A student who has applied to PhD program this season writes:
I have a concern about how some departments are notifying PhD applicants of decisions. Most places send out acceptances, then waitlists, then (sometime after) rejections. And, the hope is, everyone gets the news at more or less the same time. But that does not always happen. Sometimes a number of students are left hanging, with no decision long after everyone else has heard. (In my case: I still have not been given a decision at a top twenty program--now months after acceptances, waitlists, and rejections have been sent out via the website. And this despite my contacting the department to ask what was happening.) I'm not sure exactly of the frequency with which programs leave students hanging, but it strikes me as unfair and unnecessary. Unfair because the applicants are not treated like everyone else, and in a way that's disadvantageous. Knowing what's going on is vital to the applicants when they are making important life decisions. And unnecessary because it seemingly could be avoided at zero-cost to the department. What's the harm in letting those in limbo know what's happening?
Would you consider posting this to your blog for comments? Perhaps there are good reasons why some programs leave people hanging. And, in that case, I think it would be helpful for applicants to know what they are. If not, however, it seems that this behavior should be stopped.