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25 minutes ago, snorkles said:

Stipends are taxed. Also, to those going on visits: ASK ABOUT EXTRA CAMPUS/SERVICE FEES! It's rough, y'all. 

One school I was looking at had student fees that were over $750 per semester (not counting leftover health insurance costs) and another just $42.50 so what the post above is saying is really important

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That would be me. My first acceptance and I’m thrilled.

IN AT YALE!!!  IM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE 

just got my Michigan offer. 6 years funding. Fuck. 

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I'm really glad I found this out now. This changes the actuality of being able to live off of a stipend in a major city. I live two hours away from my one school and now I'm considering staying in a hotel on the days I'm there or commuting - at least for the first year until the stipend increases. 

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17 hours ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

@Cryss I'm confused, one student mentioned having taxes taken out. I thought grad instructor/TA stipends weren't taxed?

Stipends are, but tuition remission is not. (you don't have to pay taxes on a 'tuition scholarship' that you never see)

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On 2/29/2020 at 5:54 PM, Cryss said:

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-02-28/uc-santa-cruz-fires-54-graduate-student-workers-wildcat-strike

 

What do we think about this? 

Side note, as an international student, it's really difficult to stand up for yourself in this way if it means being fired/ consequently removed from the program and country. It definitely seems to perpetuate the "keep your head down and do what you're told" ideology. But thoughts?

UC Santa Cruz was one of my top choices but I ended up not applying because of this reason. The housing cost is outrageous because the landlords there don't like college students, they want to appeal to Silicon Valley employees who have a six-figure salary. 

I totally support the students there. UC Santa Cruz was having this problem for too many years and the admin did not even attempt to find a solution. Last year they even sent out an email to faculty asking if they can let students stay in their spare bedroom, since 6,000 students could not find housing. And Janet Napolitano and her team is trying to get an extra 20,000 students next year. This is BS. 

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9 minutes ago, tinymica said:

Saw a BU sweatshirt this morning on the street. The universe is telling me it's coming for me

I really hope so. As much as I want to be accepted, I'm going to be ultra pissed if no one in our little waiting group gets in.

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14 minutes ago, tinymica said:

Saw a BU sweatshirt this morning on the street. The universe is telling me it's coming for me

I believe in you! I got accepted to Penn State several days after seeing a Penn-State-themed Monopoly game in my local grocery store. Yes, I live in a state bordering on PA, so it makes sense that the game would be there, but that didn't stop me from interpreting it as a sign from the grad school deities 😅

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1 hour ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

I really hope so. As much as I want to be accepted, I'm going to be ultra pissed if no one in our little waiting group gets in.

 

1 hour ago, Wimsey said:

I believe in you! I got accepted to Penn State several days after seeing a Penn-State-themed Monopoly game in my local grocery store. Yes, I live in a state bordering on PA, so it makes sense that the game would be there, but that didn't stop me from interpreting it as a sign from the grad school deities 😅

How I feel when I see anything red, lol. 😅 

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So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but when I was applying last year I was never able to make contact with members of faculty. Like, at any of the schools I applied to. I sent out inquiry emails, didn't get responses, and I was too timid/nervous to pester anyone. I feel like this lack of connection makes it a little hard for me to evaluate any program. I've done what I can to speak to current students about Professor X or Professor Y to get a sense of their working/mentor styles and whatnot, but that's....not the same. I don't even know if this is as big of a problem as it feels. Like, since I've been accepted, that means the professor I'm interested in must have read my stuff and thought it was okay. Is it a big problem? What should I do about it?

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8 minutes ago, tinymica said:

So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but when I was applying last year I was never able to make contact with members of faculty. Like, at any of the schools I applied to. I sent out inquiry emails, didn't get responses, and I was too timid/nervous to pester anyone. I feel like this lack of connection makes it a little hard for me to evaluate any program. I've done what I can to speak to current students about Professor X or Professor Y to get a sense of their working/mentor styles and whatnot, but that's....not the same. I don't even know if this is as big of a problem as it feels. Like, since I've been accepted, that means the professor I'm interested in must have read my stuff and thought it was okay. Is it a big problem? What should I do about it?

If I were you I would reach out again to your POI's at your UW, UVA and UCDavis and simply introduce yourself as one of the people who've been admitted/waitlisted and ask to schedule a time for a skype interview to cover any questions you might have about the program. I've done this and it lead to my acceptances at two programs prior to application season. Don't be afraid to be confident and ask for what you want!

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3 minutes ago, tinymica said:

So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but when I was applying last year I was never able to make contact with members of faculty. Like, at any of the schools I applied to. I sent out inquiry emails, didn't get responses, and I was too timid/nervous to pester anyone. I feel like this lack of connection makes it a little hard for me to evaluate any program. I've done what I can to speak to current students about Professor X or Professor Y to get a sense of their working/mentor styles and whatnot, but that's....not the same. I don't even know if this is as big of a problem as it feels. Like, since I've been accepted, that means the professor I'm interested in must have read my stuff and thought it was okay. Is it a big problem? What should I do about it?

Have you tried to reach out to these professors post-acceptance? Are you going to visit/welcome days? I reached out to my main POI when I learned what dates my visit was going to be and asked if they'd be willing to meet. I checked their office hours to give a specified time as well. I'd definitely send follow-up emails. We're in crunch time (and they should be aware of this) so if they come off as annoyed - or don't respond at all, again - then maybe that's an indication of how they would be as a mentor/adviser. 

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12 minutes ago, Valorship98 said:

If I were you I would reach out again to your POI's at your UW, UVA and UCDavis and simply introduce yourself as one of the people who've been admitted/waitlisted and ask to schedule a time for a skype interview to cover any questions you might have about the program. I've done this and it lead to my acceptances at two programs prior to application season. Don't be afraid to be confident and ask for what you want!

Thank you! I get stupidly nervous about talking to faculty. I know they’re just people, but they’re people who know a hell of a lot more than me and I’m always overcome by the fear that they’ll find my stupid or something. I also just don’t really know what to say to them. How did your interviews with them go? I know this is a basic question, but what was important to you to ask beyond the general “Are you taking on new students next year?” type questions?

13 minutes ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

Have you tried to reach out to these professors post-acceptance? Are you going to visit/welcome days? I reached out to my main POI when I learned what dates my visit was going to be and asked if they'd be willing to meet. I checked their office hours to give a specified time as well. I'd definitely send follow-up emails. We're in crunch time (and they should be aware of this) so if they come off as annoyed - or don't respond at all, again - then maybe that's an indication of how they would be as a mentor/adviser. 

No, for the reasons I mentioned above. I feel really stupid about it but I genuinely start sweating when I think about meeting POIs in person! I will be attending UW’s visit and I’ll get a chance to meet my POI there, but since that meeting will be a group one, I’ll take your advice to see if I can speak with them one-on-one. I’m just really embarrassed and I hate inconveniencing people. 

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12 minutes ago, tinymica said:

Thank you! I get stupidly nervous about talking to faculty. I know they’re just people, but they’re people who know a hell of a lot more than me and I’m always overcome by the fear that they’ll find my stupid or something. I also just don’t really know what to say to them. How did your interviews with them go? I know this is a basic question, but what was important to you to ask beyond the general “Are you taking on new students next year?” type questions?

Well when I was doing interviews with faculty members during my search process, this question was obviously one of the first. Generally the faculty members I engaged with who I actually liked and had chemistry with would ask me about my research interests. They were all genuinely interested in what I was interested in. I happened to meet a Harvard professor at the airport who I was interested in working with, and before we boarded the plane he asked for the paper I had written in my graduate seminar. I typically ask about the program and what current students go on to do.

I guess it's different for everyone, and you know the questions that are in the back of your mind better than I could. But seriously, you can just reach out to them. They may be uber smart, but if you're admitted or even waitlisted, it means they are interested in you. Tell the voice in the back of your head that worried if you'll "sound stupid" to shut up - it makes no sense!

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13 minutes ago, tinymica said:

Thank you! I get stupidly nervous about talking to faculty. I know they’re just people, but they’re people who know a hell of a lot more than me and I’m always overcome by the fear that they’ll find my stupid or something. I also just don’t really know what to say to them. How did your interviews with them go? I know this is a basic question, but what was important to you to ask beyond the general “Are you taking on new students next year?” type questions?

No, for the reasons I mentioned above. I feel really stupid about it but I genuinely start sweating when I think about meeting POIs in person! I will be attending UW’s visit and I’ll get a chance to meet my POI there, but since that meeting will be a group one, I’ll take your advice to see if I can speak with them one-on-one. I’m just really embarrassed and I hate inconveniencing people. 

You got this! Believe me, I empathize 100%. Social anxiety, introvertedness, and impostor syndrome all reside inside my head rent free. It takes a minute to fully realize that they chose you - even the waitlists. Don't let yourself get in your way. Even on here I get really self conscious. Reading all these accomplishments people have can be intimidating. This person has published, this person presents internationally, this person etc - and I'm like...I haz smartz... But! Just because I'm not there now, doesn't mean I won't get there. And someday you're going to have students afraid to come to you because you're so intimidating to them! 

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1 hour ago, tinymica said:

I know this is a basic question, but what was important to you to ask beyond the general “Are you taking on new students next year?” type questions?

I think it's important to remember that you're applying to the program instead of individual professors. The sciences work differently because grants can be tied down to specific labs or professors. At most colleges, English doesn't expect you to talk beforehand with a professor.

 

1 hour ago, tinymica said:

I’m just really embarrassed and I hate inconveniencing people. 

Talking with prospective students isn't an inconvenience. It's part of their job and I imagine most enjoy talking with potential students. There's a reason they accepted you over other qualified applicants.

 

54 minutes ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

Reading all these accomplishments people have can be intimidating. This person has published, this person presents internationally, this person etc - and I'm like...I haz smartz... But!

I think it's important to remember that most people have different topics they're interested in exploring. Progress for each person can look vastly different. Continuing to find ways to make each year better than your last is important.

 

1 hour ago, tinymica said:

Like, at any of the schools I applied to. I sent out inquiry emails, didn't get responses, and I was too timid/nervous to pester anyone

There are a lot of factors at play here. There might be a policy against mailing students who applied but are not currently admitted. Professors might have been on vacation. E-mail could have landed in spam because the e-mail address wasn't recognized. It could have gotten lost in a pile of other e-mails. Often, the DGS is a good starting point for e-mails since they can often make introductions.

 

On 3/1/2020 at 10:02 AM, gooniesneversaydie said:

I'm really glad I found this out now. This changes the actuality of being able to live off of a stipend in a major city. I live two hours away from my one school and now I'm considering staying in a hotel on the days I'm there or commuting - at least for the first year until the stipend increases. 

Would a hotel still be cheaper if your school requires or encourages participation in events outside of class time?

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Hey, so far I have only gotten waitlisted and rejected from programs. I haven’t heard back from everywhere yet, but, in the meantime, I have interviewed for a bunch of secondary/high school English teaching jobs that I honestly feel are more likely to accept me than some of these schools, at this point 🙄

Did any of you guys work between college and applying to grad programs? What was it like to apply to schools after having been out of academia for a while?

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6 minutes ago, Tessjane77 said:

Hey, so far I have only gotten waitlisted and rejected from programs. I haven’t heard back from everywhere yet, but, in the meantime, I have interviewed for a bunch of secondary/high school English teaching jobs that I honestly feel are more likely to accept me than some of these schools, at this point 🙄

Did any of you guys work between college and applying to grad programs? What was it like to apply to schools after having been out of academia for a while?

How did you not apply to UMass Amherst if you're interested in Dickinson lol

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11 minutes ago, Valorship98 said:

How did you not apply to UMass Amherst if you're interested in Dickinson lol

Well, she is not my main area of interest, and I wanted something a bit broader. You’re right, though, that I probably should have gone ahead and submitted an app.

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Does anyone know about the program at University of Kentucky? 

I was just accepted there today with funding. I don't really know much about it. I am also waitlisted at University of Iowa and accepted at another lower-ranking school.

I'm glad I was accepted, but I honestly thought I was only going to have one choice, so this makes it a bit harder!

 

 

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Hey, @Tessjane77! I did work before starting grad school, and it was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself! Obviously what works best for one person will not work best for another, so this isn’t advice that is meant to apply universally. That being said, it is super liberating to know that if academia doesn’t work out, I know that I have marketable skills that I have built in another field, and that I could return to that field or use those skills to start a new career after I finish grad school. Professors also like to see that you’re not fresh out of undergrad— it can sometimes indicate maturity, and can sometimes means you had time to gain skills that would be helpful for a particular assistantship. I had an undergrad professor who advised me to work for a few years before applying to grad school, and I am very glad he did, for all of these reasons!

All this is just to say do not despair if you find yourself having to take up work outside the academy in the fall — it can bring a host of benefits for when you return to academia! The start of grad school is hard for *everyone*, no matter whether or not they/she/he took time off. However, a few years of work experience can give you perspective in grad school (and remind you on your most stressful days that academia isn’t everything!) and also allow you to hone your skills of navigating bureaucracy, managing a work/life balance, and treating grad school as a professional endeavor (not an extension of undergrad).  

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Dearest Darlingest Boston University,

I hope this email finds you frantically trying to finish the selection process. Are you quite well? I only ask because the radio silence on your end has certainly been a cause for alarm. 

As for me, I have mysteriously gained 10 pounds, accumulated a lovely array of zits, wasted all of my money on grubhub, and neglected my duties as a student and a teacher. My family and friends are fine, thank you. In fact, they are coming to visit me this weekend! As I know them pretty well, I am sure they will ask me "so, what's next for you?” 

Now, I hate to be a bother, but if you wouldn't mind hurrying the F up so I have an answer for them, I would be truly grateful.

Yours (or not yours, make up your friggin mind),

The Girl Cry/Laughing into Chocolate Cake

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15 minutes ago, GoldHippie said:

Dearest Darlingest Boston University,

I hope this email finds you frantically trying to finish the selection process. Are you quite well? I only ask because the radio silence on your end has certainly been a cause for alarm. 

As for me, I have mysteriously gained 10 pounds, accumulated a lovely array of zits, wasted all of my money on grubhub, and neglected my duties as a student and a teacher. My family and friends are fine, thank you. In fact, they are coming to visit me this weekend! As I know them pretty well, I am sure they will ask me "so, what's next for you?” 

Now, I hate to be a bother, but if you wouldn't mind hurrying the F up so I have an answer for them, I would be truly grateful.

Yours (or not yours, make up your friggin mind),

The Girl Cry/Laughing into Chocolate Cake

Solidarity.

I'm going to Boston next week to visit my other school and I'm tempted to swing by BU to stalk. If I need to print out your fine letter and slip it under the DGS's door to show our desperation, I will. Or, find a really long stick and start poking faculty at random asking, did I get in? Did I get in? Did I get in? Hey, you, did I get in?

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I did just read some amazing news that lightened my sour mood, though. Apparently the University of Houston is waiving tuition for undergrads who come from families who have AGI's under 65K. So many students who may have gone into debt, or just not gone at all, are going to be able to go to college! There are some happy tears mixed in with the sad. 

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21 hours ago, Tessjane77 said:

Hey, so far I have only gotten waitlisted and rejected from programs. I haven’t heard back from everywhere yet, but, in the meantime, I have interviewed for a bunch of secondary/high school English teaching jobs that I honestly feel are more likely to accept me than some of these schools, at this point 🙄

Did any of you guys work between college and applying to grad programs? What was it like to apply to schools after having been out of academia for a while?

Hi, @Tessjane77! I've worked as a high school English teacher for the past four years (started teaching right out of college) and just applied to PhD programs in this cycle. I highly recommend getting some work experience outside academia before reentering the academy; not only do I think it's helped me become a more competitive applicant and clarify my research interests, but it's also just been hugely valuable to me personally to be removed from the ivory tower for a few years. If you want to talk more about entering secondary education, let me know! I've loved working as a high school teacher and, given the dearth of TT jobs, teaching at the high school level is a great option for people with interests like ours.

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