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KennedyMeiji

Funding not mentioned in letter

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Got my first official admit yesterday (Yay!)... No mention of funding in the letter (not Yay!)...

Should I contact the advisor they assigned to me or the department to inquire about this information, I had assumed a definite yes or no would be in the letter.

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I actually don't think it's too early to inquire but it might be too early to expect them to answer right away. Schools cannot expect students to accept their offer without knowing the funding though, so it doesn't make sense to say that they can't send out funding information until they know how many have accepted! (Not saying that it doesn't happen, but it shouldn't!)

 

At the first possible chance, I would definitely ask about funding information. In most places that accepted me, they quickly set up a one-on-one meeting with me and someone from the department (via phone or Skype) so that they can tell me about their program and allow me to ask questions. If you get this opportunity, it would be the right time to ask about funding. If a week goes by and you still don't hear any more information about anything, it would be a good idea to ask your advisor assigned to you if you could chat about the school.

 

However, what might have happened is that the official invite came out while your assigned advisor is very busy or away so they might not have had a chance to get in touch with you yet. You don't have to be making any decisions soon, so it won't hurt to wait until, say, Monday or Tuesday before asking to talk to someone at the school. However, you should expect the school to give you the funding info before they want you to say yes or no!!

 

Edit: You should also get the funding info IN WRITING after they tell you. It's weird that the official letter didn't include it!

Edited by TakeruK

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In my experience, no, it is not normal for schools to decide on official acceptance BEFORE deciding on funding. I don't know if this is true universally, or just with my field. But usually, the number of students they can take depends on the number of students they can fund so the two decisions are made together.

 

Some exceptions could be:

1. The school won't know about funding for a few more weeks (it's still early in the season) but they want to let their students know the good news early. However, the school would unofficially accept you and say that an official letter will come with more details once the funding is sorted out. That is, it's very unusual for an official letter to not containing funding information since that letter is basically a "contract" and I have used my admission letter to prove to e.g. landlords that I do have an income source!

 

2. The official letter could promise only the standard amount of funding and they might say that they would like to nominate you for an internal fellowship, which might raise your funding by X. 

 

In addition, the official letter of acceptance usually comes with instructions for you to accept or decline the admission offer. If you haven't gotten that yet, you might not actually have received the final official admission letter with all of the information. In any case, I would suggest you follow up next week and find out the funding information!

Edited by TakeruK

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I've been accepted by three schools. One of them called, then followed up with an email, and two weeks later I received a letter in the mail with funding information. The two other schools attached a PDF of the official acceptance letter with funding information, and I have received a paper version of one of these in the mail.

 

It may depend on the school, and if you are applying for a masters or doctorate. It may also depend on the school figuring out their financials for the next year (one of my letters said they hadn't finalized the amount, but it would be "at least" the stated amount).

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I received one official acceptance so far, which was sent directly from the graduate school, and they told me that funding information would come from the department itself. So that might be the case, that they are handled separately. 

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The school I applied to has a blurb on their website that says funding is decided after the admissions process, matching each persons interests and skills up with the best funding fit. They have fellowships, grants, and ta opportunities. But they do guarantee full funding for phd so it takes the mystery out in that respect. I don't think it would hurt to call and politely ask when those decisions will be made. If they ask why you want to know, tell them you're working on possible living arrangement plans.

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When I was admitted to programs last year some notifications came with funding information and some did not. However, I never had to ask because that information came from the school shortly after the initial notification.  While this is such an overwhelming time (for us), they have experience with this process so they know they need to provide funding information in order to make decisions.  If you decide to contact anyone reach out to the student affairs/administrator person.

 

Congrats on getting accepted. That is a huge accomplishment.  Woo hoo!!!

Edited by slaNYC

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I think they should have at the very least a vague idea of how much funding they can offer you - perhaps a range, or an indication of what percent it would cover (full funding?  Half tuition?).  So I would go ahead and ask them now.  The worst they can say is "We don't know yet, but we can get back to you by X date and let you know."

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