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Indecisive Poet

Can anyone correct me on any of these programs I've found are NOT funded?

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Thanks, @unræd and @klader. I realize it's important to take into consideration both that I should account in advance for the possible need for external funding in the final dissertating years and the possibility that I may be able to get done "early." I won't be going in with a 2-year MA but rather a 1-year MA, so I am hoping for 6 years (I'd like the two full years of classes) but we'll see what happens further along down the line. It definitely sounds like a line of questioning for current students at the programs I apply to, anyway.

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Northwestern is definitely fully funded for at least 5 years. They have recently been cracking down on granting funding beyond the fifth year, however. For the first 5 years, though, you can expect a minimum of $30,500, full tuition remission, and excellent health insurance without a premium. In Evanston/Chicago, this is enough to live quite comfortably. I was actually able to buy a home off of savings from the graduate stipend.

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I was accepted into FSU last year (rhet/comp PhD, but same department) and while they are fully funded, the stipend was on the low in and student fees were not included and if I recall either none or only partial insurance was included. It's a fantastic program and the cost of living is low, but for me and my husband the numbers did not add up even with several fellowships stacked on (the fees are just really ridiculously high). 

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Thanks, @renea! That's helpful to know and will be noted on my spreadsheet...

Edit: I just took a look at my spreadsheet and I have $22k/year for 5 years written for FSU (based on the thread on here with funding packages). Does that sound incorrect to you? I know everyone's needs are very different, but I wouldn't have labeled $22k as a lower-end stipend so I wanted to double-check.

Edited by indecisivepoet

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1 hour ago, indecisivepoet said:

Thanks, @renea! That's helpful to know and will be noted on my spreadsheet...

Edit: I just took a look at my spreadsheet and I have $22k/year for 5 years written for FSU (based on the thread on here with funding packages). Does that sound incorrect to you? I know everyone's needs are very different, but I wouldn't have labeled $22k as a lower-end stipend so I wanted to double-check.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention,  @indecisivepoet. I've looked into the previous edits and it looks like the 22k figure was grabbed from https://www.bio.fsu.edu/grad/handbook/financial.html which is for Biological Sciences. I've always found that number strange since I've always thought Florida State's stipend was around 15k. Would love the number to be updated if @renea has more accurate information. :)

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University of Kansas does not guarantee funding for 5 years per se, BUT they commit to funding for 5 years. The way it was explained to me was that unless there was some type of funding crisis (like the department losing all of its funding or something like that), students receive funding for their 5 years- the just don't want to use the word guarentee just in case such a crisis does happen (which is incredibly unlikely). To the best of my knowledge no student has ever been left without funding.

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@SocialPsych18 -- thanks for elucidating that! I'm learning that something similar is the case for many of the programs I'm looking at and that I originally mentioned in this thread: the terminology used to describe funding isn't a sneaky way of making a program sound funded when it isn't; it's just safe language for the website to use about a program that is, in practice, funded.

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On 9/5/2018 at 9:16 AM, indecisivepoet said:

Thanks, @renea! That's helpful to know and will be noted on my spreadsheet...

Edit: I just took a look at my spreadsheet and I have $22k/year for 5 years written for FSU (based on the thread on here with funding packages). Does that sound incorrect to you? I know everyone's needs are very different, but I wouldn't have labeled $22k as a lower-end stipend so I wanted to double-check.

Hey so the confusion might be that $22k is what they quoted me for the total "offer" so this is the combined costs of your stipend, tuition credits, and out of state waiver. The original stipend was around $15k, but the costs of fees and health insurance (which was not fully covered) was $4,249.66- so at the end of the day my fall/spring stipend was barely over $10k. If it was $22k I'd be fine that's on the upper end imo. 

Now I will say that the department has fellowships, and when I told the DGS that the stipend was the only thing keeping me from accepting she worked on getting me more funding (roughly $11k total in fellowships added to my 4 years of funding which she secured in one week). That was not near enough for us to justify the costs- but I do want to give a shout out to her because she made me feel totally comfortable being honest with her and she was very understanding about me not being able to accept even after getting me extra money (she was also just super nice). It's really not the department, the fees & insurance affects the entire university- they killed my husband's offer as well- our combined offers was actually less than what I'm making this year at my current PhD program alone. 

However- if you were an in-state resident already and didn't need health insurance (it's required by the university, but if maybe you were on a spouse's or parent's plan) the program could work (and does for many students!). It's an amazing program and the people I talked to seemed very happy. Like you so smartly said- everyone's needs are very different.

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