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Admission and funding decisions

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In most cases the ADCOM simply does its best to rank the candidates.
Then the top N get admission letters, and of those the top n (n<=N) get admission + funding.

Ranking may also be used to further divide the funded applicants (top n1 get fellowship offers, next n2 get TA's, rest get only tuition waivers, etc).

Of course they know that only a fraction (estimated from experience) of offers in any category will be accepted. They consider that in determining the number of offers.

Some consideration *may* be given to fields, but since students are generally allowed to switch fields (SOP are non-binding), this will likely not be given much weight.

Above is the most common scenario... it may not apply to certain specific programs or funding sources... For example, there may be specific fellowships that can only be offered to candidates who satisfy certain specific criteria (geographical, gender, subfield, ethnic, etc), perhaps because a private donor provided the funding and specified so.
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