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bigfluffybearcat

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About bigfluffybearcat

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

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  • Location
    Asia
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    English (Rhet/Comp)

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  1. Hi everyone! I’m joining UW for the MA-PhD program in English.
  2. I’m having this dilemma too! I can totally commisserate. The two offers that I’m still considering have their own pluses, which makes it hard to choose either one, so now I’ve been looking at which one can possibly give me more threats and anxieties. I think I can find happiness and opportunities anywhere, but I think it’s wise to avoid problems, esp. if you’ve already seen it coming. In your case, it looks like U of Cicinnati is the one with the potential threat, i.e. less financial security? I’m certainly not the best in making decisions (and I don’t know your entire situation either), so take this with a grain of salt. Good luck and hang in there!!
  3. Thanks for the input @Pezpoet @TakeruK @Warelin !!! I really do appreciate it. I’ll try answer your questions below: @Pezpoet You’re right about this. I do have less reservations about going to Penn State. My gut says it’s the safer bet, both academically and socially. I guess I’m just having some denial because UW’s offer isn’t bad either. Thanks for spelling it out for me! (Isn’t it weird how sometimes you only know what you feel when others point it out to you? Lol.) Still, @TakeruK raised a good point about PhD prospects at Penn State. The way it works at Penn State is that you’ll have to submit a new SoP and writing sample in the fall semester of your MA for internal recruitment into the PhD. A student told me that although it’s a “recruitment” and there is still some sort of selection process involved, it’s really hard to NOT be approved to continue to the PhD program. Like, you’ll have to fail multiple classes and be entirely unknown to the professors. So I’m pretty confident about the prospects, as confident as I can be without having the actual contract in my hands. Meanwhile, UW already guarantees place and funding in the PhD program, so the whole bird-in-the-bag logic applies here. This security is important to me too, and if I had no doubt whatsoever about other things that UW offers (or if Penn State’s PhD prospect is less certain), UW would be the obvious choice for me. I’m not sure I can stack both UW and govt funding, since the govt fellowship agreement has a clause forbidding double funding. However, I know of a case where an awardee is allowed to keep the fellowship/stipend and tuition remission offered by their university, and the govt covers everything else that the university doesn’t offer (plane tickets, settlement allowance, emergency funds, research and publication funding, etc.). This means the govt won’t add additional funding for daily living allowance (they assume the university stipend/fellowship covers that), so it won’t make me rich, but it’s still a nice deal if I can negotiate it. Negotiation takes months, though, this being the government itself. I only have a week to decide, so I’m not counting on this dual funding possibility and am trying not to give it too much weight in my deliberation. Could you confirm which number you meant? If I go to Penn State I’ll only receive $18,000 per year from the govt. Is that a better deal than $23,850 per year for Seattle? They have previously allowed me to start next year, but that was before they were able to offer me funding. I’m not sure if I can “defer” the funding offer to next year too. That seems like a lot to ask, but now that you’ve pointed that out, I guess I’ll at least try and find out how they feel about this. Thanks! @Warelin You asked some very good and very helpful questions there! Thanks I am interested in it right now, but you’re right, I don’t have any experience taking rhet/comp courses (the field practically doesn’t exist in my country). I have way more experience with literature, and I’m not planning to totally leave literature in favor of rhet/comp anyway. When I looked at the coursework offered by both programs, I mainly only considered the rhet/comp courses, but now I think maybe I should go through their course offerings again and also consider the literature courses. Especially since both programs have confirmed that they can be flexible on which track the student chooses eventually, even if it’s not in line with what the student is recruited for. Thanks for pointing this out! I’m fine with roommates and living outside the city, if that means I can save money. Driving is out of the question, though, since there’s no way I’ll have enough money to support owning a car, and if I do, I’d much rather use it for other needs. I’ve heard only good things about public transport in Seattle, but I’m not so sure about State College. Some people say living without a car is doable; some say it’s definitely not doable. I couldn’t visit, so I can’t know for sure. What’s your personal take? UW has the TAship offer. I haven’t looked into what else they offer, since I’m already afraid that I’ll have difficulties doing the TA lol. This is actually another important deciding factor; I’m not sure I’m ready to start TAship right away, in a few months, without any previous background in teaching composition, or even in rhet/comp. English is also not my first language, so that can be another barrier. Though I’m honored to get UW’s funding offer (I know not everyone gets that kind of full funding there), I’m also afraid that the TAship responsibility will only drag me down because I’m not ready or well-equipped for it enough. If I choose Penn State, however, they don’t offer me TAship (at least not for the MA), and the govt funding contract forbids me to work jobs other than TAships or RAships, so I’ll say there’s almost zero opportunity for additional funding if I choose Penn State. The $18,000/year govt funding will have to be enough. I suspect it’s a rather tight budget, no? Once again, thanks so much for all your help! Whatever decision I’ll eventually make, I’ll owe it to you. Hell, I may even owe my whole academic future to you!
  4. Hello! I'm an international student applying to MA programs in rhetoric and composition. I got 2 MA-only offers (which I've declined), and 2 MA --> PhD offers, from Penn State and UW. The MA-PhD offers are the ones I am still considering. This morning I woke up to an e-mail from the DGS of the University of Washington saying that they can now offer me funding for 5 years. I was originally on the waitlist for funding, with only a "small chance" of getting it. Now the funding comes in the form of a fellowship for the spring quarter of my first year, and TAship for the rest. It's upwards of 20,000 for 9-month academic year and includes health insurance. I'll be teaching 1 class per quarter. The problem is, I had just decided on accepting Penn State's offer before this happened. I was just about to formally accept, but this sudden funding offer from UW just threw me off-balance and now I don't know what to do. Penn State doesn't offer me funding for the MA, but I have funding from my government for the 2-year MA. It's USD 1,500 per month (a total of USD 18,000 per calendar year), though it will only kick in next year, so I've deferred my Penn State offer to 2019. And Penn State told that if I'm allowed to proceed to their PhD program, there will be funding for 4 years, though I'm not told how much that's gonna be for me. Meanwhile, admission Previously, I decided against UW because of some concerns I had after talking to some of their grad students. A student said that the course offering for rhet/comp was kind of limited, and that there had been cases of students having difficulties with finding dissertation committee or getting time for advising because the professors were overwhelmed. I've also heard tales about the competitive and sometimes toxic atmosphere of the cohort/program. Penn State, on the other hand, has a stellar reputation for rhet/comp, offers really interesting and varied coursework, and has this mentoring program where I'll be matched up with 2 more senior grad students and a faculty member. The program also seems to have a more supportive and friendly culture. The good thing about UW is their location. As an international student, I feel like I'll be more comfortable in a big city with good public transportation system, more diversity, and what I hear is a more progressive political view. Not to mention its natural beauty! Besides that, their funding offer allows me to start school this year, while going to Penn State means I will have to wait for my government funding next year. However, though it's good to start as soon as possible, accepting their funding offer might mean that I'll have to give up my government fellowship, which is a prestigious program that offers quite a good networking opportunity with the people that matter in my country. Moreover, I've personally gotten so used to thinking that I'll leave next year that the prospect of leaving this year scares me a bit. My boyfriend was planning on resigning next year so that he can come and stay with me for a month or so as I adjust to my new life, but going this year will be difficult if not impossible for him. I'm afraid that leaving so soon will strain my relationship with him, something that I don't want because he's an important support system for me. Both schools fit reasonably well with my research interest, though I suspect that Penn State will have more support for me if I do decide to be in the rhet/comp path as planned. I realize that I'm very fortunate to be having this problem, but still, it's literally 3 days before April 15. UW has given me more time until April 23 to accept or decline, but that's still so soon. Any advice will be much appreciated! If you have more info about the two programs that I should consider, please also feel free to share it. I didn't get a chance to visit either school, so any info will be very useful to me. Sorry if this is long, and thanks for reading!
  5. I actually have funding from my government (I’m an international student) for the MA level. It covers everything from tuition to plane tickets and insurance, so even though Penn State doesn’t give funding for the MA level, I can live with the money from my govt, and then transition to Penn State’s funding for the PhD stage (they will fund the PhD for 4 years if I’m allowed to proceed). UW, however, is trickier. If I don’t escape the waitlist for their funding, I’m not sure the monthly allowance from my govt funding ($1,500 per month, for 24 months of the MA) will be enough to live comfortably in Seattle, though I think I can make it work. Aside from those details on funding, I’m also worried about the social scene of each place (if people are friendly esp to foreigners, etc.), which again I have no way to know for sure because I’ll never get to visit them before actually starting my study. Anyway, congrats to you for almost making a decision! Purdue sounds awesome! I regret not applying there too. I guess if we’ve reached our peak indecisiveness we can take comfort in the knowledge that either option is great anyway
  6. Thanks for the input! It’s always nice to have people affirm that ranking and academic merits aren’t everything I just wish I could come to the cities myself to better gauge if I’ll be happy living there. I’ve never even been to the US lol.
  7. Penn State has made sure that they’re not giving me anything (they really made sure I understood this no-chance-for-funding situation lol). I’m on a waitlist for funding at UW, and they seem more open to giving me funding later if not now, perhaps on the second or third year. I have funding until my third year, so UW’s prospect is sensible enough for me. As for professors, both have at least 2 professors I’d be happy to work with. Penn State has better coursework and overall better support (at lease that’s what it seems like). UW has the more preferred location by a huge margin, plus, they guarantee me a spot all the way to the PhD. However, I’m not sure about their strength in the rhet/comp field. Penn State seems like a better bet academically (but not in everything else). I’m definitely overthinking everything lol.
  8. Same here, I also haven’t decided. Currently torn between UW and Penn State, and wondering what would happen if I suddently get an acceptance from UIUC (unlikely at this point, but really I wish they’d say something, ANYTHING). What keeps you from making your final decision?
  9. Is anyone else still waiting to hear from UIUC? It’s the only school standing between me and my decision right now. I’ve sent them an email two or three days ago, no reply so far. Anyone has a clue on what’s going on?
  10. This is a pretty late reply (I haven’t been active in the forums, sorry), but I got accepted to UW’s MA program. Unfortunately I don’t know if they’re done notifying or not, but I’m in the process of deferring my offer, so perhaps that will free up a space for someone this year (?). Good luck!
  11. Congratulations @OceansAreBlue @Warelin @LeeLeeCzechIrish !!!
  12. Amen to that. Thank you! MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS!! That's a great program in a great city.
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