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unfundded Ph.D. Admission & Ph.D. Rejection


marshmallow530

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Hi, I am an applicant of 2018 fall, and here I have a question about the unfunded Ph.D. admission and rejection. I want to know if one received the "rejection" letter from the department, can one negotiate with the department if s/he could change the "rejection letter" to the unfunded Ph.D. admission?

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I don't have much experience with this, but based on research and reading I've done, I would say no. If a program wanted to accept someone without funding, they would accept them without funding instead of rejecting them. The one caveat might be if the rejection letter explicitly states that the only reason for rejection is lack of funding. Even in that case, though, I would advise against it as it feels like it would be whiny/in bad form to try to negotiate. And aside from that, aren't unfunded PhD programs generally a bad idea?

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Do you have the money to pay for tuition and living expenses for 5-10 years?   It don't think turning a rejection into an unfunded admission would work because the program might have size constraints unrelated to funding.   Even if you went to an in-state public university you would need maybe $30,000 (conservatively) a year to pay tuition and living expenses and a private university or one in a high-cost area would be more.  Your other post was about History PhD programs so I am going to assume that is still your field.  If you are willing to pay and don't have an MA in history why not apply to those programs, getting into a MA program should be less competitive and some of them might still have open applications.  Unless you have external funding or are independently wealthy (i.e. you can easily afford to spend six figures on your education) unfunded PhDs are a bad idea since it would be difficult to pay off potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. 

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