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Hey all,

I applied to 3 different schools for a Ph.D degree- Harvard, Tufts, and UC Davis. So far, I've heard from Harvard--accepted, but without funding. Big bummer. No word yet from the other schools, although I'm inclined to think I'll get some sort of funding from Tufts (I did my Master's there).

So, my question for you all is: Would you turn down an offer for a Ph.D. at Harvard if it weren't funded? Or would you bust your b*tt to get through w/loans and 1+ jobs?

I realize my thinking is probably premature, since I haven't heard from the other schools..but Harvard is my dream school and I really want to go. However, I've also heard things like students who are unfunded tend to fall through the cracks more often than those who are funded, etc.

What to do?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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How much debt will you have to go into? How much do you expect to earn once you graduate from Harvard? How about what you would earn after graduating from Tufts or Davis, and how much debt will you have then? How important is your dream, compared to those numbers? Only you know.

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How much debt will you have to go into? How much do you expect to earn once you graduate from Harvard? How about what you would earn after graduating from Tufts or Davis, and how much debt will you have then? How important is your dream, compared to those numbers? Only you know.

I'd probably have to go into 80K debt for the 1st two years of classes.....that is, if I didn't get *any* funding the second year. Then there's an added 3 or so years of research. Oy. I am starting to think it is just not worth it. I've heard from others that one should *never* pay their own way for a Ph.D. Also, do I really want to be in a place where the school doesn't value me enough to fund me???

I mean, while it *is* Harvard, I'm leaning towards going somewhere else if they (hopefully) offer me any funding.

Kind of disappointing, but what can you do?

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That really sucks. Maybe if you get into another funded program and you inform Harvard about it they might give you an offer. Harvard judges the worth of its programs based on how many accepted applicants are actually admitted. If you say: "Hey, I'm probably going to turn you down for a place that gives me money!" they might pull out the extra cash. So I wouldn't reject them just yet. You never know!!

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