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  1. Has anyone here used their FAFSA report to apply for PhD application fee waivers? I'm wondering whether your EFC has to be below a certain threshold in order to qualify - or whether just having filled out a FAFSA at all is sufficient to qualify. I haven't been able to find any details about this on the websites of any of the programs I'm interested in. Thanks in advance!
  2. Well hi, fellow Kyoto School fan! You should DM me, I know some people you could talk to! With respect to PhD programs in the Anglophone world, though, the only ones I can think of are Hawai'i (as @Olórin pointed out) and Boston College (which has David W. Johnson).
  3. I know someone who did the MA program at UNM and had great things to say about it - she's now at Texas A&M. So, seconding that it's not a scam, though that doesn't mean it would be worth it to attend without full funding.
  4. This is also what I suspect, but it seems like nobody will just come out and say it in an FAQ or something. So I guess I'll just go with that, unless I find anything more explicit (in which case I will share here). Because yes, if that's the case, then I'll file as an independent this coming tax season. Thanks for your help!
  5. A quick question about fee waivers for PhD programs - does anyone have any idea whether, if you plan to use your tax returns to qualify for PhD fee waivers, you must file as an independent? I plan to file FAFSA for this academic year, and for FAFSA I qualify as an independent student. But my parents have claimed me as a dependent for all of the years I filed taxes. My only income is my MA stipend (~13k), but my parents obviously make more than that - would that get in the way of my qualifying for fee waivers, if they claim me as a dependent this time around? I've done some googling and looking around on this forum, but I haven't found any information about how this works, beyond the basic "sending in your tax returns is one way to apply for a fee waiver". (I should add that my institution's fin aid office has categorically refused to write letters attesting to financial need for students in my program, so that does not appear to be an available option.) Thanks in advance for any info!
  6. This is totally reasonable and I feel pretty similarly. But remember that you can always re-apply the next year! So even if it did turn out that you were shooting too high or something, or you just got unlucky, you could apply to a different spread of programs the next cycle. My impression is that it is extremely common for people to have to do this at some point, since as you correctly point out things are really competitive. I don't think the top tier of MAs is out of your reach at all! Often the tough part is getting funding - at my program, for instance, there are only a few of us with philosophy TAships and everyone else has to figure something else out. But you don't need funding, so you don't even have to worry about that! The good MA programs are competitive, but less competitive (as far as I can tell) than the top PhD programs. And the pool of applicants will be different - it's not (for the most part, except maybe for Tufts) going to be people with BAs from Yale and NYU. It's going to be people from bad, mediocre, or just relatively unknown programs. That's a huge part of why MA programs in philosophy exist - to improve the "pedigree" of strong philosophy students who come from weak or lesser-known programs. At my MA program, which is one of the top ones I mentioned, there's like one person from a PGR bottom-ranked program, me from an unranked but listed program, and everyone else is from Southwest Such-and-such State or whatever. Some other good ones that come to mind are Western Michigan, Simon Fraser, Houston, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, SFSU. But tbh there aren't that many good MA programs.
  7. Honestly, I think you can narrow down your list quite a bit. If you go to any of the solid MA programs - Tufts, NIU, UWM, Brandeis, GSU (in roughly that order?) - you will have a solid shot, provided you perform well, at PGR top 10-20 programs. So, if I were you, I would probably just apply to the terminal MAs and maybe a couple of good but realistic PhD programs, and drop all of the lower-tier ones (BGSU, Washington, ASU, SIU, Kent State, etc.). (Not that those are necessarily bad programs.) This should definitely not be the case at any of the terminal MAs you're considering, especially not with a good sample and compelling personal statement. Your wide reading will definitely help you, but I wouldn't, like, attach your reading list to your application or anything. My advice would be to cite the relevant stuff in your sample, and say something modest but informative in your statement about your independent pursuit of philosophy. I hope this is helpful - please keep in mind that, while I am in a good terminal MA program and thus have some insight into the process (what kinds of people get here, what my profs say, etc.), I have never been on an admissions committee. Good luck!!
  8. Just want to chime in to say that there are people in my (very strong, well-regarded) MA program getting B+/B grades, and it definitely seems to track abilities and work ethic. I mean, who the hell am I to decide who's good and who's not, but just fwiw. I also know that there are a bunch of people from my program who got a B or B+ once and still got into really good PhD programs.
  9. My partner is in history, at a non-fancy but R1 university with a pretty strong faculty, and her advisors have a policy of strongly discouraging anyone from seeking academic employment in history unless they are studying Asia or Africa. So it certainly isn't good. Whether philosophy is any better, I'm not sure. But the thing is, you have to consider not only the philosophy market, but the sub-market for history of philosophy, Medieval specifically. And that's also a very very bad market, at least from all the data that has been made available by the APA and all the philosophy bloggers and so on. The less in-demand (or the more over-represented) your sub-field is, the harder it is to get a job.
  10. Declined one of the nicer fellowships at GSU this morning.
  11. Just accepted NIU - super excited! Edit: wrong thread, sorry 😥 It's late and I've been doing my taxes...
  12. The sense I've gotten thus far, and the advice I've received from all of my professors, is that in philosophy, unlike many/most other humanities fields, it's actually more about the program than the particular person you want to work with. If you're a historian and you want to work on China, it's not really going to help you that there are lots of Europeanists and Africanists also in the department. But if you're a philosopher doing, say, language, then it will be very important to also be quite competent in related core areas like mind and metaphysics, and so it will be important that the department has people working in all those areas. Sub-areas of philosophy are pretty interconnected. So if the person at school B is the only person you'd be really interested in working with, then it might be better to opt for school A, where even though it's not a perfect match, there are at least multiple people qualified to supervise your work. Take this with a grain of salt since I'm not done with this whole process myself, but I'm just relaying what I have found helpful myself. Also, I'm sorry to go off-topic here, but I had to ask about this. How is John Searle a phenomenologist??
  13. I'm going to school P unless i get more money from school Q, and I'm currently first on a waitlist for the desired money at Q. If Q comes through I'm going there. In the meantime, should I accept P now or wait until the 15th?
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