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Everything posted by MediaMom

  1. Could you set up a few Skype conversations with faculty, and possibly a grad student or two, so that you at least get to have the same conversations you'd have had during a visit? That might help you to decide. You can also ask if the admission office has any videos or interactive web tours of campus, and I'm sure you could find some current grad students via web forums who could give you info on the city and what it's like to live in the area, etc. This might help you to make your choice. Good luck.
  2. Not to diminish what you're feeling, because of course you have a right to feel it. But you're "ALREADY" 25? Oh honey. I didn't have my master's until I was 27, and that was 10 years ago. I'll start work on my PhD this fall, at age 37. You're not old, you've got time, and maybe what you need to do is step back for a few years and just focus on a few things at a time. Life experience can give you a huge edge, on a number of levels.
  3. Typically the stipends are paid out over the nine-month appointment as a paycheck. It is taxable income and your pay stubs will show all taxes withheld and you'll get a W2 at the end of the year like you would with any job. You're essentially a university employee during that time. This makes it easier for them to fire you. Most stipends are given under the condition that you maintain a certain academic record and perform specific duties. If you flake out and stop doing your TA work or stop coming to classes, etc., they can take away your assistantship and stipend. If they've already paid it o
  4. In my opinion, follow the money. Unless the funded offer is coming from Jim Bob's House of Degrees I Make On My Computer, a funded offer is always better than a very, very expensive one. For what it's worth, my husband grew up in Alabama and Mississippi and went to Ole Miss as an undergrad. His first job out of college was in Ann Arbor. It was a shock, but it didn't kill him, and 20 years later he's still never lived any farther south than PA. (We live in eastern NY now.) You can do it!
  5. I agree that it depends on what you want to do down the line. If you know you want a faculty position and to teach, and you have no teaching experience, then you might want to opt for the program that will give you more of that. If you want to practice as a psychologist and think that the RA might give you an opportunity to develop a specialty in an area of particular interest to you, then it might be the better choice. The end goal is the key - figure out where you want to end up and then start plotting a course to get there.
  6. Harvard isn't worth the debt, especially when you have the option of a nearly fully funded program at a reputable and known university. But that's just my two cents worth.
  7. I've gotten two acceptances over the phone. In the first case, I actually got the email notification to check the online system first, so when the call came, I already knew I'd been accepted. But the call also notified me of funding, which the online system does not address. In the second case, the call came first, before the online system was updated, and that offer also included funding. I got the impression with the second one that I was one of very few people being offered funding, and they wanted to notify me ASAP to be sure I was still interested in the offer. As the above poster said
  8. My undergrad degree is in English but if you asked my mom, she'd tell you it was "something to do with communication." Not that she could explain what communication is.
  9. I would send an email to -- or call -- the DGS for the program and say something like this: I understand that I am on the wait list right now and that there is a chance I will not be offered acceptance into your program; however, I remain very interested in the program and its faculty and would love an opportunity to learn more. At the moment, I don't believe that I'll be able to travel to make a personal visit to the campus. Would it be possible to schedule a Skype meeting sometime in the next couple of weeks so that I can ask a few questions? Also, if there are any graduate students who m
  10. There is always a possibility that enough people will decline for you to get moved up the list and get an offer. But honestly, I wouldn't count on it. If you did get in, the earliest you'd know is late April. If you have other offers, I'd just focus on those.
  11. IMO, take the PhD. If you ultimately want to get a PhD, why put yourself through the process of reapplying and relocating AGAIN, when you're already being offered a funded place in a PhD program? And why pay for a master's degree when you can get a PhD for free? (Well, more or less.) The PhD program might not be as "prestigious," but it must have something of value to you or you'd have never applied in the first place, right? All of this being said, I would strongly advise you to not make ANY decision until you've heard back from everyone. You should have all available information before yo
  12. Agreed - I called all of my schools to check on the status of my materials and the people in admission were rude to me at all but one school. I got the, "We'll call YOU, leave us alone and be patient" speech at three of the four schools I contacted. It was made very clear to me that applicants calling to check up on them was just not "how it was done." So I suppose I'm just lucky that none of those schools ended up effing up my applications. And this is the place to vent these frustrations, absolutely.
  13. I would set up a phone call or Skype interview so that you can ask, in real time, what the MA acceptance really means. Does this mean that you can potentially be fast-tracked into the PhD program? Does this mean that you're guaranteed eventual entry into the PhD program, or will you have to reapply? Etc...
  14. Well it certainly can't hurt to try again! Good luck
  15. Did you make any changes to your application from one semester to the next -- for example, did you do any independent research/writing, change your SOP to reflect new research interests, retake the GRE to improve your scores, etc? Have you been in touch with anyone in the department since your initial rejection to ask them what exactly it was that they felt you needed to strengthen in order for them to reconsider? My thinking is that if you just turned around and resubmitted the exact same materials, then you'll probably get the exact same response. If you can show that you've taken their f
  16. Definitely ask for an extension and, like the previous poster said, explain that your decision is largely dependent upon funding. I also agree that it is a smart idea to email the other programs; I had success in doing this. I emailed a program I had not yet heard from and explained that I was considering offers from two other schools and was curious about their timeline. The grad studies director got back to me and, while he couldn't give me a "real" answer, basically gave me an unofficial yes and asked me to wait for them. It was worth the wait, as I ended up getting a nice offer from them.
  17. I would email the department chair/graduate studies chair. Don't point the finger or bad mouth the admissions office. Just say that you've just spoken with admissions and discovered that your file was mis-marked and was not forwarded to the department for their review as it should have been. Ask if all decisions have been made, and if they have not, if the department would be willing to look at your application now. Even if all of the offers have gone out, they may choose to wait-list you. Also, I know that the majority of programs do not offer spring admission, but it can't hurt to ask them i
  18. It can't hurt to ask. All they can say is no. You can also ask if, in the case deferral is not possible, if you'd be given priority consideration if you officially reapplied next year. The thing is, I don't think they're going to be happy with your reason. It's one thing to ask for a deferral because you're dealing with the death of a parent and family obligations. But it sounds as if those obligations have been met, and you want to defer so you can travel. That's not very compelling. Can't you work abroad and/or volunteer after you finish school? Or try to work a semester abroad or volunte
  19. One other thought - You can talk to your POI at the MA program and say that you plan to eventually apply to PhD programs, and ask him/her what kind of success their students tend to have with transitioning on to PhD-level study. You might also ask if there are any specific courses or workshops, etc., you can participate in as a MA student that would be particularly helpful when it comes time to apply.
  20. If you're coming from UG straight into the PhD program, you could be making a commitment of five, six, seven years. If you really don't think you'll be happy there, then the MA program might be the best fit for you right now. You also have the option of taking a little break after your master's degree. You could work for a year or two, even teach part-time somewhere, and then start the PhD application process. Ultimately, I think, you need to go with the program that can provide you the greatest mental health; that is, a program where you feel at home, you feel welcomed, you feel challenged
  21. edost - Sorry to hear about Albany, but as you said, it wasn't your first choice so all is well. I think we'll all land where we're meant to eventually. I did not apply to Rutgers but I have a good friend whose PhD is in communication and information sciences from Rutgers and I know that they have a large program and do admit somewhere between 25 and 30 people at a time. If you haven't heard anything yet I'm guessing perhaps you've been waitlisted, and as people who were invited to that visit weekend decline the offer, they'll start to pull names from the list. It can't hurt to email them.
  22. I have a Word document that I add to whenever I come up with an idea. It's a stream-of-consciousness brain dump mess, but it makes sense to me!
  23. Yay! Congratulations. My TA offer at UConn was the same - 20 hours - but I'm assuming that will include time spent holding office hours and working on class prep. At most they could only have you teaching six credit hours, right?
  24. I was just accepted via phone at UAlbany with funding. Only a small number of accepted applicants are being offered GAships and I certainly don't want to hold up anyone else's money, so now I want to make my decision really quickly. Still waiting to hear about funding at RPI, but I have a visit scheduled for Thursday and hopefully that will give me all the info I need to make a decision by the weekend. FINALLY....progress!!!
  25. My first acceptance came via email, so I responded by contacting the graduate studies chair in the department and saying that I was close to making a decision but that I was waiting for one other school. I also made plans to visit the campus and meet with some of their faculty. They haven't said anything to me about a deadline for making a decision, but I know that I'm on their radar and they're expecting my visit and they know I'm still considering their school, so that relationship is good. The other acceptance came via phone, but I missed the call and the offer was really made via voice
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