Oxford Economics graduate applicants

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Wastra
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Someone at gradcafe suggested this and I’m pretty sure a lot of you want to talk about this so I figured I’d just make a thread.

I sent my application on Jan 24th. EU applicant. College preference: Nuffield. GRE 166Q/164V/5.0. +1 year part-time RA experience by now. Did an exchange at a top 3 US econ department with RA work and three recommenders from there, two of which are leading scholars within their field. Nothing yet.
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aot04
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I sent it on Jan 22. Middle east applicant. 1 year part time Ra experience in experimental economics. GRE: 168Q/157V/4. 1 recommendation from top economist other 2 are from assistant profs. Nothing yet. Nuffield preference
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edc3
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Sent my application in mid-November and got acceptance letter March 21st. Very excited. No words on college or funding yet. Double BSc in Business & Econ and Mathematics from two Swedish unis. Done TA and RA. GRE 163V/166Q/4.5W. Also hold offer from 1-year LSE MSc, but will likely choose Oxford instead. LoRs from three professors that I've all worked with. Nuffield preference.
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econstudential
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Hi! Awesome that we have a thread now. I submitted my application on 23rd January. Am an undergraduate in the UK (Top 5), studying Economics. Solid grades, solid statement, good references, GRE 165V 165Q 5.0V. I don't think I am the strongest applicant, but I have a well-balanced application.

After seeing so many rejections on TheGradCafe I was getting my hopes up that we'd get good news next week. But given that most of those who haven't heard back yet seem to have submitted close to the deadline, maybe they do process applications chronologically? Would be great to hear if anyone has heard back who applied near the deadline, to disprove my hypothesis
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aot04
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Guys what kind of "writing sample" did you send with the application?
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econstudential
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I sent a brief policy proposal with graphical/theoretical analysis. Yourself?
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kliu0307
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Hi everyone, just saw the post on grad café. I got my offer on Wednesday. Nothing about college and funding. Doing Econ in a top 10 UK uni, applied with no GRE, which is crazy lol. Got offers from LSE and UCL as well, but not intend to go anyway since I feel like Oxford is better.
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kliu0307
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(Original post by edc3)
Sent my application in mid-November and got acceptance letter March 21st. Very excited. No words on college or funding yet. Double BSc in Business & Econ and Mathematics from two Swedish unis. Done TA and RA. GRE 163V/166Q/4.5W. Also hold offer from 1-year LSE MSc, but will likely choose Oxford instead. LoRs from three professors that I've all worked with. Nuffield preference.
Did you accept the offer yet?
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econstudential
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(Original post by kliu0307)
Hi everyone, just saw the post on grad café. I got my offer on Wednesday. Nothing about college and funding. Doing Econ in a top 10 UK uni, applied with no GRE, which is crazy lol. Got offers from LSE and UCL as well, but not intend to go anyway since I feel like Oxford is better.
If you're doing your undergrad in the UK they don't need a GRE
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kliu0307
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(Original post by econstudential)
If you're doing your undergrad in the UK they don't need a GRE
i know, but you submit yours right.
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econstudential
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Yes because I was planning to apply to the US - I don't know anyone else from my UK institution who took the GRE
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Wastra
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(Original post by aot04)
Guys what kind of "writing sample" did you send with the application?
Abstract, introduction and some excerpts from my BSc thesis in economics. My advisor just said that they want to see that you can write something that is readable and looks good. They do a holistic assessment ofc but according to my recommenders, their letters is what carries most weight (since most applicants have stellar grades and probably similarly well motivated statements of purpose)
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econstudential
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(Original post by Wastra)
Abstract, introduction and some excerpts from my BSc thesis in economics. My advisor just said that they want to see that you can write something that is readable and looks good. They do a holistic assessment ofc but according to my recommenders, their letters is what carries most weight (since most applicants have stellar grades and probably similarly well motivated statements of purpose)
Very interesting - I guess that references do allow the assessors to differentiate between applicants, but is this differentiation along the right dimension? References are probably heavily influenced by how much your referee likes you, and aren't a pure reflection of your academic aptitude.

Wrt writing sample: I doubt anyway that they have the time to read 2000 words for each applicant
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Wastra
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(Original post by econstudential)
Very interesting - I guess that references do allow the assessors to differentiate between applicants, but is this differentiation along the right dimension? References are probably heavily influenced by how much your referee likes you, and aren't a pure reflection of your academic aptitude.

Wrt writing sample: I doubt anyway that they have the time to read 2000 words for each applicant
So assuming all applicants are wise enough to pick recommenders that "like" the applicant, i.e. have a favourable perception of one's academic potential, I think the assessment of the remaining LoRs is a two-step process. First, how strong is the recommendation (level of detail, how much "this is the strongest student in X years I've had" etc) of the student? Second, how credible is the recommender (i.e. does he know what it takes to succeed)? For the latter question, assessors will, if possible, assess his credibility by looking at the record of former students recommended by the recommender.

I'm sure you would agree that neither standardized tests such as the GRE nor one's grades in microeconomic coursework are particularly reliable predictors of one's ability to produce groundbreaking research. There's probably no formula or way to even proximate that ex-ante (e.g. most Harvard PhD candidates have, I suspect, tons of research experience/publications even before entering the programme) which is why it's a holistic assessment process within which the LoRs carry slightly more weight. Not saying that it's correct but that's what I heard.
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econstudential
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(Original post by Wastra)
So assuming all applicants are wise enough to pick recommenders that "like" the applicant, i.e. have a favourable perception of one's academic potential, I think the assessment of the remaining LoRs is a two-step process. First, how strong is the recommendation (level of detail, how much "this is the strongest student in X years I've had" etc) of the student? Second, how credible is the recommender (i.e. does he know what it takes to succeed)? For the latter question, assessors will, if possible, assess his credibility by looking at the record of former students recommended by the recommender.

I'm sure you would agree that neither standardized tests such as the GRE nor one's grades in microeconomic coursework are particularly reliable predictors of one's ability to produce groundbreaking research. There's probably no formula or way to even proximate that ex-ante (e.g. most Harvard PhD candidates have, I suspect, tons of research experience/publications even before entering the programme) which is why it's a holistic assessment process within which the LoRs carry slightly more weight. Not saying that it's correct but that's what I heard.
I completely agree - I love that you have already mentally scrutinized the admissions process

While I don't think they are reliable predictors in a causal way, I do think they are very strongly correlated. I expect that there are very few economists who produce groundbreaking research who would score poorly in the GRE.
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acorne
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Hi everyone! I sent my application on January 23rd (the day before the deadline) and still haven't heard back from them. Does any of you know how/when funding decisions are notified? Do they always do this after the decisions have been sent out? I am a bit concerned about this as I don't think that I would be able to go without some kind of funding (if offered a place). I have other fully-funded offers with deadlines next week, so I was wondering how they have handled this in past years.
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econstudential
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I am curious whether anyone knows someone who applied very close to the deadline and has been notified of their outcome? I am nervous that some of us who submitted just before the deadline have not been notified because they process rejections chronologically lol
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econstudential
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(Original post by acorne)
Hi everyone! I sent my application on January 23rd (the day before the deadline) and still haven't heard back from them. Does any of you know how/when funding decisions are notified? Do they always do this after the decisions have been sent out? I am a bit concerned about this as I don't think that I would be able to go without some kind of funding (if offered a place). I have other fully-funded offers with deadlines next week, so I was wondering how they have handled this in past years.
I think funding might take a while after all decisions are released. Do you have stats (GRE/undergrad/etc.)?
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Tiesxewi
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I applied the night before the deadline and received an offer on Saturday- the order seems pretty random tbh
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Wastra
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(Original post by acorne)
Hi everyone! I sent my application on January 23rd (the day before the deadline) and still haven't heard back from them. Does any of you know how/when funding decisions are notified? Do they always do this after the decisions have been sent out? I am a bit concerned about this as I don't think that I would be able to go without some kind of funding (if offered a place). I have other fully-funded offers with deadlines next week, so I was wondering how they have handled this in past years.
I wouldn't expect funding/college decisions to be out until late April (earliest) or early june (latest) based on the information they've given us and what's been said in the general post-grad app thread on TSR (i.e. some funding committees are delayed due to covid). But with that said, accepting an offer and then withdrawing it within two weeks w/o explanation is ok (they write it themselves in the offer letters). That's why they have waitlists right?
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