it:

By offering you, Brown has already made a substantial commitment (hundreds of thousands of $ worth) to develop your research potential. Familiarizing yourself with the school/city, being sure about your choice, having a better sense of faculty interests, and maybe some apartment hunting are all steps towards the end goal of producing high quality research, even if you are already certain you want to go there. Getting some of these variables settled (or reducing their uncertainty) will allow you to focus on your classes a bit more, rather than being stressed in the first few weeks of the semester. Plus, actually meeting the faculty might give you some areas to study or things to think about over the summer.

I would not consider it distasteful. Even in your circumstance, I think it is still an efficient use of their money.

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Re: Visiting a School After Accepting Their Offer

Post by is2718 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:35 pm

Thanks for all the helpful advice!

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