What to expect when a schools offers to fly you out

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What to expect when a schools offers to fly you out

Post by rhenley » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:01 am

I got an offer from Syracuse and they are offering to reimburse me for flying out and putting me up in a hotel with another prospective phd student. Do most schools only offer to pay for you when they do this? I always thought they would pay for me and another person (not sure where i got this notion from). Also, I hate the idea of rooming with a stranger, is this normal procedure? I'm going to see if I can upgrade to having my own room.

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Re: What to expect when a schools offers to fly you out

Post by negru » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:12 am

Oh yeah most schools can pay for another person and also give you special accommodations. They need their students and these travel costs are anyway small compared to the stipend/fellowship/housing etc you'll probably be getting as a grad student. So yeah just tell them you need to travel with someone else and want a room for yourself. They do try to avoid having to do this of course, so don't be like "so would it be at all possible etc", cause they'll think you're just trying your luck so they'll play dumb and possibly blow you off. But they definitely do this, so just tell them straight what your extra demands are.

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Re: What to expect when a schools offers to fly you out

Post by TakeruK » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:01 am

It is normal for schools to put two prospective grad students in one room during a visit. They usually only pay for you to visit too. One school I will be visiting soon will actually put me with a current graduate student.

You can probably upgrade to your own room but you will probably have to pay the difference yourself. The school might have a special rate with the hotel so this might not be as costly as you may think. I think schools would be understanding if you are visiting along with someone who would be part of your decision process (e.g. a significant other). When I visited (I was the only student visiting on those dates), the schools also paid for extra hotel stays outside of the visit days so that my wife and I could visit the city and my wife was also invited along when the profs took us out to dinner. But maybe I was just lucky with the particular schools I applied to. I was also visiting three schools in one trip so the travel cost to each school was pretty low.

I think you should write back to the school and explain that you would like to visit with another person and would prefer to have your own room. Negru is clearly trolling -- don't make it a demand, just state your requests and see what they say / ask how much they are able to compensate. Then decide whether or not it's worth it for you to visit them.

One school actually first told me that they can't compensate if I visit outside of Open House dates, but we decided to visit anyways. At the last minute, I asked the school if I could get their preferred rate at a hotel, and they decided that they would reimburse me fully after all.

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Re: What to expect when a schools offers to fly you out

Post by grae313 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:13 pm

I think if you have a spouse the University is more likely to be understanding of a request to fly and board two people out there, and it's definitely worth a polite inquiry (explaining that your wife/husband/whatever is 1/2 of the decision as to where you'll decide to go), but a department runs on a budget just like everything else and it would be a bit of a strain for them to fly everyone and their mom out to visit weekend and put them all in their own rooms. It's normal to cut costs by sharing rooms or having prospectives stay in the homes of current graduate students, and I wouldn't be too shocked if they told you they could not reimburse you for additional travelers.

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