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Everything posted by Horb

  1. I'm planning on applying (again) for a graduate DAAD award. I'm not sure yet what I'll apply for (university summer grant or intensive language grant) but thought I would see if others are applying.
  2. Are you applying for the open grant? Because all partnership awards are for study. The acceptance rate is very low (more so than other countries). I was a semi finalist so if you questions pm me.
  3. Yeah, GPA only matters if the poor grades are in necessary subjects (like you're doing an anthro project and all your anthro grades are, like, Cs and Ds). That is when it may make the committee pause.
  4. Honestly, just email Fulbright what you posted here (about the links) and see what they say. This year, make sure you store multiple backups in multiple places.
  5. Did you apply at-large or through your school? Your school might have a record of it.
  6. I wouldn't celebrate until I get a DAAD official notification. I'm not a DAAD employee, so I can't answer your questions with any certainty.
  7. Yes.
  8. Read through previous posts and you'll find the answer. It usually means nothing.
  9. Yeah, I think I pay, like, $4000 or something, and my state has rent deductions too!
  10. It depends on how they are doing their withholdings, how much they are able to deduct, etc. I'd be shocked it someone making 32K is only paying 1000. Even when I was working retail at $8.25 an hour I was having 15-18% withheld, if not 20%. Also, big note: I'm not a tax professional by any means, but a quick google search suggests the following: For someone making under 75K, they would be taxed $1,855 plus 15% of the amount over $18,550. That is just for federal. State and local taxes would be taken out as well. Now, your friends might get a lot back if they have deductions, but maybe they mean after deductions they only pay $1000, but they should be "paying" more throughout the year? I'm not sure. I would just recommend budgeting 15% to pay for quarterly taxes.
  11. Well, State taxes differ, and you might also have to pay local taxes, so you look those up. If it is a fellowship, you're responsible for paying quarterly taxes because it won't be taken out of the paycheck most likely. If it is a stipend, they'll be taken out automatically. Either way, the tax rate is the same because it is taxed as income. I make about 32K and my tax rate is roughly 18%. I don't get much of that back, either, though I generally claim 1 withholding.
  12. I would definitely apply if it doesn't restrict their definition of "diversity" to race/ethnic group. I would also recommend bringing it up in scholarship apps that aren't for diversity specifically, because most places still want a diverse body of fellows.
  13. My friend went a month or two earlier. I think Fulbright will pay for the ticket if it is up to a month earlier. However, at least with most of Europe, you need to get a visa within 90 days and you won't be able to get it right away, because you'll need stuff from Fulbright, and it will take a while to get. So plan accordingly.
  14. Break down your monthly expenses. For example, I get paid about $2000 a month for 9 months of the year. Rent: $575 (My rent is cheap because I live with 3 other people. I'm more interested in saving money than living alone, which I couldn't afford to do anyways) Utilities: $75 Renter's Insurance (buy this; it is like $15 a month): $15 Food: $125 Student Loans: $166 (to keep them deferred) Transportation: $50 (I use the transit rather than a car, but I live in an East Coast city where the transit is really good) Fun: $100 After all expenses, I'm left with roughly $894. During my first year, I strove to build an emergency fund. I would recommend doing this first and foremost. Calculate how much 6 months of savings is. For grad students that are guaranteed a stipend, I'd recommend a minimum of 4 months to tide you over for the summer. What is the fund for? Medical expenses. Car expenses. Stuff breaking or getting stolen. Focus on saving this amount first. Once that is settled, consider your debts. Do you have credit card debt? Do you have student loans? Tackle the thing with the highest interest first. Work your way down. If you have no debt, consider saving for retirement (roth IRA, 401K if your school or part time job matches it) or invest in mutual funds once you've saved up enough. For budgeting, I would recommend Mint. It tracks everything for you and you can set up goals.
  15. I've never had that issue and I've used it for the last three years. I think they fixed it. For something that is free, I'm happy to use Turbotax and double check it, but I also have other deductions to claim.
  16. I have fellowships. I use turbotax. It knows how to deal with it. It asks if you got any fellowships. Then it asks for information: tuition costs, fee costs, costs of required materials. However, these items are ONLY tax deductible if you had to buy them from your school and they were required for your course of study (i.e. a computer scientist who needs a specific computer for a class). It really isn't that hard. People just don't understand it and/or are mad they have to pay taxes on it. If you are only on fellowship, you should pay quarterly taxes, which is actually really easy. But if you have a part time job, chances are you won't need to pay quarterly taxes. It depends on how much you make. I just don't want to pay a penalty, so I would do quarterly taxes.
  17. It seems like OP's brother would take out a US loan for a UK school. In which case, I think they should be fine without a cosigner. The brother just needs to be approved for the loan.
  18. That said, if they see you are a PhD and don't have a clear proposal related to your diss, I bet you'd have a harder time because there's higher expectations.
  19. If you want to PM me your research idea, I'm happy to you my thoughts on it. Is your research going to focus on civic engagement with disabled people or was your host country engagement going to be that?
  20. I just want to say that my school had about 32 semifinalists this year and we only had about 6 people get the grant. Other years, we'd have 20 semifinalists and 14 receive offers. This is all to say that it is a very weird selection process and so your school not getting a research grant may have nothing to do with the FPA. I work in my school's scholarship office and I cannot tell you how many students do not listen to solid advice or just can't seem to incorporate it the right way. If you don't mind me asking, what country are you going to? Certain countries may view it as a political issue and others may not. It will also depend on how you word it and if you can find an already established organization to volunteer at, that certainly helps, especially if you are in contact with them.
  21. I have not received mine! I'm not sure what the hold up is
  22. No worries! I just felt like you were getting attacked for a fairly straightforward and important question. And yeah, I agree. If you get a UK grant, the cost of living in London will far exceed the stipend in many cases. Perhaps it wouldn't matter as much if we could work (like, part time tutoring or something).
  23. If you want to be done, simply don't respond.
  24. @hobakie We disagree on how to read tone then. They weren't ungrateful for the opportunity; rather, they were upset that they had been mislead over the amount. Fulbright is essentially a job. If someone said, "hey, we will pay you $2000 per month" and you accepted and then you found out you were being paid $500, you wouldn't say "Oh wow. I'm just so fortunate to have a job when many others don't" would you? Or would you be upset that you were misled? Because that is basically the situation here.
  25. the website states under different sections that tuition will be fully covered and that "Critical Language Enhancement Award recipients receive the same monthly maintenance stipends as for other Fulbright grants in the host country." That is all the info that was provided prior to a week ago and I took it to be true. Maybe I should have asked more questions, but still, it is frustrating and misleading... So, I just looked at the CLEA information and I do agree that it sends mixed messages. It does say that grantees "receive the same monthly maintenance stipends as for other Fulbright grants in the host country." It also says that funds are not available for transit, test fees, and a few other things. I agree that we should be able to trust Fulbright and, while I don't think they are being deceitful, I do think they need to be more transparent and note that while the amount awarded is technically the same, you aren't being paid a lump sum amount equal to your regular Fulbright amount (which honestly, makes sense consideirng they are paying tuition and for rent, so it should be less than the lump sum monthly amount). They should state you're being paid X amount minus expenses for A, B, C, totaling Y. Do I think they need to list that on the website? No. But I do think it should be included in grantee paperwork or in acceptance emails. As for what @hobakie said, I agree with some of it, but I do think the tone was way out of line. Fulbright is very clear that the stipend is modest and that, in some cases, it may not be enough to live off of. I'm thinking of those placed in M√ľnchen who can expect to spend almost their entire grant stipend on housing. You certainly should not be expecting to pay down credit card debt or student loans using your Fulbright stipend. We apply knowing the financial limitations of Fulbright and if someone didn't know this beforehand, then I'm led to believe they didn't do their due diligence before applying for the grant. You can find this information by contacting previous Fulbrighters and looking at Fulbright focused blogs. Additionally, I've seen a few people mention that Fulbright benefits those with wealthy parents or SOs or that Fulbright thinks its prestige and honor is a form of payment. I disagree with these statements. Of all the fellowships out there, Fulbright is the least restrictive on what they want IMO. They don't care that much about GPA, income level, etc. They want people who crave this opportunity and they especially want people who wouldn't be able to have this opportunity without a a funded grant. Sure, some people with have other financial resources if something happens (parents, SOs, etc.) but many of us will not. I know living off of $20,000 in the second most expensive city in the US that the financial struggle is real. I have student loans to pay. I have grocery bills, rent, and utilities to pay. I've learned to be frugal and yet still live life. Perhaps this is a skill set some of us will gain on Fulbright. That said, if someone wants to donate a billion dollars so we all can get paid more, not gonna complain Agree or disagree with me, but I do hope that future conversations can be less vicious and more helpful and productive.