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punctilious last won the day on February 10

punctilious had the most liked content!


About punctilious

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  • Location
    Cambridge, MA
  • Interests
    Postmodern/Contemporary U.S. Literature | Material Culture | Thing Theory | Pynchon, Wallace, Franzen, Barth, DeLillo, Nabokov, Egan
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    English PhD, Harvard University

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  1. If you purchased with a credit card, can you dispute the charge? That's what my husband and I have been doing for hotel and airline costs that the travel companies are being difficult about refunding. It's a public health crisis, a national emergency, these companies need to refund people, and my bank (hopefully) has more sway and can get the job done.
  2. I would imagine that, since there are so few jobs, there may not even be enough data to determine the success of some schools over others. I'm not sure that being strategic about where you go is super effective in this climate because it's a total crapshoot and the economy isn't getting any better. We're holding out hope that Harvard's name recognition and elite status will help him get a job in Europe, since I'm an EU citizen and we want to live over there when he's done. It's probably likely that, if EU university hiring committees know any US institutions, likely they know (and hopefully respect) Harvard. Otherwise, I think you should go where you want to go.
  3. I think it's a tough situation. I do think it's wrong of Harvard to kick people out of the dorms so quickly, though I hope they will be lenient in allowing those folks who have nowhere to go to stay, but at the same time, Massachusetts is seeing a pretty rapid outbreak, and what better place for the virus to spread than at a university where people are in close proximity all the time (in lecture halls, dining halls, dorms, etc)? It could be a real danger to the immunocompromised and older folks (hello professors) if we allowed this virus to spread through campus. We have a duty to protect each other, especially since our government will not protect us by providing medicare for all, required paid time off, etc. The United States is in a precarious situation--most other wealthy countries are substantially more prepared than we are for this kind of outbreak. It sucks--my husband is not excited about all of his classes going online,not getting to present at conferences and colloquiums, potentially having limited to no access to the library or other resources, but I understand why they made this decision.
  4. If any Harvard admits have any questions, feel free to message me, considering the coronavirus-fueled cancellation of official visit days.
  5. @surplus_value - My husband and I were in this process two years ago, so I get how incredibly hard and stressful this can be. But you have to recognize in yourself what you can handle when it comes to seeing other folks' success. Listen to yourself and see whether being in this community is helpful or hurtful to your mental health. You do not have to be here. For some people, the camaraderie is joyful, for others it is stressful. I think it is unfair to expect other people to cater to you, and not express their frustration at this process. This should be a safe space to vent about the process, not a place to tear down one another. @meghan_sparkle and every person here should feel comfortable engaging in this community, whether their applications have been accepted or not.
  6. It is very confusing, but no, as far as I am aware you just need to count your stipend as income, not the tuition remission. That measure did not pass. Unfortunately even tax professionals often do not understand how this works.
  7. I completely agree with you. Which is why it's also essential that everyone here goes out to vote in this primary to support students and our unions.
  8. Correct, teaching fellowships and such will make you an employee of the institution, so you will presumably have taxes taken out, but for stipends (where you aren't working, often the first year or two of your program), they will more than likely not take any taxes and may not even provide you any sort of tax document. The stipends without "employment" are what I am referring to, as people often think they don't need to pay taxes on those, but they do!
  9. Yes, everyone should hear this loud and clear: your stipends are taxable income (not just teaching fellowships!). You have to report them as such and pay taxes on them, which is why it's a really good idea to pay quarterly estimated taxes so you don't die when you see what you owe in taxes at the end of the year. Cost of living as absolutely an important consideration. Many top universities are in super expensive cities (especially the Bay Area, followed by New York and Boston, those are probably the worst cost of living in the US) so make sure to factor that in when making your decisions. I believe @Warelin's spreadsheet has a cost of living column.
  10. So that was a whole debacle around proposed changes that would not only tax graduate students on their stipends/fellowships, but also on tuition remission. The proposal would have meant that your income wouldn't just be the $35,000 stipend you're getting from Harvard, but also the $47,000 in Harvard tuition. These together would be considered your income, so you'd be taxed on the $82,000 rather than the $35,000. Thank goodness that didn't get through because it's absolutely insane/ridiculous.
  11. This income tax calculator should make things easier for you. Personal Finance for PhDs also has a lot of great resources on this subject. Remember folks, your schools will most likely not take taxes out of your stipends, but you will owe income tax on them! You will want to pay quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS. I recommend also setting up a savings account just for taxes, and putting funds away each stipend to pay your quarterly estimated taxes.
  12. The spreadsheet I created has already been linked above, but I've been doing a lot of projects in Airtable lately. I highly recommend it, and will probably rebuild my spreadsheet and other resources in there. It's a lot prettier and more flexible than Google Sheets or Excel.
  13. Yup. And we are hoping to end up with Europe, so thank you @Warelin for that follow up question. So yes, we are hoping the name carries us!
  14. Thank you so much for your advice. Unfortunately, we are hitting a bit of a spot where the professors most invested have been denied tenure or are still tenure-track, which is not ideal. And the others are inaccessible/flighty despite their similar research interests but tenured, or big names and somewhat helpful/accessible with similar interests but less invested. It's not easy!
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