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Can you get more than one fellowship?


geochic

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I am already receiving a nice stipend as a GA in my dept which were I a traditional student would sufficiently cover my monthly living expenses. But I'm not. I am a single mother of two small children and both require costly childcare full-time while I'm at school. At this point once my childcare is paid there is not enough left over each month to pay my rent, bills, put food on the table and gas in the car. I'm trying to find a way to offset my childcare costs without taking out the max in student loans. I'm not supposed to hold another job (and I can't imagine when I'd find the time) while filling an assistantship and there may be a conflict with receiving more than one stipend which might limit the benefits of getting an external fellowship (although I have yet to discuss this with my advisor.) My childcare is about $1000/month. Does anybody have any idea whether universities generally see getting two stipends as a conflict? Any suggestions for funding otherwise?

For those unfamiliar federally and state-funded programs will not subsidize a graduate education.

Edited by geochic
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Our program has a funding cap in place (internal+external funds), so if you get an external fellowship, your assistant ship is reduced accordingly. Thankfully, ours is very generous, and allows 125% of the top fellowship at our school in combined funding.

But no, you shouldn't expect to be able to keep all of both almost anywhere, I wouldn't think.

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I am already receiving a nice stipend as a GA in my dept which were I a traditional student would sufficiently cover my monthly living expenses. But I'm not. I am a single mother of two small children and both require costly childcare full-time while I'm at school. At this point once my childcare is paid there is not enough left over each month to pay my rent, bills, put food on the table and gas in the car. I'm trying to find a way to offset my childcare costs without taking out the max in student loans. I'm not supposed to hold another job (and I can't imagine when I'd find the time) while filling an assistantship and there may be a conflict with receiving more than one stipend which might limit the benefits of getting an external fellowship (although I have yet to discuss this with my advisor.) My childcare is about $1000/month. Does anybody have any idea whether universities generally see getting two stipends as a conflict? Any suggestions for funding otherwise?

For those unfamiliar federally and state-funded programs will not subsidize a graduate education.

This a question best posed to your advisor or DGS since most of us don't know about the specific policies of your school.

Good luck though!

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There are other options you might want to pursue. Does your university offer financial assistance for childcare of any sort? Search around your university website to check because many do. Have you checked with the state to see if childcare, food, or other forms of assistance are available to you? Utility companies often have assistance programs for low-income customers that will reduce your bill. These things might be more helpful than a fellowship, particularly if there's a funding cap at your university.

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Thank you for your replies. There is a cap on funding so it's really not worth pursuing a fellowship. Unfortunately I have already looked into state-funded child care assistance. That poorly-worded statement I punctuated my first post with was supposed to say something more like childcare assistance programs won't fund a grad student. My university doesn't have an assistance program either or a campus daycare facility. (Why'd I pick a private college?!) It's really a bummer because when I accepted and moved out here I had no idea that childcare subsidizing programs wouldn't cover a post-baccalaureate education and had I received correct information I'm not sure if I still would have taken this on.

I absolutely cannot afford to continue through a PhD unless my stipend is much bigger. I didn't get any help as an undergrad either and when I think about the amount I paid for childcare in the last few years it blows my mind.

I think that any parent considering grad school who may be counting on some sort of childcare subsidy should know that any federally/state-funded subsidy program will not fund a grad degree. The state will cover part-time care for my kids while I'm "working" as a GA but ironically, that actually costs me $20 more a month with the mandated co-pay than just paying the full cost out of pocket. If I was waiting tables again and pulled in the equivalent of my stipend my "co-pay" would be about $150/mo for both kids.

If this is the reason I'm not successful in this program that will really suck. I am already doing really well so far and I really like grad school but I am seriously stressed out about this because I'm going to be insanely in debt when I finish this if I keep this up...Is this degree even worth it?

I really don't know and I don't know ANYBODY in the same situation....

Sorry ....obviously I'm upset. I didn't intend for this to morph into a woe is me sort of rant. I'm just sick of feeling like things are hopeless financially. I was really disappointed when I learned that getting outside funding was useless.

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You don't qualify for food stamps or anything like that? Most stipends, even generous ones, are under the poverty level-and I swear I've known people who have used this to their advantage, but maybe I just misunderstood. You might want to max out student loans, this year until you can decide what you want to do. I agree that doing that ALL the years is a ridiculous notion, and you'll have to come up with another plan...but in the mean time it could be an option to buy you some time (and relieve the money stress).

That shocks me that they don't have any kind of daycare - even if it is private!! I didn't think that was possible anymore. That's a tough situation to be in.

Have you contacted someone at your local job/resource center to get their advice? Have you contacted the university for any advice they could help out with? I'm just trying to think of people who might be able to help you.

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