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I am offered governmental scholarship (GSch) that I do not want to use for some reasons. I also don't want to lose the chance of PhD in a top university. I would use GSch, if I cannot get funded admission from a top university. Please read my previous question for more explanation of my situation.

My question is that do universities offer an admission without funding? So that, then I will have a chance to say 'I have another source of funding. Let me do PhD there'. For example, will I know I am in the waiting list? Do they put all the rejected students in the list?

Or should I mention about the GSch at the first place? or maybe I should mention it only in applications of some universities.

Would I loose a good acceptance chance of mentioning at the first place, if I wait for rejection/waiting list decision?

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    The titular question is much too simple for your real issue. I think what you are trying to get at is does telling them about your funding help you or hurt you.
    – StrongBad
    Dec 2, 2015 at 22:40
  • I am very unclear about your question. You don't want to use the governmental scholarship. I understand that. It may impose some conditions on you. For example, some governmental scholarship requires you to go back to the home country after you get the degree. But, then you said I would use GSch, if I cannot get funded admission from a top university. Exactly what do you want to do? Use GSch or Not?
    – Nobody
    Dec 3, 2015 at 4:12
  • @StrongBad I am trying to get when should/can I tell them about scholarship. Will I have a chance to tell about it after admission decision? Dec 3, 2015 at 5:32
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    When I was in charge of graduate admissions for my department (mathematics), the only times we admitted a student without offering financial support was when we knew, from the application, that the student had support from another source. I believe this is still the policy. So in your situation, if you don't mention your scholarship in your application, we would either admit you and offer support or not admit you at all. Dec 3, 2015 at 12:43
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    I should emphasize that my previous comment described only what my department did (and probably still does). I don't claim that it applies elsewhere, even to other departments at the same university. In particular, mathematics needs a lot of graduate student instructors, who thus get financial support; other departments might have quite different situations. Dec 3, 2015 at 13:00

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Tough to predict how it will be handled with certainty. You could list the scholarship but then say in your SoP something along these lines: "I've earned in fact (a prestigious?) scholarship from my home government which would allow me to... however it comes with a requirement that... which frankly I'd prefer not to commit to. Thus I would much rather be admitted with financial support from the university, in which case I would turn down the government scholarship."

For highly ranked research universities, I'd say it is not common for Ph.D. students to be self-funded. That said, if they can grab a strong student who is self-funded, what's not to like? :)

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