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About jprufrock

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    Espresso Shot

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  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  • Program
    English PhD

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  1. Sorry--maybe it isn't clear in my initial post. I want to know if my fellowship funding will make me ineligible for the subsidized student loan for which I was approved. EDIT: Or if the fellowship funding will reduce the amount of the loan I may receive.
  2. I just got a letter in the mail today that said I'm eligible for the maximum student loan amount based on my FAFSA data. I'm wondering if my 5-year fellowship will make me ineligible to receive a student loan (namely, the subsidized Stafford loan). My fellowship consists of full tuition/fee remission, health insurance and a yearly stipend of ~$23,000. Given this, I probably won't need to take out any student loans, but having the interest-free subsidized loan may be an attractive option to have more liquidity and to build credit. I will definitely not take out an unsubsidized loan. However, the subsidized student loan of $8,500 for which I'm eligible looks really attractive because it does not accrue any interest while I'm attending school (aside from the 1% origination fee). I can see myself making really good use of that money on top of my fellowship by setting it aside in an interest-baring savings account dedicated to rent or other living expenses. I know that eligibility for loans is something like Cost of Attendance - awards/fellowships/EFC. Given that my program has essentially fully taken care of the cost of attendance, does that change my eligibility? Or, if I've already been declared eligible for the subsidized loan, can I just take it to have this financial buffer and build my credit? Since I have full tuition remission, is it correct to assume the university will forward the entire sum of the loan to me? Please note that I plan to pay off the loan in full upon graduation, effectively avoiding paying any interest. Any thoughts, advice, experience, knowledge? Other info: I'm not requesting opinions on whether or not to take a student loan, even if I don't necessarily need it. I have 0 undergrad debt, and a tidy amount of savings (enough to get by without a loan), but I'm really interested in taking this loan since it accrues no interest and I plan to pay it off in full upon graduation. Essentially, I'm hoping to be able to use it as a buffer that can earn passive savings while I keep it in an account to pay for student expenses. Feel free to discuss ethical concerns about this, though.
  3. Officially declined a Cota-Robles fellowship at UCLA and officially declined Berkeley (had been contacted about a waitlist for 1st/2nd year fellowship funding, but took myself off the list). Hope others gain better funding packages accordingly. Going to Penn!
  4. It's a pretty important thing, right? Take a flight and visit the campus in person. People can't dismiss you easily when you're standing right in front of them. EDIT: or ask your second choice for an extension so the April 15th deadline isn't as much of a concern.
  5. I'll write what you already know but are afraid to accept: You are a wonderful writer and do not require a sheet of paper confirming such. Go with the money.
  6. Declined Vanderbilt. Sadly! Loved the program there--hope the offer benefits someone else!
  7. Declined NYU's generously funded PhD offer. Hope someone here gets it!
  8. I got into Penn off the waitlist, so have hope! I just continually expressed interest by asking the Grad. Chair normal questions about the program as though I had already been accepted and was gathering information to gauge if it would be the best place for me. I also made an out-of-pocket visit, as I didn't want to make an uninformed decision (I have visited every other place, so I felt the need just in case I was accepted--glad I did, regardless of the admittedly good result). I have yet to make a decision but now that all the cards are on the table, but I expect to make a decision within the week.
  9. Same question plus one request to those accepted: please make a decision within the next week if you can. If I end up getting in, I want to have at least a few days to consider everything before I make my ultimate choice.
  10. Ah, sucks. In this case, it really depends on how comfortable you think you can be while going to school and having to worry about money. There are probably opportunities for outside funding when you get there (fellowships, etc, but also maybe just a normal job or tutoring positions). If you can make a reasonable estimate of your total costs and project it out to see how long it would take to pay it off, then that might give you a better idea if the option is worth taking. In my own case, I would not attend a school without full funding, as this economy seems unstable and merciless. Coupled with an equally bleak future for academia in general, a poor funding situation would really hinder my ability to learn, teach and research.
  11. Many places that offer a graduate assistantship / teaching assistantship / research assistantship do so with the implication that tuition remission (and fees and health insurance) come along with it. As an official "university employee," most places absolve you of the responsibility of paying for tuition. You should check up on this, however. The main caveat I would have, I think, is that sometimes the differential between out-of-state tuition and in-state tuition is not covered. In that case, you'd have to worry about tuition a little more.
  12. I met a girl from UCI this weekend at a campus visit and she was wonderful and clearly very bright. In any case, I would not generalize about an entire student population. Of course the UC schools are facing a crisis right now, but not all of them are being hit equally and the quality of a program is not entirely dependent on finances. The OP and others who have chimed in surely have experiences that should be considered, but theirs are simply drops in the ocean of other viewpoints regarding UCI and the other UC campuses.
  13. I went to UW. You can find cheap places to live around here (i.e. ~$500/mo for rent + utilities/groceries) so long as you are willing to live with others or willing to bus into campus (great public transportation here). If your ultimate goal is a PhD, then you should go for the PhD. A Masters degree won't help you get into a better PhD program, it seems, so you'd just be prolonging or elongating the time it takes to reach your ultimate goal. One year unfunded isn't bad and I'm sure you'd be able to pick up some work here or there in the summer or even as a reader/grader or research assistant (I'm currently working as a research assistant for one of my former UW English profs, until I leave for grad school). UW's program has been great to me, so I'm biased. From my view, then, at least I know the money would be worth it (though I'd jump ship if funded for a PhD elsewhere).
  14. I figure if you're asking this question, then you're leaning more toward Northwestern. Go with your gut, yeah?
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