Some people have, yes. But according to GradCafe it's not many. So I think more people will be accepted in the coming weeks, but with the pandemic who really knows anymore?
First, we don't get all of the applications at one time. At my university, applications first go to the general admissions office, which does an initial verification of credentials. They don't admit or reject anyone; they just verify that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements established by university. Then applications are forwarded to our department. An admissions specialist then reviews them to make sure that all of our department standards are met. Again, no admissions or rejections are made; just verification that program minimum qualifications are met. Then application are forwarded to the admissions committee, who make actual admission decisions. We start reviewing the files this week, but files will tickle into us over the next few weeks. We don't wait until we have all of the applications to announce all decision.
Second, in our initial review of applications, we admit some; reject some; and then hold on to others to make a decision later in the process. This is essentially being on a waitlist. Hypothetically, let's say that we want to have about 13-17 people in our new cohort. Based on the last few years, we know we probably need to admit at least 30 people to net 13-17. But we can't admit 30 people right away because we only have funding for, say, 17 people. Some programs will admit all 30, but only offer funding to 17 and tell the other 13 that they are on the waitlist for funding. We choose not to do that for a variety of reasons. Instead, we admit, say, 20 right away. Then, as we get acceptances and rejections, we move down the list and admit more. As I said, not hearing from us (or from another program) generally means you are on our waitlist for both admissions and funding. At some point in the process I let applicants know this, but not right away.
Happy to answer more questions. (Just to be clear, I am affiliated with another university, not UM.)
Would you be willing/able to share any insight as to how this year is different, because of covid-19 -- specifically whether it's effected 1) the amount of applications your department received, 2) the size of your cohort; or 3) your actual admissions process ?
This is useful information, but everyone should still remember that admissions work differently in each department. In my (top 20 US) department, there is no pre-screen. All complete applicants are reviewed by one or more faculty members on the admissions committee. We review all applications before releasing any decisions. We release the majority of decisions all at once (modular processing time in the application portal) retaining a small pool of candidates as a waiting list. We offer funded admissions to more applicants than our target for enrollment, relying on historical yield information and the best information available about the current situation to wind up with an entering cohort close to our target size. One reason we take this approach may be that we target a larger class size than tbe mentions.
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