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Thread: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

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    What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

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    I am now on the waitlist of a good program, and I have already received an generously funded offer from a program that I prefer (but it does not dominate, I will try to get a second opinion from my advisors soon). For now I think it's unlikely that I will accept if the first school admit me out of the waitlist, but I am very very curious as to whether or not I will eventually get in. (Assume that I decide to stick with the school that has already admitted me after talking to my advisors), I will reject any offer out of the waitlist as soon as I get it (if I ever get it), but I would like to wait to see the decision.

    My question is, how long can I stay on the waitlist without causing severe congestion problems for other applicants? By severe congestion problems I mean someone, who would have gotten into that school, winds up in an inferior program just because I stick in the waitlist for too long.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by applicant201; 02-28-2017 at 09:21 AM.

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    I would say that the effect is probably null. As long as they did not give you an offer then the person right after you on the WL is not affected. What matters is the time you will take to reject the potential offer.

    The only case where it could be damaging is if you received an offer on April 15th and that the university does not have enough time to make an other offer after your rejection.

    I am in the application process too so take my words with caution

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    You probably won't hear back from the waitlist until the very end. If you think you like where you got in I would just decline the waitlist and help everyone else out limiting the congestion. Somebody out there will appreciate it very much and it seems you will be affected very little.

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Quote Originally Posted by econphilomath View Post
    You probably won't hear back from the waitlist until the very end. If you think you like where you got in I would just decline the waitlist and help everyone else out limiting the congestion. Somebody out there will appreciate it very much and it seems you will be affected very little.

    This. Your curiosity may delay an offer to someone that is behind you on the waitlist. A person may accept an inferior offer fearing to not be accepted off the waitilist. You are just messing up with people's and universities' lives because of curiosity.

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    University lives matter

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Thank you so much for the answers.

    As I said, the program that accepts me is preferred but does not dominate. Recently I talked to my advisor, who says he would opt for the program that put me on the waitlist. Another prof told me the choice should depend on this and that. So it's not a curiosity thing anymore. I think it will take a flyout, more research, and discussions with a few other faculties to figure out. But I will notify the schools as soon as I make up my mind.

    How would staying too long affect other students or the university. Would people accept an inferior offer just because he or she hasn't hear from the waitlist, even if it's not quite April 15th yet?

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Quote Originally Posted by applicant201 View Post

    How would staying too long affect other students or the university. Would people accept an inferior offer just because he or she hasn't hear from the waitlist, even if it's not quite April 15th yet?
    Yes. People have lives, families, and a bunch of unique circumstances that would make this a possible outcome. With that said, do what you want but don't be under the false assumption that it will certainly not affect anyone else's welfare/outcome.

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Quote Originally Posted by jklimek View Post
    Yes. People have lives, families, and a bunch of unique circumstances that would make this a possible outcome. With that said, do what you want but don't be under the false assumption that it will certainly not affect anyone else's welfare/outcome.
    I see. I will take action as soon as I get more informed.

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Quote Originally Posted by jklimek View Post
    Yes. People have lives, families, and a bunch of unique circumstances that would make this a possible outcome. With that said, do what you want but don't be under the false assumption that it will certainly not affect anyone else's welfare/outcome.
    As I said before, he/she won't affect anyone's life until he receives an offer. As long as he/she does not get an offer, by definition the next person on the WL won't receive one either. IMO it is just a matter of how fast you will decline the offer.

    edit: I just realized that if everyone is doing that, then the sum of all these small delays will certainly increase the probability of some faithful applicant getting screwed...

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    Re: What is an appropriate time for asking to be removed from waitlists?

    Quote Originally Posted by balibalo View Post
    As I said before, he/she won't affect anyone's life until he receives an offer. As long as he/she does not get an offer, by definition the next person on the WL won't receive one either. IMO it is just a matter of how fast you will decline the offer.

    edit: I just realized that if everyone is doing that, then the sum of all these small delays will certainly increase the probability of some faithful applicant getting screwed...
    Right. If 10 people are all doing that then on April 15th someone's going to get missed in the backlog. Granted that seems like it's probably an extreme case. If this person does have interest in the program though then there is no problem waiting until he/she get a better picture, and it seems like he/she has had a change of heart about the waitlist program.

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