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yakuza77

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About yakuza77

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    Decaf

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  • Location
    Tampa, FL (soon to be Bloomington, IN. Yay!)
  • Program
    Ph.D. Criminology

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  1. Admissions package? Oh crap, I didn't get one. Wait, was this from your department or the graduate school in general?
  2. I found a place on the internet. The IU graduate students' association has some housing listings and websites. I was able to sign the lease and everything online for a place called "Heritage", so that was pretty easy. One thing that helps when you are looking at places is Google's Street View maps. They allow you to "walk around" the outside of the property and check out the neighborhood. Its pretty cool. I have to move at the beginning of July since that is when my current lease ends. There was not a lot of options available at that time (most are August to August), so I hope the place I picked works out. Does anyone know when we will start getting info on registration, orientation, and the like?
  3. yakuza77

    Bloomington, IN

    Cool. I am really looking forward to not driving. I was hoping for someplace a little bit closer to campus so that I could walk, but taking the bus will probably work out fine. (Even if I were close, I would probably end up bussing it anyway, since I injured my back a while back and carrying books and a laptop gets pretty painful after a while.) Does (or did) anyone else plan on moving to Bloomington with a spouse who had to find work. That is one thing that I am a bit nervous about. We currently live in a large metropolitan area and, even here, jobs are hard to come by. I am just afraid that he will have a hard time in Bloomington simply because it is smaller, so there are less opportunities to go around. He currently works in sales (wireless) and he really likes it, so I feel bad about dragging him away (still, we are both very excited about Bloomington because we both hate Tampa). He also has experience in manufacturing, and his degree is in film/video, and he is pretty uch willing to take any job he can find (he is hoping to go back to school after we get residency). I guess that once he gets a driver's license, he could always look for something in Indianapolis (the commute would probably take less time than his current, two hour commute here). Any ideas? Does IU have anything for "trailing spouses"? I am hoping that he will just be able to transfer at his current company. They are currently hiring, but there is no guarantee that job will still be available when we move in July. We can't live on my little stipend, and the move will deplete our little savings account. Yep, I'm stressing out.
  4. I had to turn down a Ph.D. fellowship at my current school for another offer at my dream school. It was tough, since the grad director (who I work for) and my major professor really pulled out all of the stops to get me that fellowship (it is rarely given to current students). In the end, I did what I had to do. Some of the people in my current department were actually mad at me and couldn't believe that I was passing up so much money (I was guaranteed 22K for five years; the offer that I took was 25k for the first year, but only at 12K assistantship for the remaining time). Needless to say, it was a very uncomfortable and awkward situation and it sucks because I still have to be here through the summer (not graduating until July). I wish that I could just leave now. I think that I feel extra bad because the whole time that my department was going through the fellowship nomination for me, I knew that there was no way that I would attend my current school, no matter how much money they gave me, if my #1 school accepted me with any reasonable offer of funding.
  5. I turned down a lot of money (five year fellowship 22K), for less money (first year fellowship 25K, followed by assistantship ~12K (ouch)) BUT the opportunity to work with an up-and-coming big name for my particular subfield. My current school only has one person who works in my subfield, and it is not his main interest. To be completely honest, much of my decision was based upon where I will be living. The five-year fellowship was at my current university, which is in a city that I absolutely hate. I have been nothing short of miserable for the two years that I have spent here getting my MA. Although my department is fine, the school itself is awful (poor funding, low quality undergrads, very poor facilities) and I hate absolutely everything about the city (traffic, strip malls, too darn hot, too much crime). The school that I picked, on the other hand, is very reputable, better funded, and in an awesome little college town. Also, when I visited, I met a lot of the grad students and I was very impressed with them (I can't say the same about my current school, which I think is not selective enough). I hate to think that I chose the school based upon location, since, as a grad student, I have little time to do anything other than research anyway, but I think that was what it came to in the end. I just couldn't stomach staying here in Florida for another 5, 6, or however many years. Ranking in my discipline doesn't really mean much, it is more "oh, you were so-and-so's student", but now I am paranoid. What if that professor leaves? Then I will just be in an "okay" department in a great school in a cute little town. Still, deep inside I think that I would have regretted NOT leaving here, and wondering what could have been. But that five-year fellowship was hard to pass up, and I am sure that I will be thinking about it when I start that 12K assistantship, but I know that I will happier in the little college town. What good will the extra money do me if I am miserable all of the time anyway? I just hope it all works out in the end.
  6. Indiana University for my criminology Ph.D. I'm moving to Bloomington at the end of June. I can't wait to get out of Florida!
  7. I received FAFSA money (Stafford loans) during my Master's program while I received a TA stipend and a tuition waiver, so it is doable. I used it to pay off my moving costs that I had to place on a credit card and to help pay for my housing (the stipend at my current school is extremely low given the cost of living here). It will depend, of course, on your individual situation and the cost of attendance at your school how much you can borrow. Your financial aid officer should be able to help you with this, just make sure that you fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible so that they can figure out your estimated family contribution. I plan on taking out a loan the first semester of my Ph.D. to again pay for moving costs. Hopefully it will be allowed even though I will be receiving a substantially higher stipend at my new school. Moving is so expensive and I hate to carry a balance on those high interest credit cards. It has been impossible to build up a savings when I make so little and everything costs so much.
  8. yakuza77

    Bloomington, IN

    Oh, for those who have lived in Bloomington: How is the public transportation? I know when we were there, we saw a lot of buses. My husband does not drive (although, hopefully, he will get a license soon) and relies on public transportation to get to work (his current commute in Tampa is 2 hours for what would be a 20 min. drive).
  9. I will likely take some courses through the political science department. My research interests include state crime and crimes of power. I also plan on taking a Ph.D. minor (required for my program) in statistics.
  10. yakuza77

    Bloomington, IN

    Well, I got an apartment. It is Heritage and it is in the Bryan Park area. I would have liked to have had more options, but I have to move to Bloomington in July, and, of course, most leases run August to August. But the price was nice ($200 less than Tampa! Yay!) and they allowed pets, so I am hoping for the best. I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh and lived in some really shady apartments while I was there, and my current place next to the University of South Florida had a dead body in the parking lot one morning--so anything better than that is fine for now My husband and I are hoping to rent one of those cute houses on the west end our second year there, maybe even buy something if his job works out okay. Does anyone have any opinions on Heritage Apartments or Regency Management in general? They also own Steeplechase and Meadow Park, the latter of which I visited during my recruitment visit. Several students in my department live at Meadow Park and they like it, I just wanted something that was a little closer to school and "downtown" because I would really like to not have to drive as much as I do in Florida (literally everywhere). Heritage in also on the bus route for when it is too cold to bike or walk. I can't wait to move out of Tampa! Also, for anyone looking at places online, Google Street View is really cool. You can check out the perimeter of your property and even "walk" around town. Sadly, I wasted a lot of time doing this when I should be finishing my thesis
  11. Hi I'll be attending IUB for Criminal Justice Ph.D. (not econ., but I thought I'd bump the thread ) I can't wait to move. 2 1/2 months and counting until I get out of Florida forever.
  12. I was waiting on a fellowship that USF nominated me for. I ended up getting it, and it was actually a pretty sweet deal (22K for 5 years with no duties), but I am still going with Indiana U. I just really liked it when I visited, was impressed with the university, the faculty, and the graduate students--plus Bloomington just seems like a great place to do my Ph.D. (I am so sick of cities...well, urban sprawl, actually...and traffic, crime, strip malls, etc.). I also like how there program is structured, especially its interdisciplinary nature. My gut just tells me that's where I should be, and I think that I would regret any other decision. I am working on my acceptance letter now (and therefore, my letters declining my two other offers). I kind of feel bad about writing the one to my current program (USF) since they went all out to get me this fellowship (and have been pressuring me to continue there), plus my current assistantship is with the graduate director who I will have to write the letter to (awkward!). Still, I really have to get it over with so that someone can come off the waitlist for funding. I would be interested to hear what other people are writing. To: InquiringMind, I have heard the same thing about UMD from people (I didn't apply there because no one really shared my interests, so I don't know very much about the program other than generalities), and I haven't actually met anyone from there, but, yeah, that word seems to have gotten around. My advisor (who I do trust and who is a SUNY alum.) urged me to apply to both UMD and SUNY, but, in the end, neither program really fit for me. If you visited there and had good feelings about those places, I wouldn't be concerned with rumors. Did you get that impression from the graduate students at either place? I know that when we have visitors, I am very honest about the program, and I found that at ASC most graduate students from the programs that I talked to while I was shopping around for a Ph.D. seemed to do the same. I personally don't think that you could go wrong either way. Good luck on your decision So, who is going to be joining me at IU?
  13. yakuza77

    Bloomington, IN

    Bumping for apartment help also. I have decided on IU and am looking for the same sort of environment (reasonably quiet, mostly grad students). Does anyone have an opinion of the Bryan Park area? I am looking at a couple of apartments there and also by the mall (my building is close to the music school). Oh, and FWIW, I was told to avoid the stadium area.
  14. Cost of living is less at school #2, making the 22K and 18K fellowships about equal. What I am most worried about is the 3 year vs. 5 year guarantee, and the drop in pay in school #2 after year one. I think that it is just the budget problems at my current school (and this state in general) that have me so nervous. After doing some research, I found that dissertation grants in my discipline are not that rare, so that is definitely an possibility after I am a candidate. Also, the person that I would be working for at school #2 has a very active research agenda and is known to get grants. At my current school, no one wants to collaborate with me, because no one really has similar enough research interests (That's an exaggeration, actually one prof has me doing data analysis on a project (for credit, not funding), but he is also currently serving as an assistant dean, which has all but tabled our project,and another wanted me to work on a project (with funding) but on a topic that I have absolutely no interest in). I'm thinking, "Hey, I am going to be poor either way. I've been poor and happy and poor and miserable, and I prefer the former". Also, and I may be wrong, but I think that the degree from school #2 is going to hold more prestige (its a top-tier,"Public Ivy") compared to school #1, which has a good program, but in a downright lousy school (not to badmouth, but it is 3rd tier and really doesn't have the infrastructure for research (library, computing, funding). I did my undergrad at a top-tier and went into a bit of culture shock when I got to my current school; i could definitely see the difference in quality/resources. In the end I am almost 99% sure that I will be at school #2 (although, like some posters said, I will get some more info from school #3 and hear them out, if only so that I have complete information). Also, I am pretty good at living on the cheap. I don't have cable and I am dumping the cell phone in June when my contract ends, I shop at Big Lots, and I bought my car with cash, so I probably shouldn't worry about finances too much. In any case, any one of these offers is better than the 9K that I have been living off for the past two years. Also, my husband does sales for a major wireless provider who already have promised him a position if one is open when we get there. If not, he could always work for a competitor, another industry, or fall back on his manufacturing/restaurant/retail experience (He's done it all). The small-town aspect worried me a bit, but he is very flexible, compared to someone who may have a more specialized skill set. Yeah, I'm going with gut instinct. Thanks all.
  15. Throwing in my 2 cents to agree with the above posters. In my Master's program, only one incoming student is funded, so waiting another year would probably not raise anyone's chances of getting that one coveted slot. I was fortunate. I was the one applicant who got the funding, but, at 9K, it was not nearly enough to cover living expenses in this particular city. I ended up taking out loans anyway, first of all to pay off my high-interest credit cards that I had to use to finance my move and second, because my monthly stipend only paid my rent and electric--forget about food, internet, clothes, automotive expenses (pretty much mandatory in this particular city as there were no other options for transportation), fees, books...well you get the picture. I would take out the loans (only as much as you need) and then look for other opportunities: part-time work, work-study positions (some at my school pay $10 an hour; maybe you can get a position in the writing center?), RA/TA in another discipline, tutoring. Another option, if you are up to it, would be a resident assistant if that is available at your school. Here graduate RA's work in the graduate housing (i.e. not babysitting undergrads) and get room and board plus a small stipend. What I am saying is that there are options other than department funding and I would hate for you to wait another year to be possibly in the same situation next year. I know that everyone else in my cohort has been able to survive, be it waiting tables, working in another department, or living off loans (not the wisest of the choices, but if you have to, you have to). Also, if you are not in-state, see if it is possible to get residency. That will drop the tuition bill significantly (here it is the difference between 18K a year for out-of-state and 2K for in-state). Good luck.
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