So I applied to several PhD programs at different schools of probably different levels of selectivity and prestige. From a few of these schools I have been admitted and in contact with certain professors there who are suggesting that I will receive full funding to go there. In one case, this funding will be in the form of a fellowship from the school. The only hang up is that they would like me to make a decision on these offers quickly. In one case, I think they want to figure out if I would accept the fellowship if offered to me so they can extend it to someone else if I wouldn’t accept.
The problem is, the two schools I am most interested in have not yet admitted me and no professors from those schools have reached out to me. I would like to know what the result of my application to these schools will be before deciding. Should I just tell the other schools to wait? I worry that I may not receive a fellowship offer from one of these schools for delaying my decision too long (and would maybe be funded through some other means). Another option I see would be to reach out to the universities that have not admitted me yet and try to initiate conversations about working in professors groups and gauge how they perceive the strength of my application.
To summarize my question: What is the best course of action when a grad school (or specific professor you want to work with there) pressures you to make a decision on their offer before all other schools you applied to admitted or rejected you?
I am located in the US, sorry forgot to mention it