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Accepted told funding is likely


Westy
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I got accepted to my first choice school for a MS in Mechanical Engineering but with no funding offer. When I went to the prospective grad visitation day the department head told everyone that the vast majority of students get funding (80+%) and that we just needed to find a Prof with an open spot to work with. I didn't meet or hear of another student that had a funding offer at the event. All the professors and staff were supportive and encouraging that once we started attending we would find a position. Is this common? Several of my friends have commented that it sounds like a scam.

I would so dearly love to attend but the idea of quitting a nice job to start a program that I probably can't afford to finish without funding scares the hell out of me. I would consider waiting it out another year and waiting for a concrete offer but I don't know if I can survive the application process again.

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Can you ask older students in the program? It sounds like they'd be the best people to go to for this question.

I got accepted to my first choice school for a MS in Mechanical Engineering but with no funding offer. When I went to the prospective grad visitation day the department head told everyone that the vast majority of students get funding (80+%) and that we just needed to find a Prof with an open spot to work with. I didn't meet or hear of another student that had a funding offer at the event. All the professors and staff were supportive and encouraging that once we started attending we would find a position. Is this common? Several of my friends have commented that it sounds like a scam.

I would so dearly love to attend but the idea of quitting a nice job to start a program that I probably can't afford to finish without funding scares the hell out of me. I would consider waiting it out another year and waiting for a concrete offer but I don't know if I can survive the application process again.

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What school is this? I have a feeling I know which one. If the school's name starts with an "S" and its a private school on the west coast, I think you are right to be alarmed, as I have also heard things.

Be shrewd, but respectful when dealing with these programs. They act in their own self-interest, not yours.

Edited by mechengr2000
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Large public school on the west coast.

During the visitation day I was able to talk to current students and they corroborated the story. Most said that finding funding should be no problem it just might take a quarter. Of course these were current students that were invited to meet with us by the faculty. I actually got a really good feeling about things during my visit but it would be stupid of me to not question a program I may dedicate the next few years of my life to. I asked the program coordinator to provide me with some additional statistics on who and who does not get funding. Will see what the reply is.

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Reply from the department was "unfunded students are typically not planning to continue on with their PhD studies and are not conducting research."

In other words, when asked if I want to continue on with a PhD my answer isn't maybe or I think so. My answer is a most emphatic YES.

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