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Graduate Assistant, Masters, No idea of funding or stipend amount!?


dilemmas
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Hello,

I I received an offer from a school with partial scholarship and a graduate assistantship. I asked them about the type of assistantship and the stipend, but they basically did not give me an answer. Just said that it can be either an RA or TA, 10h/w or 20h/w and the information of the amount that will be paid for assistantship is not available yet and only will be in May. I had to give them an answer in a short time, and since I did not hear back from the other schools yet I said yes. But I have no idea what I will get. This is in New York and a STEM field, but not a PhD and most of the things I have read through search is related to PhDs. I know I am lucky that I even got the offer since I am only doing masters. But I do not even know if the funding will cover tuition.

And they are not answering my questions about this, I tried. They just say the information is not available. Was I not supposed to get a detailed offer letter? I prepared and sent my I20 form like there is no assistantship at all as they asked. But I do not know what to do as I am also waiting for other schools which will give me answers really late since I applied late.   

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If the information is not available and not on the official offer letter, then there is nothing guaranteed to you. That doesn't mean you won't get funding, it just means that you can't be certain what it is. Because there is no funding commitment to you, I don't think you are obligated to attend if the funding is not enough to cover your costs to the level you need.

Since you already asked and they don't seem to want to answer, I would just wait until May and see what the funding is. If it's enough, then continue as planned. If it's not enough then you can tell them that it isn't enough funding and you will not be attending. You shouldn't incur any additional costs between now and May so it won't hurt you to wait.

However, if you do have another offer with definite funding then I think it would be a really good idea to consider that one instead. If you still prefer this NY school more than another offer, you can tell the NY school that you have received a funding offer from X with $Y and that you would prefer the NY school but you need to have a funding guarantee.

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Yes, wait until May to hear back from all the schools. It’s great that you already have an offer, but you can withdraw and say that the funding isn’t enough for you/other schools offer better funding and this is what you have to go for as your financial situation isn’t the best.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for your answers. I received another acceptance. This time funding is even less guarenteed. However, they have a huge amount of difference in reputation and my research interests being in line, so I will prefer the new one. I dont know what to do. But I am hoping for the best. 

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