sunmasters2021
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Hi,
I applied to University of Cambridge for their MPhil program in Development Studies. I submitted my application along with the required letters of recommendation before the deadline, and my application was received by the system. After a month I received a rejection email. I was disappointed but accepted it and moved on. A few days later, I received a notification that my application fee was refunded. When I checked my application portal, the application status had changed from unsuccessful/rejected to withdrawn. Having not initiated a withdrawal request, I messaged the University. They informed me that the slots had been prematurely filled, which is why they closed the applications early. When I read this, I was really angry that (a) I was never informed of this to prevent me from wasting my time and effort in submitting the application, and (b) I was shared misleading information about my application being rejected when in fact it had not even been reviewed by the admission committee. As anyone who is applying to grad school knows, it is an incredibly stressful process. But to add to it University of Cambridge did not inform me or my recommenders in time that their slots were filled, and didn't even bother to tell me that my application was not rejected but was not even reviewed. When I messaged the department to enquire about any systematic changes they were making to prevent this situation, they gave very generic, unsatisfactory and defensive answers. I am so disappointed. I never thought an elite institution like University of Cambridge would be so inefficient, apathetic and inconsiderate.

Has anyone else gone through something similar?
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username4218074
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wouldn't this criticism be college-specific? I dont know how PG admissions are handled but UG is college specific
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Helloworld_95
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It doesn't sound like they knew that they had filled their places before you submitted your application, or at least it's ambiguous. It takes time to review applications so even if someone who applied before you took the last place, it's highly likely that you could have submitted before they had accepted that person. Rolling admission is pretty standard for graduate programs in the UK and this potential occurrence is part of that system which is why everyone is advised to apply early. Even if that wasn't the case and they accepted your application despite applications being closed, you may well have completed most of your submission by that time at which point you will have endured most of the same effort as you did.

Cambridge could have quite easily rejected your application rather than withdrawn it and then you wouldn't have even received the application fee back, with applying too late being a valid reason for rejection. That's not to say they should have, but the situation you ended up in is a fairly reasonable outcome.

Applying for postgraduate programs in the UK is also generally designed to be a fairly low-stress process, not a particularly stressful one. You apply to a handful of universities, write a couple of hundred words, usually pay nothing towards it, and enough information on the admissions process is available that you can generally have a good idea whether you'll be accepted or not.
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QuentinM
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(Original post by sunmasters2021)
Hi,
I applied to University of Cambridge for their MPhil program in Development Studies. I submitted my application along with the required letters of recommendation before the deadline, and my application was received by the system. After a month I received a rejection email. I was disappointed but accepted it and moved on. A few days later, I received a notification that my application fee was refunded. When I checked my application portal, the application status had changed from unsuccessful/rejected to withdrawn. Having not initiated a withdrawal request, I messaged the University. They informed me that the slots had been prematurely filled, which is why they closed the applications early. When I read this, I was really angry that (a) I was never informed of this to prevent me from wasting my time and effort in submitting the application, and (b) I was shared misleading information about my application being rejected when in fact it had not even been reviewed by the admission committee. As anyone who is applying to grad school knows, it is an incredibly stressful process. But to add to it University of Cambridge did not inform me or my recommenders in time that their slots were filled, and didn't even bother to tell me that my application was not rejected but was not even reviewed. When I messaged the department to enquire about any systematic changes they were making to prevent this situation, they gave very generic, unsatisfactory and defensive answers. I am so disappointed. I never thought an elite institution like University of Cambridge would be so inefficient, apathetic and inconsiderate.

Has anyone else gone through something similar?
From a lot of masters courses I have seen, they frequently suggest that applications could close early if they get enough applicants to fill all their spots, so while I agree 100% that Cambridge should have made this clear somewhere on their course page, I'm not surprised it happened, this is pretty standard practice for popular masters degrees from what I've heard
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