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Am I REALLY 'fully supported'?


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So one of the places I've been accepted at says on the website that all students will be "fully supported" and that you're being "paid to study". 


However, when I work everything out from official figures on the university website deducted from what they're paying me... it looks like after a five-year degree I'll be nearly $20,000 down. Which, er, is not possible/ideal. 


I took this from salary - fees - tax - international tuition fees, which I have to pay. New info suggests I got the tax slightly wrong, but not by more than a couple of hundred dollars. Fellowships (outside or internal) are hard to come by for internationals, according to everybody under the sun. The above deal already includes four terms of teaching...


What I'm asking is, can I believe the website where it says I'll be fully supported, or half way through my PhD am I going to find myself down the shitter? 

(And yes, I will email the dept to clarify. But it's worrying... particularly as I'll need to fly back to the UK every so often and that does not come cheaply at all). 

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I can't really speak to the specificity of your program. Typically, full funding includes a complete tuition waver (perhaps for a stated number of credits). It is my understanding that "full funding" means all costs/fees are waived/covered and you will receive an additional stipend.

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Sounds like that is true - prof clarified to say tuition paid for by dept in Y1 and then from research grant afterwards. It does add up - and looks like in both places I've been accepted to so far, there'll be a reasonable amount left after cost of living, housing etc so I can get flights home and still have some left over. That said, I'm an organic chemist, so in reality I'll never leave. Hey, hope you enjoy Oxford if you come here! It's a very lovely place, and I suspect better for postgrads than undergrads ^.^

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations on your acceptances! I also was accepted into the UIUC chemistry program. Will you be able to do any of the visitation weekends? Regarding UIUC, your tuition, health/dental/vision insurance should be covered - this is usually the case for most chemistry Ph.D. programs, although I don't know if it is different for international students. Also, Urbana-Champaign cost of living is SO much cheaper than almost anywhere in California. I met with a few graduate students there and I have a friend currently attending, and all of them say that they live very comfortably with the ~24K stipend. I guess some grad students are even able to buy their first condo/home.


Anyhow, for most chemistry graduate programs in the US they don't want you to stress about being able to afford graduate school. They pay just enough or more so you don't have to worry. They would rather you focus on doing research 10+ hours a day, and not have to worry about finding funding elsewhere. If they say fully supported, then you should have it all covered (minues maybe a few hundred a year for miscellaneous expenses).

Edited by KSSD
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Cool, hi! I'm going to visit UIUC on 8th-9th March. Champaign is very cheap; I know people there too. Especially compared with Oxford.....

Yeah, it all seems fine actually. Now I just have to pick a place... and then even harder, a group..... 


Are you an inorganicker? :) (guess)

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