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Responding to the Notification Decision Part Three – Admitted by Dr. Don Martin
Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago, IL
Thursday, March 16, 2023

And now, for the final of this three-part series:
Admitted – WAY TO GO!!  You did it!  Your hard work has paid off.  You still have lots of decisions ahead, but for now, take some time off – go and celebrate!!!  Once you have “recuperated” from the euphoria, here are some next steps to consider:
  1. Thank those who helped you (family, friends, recommenders, interviewer, etc.). While you did the lion’s share of the work, there are others who helped with your application and/or gave you lots of encouragement and support along the way.  This may be especially true if you were initially waitlisted.  Be sure to thank these individuals.  You might take them out for dinner, send them flowers or give them a gift certificate.
  2. Send a thank you note to the person who signed your notification letter. This goes a long way.  The admissions committee works very hard too, and it is always nice to remember to say thanks to them.
  3. Read the materials you start receiving. They will contain important information about your enrollment deposit, financial aid, housing, admitted student visit programs, course scheduling, new student orientation, student life and much more.  Hold on to this information and read it carefully.
  4. Start/continue talking with other admits, current students and alumni. By now you may have established contact with current or former students.  You may even know others who, like yourself, have just been admitted.  Reach out to these individuals.  You can learn a lot from current and/or former students.  You can learn a lot from future classmates as well.  Knowing some of your student colleagues before you enroll is always helpful.  Compare notes with them.  Get their impressions of the application process you have just been through, and also of the admitted student follow-up you have been receiving so far.
  5. Try to schedule a campus visit. Whether or not you have done so already, now is a great time to visit the campus.  Many institutions offer admitted student programs.  This provides a great opportunity for you to meet people you may decide to join for the next few years.  You may also choose to visit on your own at another time.  You can always arrange a visit with the admissions staff.  Here is a good tip:  If you really want to get an idea of what the institution is like, make an unannounced visit.  One advantage is no one knows you are coming, and you will experience things as they really are.  One disadvantage is that you will not be able to schedule appointments you might want ahead of time.
  6. Evaluate how you are treated post admission/deposit. As a prospective student you were in the driver’s seat when deciding where you would apply.  Once you submitted your application(s), you gave the wheel to the institution/admissions committee.  Now that you have been admitted, you are once again in the driver’s seat.  You get to decide whether to accept the offer.  This is a very good time to evaluate how you are treated.  Does the admitted student follow-up process make you feel wanted, included and well informed?  If so, great.  If not, perhaps you need to think more seriously about enrollment in the program.
  7. Do some comparison shopping. Remember the spreadsheet you started when initially investigating various graduate school options?  Now is a good time to expand it or create a new spreadsheet.  You might use the following as some of your evaluation questions:
    • How soon after I was admitted did I receive another contact from the institution?
    • Did a student or alumnus call me to offer congratulations and to offer help?
    • How often am I being contacted? It is too much?  Too little?
    • How long did it take me to get an estimated annual budget?
    • Will I receive financial aid? If so, what type?  Scholarships?  Fellowships?  Loans?  Work Study?  Graduate Assistantship?  Stipend?
    • How much information am I receiving about courses/program of study?
    • What did I think of my campus visit post admission?
    • How friendly/helpful have the faculty, staff and students been since I was admitted?
    • Is the information I am receiving really helpful to me?
    • If I am coming with a spouse or partner, or with a family, how accommodating/inclusive is the institution?
As you did before, put the names of the institutions to which you have been admitted on the left hand column of your spreadsheet and your various evaluation questions across the top.  Give each institution a grade.  You will start seeing some themes emerge as you do this.
**Please read the material sent to you or referred to on the web.  It is extremely frustrating to prepare information for incoming students, only to have them disregard it, asking questions they could easily have answered for themselves.  If you have suggestions about the way in which information is prepared or provided, definitely share those.  Be careful not to create negative impressions of yourself by appearing inept at getting readily available information that has already been communicated.
Be sure to check out Dr. Don’s book, “Road Map for Graduate Study, A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students,” right here on the GSRM website. For a reduced price CLICK HERE, go to The Book page, scroll down, click on the Order Now box, and use discount code GSRM.
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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Donald C. Martin
Group: Grad School Road Map
Dateline: Chicago, IL United States
Direct Phone: 773-549-7639
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