1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

REU Indecisiveness!

  1. Apr 1, 2010 #1
    Hey guys, ive been following the forum for some time,

    I am a sophomore, and I applied to about 12 REU programs this semester, since I have a 2.9 GPA and was not even expecting to get into any since they are so competitive.
    Turns out I got into two! and I have to make a decision by monday.

    On one hand I feel lucky that I have the ability to even choose, but at the same I still wish/hope that I get into my top choice REU program, but I do not think I will hear from them on monday. I already emailed asking for the status of my application, and they said they were still not finished.

    I am conflicted if to choose one of these REUs or take a chance and hope that my first choice or the other 8 accept me.

    what should I do? And does prestige matter when it comes to REUs

    thanks for your time
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2010 #2
    Personally I think taking a chance is stupid unless you have some kind of guaranteed back up plan that is at least as good as one of the two REUs you have been accepted to. A less prestigious REU is infinitely more valuable than a summer doing nothing.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2010 #3

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Well, it sounds like you'll have to make a decision then. You have to weigh the guaranteed options that you have against the probability that you'll get into a more desirable program each mulitiplied by the desirability of the respective program.

    The one hint I have is that from my experience "prestige" is highly subjective and you should avoid making decisions based on it.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2010 #4
    My recommendation is to not take the chance. REUs in general are all really selective and "prestigious." I don't think you need to worry about how different REUs compare to one another in prestige.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2010 #5
    hey thanks for the responses

    the prestige question was mostly curiosity.

    The only reason I wanted to take a chance was mostly because my first choice is a little different since its CS/engineering research with an emphasis on engineering ethics. But I guess that If I do not hear from them, I should not risk it and I should make my decision on monday.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2010 #6
    I'd wait until the last minute to reply. If your top choices haven't made a decision by then, I'd probably go with what you got. Otherwise you may very well end up missing out on something good.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2010 #7
    Thanks, yeah. I actually got into another one today!which I have to reply by next friday. But still. The reason i applied to so many is because i did not think I had a chance, and now I am not even sure under what criteria to choose.
     
  9. Apr 2, 2010 #8
    I was sort of in the same boat, but my situation was slightly different. I have a pretty good GPA and letters of rec., but I am from a very, very small school that I can guarantee nobody has ever heard of. I applied to 9 and, to my surprise, got into 4 (one had the funding yanked by the NSF).

    My final decision was based on a series of emails that I had with the professor. I asked him some pretty specific questions about the program and he did a fantastic job of answering them -- basically he made me feel important. Ha! Some of the other programs treated my questions like a chore. Not cool.

    I also decided that I didn't want to gamble. I didn't want to give up this REU for a chance at my top choice. That later proved to be smart, since I didn't get into the other program. And, actually, the more research I did, I'm sort of glad I didn't get into my "top" choice. I don't know if it would have suited my interests as well.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2010 #9
    yeah thats very well true. Well at this point i would not be gambling anymore since I have a third choice which to answer to by friday. but i think I already know what I am going to do. What type of questions did you ask in order to decide, union68?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook