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15 minutes ago, Emailchecker said:

(sad tip on what I would do If I had offers to contemplate). 

My heart hurt reading that :( I hope you get some good news soon. Or, if you have to reapply next cycle, you get so many amazing offers your head explodes. 

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34 minutes ago, Emailchecker said:

I am sorry to hear that. Perhaps revisiting your original reasons why you applied to each may help. (sad tip on what I would do If I had offers to contemplate). 

Thank you, yes I will definitely be reflecting on what I've learned. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now; I don't mean to be insensitive to you by complaining. I hope good things come your way soon! Also, I know that this probably doesn't mean much coming from someone with offers, but being shut out doesn't mean you aren't deserving of getting into a program. It doesn't mean you aren't talented and intelligent and hard-working. And it doesn't mean that you won't be successful if you decide to try again another year. Be nice to yourself, my friend. I think you deserve some kindness.

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is anybody else afraid that incoming cohorts will be forced to reapply, if programs are suspended/schools don't open normally in the fall ..?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, mobydickpic said:

is anybody else afraid that incoming cohorts will be forced to reapply, if programs are suspended/schools don't open normally in the fall ..?

I was thinking if things keep going this way, they may offer or require incoming students to defer a year. And if that happens, it will royally screw with next year's application process for sure.

Edited by Cryss

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3 minutes ago, mobydickpic said:

is anybody else afraid that incoming cohorts will be forced to reapply, if programs are suspended/schools don't open normally in the fall ..?

I definitely have concerns that schools won't be reopening normally in the fall and that this year's cohorts may have to start late or online, but it wouldn't make any practical sense for schools to just rescind this year's offers and make everyone reapply. What seems more likely if we're in a true state of economic depression and this year's cohorts end up starting late is that next year's prospective cohorts will pay the price - schools may not extend or may severely limit offers for the 2021 cycle because 2020 acceptances have ended up starting then instead.

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As a current Princeton 5th year just told me on Skype (to my horror), it's also not just whether schools will open online in the fall vs virtually and how that will affect an incoming class of graduate students ... it's also—more subtly and perhaps more importantly—the fact that given current events, we are almost undoubtedly heading into a multi-year global recession that will cripple an already heavily struggling academic job market. It's impossible to say precisely what things will look like in 3 or 5 years, of course, but even at this early stage, it's certain that it's going to be bad, very bad. So everyone facing a decision should be asking programs how they plan to support and meet student concerns, even if (justifiably) no one will likely have a plan yet.

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1 minute ago, meghan_sparkle said:

 So everyone facing a decision should be asking programs how they plan to support and meet student concerns, even if (justifiably) no one will likely have a plan yet.

Would you mind elaborating on this? Do you mean what support they'll provide towards navigating the impacted job market?

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Just now, gooniesneversaydie said:

Would you mind elaborating on this? Do you mean what support they'll provide towards navigating the impacted job market?

Sorry my phrasing was vague—I just mean getting an idea of how readily and intensively they will support students' particular concerns about placement and the market. Because this is all so new and no one knows what the impact on the market precisely will be yet, no one will have an action plan. But you can maybe get a sense of which programs will be more responsive to the challenge than others. 

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I would be very surprised if schools just cancelled incoming classes, though none of this is exactly normal. My guess is that things will return to "normal" for the fall, perhaps starting a bit later or earlier to accommodate changes. Alternatively they might push for another semester of online classes. That said, I am trusting that authorities will get their shit together and shut everything down so we can wait this out and that that will allow for everything to get going during the summer. Anyone with any familiarity with politics, national or local, will know that that trust is probably really fucking stupid and naive.

Don't stress yourselves out just yet, basically.

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Posted (edited)

I'm hopeful that the incoming fall cohorts will be forced to delay moving and will be online for the first semester--worst case scenario (I HOPE). I've been laid off from both of my jobs and am waiting to see if my unemployment application goes through, but I am absolutely relying on the practice of scholarship & the receipt of stipend to get me through this mess 😑 Applied for unemployment for the first time in my life, and the last application I sent was for Yale 😑

Edited by MichelleObama

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I mean, having spoken to several DGS's and professors at a few of the programs I'm looking at in the last few days, most of them are not treating a return to in-person, on-campus classes as a likelihood, though it's far from an impossibility. The next two months or so will tell, and I think everyone's preference would be physical classes for so many reasons (everything from 'zoom sucks' to 'residential life is so important to the university community and we were all genuinely heartbroken to have to send students home'). 

I post way too much on these forums lately for my own good, but I'll end with one last big picture ominous thing (and maybe someone much smarter than me can offer opinions and/or reassurance). If the economic impact of the virus on the US economy is as bad or worse than the 2008 crash, then that's bad for . . . well, not just the job market, but also universities as a whole, whose endowments are often comprised of substantial investment. Princeton lost 25% of its endowment in the 2008 crash; Harvard lost 27%, or 8 billion.

Does something like that touch graduate students, or does it amount more or less to mowing the lawns every other week instead of every week? Who knows. It's probably the case that state schools already under pressure (like the UCs) will be the hardest hit by budget cuts. And maybe it's way too early to speculate, possibly counterproductive. But I think it's worth thinking about, as we contemplate devoting ourselves to an institution and making it our home for 5-6 years. The ability to access funding through the department for all kinds of things (travel, conferences, research, emergencies, fellowship opportunities, other projects), to count on funding packages staying the same and properly adjusting each year for inflation . . . all of that is really important and sorta dependent on how well the institution as a whole is doing. Anyway. Something to consider. (Disclaimer: this all comes second to the general economic devastation on so many Americans right now and the inevitable loss of life we'll be seeing, ofc. Compared to that, so much of this seems miniscule. Hoping you all are safe, well or recuperating, and self-isolating.)

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2 minutes ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm hopeful that the incoming fall cohorts will be forced to delay moving and will be online for the first semester--worst case scenario (I HOPE). I've been laid off from both of my jobs and am waiting to see if my unemployment application goes through, but I am absolutely relying on the practice of scholarship & the receipt of stipend to get me through this mess 😑 Applied for unemployment for the first time in my life, and the last application I sent was for Yale 😑

❤️❤️❤️ I don't know whether gradcafe frowns on expletives or not but I just typed several and backspaced. You are incredible and I'm so upset this is affecting you

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26 minutes ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm hopeful that the incoming fall cohorts will be forced to delay moving and will be online for the first semester--worst case scenario (I HOPE). I've been laid off from both of my jobs and am waiting to see if my unemployment application goes through, but I am absolutely relying on the practice of scholarship & the receipt of stipend to get me through this mess 😑 Applied for unemployment for the first time in my life, and the last application I sent was for Yale 😑

Also oh god somehow I forgot about the MOVING part; my lease in the UK is up in July and I have already said I’m not extending and told my job that’s when I’m leaving. I assumed I would move from there to the city of whatever program I was attending with possibly a few weeks/a month in between ... if I can’t do that uh 🙃

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3 hours ago, Cryss said:

I was thinking if things keep going this way, they may offer or require incoming students to defer a year. And if that happens, it will royally screw with next year's application process for sure.

As someone for whom reapplication next year is starting to look likely, I just felt a shiver go down my spine...

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24 minutes ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm hopeful that the incoming fall cohorts will be forced to delay moving and will be online for the first semester--worst case scenario (I HOPE). I've been laid off from both of my jobs and am waiting to see if my unemployment application goes through, but I am absolutely relying on the practice of scholarship & the receipt of stipend to get me through this mess 😑 Applied for unemployment for the first time in my life, and the last application I sent was for Yale 😑

Terribly terribly sorry to hear this!!! I don't have words for this crisis, but this is terribly upsetting to hear, and you'll be in my thoughts. We're all rooting for you!

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52 minutes ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm hopeful that the incoming fall cohorts will be forced to delay moving and will be online for the first semester--worst case scenario (I HOPE). I've been laid off from both of my jobs and am waiting to see if my unemployment application goes through, but I am absolutely relying on the practice of scholarship & the receipt of stipend to get me through this mess 😑 Applied for unemployment for the first time in my life, and the last application I sent was for Yale 😑

Same. Got laid off yesterday. I was trying to have some savings for moving with my spouse and starting grad school, but everything is so messed up. Strength to you during this time though. It's really hard to simultaneously be thankful for the good things happening when it's overshadowed by this international disaster and uncertainty for a future you began planning for. 

52 minutes ago, meghan_sparkle said:

 If the economic impact of the virus on the US economy is as bad or worse than the 2008 crash, then that's bad for . . . well, not just the job market, but also universities as a whole, whose endowments are often comprised of substantial investment. Princeton lost 25% of its endowment in the 2008 crash; Harvard lost 27%, or 8 billion.

Does something like that touch graduate students, or does it amount more or less to mowing the lawns every other week instead of every week? Who knows. It's probably the case that state schools already under pressure (like the UCs) will be the hardest hit by budget cuts. And maybe it's way too early to speculate, possibly counterproductive. But I think it's worth thinking about, as we contemplate devoting ourselves to an institution and making it our home for 5-6 years. The ability to access funding through the department for all kinds of things (travel, conferences, research, emergencies, fellowship opportunities, other projects), to count on funding packages staying the same and properly adjusting each year for inflation . . . all of that is really important and sorta dependent on how well the institution as a whole is doing. Anyway. Something to consider. (Disclaimer: this all comes second to the general economic devastation on so many Americans right now and the inevitable loss of life we'll be seeing, ofc. Compared to that, so much of this seems miniscule. Hoping you all are safe, well or recuperating, and self-isolating.)

Can't speak from a place of expertise, but I imagine since the offers are already made to us, they will abide by it as best as they can. This is not to say we won't feel the effects, and funding for the things you listed are indeed important, but we are (*hopefully still*) among the luckier few whose funding packages for the next 5-6 years are still guaranteed. I am worried about the students entering in the upcoming years who will not only be dealing with job scarcity and insane competition for program admission (aka, the usual), but would probably have to worry about the scale and duration of funding. Will we see smaller cohorts with good funding? Or funding for less years? Will they shed parts of the funding package, like health insurance? 

Such an uncertain time. Crazy that this happened in a matter of weeks. 

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Posted (edited)

[insert obsessively thinking about the political climate and general state of the academy and the impact on climate change policy and basically the entire state of hte world for the next 5 years here]

😰😰😰😰😰

Edited by merry night wanderer

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, onerepublic96 said:

As someone for whom reapplication next year is starting to look likely, I just felt a shiver go down my spine...

Understandably. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you! 

And also for all of us. 

Edited by Cryss

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19 minutes ago, Cryss said:

Can't speak from a place of expertise, but I imagine since the offers are already made to us, they will abide by it as best as they can. This is not to say we won't feel the effects, and funding for the things you listed are indeed important, but we are (*hopefully still*) among the luckier few whose funding packages for the next 5-6 years are still guaranteed. 

You would think! I had two current Chicago 2nd years tell me a couple weeks ago that aspects of their funding package have changed twice since they arrived, neither change benefitting the students and in both cases detrimental to them, and the administration has been very reluctant to explain the reason for the changes (I should have asked specifically what they were but the room was hot and I was two beers in, sry)—so it definitely does happen, even in times of institutional bounty. (Chicago for instance is rolling in dough right now through Mellon grant $$$, so like, why is the administration being obstinate about stuff like that? Not cute). Stipend amounts adjusting for inflation is also not always guaranteed, and funding plummeting past year five can be a question mark even at top 10 programs (my Berkeley stipend goes down by ~7k if not more from year 5 onward, for instance; Harvard's stipend goes down 5k from year 5 (no more summer stipend); have heard a recent Penn grad say there was always anxiety in her cohort about funding in the 6th year (though not sure if that's still the case). I think the fact of 5-6 funding packages are guaranteed, but the devil is in the details...

It's also the case that other than stipend, the funding offered by the department I mentioned (conferences, travel, etc) can absolutely change, at the discretion of either the dept or GSAS more widely; it's not like it's a part of our offer letters. I've heard from students at Brown and Harvard who are having enormous difficulty getting their expenses for conferences that cancelled due to coronavirus reimbursed (not all airlines are offering refunds; many hotels are not, and students have to pay in advance and make applications for reimbursement after the fact—the stickler being that for some universities the conference funds are only released if the conference actually took place! So they're having to take financial hits of anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Insanity.) 

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14 minutes ago, merry night wanderer said:

[insert obsessively thinking about the political climate and general state of the academy and the impact on climate change policy and basically the entire state of hte world for the next 5 years here]

😰😰😰😰😰

I was so looking forward to the feeling of relief and alleviated stress come April...........................................................................AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *inhale* AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

As a non-traditional, I've experienced a hell of a ride to just get to this place, but good gravy boats ya'll, this is a lot. 

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2 minutes ago, meghan_sparkle said:

You would think! I had two current Chicago 2nd years tell me a couple weeks ago that aspects of their funding package have changed twice since they arrived, neither change benefitting the students and in both cases detrimental to them, and the administration has been very reluctant to explain the reason for the changes (I should have asked specifically what they were but the room was hot and I was two beers in, sry)—so it definitely does happen, even in times of institutional bounty. (Chicago for instance is rolling in dough right now through Mellon grant $$$, so like, why is the administration being obstinate about stuff like that? Not cute). Stipend amounts adjusting for inflation is also not always guaranteed, and funding plummeting past year five can be a question mark even at top 10 programs (my Berkeley stipend goes down by ~7k if not more from year 5 onward, for instance; Harvard's stipend goes down 5k from year 5 (no more summer stipend); have heard a recent Penn grad say there was always anxiety in her cohort about funding in the 6th year (though not sure if that's still the case). I think the fact of 5-6 funding packages are guaranteed, but the devil is in the details...

It's also the case that other than stipend, the funding offered by the department I mentioned (conferences, travel, etc) can absolutely change, at the discretion of either the dept or GSAS more widely; it's not like it's a part of our offer letters. I've heard from students at Brown and Harvard who are having enormous difficulty getting their expenses for conferences that cancelled due to coronavirus reimbursed (not all airlines are offering refunds; many hotels are not, and students have to pay in advance and make applications for reimbursement after the fact—the stickler being that for some universities the conference funds are only released if the conference actually took place! So they're having to take financial hits of anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Insanity.) 

I can explain Chicago. Stipends have been standardized across the humanities. Every PhD student is now guaranteed a set amount for the duration of their enrollment in the program. This change may prove to be wonderful should we need longer than 6 years to finish our dissertation. By year,I think it amounts to about 500 dollars more a year for me, but a decrease for second years, who had a higher stipend last year). For my cohort, this seems to be a net gain. And it certainly is for students in other departments. Before, from what I understand, other departments had significantly smaller stipends. However, this adjustment came with the caveat that the humanities can only take in a set amount of students per year, so many departments have had to downsize enrollment a ton. This is the scariest bit of it, English seems pretty safe so far. The stipend has seemed to always vary by year, which sucks for my cohort when I consider that last year's had a substantial research grant to buy computers and the like, on top of a higher base amount. But all things considered, I'm living pretty comfortably here, so I haven't felt any immediate outrage. It's unsettling to know that our financial contracts aren't binding on their end, though, but that just seems to be the case for every program. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, snorkles said:

I can explain Chicago. Stipends have been standardized across the humanities. Every PhD student is now guaranteed a set amount for the duration of their enrollment in the program. This change may prove to be wonderful should we need longer than 6 years to finish our dissertation. By year,I think it amounts to about 500 dollars more a year for me, but a decrease for second years, who had a higher stipend last year). For my cohort, this seems to be a net gain. And it certainly is for students in other departments. Before, from what I understand, other departments had significantly smaller stipends. However, this adjustment came with the caveat that the humanities can only take in a set amount of students per year, so many departments have had to downsize enrollment a ton. This is the scariest bit of it, English seems pretty safe so far. The stipend has seemed to always vary by year, which sucks for my cohort when I consider that last year's had a substantial research grant to buy computers and the like, on top of a higher base amount. But all things considered, I'm living pretty comfortably here, so I haven't felt any immediate outrage. It's unsettling to know that our financial contracts aren't binding on their end, though, but that just seems to be the case for every program. 

oh yeah, I should have put in a phrase saying that the Chicago changes didn't seem life-altering or ominously bad–and it's worth saying as you do the stipend stretches further in a place like Chicago than it would at other similarly-ranked schools. this is good context ty! though I have to wonder: how is the offer letter not legally binding? I mean clearly it isn't because I keep hearing of stuff like this happening but ... the letter with financial stipend details is proposed as an offer, which is then accepted and signed ... I mean ... I am not very bright and definitely not a lawyer but that sounds binding to me ... 

Edited by meghan_sparkle

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1 hour ago, meghan_sparkle said:

oh yeah, I should have put in a phrase saying that the Chicago changes didn't seem life-altering or ominously bad–and it's worth saying as you do the stipend stretches further in a place like Chicago than it would at other similarly-ranked schools. this is good context ty! though I have to wonder: how is the offer letter not legally binding? I mean clearly it isn't because I keep hearing of stuff like this happening but ... the letter with financial stipend details is proposed as an offer, which is then accepted and signed ... I mean ... I am not very bright and definitely not a lawyer but that sounds binding to me ... 

Soooo we sign it. They do not. At least I think that's how they can change things at will. Or it's in the fine print. Either way: Super happy fun times. 

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Just now, snorkles said:

Soooo we sign it. They do not. At least I think that's how they can change things at will. Or it's in the fine print. Either way: Super happy fun times. 

omg..... this is caroline calloway levels of scamming

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