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5 minutes ago, punctilious said:

I would agree with others that it totally varies from person to person. @Warelin's funding spreadsheet notes the Living Wage Index which might help give a better idea of how one might fare on the stipend of a particular school. If you have a partner who brings in income or kids to care for, that of course makes a difference as well. Harvard's stipend is quite good at $2,886 per month, $721 of which we stick into a separate Taxes savings account each month. Our rent is a horrendous $2,300 per month but we don't have trouble with it because I bring in an income higher than his, and we continue to be able to save monthly into my 401k, emergency fund savings, and our 10-year-plan savings. I would imagine many grad students would need to have a roommate, at least in the Boston area or similarly costly cities.

Thank you! I'm surely putting the cart before the horse here, as I don't think I'm likely to be accepted this cycle, but all of the schools I'm applying to have fairly good stipends. I know I'll have book expenses, travel expenses, groceries, fees, random needs, etc, etc, etc, but it seems feasible to find a place to live for $2000/month or less? Like @j.alicea, I'm comfortable living in "less ideal" areas, and I feel like hopefully I'll be able to make it work without taking out too many loans? Maybe I'm being too optimistic haha.

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6 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

i wonder if it will be more of a deep knowledge exam or “oh we just wanted to see if you were at least somewhat human” 

Definitely the latter, except to the extent that you'll be asked to speak in a bit more detail about things you mentioned in your personal statement. Even in academic job interviews committees do not ambush candidates. Remember, they're now recruiting you as much as you're applying to them. 

Edited by jrockford27

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25 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

Comrades!!!!

The dreaded and most desired hour has arrived on this end—-Penn State requested an interview (Comp Lit!) !!!

What Do I Say?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!! please send help! 

 

congrats! super awesome to see this!

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31 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

Comrades!!!!

The dreaded and most desired hour has arrived on this end—-Penn State requested an interview (Comp Lit!) !!!

What Do I Say?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!! please send help! 

 

Congrats!!!! Say yes!!!

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Out of curiosity, did anyone else applying to Harvard's PhD in English get an email requesting additional language proficiency information? Not sure what to make of it.

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@Bopie5 Don't count yourself out yet! And I personally think $2,000/month is more than enough for your Midwest picks, at the very least. You'll of course be buying books, but I managed to save a lot by having professors provide pdfs of articles and books, or just using library and whatever inter-library loan systems they might have in place. Personally, I'd avoid loans at all costs. 

@aporeticpoetic  @mandelbulb I did not apply to Harvard, but I had thought that there wasn't a specific language requirement for admission. Also, wouldn't the necessary info. be in your transcript(s)?

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2 minutes ago, j.alicea said:

@Bopie5 Don't count yourself out yet! And I personally think $2,000/month is more than enough for your Midwest picks, at the very least. You'll of course be buying books, but I managed to save a lot by having professors provide pdfs of articles and books, or just using library and whatever inter-library loan systems they might have in place. Personally, I'd avoid loans at all costs. 

Thanks :) It's a fine line to walk between being too optimistic and too pessimistic...I'm striving to be realistic but there are so many factors out of my control that I don't even know what being realistic looks like haha! 

That's what I'm thinking--I'm from the Chicago area originally, and I've done some cursory online apartment research, and it looks like it should be doable. And for my CA locations, I have friends in all of these places that could easily be roommates who could help bring rent down. So fingers crossed! I'm also hoping to avoid loans at all costs--I managed to get through undergrad with very minimal debt, and I'm hoping to keep it that way.

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@pdh12 Congrats on the interview!

RE: Seattle housing... I hadn't realized efficiency pods were legitimately a thing the first time they were mentioned (in this thread), but have just looked them up. Quite expensive!

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@pdh12 congrats on the interview!!

i got an offer from the university of york in england today (!) - it's slightly less exciting because funding information isn't released until march so it's not really an actual acceptance, BUT it is still a thrill to know that someone read something i wrote and liked it!

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also re grad housing..fwiw i’ve just done two masters, two different midwest realms, living on 12500, 15000, and 18600–all of them have been ok. if you like solo living, keeping your search narrowed to studios/efficiency apts is a good route (i live in a great one now, $500/month). typically the stipends *are* livable for their respective area—i’m sure a place like seattle is way more problematic= pros/cons of metropolitans. I’m at notre dame right now, and though originally weary of midwest life, its proximity to chicago (a $15 train ride) and cheap housing (you can literally buy a $10k house, which lots of PhDs do) make up for its location in my book.

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3 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

you can literally buy a $10k house, which lots of PhDs do

I'm from California. I didn't even realize houses could be that cheap. I'm going to look at this market... I think you MIGHT be able to buy a cardboard box on 1 sq ft of land for that much where I am.

Edit: Ohmygod I just found a house for 12k. I'm so confused. Is this real??? It's not a shack/outhouse. It has 2 bedrooms!!!!!

Edited by sugilite
AMAZEMENT

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Just wanted to drop in and say hi to everyone! I didn't know about GradCafe until a week ago and it has been a revelation. I'm making my way back to academia nearly five years after finishing my undergraduate due to a military service obligation and I've felt alone and afraid in this whole endeavor until now. Really glad I found some people to share this crushing anxiety with and to know I'm not alone in all of it. Also, small world- but I'm pretty sure I sat right next to @dilby during the GRE subject test this past September when I was still in Texas. 

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It’s Real! My friend here “broke the bank” on a house for $30k (yes, thirty) and it’s like a turn-of-century 3-story demi-mansion, with all kinds of fancy staircases and woodworks (maybe i’m easily dazzled as a native new englander). so good for house shows. if we really want to have a political uprising, all the young art folk would be infiltrating these places in lieu of nyc

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congrats and good luck, interviewees!

i picture that most of my stipend will be towards housing. i had a decent savings account this time last year but working less (and not at all for 3 months) meant living off savings more and whatever grant and loan money.  i did manage to pay off a significant amount of credit card and collections debt, though, so that's one less worry and luckily know folks in every city i applied to who have already said they can help me with a potential roommate hunt. i've almost always lived with people and living alone freaks me out!

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7 minutes ago, jadeisokay said:

i've almost always lived with people and living alone freaks me out!

I'm the same way! I don't have many connections in Chicago or Michigan, so I'm nervous about potentially moving somewhere by myself/trying to do a roommate hunt remotely and committing to people I haven't met in person...

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3 minutes ago, Bopie5 said:

 I'm nervous about potentially moving somewhere by myself

I found it sad but paradoxically liberating. The sensation of having no obligations to be anywhere or to do anything the first few weeks was sublimely wonderful and terrifying. I'm not likely to ever experience anything like it again. You wont be by yourself for long, as you'll soon be absorbed into your cohort/department.

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@j.alicea sometimes i didn't include my transcript for the language classes i took because it seemed unnecessary. for schools with more strict second langauge policies, i did include it. 

@dangermouse congrats to you!

@pdh12 it's true; there's almost always a living option for what you can afford in any area. i've heard that notre dame's stipend is great for the area (i know someone attending there now! do you know any of the phd students?). uw's stipend i believe is about the same, and while it's livable here, it's a different quality of life for sure. at this point, i'm not really thinking about the particulars of livability because that'll end in apartment hunting and too much wishful thinking lol

@fortschritt22 welcome to the thread! and good luck to you :) what are your research interests and what schools are on your list (or which ones are your top choices)?

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Hi all, I'm just stumbling onto this community (better late than never I suppose!!). I finished my BA in May 2018; I'm applying for the Fall 2019 admissions cycle. My big interests are in the circulation of the Victorian novel in British colonies, 19th C colonial politics, ecocriticism, and genre studies.Good luck everyone!

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Thought I'd share this tidbit, mined in my current interview manic-terror-anticipation mode. It seems kind of reliable(?)-- From a thread in "interview tips and tricks":

As I bet you all know, very few English programs interview (and Columbia is historically not one of them, Caien).  Sometimes a professor will informally contact a student, but only a couple of programs interview their whole short list.  Off the top of my head, Chicago and Duke Literature (but not English) have interviewed in the past few years, and I think but might be mistaken that Emory and Notre Dame do as well?  It does change, though--Stanford used to and doesn't anymore, Chicago didn't and does now.  I am not sure about Comp Lit, though, since I didn't apply--it is my general impression that interviews are more common in that field, in particular to test language skills. 

However, I did have one interview last season.  Quite honestly: it was nerve-wracking; I don't think that it went very well; I was admitted anyway.  

The interview questions were entirely based on my writing sample and the substantive proposal in my SoP.  If I were to give any advice, it would be to be extremely familiar with the material in these documents, as well as research beyond what was expressly mentioned but would inform your field of proposed interest.  Although that probably sounds ridiculous now when it feels like you could never not know these intimately, in over a month, when you are maybe taking other classes and definitely focusing on other things, putting in the work to really refamiliarize yourself with those documents and the research that you did to generate them will pay off.  The tip that I received (and did not do, but realized too late was a great idea) is to make a couple reminder notes to yourself on post-its and put them around your computer screen (since it will likely be a Skype interview with 2-3 profs).  If you are stressed and start to panic, even one word that sets you off in the right direction can be helpful.  If you are really worried and don't think it would be too much of an imposition, you might ask a recommender who is familiar with your application to compose a few relevant questions, or even try to do this yourself.  Be as relaxed and as confident as you can, know that you can answer questions somewhat cagily to direct the conversation toward surer ground, and don't worry too much-- they are just trying to get to know you and what you want to study as well as they can in 20-30 minutes!  

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6 hours ago, fortschritt22 said:

Also, small world- but I'm pretty sure I sat right next to @dilby during the GRE subject test this past September when I was still in Texas. 

Ha! I bet you're right. I was the person who accidentally laughed out loud at the passage from Tristram Shandy. 

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@mandelbulb thank you! my primary field is 20c American. I’m particularly interested in mass culture and modernist aesthetics of the interwar period and narratives of US imperial culture therein. My top choice schools are UPenn, Duke, Stanford, and UConn. 

@dilby well at least there was one person enjoying that test! 

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