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Thread: Deferring PhD admission

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Deferring PhD admission

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    Hi everyone,

    I am going to be applying in the next months for admission in August/September 2019. I will be applying to the top 10/15 plus corresponding business schools as applicable.

    I am worried about my partner's (we are not yet married) chances of getting a US work visa. Especially in the next 10 months. Deferring admission for a year might be useful to give extra time for her to try get a visa, or for us to get married so she can come on a J2 visa.

    My questions are these:
    • Will departments generally find the above to be an acceptable reason to defer admission for a year? Some are quite vague and seem to indicate its possible, whereas some (e.g. Stanford) make it clear that deferrals are very rare.
    • If a deferral is possible, will the funding offer also be valid the following year, or will I have to re-apply for that somehow?
    • If funding needs to be re-applied for, is there much risk that it will be substantially less after the deferred year?


    If answers are department dependent, please note I am applying to top 10/15 programs.

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    I would suggest simply not applying until next year rather than deferring. Take the year to improve your profile, work and save, get married, and be ready to move when the time comes.

  3. #3
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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    I have considered that. But the situation in terms of career factors and timing for both of us would make 2019 optimal. Hence why itís best I think I apply this year and hope a work visa for her is attainable. Iím just asking the above as backup in case things go wrong.

    Does anyone have any insight or info on the deferral criteria and process? Thanks

  4. #4
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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    You won't get a deferral for that reason. They will just tell you to reapply next year. Think about it, you are essentially asking them to write you an option for free. If things don't work out for your spouse you will have to either take the offer and do long distance or reapply.

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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubrus View Post
    You won't get a deferral for that reason. They will just tell you to reapply next year. Think about it, you are essentially asking them to write you an option for free. If things don't work out for your spouse you will have to either take the offer and do long distance or reapply.
    Yes fair enough, I see your point. In general are departments likely to view my re-application less favorably than the original application? Is this different if I was offered a place the first time around?

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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    Quote Originally Posted by erckle View Post
    Yes fair enough, I see your point. In general are departments likely to view my re-application less favorably than the original application? Is this different if I was offered a place the first time around?
    It's a risk, departments often change adcom members and the new group might look for something else. However, that can work in your favor as well as against you. On the other hand, another $1200 in application fees makes no sense.

    If you apply this year, I would commit to attending, regardless of spouse visa timing. You only have to be there for two periods of 16 weeks and he/she can visit for long periods during that time. Likely, the visa would come through at some point during that first year so, it might be just a very short period of long distance. You might even find it easier to do your first year course work without your spouse present - it's not hard, just really time intensive.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Deferring PhD admission

    I concur with tm_member; I don't think it's sensible to defer your PhD entry even if your spouse fails to find a work visa. If you both can commit to marriage, then just consider a spousal visa as the backup. If either of you aren't sure of marriage, then any career sacrifice by either person puts relationship pressure on the other person, which is bad. Assuming your income potential is going to be higher, it's especially awkward for you to sacrifice nearly a year of your future joint income (one year of delay in PhD => one year loss of end-of-career income) to be together with your partner.
    Last edited by chateauheart; 10-09-2018 at 02:18 PM.

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