Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to"?

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mjlm
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Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to"?

Postby mjlm » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

Hello,

I'm currently applying for grad school in the US and the schools often want to know which other programs I am applying to. Does anybody know why? Any advice on what's the best answer?

Normally I answer hontestly, of course, but I cannot imagine how an answer to this question would influence my attractiveness to the university.

I am thinking about leaving it blank, but would like second opinions first.

Thanks!

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

Part of it is they're curious how serious you are to applying to their program. If it's clearly a back up school, and you don't express much interest in going there, they'll treat your application as such. If it's clearly your reach, and you're obviously somewhat under qualified to go there, they'll treat your application as such. If you fill the list with 50 schools, they'll know you aren't serious about any one of them. If you only list one other school, they'll know you aren't serious about the application process.

Personally, I listed 3-4 other schools on each application, and all but a few of my programs were about the same tier.
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mjlm
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Re: Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to

Postby mjlm » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:29 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Part of it is they're curious how serious you are to applying to their program. If it's clearly a back up school, and you don't express much interest in going there, they'll treat your application as such. If it's clearly your reach, and you're obviously somewhat under qualified to go there, they'll treat your application as such. If you fill the list with 50 schools, they'll know you aren't serious about any one of them. If you only list one other school, they'll know you aren't serious about the application process.

Personally, I listed 3-4 other schools on each application, and all but a few of my programs were about the same tier.


Thanks, that makes sense. May I ask how many programs you actually applied to?

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

6-7 I think? One was a masters program.
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Re: Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to

Postby Newt » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:21 pm UTC

I generally listed 3-4 universities with similar tiers and research 'specialties'; I felt that this indicated that I had not been thoughtless in selecting the programs, and perhaps made it more likely institutions would offer funding(as they would be more concerned that my decision would be more responsive to such).

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Re: Grad School Application: Name "other programs applied to

Postby apricity » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:23 am UTC

I only applied to one program, but I said on my application that I was applying to two others as well so they wouldn't think I wasn't serious. I was entirely serious, as evidenced by the fact that I'm at that school now. But theirs was the only good school for what I wanted to study in my area, and I would have rather stayed at my job-at-the-time and put off grad school for another few years than moved at that point. Since there was nowhere in that section for me to explain all of that, I decided to just play it safe and make it look as though I was applying to other programs.

A lot of the reasoning is statistics, so they can compare how many people choose their school over similar ones. They later use those statistics in improving their programs, or their marketing and outreach to applicants.
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