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I got into my top Ph.D. programs. How do I ask for additional funding?


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Hi everyone,

First of all, I recognize what a privileged position I am in. After two rounds of applications that ended in a plethora of rejections and waitlists, I finally got accepted to my top programs with assistantship offers. I'm between two programs (in social sciences) that are offering me TAships at right south of 20K for 9 months. School #1 is a reputable state school just outside of a major East Coast city, where I currently live and work, and School #2 is a smaller state school in the West. Both programs are respected in the field. I have multiple open houses to attend, and important decisions to make. My intention is not to brag or put anybody down, but simply to ask for advice.

Does anyone have any advice regarding how to ask for more funding? I am open to doing another assistantship, or a research fellowship etc. I just don't know what kind of funding opportunities in the department/school I can go after and how to initiate those conversations.

Thank you!

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This sounds like a pretty standard offer from a comm program. What are your summer funding options like? Why is it that you want to ask for more funding? An assistantship is a lot of work, you would not want to do two at one time, or an assistantship plus a research fellowship, and I doubt that your program would want you to either. If you're talking about an internal fellowship, schools usually submit you for one before they make their admission decision. If you're looking for external fellowships, you don't necessarily need to ask the school for information on that. I think if you're going to be asking for more money, it's best to ask because you have a specific reason, such as, you have a child and you will need more money for their insurance, or preschool, or that you need help with moving costs (if they don't offer a moving stipend). This gives the school a direction to look in for more funds. Sometimes schools have separate funds specifically for these kinds of things. I wouldn't ask just because you think it's a disappointing amount. If you are their top choice, they might go out of their way for you, if you can show them that you have a better offer elsewhere, but otherwise, probably not so much. You should check out the schools' graduate resources websites, you might find other funding options or funding for specific things there.

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