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How Do You Politely Decline An Offer?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Liselaime, 02.23.08.

  1. Liselaime

    Liselaime

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    I have several admissions offers, and while I'm still waiting to hear from my top two schools, I know which ones I'm definitely turning down. For those of you who have turned down an admissions offer, what kinds of things did you say? Should I say that I really lilke their program but have been accepted into one that is a better fit, or just decline politely?
  2. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    You don't need to give a reason; just decline the offer. You're going to be off the admissions radar as soon as you say you're not going, and they won't much care why. I called to make my declines and withdrawals; e-mails seemed a bit impersonal for it.
  3. irish80122

    irish80122 Assisting Professors

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    I emailed but I wish I had called (it was just a waitlist though). I would just say that you have either accepted another offer or received an offer from a school which fits better. I hope that helps.
  4. smitten

    smitten

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    Anyone else feel terrible about declining acceptances from certain schools?

    I just turned down an offer from a school where everyone is extremely nice and my POI made it clear they really wanted me to come, and I feel just awful. I know the faculty knows it's nothing personal, and I doubt they care much anyway, but it sucks to be the one doing the rejecting.

    At least there's solace in the fact that someone's about to have his or her day made by getting bumped off the waiting list!
  5. ananasaroma

    ananasaroma

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    I know exactly how you feel. I've already turned down two offers at great places and I did feel completely horrible. The worst part is yet to come though...I have two offers left and I love both schools and both POIs so I'm not sure how to 1) decide and 2) give up the offers. :confused: I'm so ready for this process to be over so I can just pack up my belongings and Uhaul it across the US.
  6. KellienComplex

    KellienComplex

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    Never mind the "right" means for declining an offer; more importantly, never hold more than one offer at one time as this greatly obstructs the admissions process for schools and applicants alike.
  7. bigdodge53

    bigdodge53

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    After all the letters of rejection, it's nice to be able to turn down an offer from one school for another. :smuggrin: However, it is good policy to not sit on the decision more than necessary because other students will be able to fill the spot you just vacated. I didn't even tease another program; I had two interviews on consecutive Fridays. The first program contacted me the following Monday with and acceptance offer and I instantly accepted. This program had everything I was looking for and, while the other program was good, the location and cost of living weren't as desirable as the first one. Ironically, someone posted an acceptance from the rejected program the following Monday too in the acceptance thread. I am not claiming that I opened a door for that person but I was one less applicant they had to compete with. It is a really good idea to have a firm idea of what kind of program you want when going into this process.
  8. Prophecy

    Prophecy

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    As a side consideration (and I apologize if this is slighly off topic), but how have people responded to offers that have come over the phone, epecially when they would still like to wait on all their application responses.

    I would like to think that I am going to receive a call soon with an offer from a school I am really interested in attending, however I am still interested in receiving news of all my other status before I make a final decision.

    Did the POI's that call require (or imply) that they would like a decision from you at that moment?

    Thanks for your responses!
  9. LGymnast

    LGymnast

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    I received a call from my POI and was not pressured to make a decision on the spot. I specifically asked when they needed my decision, and was told I technically had until April 15th but they would like a response as soon as was possible.
  10. razzled

    razzled

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    After offering me my spot, my advisor told me to take advantage of having til April 15th and really think it over before accepting or declining. Of course, it's poor form to hold the spot if you know for certain you aren't going to take it. But, as long as you're mulling it over...you have until April 15th.
  11. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    I sent an email. Here's the gist:

    Dear DCT or POI:

    I am writing to inform you of my decision to decline admission to XXX University. I was very impressed with your program; however, another school has provided me with a better match in terms of research interests, financial assistance, and location. I do so appreciate the helpfulness you, XXX, and other faculty showed me during this process. I wish you all the best of luck with your incoming class of graduate students.

    I am mailing the admission form today with my formal declination. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call.

    Sincerely,
  12. PsychDC08

    PsychDC08

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    What if a school that you decline asks you where you're going (the "better match" alluded to in the email saying no thanks) but you haven't decided 100% that's where you will be? To be more clear, I've been accepted to school #1, and I would rather go there than school #2. I still haven't heard back from everywhere though...I just don't want to hold onto offers that I know I won't accept. And I don't want to lie. Help?
  13. KellienComplex

    KellienComplex

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    "I've declined your offer for a more favorable match; however, I've yet to make a final decision."
  14. ny1020

    ny1020

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    I withdrew from a few interviews and not one asked me where I accepted. It may be different because you've already interviewed but they mostly said that they appreciated that I was letting them know and wished me luck.
  15. wannabePHD

    wannabePHD

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    How can you feel badly when you know there are eager waitlisters hungry for your spots?!!! This is part of the process and the rejection of offers is very common. I encourage all who plan on turning something down to do so in a timely manner (so i can get some sleep, hehe)! thanks!!!
  16. smitten

    smitten

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    Ack, I know! I just worked through that myself and did the notifying today. The worst part is that the school I didn't choose is the one where I'm currently working as an RA in my POI's lab. The interview isn't until the end of this week (but she'd already informally accepted me), so I went and met with her to tell her I'm withdrawing my application before the interview so the other applicants will get proper consideration. Now, THAT was hard; I almost cried, though she was very nice about all of it.

    At least it's all over now and I know where I'm going to be in the fall. I know it'll be a pretty great feeling once the residual guilt wears off. :rolleyes:
  17. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Never be afraid to tell a school you are still waiting to hear back from other places.

    They know. I've never heard of a school actually being mad about this. Some schools DO pressure people, but on the rare cases I've heard of this they will usually back off if you tell them directly "I am still waiting to hear back from x schools, I will let you know by y date" If anything I think it shows responsibility and good decision making skills to wait to see what your options are and give all schools a solid chance. I'd be a little concerned if an applicant was impulsively jumping on the first offer that came their way.

    Don't hold multiple offers you aren't considering just for the ego trip, but also don't accept until you are sure you want to attend.
  18. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    They won't ask. Don't worry about it. You have a couple of other posts here that are also good wording, but you really need to just let the spot go if you don't want it. Someone else is waiting for it! :)
  19. Rusalka

    Rusalka

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    Hmm... So far, both of the schools I've declined have asked me directly (where I decided to go). I responded that I have not accepted an offer yet, but am leaning toward X or Y at the moment.

    I do have to ditto the fact that this is very very hard... especially when schools and professors really go out of their way. I always have that initial regret pang, questioning whether I made the right choice. Then, I look back at my "rating chart" and remember why. I've been pleasantly surprised by how supportive POIs have been, though.
  20. Rusalka

    Rusalka

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    (sorry, accidental double-post)
  21. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    That's interesting. I was never asked and I haven't heard anyone else who was either. Small N though...so maybe not the norm. :rolleyes:

    I'm going into the home stretch of my first year in a program and I still wonder if I made the right choice. I not only have "Imposter Syndrome", I have "What If" syndrome! :laugh:
  22. BorntoRun

    BorntoRun

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    OK, here's another question. When you accept an offer, I know you've got to decline all your other offers and remove yourself from waitlists. But what about all the "presumed rejections" - places you haven't heard anything from? Do you need to contact all of them to withdraw your application as well, or would it be equally appropriate to just wait for them to just reject you of their own accord?
  23. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    I didn't. They didn't have the courtesy to get in touch with me and i just assumed i was in their trash can. Save a stamp! :rolleyes:
  24. immortalavalamp

    immortalavalamp

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    I'm planning to decline an offer...and I don't have anything else lined up. It just isn't a great fit...any suggestions?
  25. EquestriAnn

    EquestriAnn

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    Make sure you're 100% sure. Have you spoken to the POI about your reservations? I would just be completely candid, if it's obviously not a good match they should agree, even though they obviously want you. Then I would contact the other places you applied, maybe they are still looking for students. If not, ask them why you weren't accepted so you have something to work for if you apply again. Good luck!
  26. Psyched77

    Psyched77

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    OMG! I'm so glad someone else said it! lol And I'm glad it's not just me!

    (Ok, so I'm not starting until this fall, but I have fully anticipated feeling this way!)
  27. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    It's so funny. Our DCT talked about it during a meeting with the first years in the second or third week. We ALL felt it. When you are used to being the smartest, highest scorer, first-to-get-there-last-to-leave type of person and suddenly you are in the middle of a group in which everyone has that mentality, it's disconcerting. You start to wonder if you're really that special after all. It's very surreal going from 2 or 3 SD's above the mean to being at the mean! :laugh: Quite humbling, actually.
  28. immortalavalamp

    immortalavalamp

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    Thanks for your reply. I've spoken with my POI, but I'm still sure about my decision. When I was applying this year, I really wanted to go for "equal emphasis" programs...over the course of the year, while working on my thesis, I realized how much I love research. The place is really clinically oriented--which would have been great when I was applying in November, but not so great now. So, I'm going to try to work as an RA somewhere for a couple of years and reapply.

    It's really hard to turn down the only offer you have in hand, though.
  29. MaddieMay

    MaddieMay

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    *MOD NOTE: I combined the thread with an existing one. -t*

    I apologize ahead of time but the searches I did came up with nothing on this topic.

    Do you just give them a one-sentence, or do you explain why you're declining?

    I'm declining Argosy Denver, so don't anybody get exited that I'm opening up a spot for you. ;) This is their first year, so god knows if they'd be APA accredited by the time I graduated, plus after being on this forum for awhile I understand why the Argosy programs are less than desirable. Also, obviously no word on their APA match stats, ugh. I wish I'd known when I applied what I know now, I could have saved a ton in airfare for me and the bf.

    Anyway, the most polite way to turn down an offer?

    Thank you!
  30. Psyched77

    Psyched77

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    Two of mine:

    1. Thank you for the recent call and offer of admission. Unfortunately, I will not be able to accept the admission offer to -----.

    Warmest regards,

    2. Thank you for extending to me the opportunity to interview. However, I have accepted an offer elsewhere & am therefore no longer available.

    Short, sweet, & to the point. Both were received well--with immediate, polite replies.
  31. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    I sent something like this:

    Dear POI/DCT (whomever your offer came from):

    I am writing to inform you of my decision to decline admission to X University. I was very impressed with your program; however, another school has provided me with a better match in terms of research interests, financial assistance, and location. I do so appreciate the helpfulness you, current students, and other faculty showed me during this process. I wish you all the best of luck with your incoming class of graduate students.

    I am mailing the admission form today with my formal declination. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call.

    Sincerely,

    This is a little formal for some people, but it fits my style. I got a warm response back.
  32. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    There are upsides to it too! Classes are much more interesting and stimulating... I will admit, I often feel like the caboose being dragged along at the end of the train. Everyone in the program is pretty damn smart.

    Mark
  33. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    You'll find your niche. For me it was diagnostic differentials and pharmacology.....that was what I felt most comfortable with. If you can find your niche, you can feel comfortable in a group of people who are much smarter than most everyone else walking around.
  34. MaddieMay

    MaddieMay

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    [rant]

    Okay, the search function is pure evil. I searched for threads with the word "decline" in the title yesterday and the only one that showed up was "If You Know, Please Decline!" Today, "How Do You Politely Decline An Offer?" shows up. Evil! Argghh!

    /rant
  35. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    I know, right? What amazing people to be working with. And the classes (by and large) are great and go into the topics with the depth that you crave.

    I think I'm finding it...it's certainly not the stats classes! :rolleyes: But I feel so "in my zone" in any of the practical clinical classes. We all have our strengths, that's for sure.

    I am not sure that I will ever completely feel "comfortable" (i.e., like I belong) in this group of super-smart though.
  36. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    :laugh:.......no worries! It definitely can be quirky at times.
  37. jen4clinical

    jen4clinical

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    How should I reject an offer? A letter, an email, a call? I feel it would be awkward for me to call this particular program as I did not have much of a connection with the particular faculty member. He called me personally to make the offer, but sounded awkward and not especially enthused. I would send a letter, but I want the waitlist people to hear ASAP. Would an email and a letter be appropriate? I did like the program... Thanks for the help!

    *MOD NOTE: I merged your thread with this one, as it may have some helpful info for you. -t*
  38. jen4clinical

    jen4clinical

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    Nevermind this might have answered my question... any feedback on my original question/situation would still help. I've seen advice in both directions.
  39. citypsych

    citypsych

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    The question is, how do you title the offer decline email?

    Apparently if I followed some other programs' emails to us applicants, it'd be "PsyD Program REJECT."
  40. Blue86

    Blue86

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    me me me! :( I had such a hard time rejecting a program I was very close to going. It felt really bad after they were so nice to me. :(

    But regarding making decisions soon - I think it's great because someone else finds out sooner and we all know how we dreaded waiting to hear from schools. I think the content of the declining letter should be formal but still your own style. I was very sincere in saying how it was a difficult decision to me but there were these factors that I needed to take into consideration.
  41. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    I titled mine, "Withdrawal of Application/Declination of Offer/Withdrawal from Waitlist/Acceptance of Offer," respectively.

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