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Last-minute app question: listing personal funds?


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Hi Guys,

So I'm filling out my first app for submission (UCSB) and this came up:

"What amount of personal funds are available to you for funding your graduate study?"

Does how much I list here effect my probability of receiving a funded offer? Honestly, I have no personal funds or savings... everything I earn is going toward student loans, rent, etc. But I don't want to write "$0.00" if that's going to keep me from getting an offer because they think I can't pay. If necessary I could borrow money from family/take out more loans. What do you guys think or suggest? I might just put a tentative number.. but what to put?

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I applied to UCSB and put zero. And they also ask what your student loan debt is, which felt extremely intrusive to me. I put the truth (a LOT) and since it was the only app that asked that of nine, I just answered truthfully and moved on. I have no idea how one's debt is relevant, and every time I think about it it irritates me all over again. If I remember correctly, however, not answering wasn't an option.

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I'm also international--I think Maryland was the only one to ask me to fill out extra financial paperwork listing my sources of funding. I just put departmental funding and stipend.

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Interesting, Bearcat. I have not come across the question about student loan debt. I don't have any debt, but I am still not sure I would be comfortable with the question.

I'm not comfortable with it at all, and I have to look at it every time I log in to the app to check if my recommendations are complete. But it was only UCSB; none of the other 8 programs I applied to had anything similar about funds or debt.

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The application for UC Berkeley asked for a thorough breakdown of resources/expenses, including how much money I think I'll make in Summer '13, what it'll cost me to move to the university, health/dental expenses for the 2013-14 school year and on and on and on. It was a bit overwhelming and frustrating because I genuinely don't have a way of knowing how much money I'll have come September and felt forced into answering with my worst case scenario numbers.

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