I looked online and saw one question that was similar, but it seemed like this question was for undergraduate admissions. Another similar question here on academia.stackexchange addressed differing the Ph.D. admission to reapply elsewhere, but my understanding of deferral, based on discussion with faculty and graduate students, is that you are still committed to that school but are just taking a year off before you begin the program. Also, I have concerns with the possible issues highlighted by aeismail that may arise from deferring as an attempt to apply to other schools. In that respect, my question is a slightly different in that it involves actually rejecting a school's offer.
I am currently in a situation where it looks like I got rejected from my first choice Ph.D. program, but got interviews at some of my later choice programs.
I believe my chances for my first choice Ph.D. program will be higher in the next upcoming application cycle due to a number of additional research experience and presentations.
In other words, my situations is as follows;
- I wish to go to Uni A, but got rejected.
- I received interviews by Uni B & C,
- I believe I will have a better shot at Uni A the next cycle,
- I reject offers (assuming I receive them) from Uni B & C for this cycle,
- I reapply to Uni A, B, & C the next cycle,
- I will attend B or C if I get rejected from A once again,
Although reapplying to Uni A wouldn't be uncommon, would it be considered rude to reject offers from B & C and then reapply the next cycle? And how might one approach this so that it's not blatantly obvious that I rejected the offer because I wanted to go to Uni A and I am reapplying with the intention that they are, more or less, 'safety' options? I would imagine that I could mention that my current research interests do not line up and this could be a reason for rejecting the current cycle, but I was curious as to how others may perceive this.
*I would still be very happy to go to Uni B or C and work with their faculty, it's more so that I believe I would later regret not having reapplied to Uni A when my application will be much stronger.