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Can I reconsider a grad school offer that I declined?

Due to personal reasons, I was delayed in my applications to STEM graduate programs in the US. Finally, I directly got in touch with a faculty member at a program I was interested in, to check with him if I could turn in a late application. He was very kind and helped me get in touch with the admissions committee in his department. While the process took sometime I was finally offered a position in their program. But given my personal and financial constraints, it became clear to me that it was difficult for me to move the US for graduate school. I did try to get some extra time to get help to make alternative arrangements to let me move to the US graduate school, but it couldn't happen within the extended deadline that was given to me. But, just after 3 weeks from rejecting the offer, I could finally get help and I am in a position accept the offer.

Would it be appropriate to reach to the faculty, and request them if I could reconsider my decision to join their graduate program.

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    "but it couldn't happen within the extended deadline that was given to me. But, just after 3 weeks from rejecting the offer" Did you communicate you could not meet the deadline, or did you went into radio-silence mode? Are you being offered a paid position in the program or is it self-funded?
    – EarlGrey
    Jun 16, 2023 at 10:24
  • It was a paid position. I was initially hesitant if my fellowship would be enough to cover the rising living costs in the US. Additionally, I needed to borrow a significant amount of money to relocate to the US. I did tell them that I couldn't accept their offer due financial and personal constraints.
    – Fracton
    Jun 16, 2023 at 10:40
  • Clearly you are reconsidering it. The question is whether the institution will reconsider you after you declining the offer. After 3 weeks they may well have moved on and offered a position to someone else. Or not. Only way to know is to ask.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 16, 2023 at 14:13

1 Answer 1

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Yes, it is appropriate to ask, explaining the situation as it stands now. You may not be accepted, but asking is certainly an option that people will understand.

Explain your actions in the interim and be sure you can accept an offer if given.

The outcome is impossible to predict, however, but asking leads to the best possible result. Good luck.

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  • plus, the power balance is clear, OP is no one, so the department will not have a negative impression of someone first rejecting and then asking again. They may even be sorry for already having offered the position to the next good candidate and in that case they may be willing to come up with a plan B (not likely, but not impossible either). If, on the other hand, the same behavior takes place when someone is discussing for a professorship, that's a tad different ...
    – EarlGrey
    Jun 16, 2023 at 21:53

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