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How Picky should you be about Schools?

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:37 pm
by Nightzeit
If you aren't accepted to any of the schools you want, would taking a gap year and trying again later be a good idea?

My list of schools is very small and that worries me.

Re: How Picky should you be about Schools?

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:02 pm
by HubbleBubble
A lot of people take gap years after facing total rejection. Usually you only do better if you do more research or publish current results. But I have seen someone get into a top 10 school after getting rejected everywhere (it also involved a complete work ethic shift). If you take a gap year despite acceptance from a safety, note that there is no guarantee you will get into a safety the next time around.

EDIT: To add some perspective, only a slim majority of my incoming class were fresh graduates. A third had done masters elsewhere (and not just internationals), and one had a data science job for a few years and got tired of large paychecks. So gap years, by choice or not, are fairly common.