Dismiss Notice
Last chance to give your feedback! Fill out the 2019 SDN Member Survey to let us know what's important to you (and win prizes!)

Turning down offers?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychRA, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. psychRA

    psychRA Psychologist
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    157
    What is the correct protocol for turning down an offer to a grad program? I'm not sure if I should be calling programs to talk with POI directly, or if I'm supposed to email them instead so that they have it in writing. Or should I be calling and then following up by email? Help! :confused:

    p.s. I aplogize if this has already been discussed in another thread!
     
  2. Sorg1123

    Sorg1123 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I recommend speaking directly with your POI and then following up with an email. That's what I did. Maybe I'm old fashioned but it seems to me that only sending an email is inappropriate (and borderline disrespectful) for this situation.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. psychey

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Uh oh- I sent an email to turn down an offer last week. It was a nicely-worded email! I hope I didn't offend anyone, as I really liked them and their program!! I didn't know the rules. :(
     
  4. Ollie123

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    1,166
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I've heard the opposite actually, a friend called to tell them directly and they requested she send an email so they would have it on record.

    I doubt most people are sensitive enough to be deeply hurt if someone emails vs. calls. Frankly, I'm sure enough people blow it off entirely and they just don't hear anything from them that they are happy to find out however you are comfortable doing so. At least that is how I would feel in their shoes.
     
  5. Sorg1123

    Sorg1123 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I don't think there are rules and, if it was nicely worded, I doubt you offended him/her. And it's probably not a big deal. I just think that if you ever spoke to you POI then you should give them your decision over the phone. Maybe decline the offer the same medium the you were informed of your acceptance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. OP
    OP
    psychRA

    psychRA Psychologist
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    157
  7. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
    Faculty 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I kind of feel bad as well because I emailed the school which was runner-up. It seemed to be received very well actually, for what it is worth, but I was torn. I knew they were deciding soon but I didn't want to leave a voicemail (it was a Saturday) so I emailed instead.

    Overall, my guess is it probably doesn't matter even though I do wish I had called. I think we are just all so used to worrying about every little thing that it is carrying over to after the admission process.
     
  8. GiantSteps

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everyone has been griping for months about how much they hate the whole application process and how poorly they have been treated by various graduate schools. Now some of us applicants are finally finding themselves in the driver's seat and we are worrying about protocol! Why doesn't everyone on this issue of turning down an offer try to apply Social Observation Theory:i.e. we learn by watching. Therefore, try some of the following:

    1. Make the school wait until the last possible minute until you tell them.

    2. When they call you, say that decisions are being made but no further information can be revealed at this time. Also, put them on hold for a while.

    3. When they e-mail, sent back a reply that says: Mr./ Ms. SO-AND-SO receives a huge number of e-mails every year and can't reply personally to everyone. For specific questions on your decision making process, please see my web site or blog.

    4. Tell them your decision is in the mail and to be patient.

    5. Tell them, if they are in a rush they can send a representative to your house (they have to pay) to pick it up. You will make arrangements for them to stay with a fellow administrator or professor at your school or work.

    6. Tell them to consult the Professor Of Interest Network (POI.net) on which they can compare notes with other POI's in waiting and try to figure out for themselves if they have any graduate students coming or not and how they should plan for their futures.

    7. Send them a form letter which states that you had many graduate schools accepting you this year, more than ever before. All the schools had excellent resources but unfortunately only one could be selected. etc, etc.
     
  9. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
    Faculty 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    Also tell them that you haven't received the acceptance letter and offer information and ask them to send it again...three times.

    Additionally, each time that they send the letter they need to send two copies. All of these copies must be official letters...copies of letters or PDF files are of course not accepted.

    I like the way you think GiantSteps even though there is no way I could actually do it.
     
  10. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    Although these bits o' advice are mildly amusing, I should hope that no one actually follows it. After all, there are some wait listed individuals who may be hoping for a bump up to the accepted status. If you wait until 5 minutes prior to 5PM on April 16 to notify a program, then you're screwing those people over . . . whether you care about it or not. :D
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Don't forget the $50 fee so they can get rejected!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. joetro

    joetro Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've always called the POI. I wouldn't break up with someone over e-mail, so I don't feel like I should "break up" with a program that way too.
     
  13. 54321

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are guidelines posted on most schools webpages about how to turn down offers. The correct procedure it to call and then follow the call with a letter within 24 hours for schools you have been accepted to. You are also supposed to send all schools that are still considering you written notice that you no longer wish to be considered.
     
  14. psychey

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would you break up with someone over the phone? Harsh!

    What about turning down rejection letters? For example:

    "Dear University of X,

    Thank you for your attractive rejection letter. It had many strong qualities including mild wording, flawless grammar, and a pleasing font. However, it was a very strong year for rejection letters and, unfortunately, I am not able to accept them all. I am including some additional information in case you want to consider rejecting me from the Master's program instead. Thank you again for your rejection, and I am sorry that I am unable to accept.

    Sincerely,

    Psychey."
     
  15. GiantSteps

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    RayneeDeigh, come on, you need to provide two options: let's say $50 for an on-line turndown and $60 for a paper turndown.

    Paramour,
    Don't worry about the people waiting, they will be screwed by the schools anyway. Worry instead about the people who have accepted their invitation and will then be told that the school actually overbooked, like an airline, and will have to bump a few of those who thought they were accepted (they will be allowed to re-apply next year as long as they pay again). Then also worry about those who decide to decline an offer and are informed by the school that turning down is not allowed. The school will be left with no alternative but to bill the person for 5-6 years of graduate school.

    Irish80122,
    "I like the way you think GiantSteps even though there is no way I could actually do it."

    Well, maybe not now Irish80122, but after a year or two in Morgantown, you will be doing all sorts of things you thought you would never do. Remember all those famous social psychology experiments about what people will do when placed in the right setting? You're going to be a Mountaineer! You can do whatever you want! I am still hearing stories of the years my family members lives in Morgantown and that was ages ago.

    That was tough, addressing three StudentDoctorNetwork Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Thread Superstars (RayneeDeigh, Paramour, and Irish80122) all in the same post. I think I need a drink or an electric shock to recover. Actually, no time, I have to write some weekly summary notes.
     
  16. perfektspace

    perfektspace Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Giant, I greatly enjoyed your post.

    Don't forget to add they will be given the option of sleeping on a hardwood floor in a house that does not have the heat turned on or a tiny couch with questionable stains on it.

    So glad this is over.:sleep:
     
  17. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
    Faculty 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    While it is good to be formal and polite, I think we all are taking this way too seriously. The programs probably just want to know and are glad that you told them when you knew, you know? Also, I think a lot of it is in how you approach it. I am pretty sure that a really nice email explaining the situation and wishing the program well would go over better than calling and being rude. It isn't about the medium, it is about what you say...I think at least. Perhaps I will disagree in a few years when I am in the position (hopefully) of a POI.

    Think about that...that will really be weird! Think we will still be on the board "spying" on our applicants? What would you value in an applicant? Sorry, all of this is off-topic but I find it interesting.
     
  18. Duckygirl

    Duckygirl Back on the saddle
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Man oh man, you guys are funny! GiantSteps, your list was absolutely hilarious, and I wholeheartedly concur that being courteous at the end of this process is nearly ridiculous. I will say however, that it is really important for applicants to not wait too long to turn down an offer- each and every one of us knows what is would be like if one of our top choices contacted us with something more attractive than what we've received so far. I will also say that all this talk about calling is silly. Yes, call your professor if you feel like the personal connection is there- but you are under absolutely no obligation to call a school to decline. Additionally, it should be fairly clear to all of us that finalization in our society typically still depends on something in writing. I think it's much wiser to write a short letter saying thanks but no thanks. I really liked the letter of decline for a rejection, Psychey. I think I'll get to drafting a few of those right now...
     
  19. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
    Faculty 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I think a far more powerful message would be sent by sending acceptance letters to those who have rejected you. Imagine something like this.

    Dear *******,

    I am pleased to accept your rejection of admission for the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology for the Fall 2007 term. Your combination of resources, professors, and fit did not sit well with me and allowed me to accept your rejection far more easily than the rejections from many other institutions.

    I sincerely look forward to not seeing you this fall. If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to call and I will give you a piece of my mind. Have a great day!

    Sincerely,
    *********** ***********
     
  20. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    :laugh: Now that is truly funny. I've seen various "rejection of your rejection" letters but this one is something new (to me). And, I suspect there are more than a few applicants who would still love to send it to some of those programs that we're not so impressed by after learning more about 'em.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Oh man. After a LONG day of classes and writing the Results section of my thesis, I'm truly enjoying this thread. I may have to copy/paste some of it into my Myspace blog. But don't worry, I'll use proper APA referencing style so you all get credit. :D
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    blah, I was doing that earlier in the day--gave me a massive headache right before going to class! :mad:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Everyone always complains about the literature review part, but I think that's WAYYY easier than writing up results. All the staring at regression tables makes me want to pack it all in and go be a hairdresser.

    So I feel your pain. lol
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
    Faculty 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    By the way, how does one properly cite something from a message board in APA format? For me, would you cite Mike (as some people know my name is) or would Irish80122 I can be more easily identified by that than simply by the name Mike. If I replied to someone, would they in essence be a co-author? So many questions...and yes, I am this big of a nerd in real life as those of you on this board who have met me can attest to.
     
  25. psychwanabe

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Never have I read truer words! Someone remind me, why are we putting ourselves through all this again???
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  26. psychey

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear X,

    I am very enthusiastic about being offered a position toward the middle to bottom of your waitlist! After interviewing at several schools, I can confidently state that the middle to bottom of your waitlist is the best match with my interests, experience, and career goals. I look forward to becoming more familiar with your waitlist over the next several months and (hopefully!) well into the summer.

    Regards,

    Psychey
     
  27. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    :laugh: I was actually thinking as I was writing it, "how the hell does one cite something from a message board??"

    I'll google it later. hehe
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  28. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Okay good then it's not just me!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  29. amy203

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    One thing to keep in mind is that there is a very good chance you will be seeing these people again, assuming you have similar research interests. I'm hoping to preserve a relationship with several of the POI's I am considering turning down, because I would still like to work with them someday, so I'm definitely going with a phone call (along with a letter, if they require it).

    However, there is a part of me that just wants to send a mass email with the words "So long, and thanks for all the bagels and bad pizza."
     
  30. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    :laugh: I hear you on that one. I swear one of the places I interviewed at gave me food poisoning with their extremely bad pizza. I felt ill almost immediately afterwards . . . even better, I had the privilege of actually paying for that meal. $10 for crappy ass pizza. Superb.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  31. tkj

    tkj
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    ...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  32. psychey

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    one school had curry cous cous. I've heard that another school has had a "chocolate fountain" in years past. :)
     
  33. Ella_Mental

    Ella_Mental Ride 'em, cowgirl!
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    there was a chocolate fountain and booze at UVM's after-interview party... I didn't partake in either unfortunately =(
     
  34. Ollie123

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    1,166
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    You missed out Ella-Mental, there was a load of very delicious food and it was great fun. The dinner the previous night at American Flatbreads was also delicious.

    Makes me kind of wish I was going there since everyone was extremely nice, but they wait-listed me and I think its a bit too clinically-oriented for me anyways.

    Who did you apply with there, if I may ask? (PM me if you don't want to say here)
     
  35. tkj

    tkj
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    ...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  36. psychey

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    U of Oregon had chocolate fountain too! Funny how UVM and U of O were my two favorites. :) I also missed chocolate fountain day at UVM and Oregon didn't have one this year though so maybe my decision wasn't based solely on the choc. fountain. However, maybe I'll get to partake next year!
     
  37. Ollie123

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    1,166
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Fancier:)

    Its basically a giant hourglass that is open on top and filled with chocolate and sitting in a large bowl. There is a water (chocolate?) pump in the middle so that it rotates and drips chocolate off the sides of the top. You take a utensil and hold food underneath it and it coats it in a warm layer of delicious chocolate. UVM had bowls of streawberries and I think some other things (I went for the strawberries though). So good.

    Also for the record, I think officially they said no to me. I haven't said no to them yet even though I'm 95% sure I would go to USF over UVM. There's some weirdness going on with one of my mentors at USF possibly leaving though, so I want to sort through how all that would work before I call UVM and withdraw from the wait list. I DO have 2 mentors at USF though so if one leaves that isn't necessarily disastrous.
     
  38. tkj

    tkj
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    ...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  39. Ollie123

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    1,166
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    It is more than a bit strange.
    I do know where he might end up if he doesn't stay (and he thinks he WILL be staying, but wasn't sure). Its a very good school.

    I would most likely stay at USF regardless. My interest in the research of the person who is leaving is sort of dependent on it being projects of joint interest with the other professor there. I think its a great fit, but unless there is a mood person at the other school that also matches my interests directly who would be open to some sort of joint-mentorship, I will probably not go there.

    Hopefully he'll stay there though and this will all be moot:)
     
  40. GiantSteps

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  41. Ella_Mental

    Ella_Mental Ride 'em, cowgirl!
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    oh...i was there...i just chose to behave.

    Ollie: PM me offline and I can answer your UVM question (even if you didn't personally meet me, you will know who I am once I tell you my story)
     
  42. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah, the situation did not make me very happy. But that day and the next day both completely sucketh'd for me. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

    I burned myself. Twice. I cut myself. Twice. I got to the town alright (I drove 10.5 hours to get there), but then drove around for an hour trying to find the frakkin' street. The street was apparently divided in two parts of the city--and they were not connected--and I kept going down the wrong one. Finally find the right street division, then rack my truck on a concrete median that's hidden by a ton of snow. I then left my wallet (and money) back at my hosts' house when we went to the social. So I couldn't pay for the crappy pizza. The pizza that made me ill. The prior interviewee went 15 minutes into my time for the first interview. My first interviewer cut my time short in order to play catch-up. My second interviewer kept staring at her cell phone the entire time. Then she cut me off in mid-sentence with, "Time's up. You've gotta go now." This was among all the other "little" things that kept going wrong. Which sucked even more since it was my top choice school . . .

    They made up for it though--I received my acceptance offer today! Maybe they heard my pizza complaint? :D
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  43. LadyInRed

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh my gosh, that was hilarious, I'm cracking up :laugh:
     
  44. GiantSteps

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    LadyInRed,
    I am not trying to be persnickety, but I wrote the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory analogy, not Ollie123. Anyway, I am glad you liked it, people seemed to respond better to my ealier post on this thread.
     
  45. paramour

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    5
    They were both amusing--but I believe I actually liked the Charlie & the Chocolate Facotry analogy slightly better. :D
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  46. Psychie1

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I still have some schools I have yet to hear from post-interview. I assume I am on the waitlist as I have not received a rejection from any of them, but I have also not received any correspondence to say I am definitely on a waitlist. I am about to accept an offer elsewhere and know that you are supposed to withdraw applications from other schools considering you. Should I assume I am still being considered by these schools and contact them to withdraw my application? I feel presumptuous to call out of the blue. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks!!
     
  47. psychwanabe

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I think that the general consensus (see the thread about acceptances) is that once you've gotten an offer and the clock is ticking, it's not inappropriate to send a polite email asking your status. Someone (I forget who, but it was a funny email to Dr. Rejectsalot) posted a good model for just such an email.

    I'm in a similar spot, but I'm waiting a little bit longer to email because I was told offers would not come until end of March/first of April. Let's face it: most of these schools have made us wait for-freaking-ever to get an interview and then an acceptance in the first place. Making the ones that accept you wait a little for your response is not going to kill them! ;)

    Hope this helps...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  48. LadyInRed

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, not sure how I managed to do that. But both posts were hilarious! :)
     
  49. Dr.Maybe

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really don't think it can hurt to call or email and ask about your status. I think it shows interest in the program. And they know that we're waiting on pins and needles! I've only received positive/helpful feedback from professors that I've contacted post-interview.
     

Share This Page