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Receiving unknown award after likely admissions decision. Update?

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Humerus84

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Hello all,

I recently got notified by the head of my department that I will be receiving a departmental award at my undergraduate institution and will be recognized at a spring awards ceremony. From what I understand, these are named awards and given out only to ~10 students out of the 1,000 or so in the LAS college. I was planning on sending an update letter to a few of my schools to inform them of fall grades and a research presentation I gave at an international research conference last fall, but I’m wondering whether to include the award I will be receiving. The reason for the struggle is that I do not know the specific award I will be receiving and the ceremony is not until mid-April (likely after the admissions committees may make a decision on waitlist/accept/reject). Given the unknown nature of the award, do you think that this warrants inclusion in an update letter or not? Besides managing deans list over a couple semesters I don’t have any awards or special recognitions in my application so the fact that I’m receiving something might round out my application a bit. Thanks.
 

seeinghowitgoes

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Personally would ask the department what the award is for. If they don't tell you I wouldn't include it in the update as it offers very little information.

In my experience, awards for awards-sake don't mean much. It's what the award signifies - service, academic achievement, etc, that is important. Awards help committees match the applicant's version of him or herself (as a public servant, researcher, etc) with others' perceptions - that is their value. Without know what that something else is the award is like a fancy wrapper with nothing inside.
 

Goro

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Hello all,

I recently got notified by the head of my department that I will be receiving a departmental award at my undergraduate institution and will be recognized at a spring awards ceremony. From what I understand, these are named awards and given out only to ~10 students out of the 1,000 or so in the LAS college. I was planning on sending an update letter to a few of my schools to inform them of fall grades and a research presentation I gave at an international research conference last fall, but I’m wondering whether to include the award I will be receiving. The reason for the struggle is that I do not know the specific award I will be receiving and the ceremony is not until mid-April (likely after the admissions committees may make a decision on waitlist/accept/reject). Given the unknown nature of the award, do you think that this warrants inclusion in an update letter or not? Besides managing deans list over a couple semesters I don’t have any awards or special recognitions in my application so the fact that I’m receiving something might round out my application a bit. Thanks.
It won't count until you actually get the award.

IF you send an update, make sure the schools welcome them. Some do not.
 

gonnif

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It won't count until you actually get the award.

IF you send an update, make sure the schools welcome them. Some do not.

I think in this case the OP can make mention in the update from precisely what he has been told

" I was recently informed by dept chair of DEPARTMENT" that I be be receiving a departmental award for BLANK during a spring ceremony in April. As someone abive noted, you can ask the chair what the name of the award is or at least what it is for (ie academic achievement, research work, best phone texting while pretending to pipette,)
 
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