So, you clicked the “Submit” button for your online application. You mailed all your application documents and have completed all the necessary steps to complete your application. Congrats!! Now all you have to do is to wait for the admission result.
For all of our seniors waiting for graduate school acceptance letters, each day can feel like an eternity. You constantly refresh your email account, check your mail, and your application’s status on the school’s website. Here are a few tips that can help you cope with the waiting and a bit about what to do once the waiting is over and decisions have to be made.
The waiting is hard, but what do you do once the decision letters start rolling in? Maybe you've gotten a positive response, or a negative one, or something in the middle. What do you do now?
The first thing you need to know is that all graduate schools subscribe to a national acceptance deadline of April 15. Basically, this means that you can wait for all your grad schools to respond before making a decision. This is important, DO NOT jump at your first offer just because it is a “yes.” If you don't hear from one of your schools by roughly March 15, give that school a call — telephone rather than e-mail.
The second thing you should know is that there are four general results you can expect: (1) you are accepted with funding; (2) you are accepted without funding; (3) you are placed on a waiting list; or (4) you are rejected. Once you have received a response or responses, come in to discuss your options with your advisor.
If you do not receive a positive response from the school of your choice, another option to consider is schools with rolling admissions deadlines. These schools can provide flexibility and more importantly options. Also, they review applications as they arrive; this means it might not be judged against so many competing applications, depending on when you apply in the admissions process and you are likely to receive a quick response. If plan A fall through, this is a viable option for plan B.