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Financial aid/funding after decision letter?


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Hi all! I'm looking for some advice, if anyone has any to share. If this has been answered elsewhere, I'm sorry to double post!

 

I was just admitted into a program directly through the school of graduate studies and not first contacted by the depatment -- the email said that if they hadn't contacted me yet, they should, regarding funding/TAships/etc and presumably things like the deadline to respond... I haven't heard from them yet, and I received the offer of acceptance on Thursday. I'm basically wondering if it's atypical to hear back about funding after already getting accepted or if it's normal for the delay... (I'm pretty on-edge wondering right now...)

 

This probably applies mostly to Canadian universities, but any advice would be appreciated. Thanks :)

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I am also in a similar boat, but for the Universities in USA. Anyone with any answers would really help. 

 

I too received a PhD admit recently. The grad school said that the program recommended me so they offered the admission. Nothing was said about funding, but in my application I asked for an admission with financial aid. I guess in general it works like this:

 

The program admission committee decide which applications to accept/reject and notify the grad school. The grad school verifies the credentials and sends out admission decisions. Meanwhile, those applications which were accepted by the admissions committee in a program are circulated through the faculty of the department. Then based on your research interests and the competition, suitable faculty will make you an offer if they have an opening in their research group (with financial aid either from the department or the faculty himself).

 

Now what I want to ask is that:

 

(1) Does everyone who is accepted by the program admissions committee get an offer from a faculty or will someone be left out?

 

(2) If so, does everyone get the desired financial aid?

 

(3) And coming back to the original question, how long does the department/faculty usually take to contact one regarding the offer after being admitted by the graduate school?

 

Thanks,

ruud9.

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I have exact same question! I have been accepted to two PhD programs, but there is no funding offer so far from both.  Should I contact the Professors if they have RA positions, or, do I have to just wait ?   Any information/advice on this topic is highly appreciated

 

cheers!

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I'll throw in my bit. Is it normal for PhD programs to tell you that they won't make decisions on assigning funding until students commit to attending? Something about that seems wrong to me. How can you commit to attend a university if you don't yet know whether or not you can afford it?

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I'm a bit ahead if myself here since I have not gotten any acceptances yet, only good feedback from interviews. But my general attitude is any acceptance requiring me to pay tuition is like being asked to partially fund someone else's research. In other words, it is not really being accepted into a doctoral program. In my case, the universities have more money than the departments, so I would call the grad school financial aid office about funding first. I'd contact my POIs next if that didn't work out.

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I'm a bit ahead if myself here since I have not gotten any acceptances yet, only good feedback from interviews. But my general attitude is any acceptance requiring me to pay tuition is like being asked to partially fund someone else's research. In other words, it is not really being accepted into a doctoral program. In my case, the universities have more money than the departments, so I would call the grad school financial aid office about funding first. I'd contact my POIs next if that didn't work out.

Ah thanks for this! I definitely agree, however I've been accepted to an MA program, so it's slightly different for me :) I think they like to give departments a certain amount of funding for students over here and let them divide it up, but I wouldn't know, not having heard anything ...  but contacting them is a good idea and I probably will if I haven't heard anything in a few weeks. Thanks! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as an anecdote- I had this happen to me. I was accepted into a program without any mention of funding. I was surprised, so I quickly got in touch with my POI in the program. He told me that decisions regarding funding were made later and they would get back to me in several weeks. Sure enough, they eventually did and it worked out fine for me. Like I said, I was surprised, but I guess that some departments just do it that way. 

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@Captain Crunch: Thanks for sharing your anecdote. Yes, I think that is the case with most Universities. Could you please mention an approximate timeline between each event to give us an idea of how much time it will take for each development to take place. For example, after the admit after (approximately) how many weeks did you receive a funding offer? and could you mention the timeline in relation to when you contacted your POI and when the funding offer came?

 

It would be great if you could share these things with us. It would give a better idea as to how much one would have to wait in order to receive a funding offer (If in case one does) after the admit is offered.

 

Thanks,

ruud9. 

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Another thing to keep in mind, and this is happening on the undergradute level as well, is schools are holding back promises of finacial aid due to the budget debates.

 

They know their funding is going to be cut, but they're not sure how much, and if they can make up the difference elsewhere. 

 

I think that's also factoring into the delay that I'm experiencing for admissions. 

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@ruud9

 

I just checked over my correspondence and the timeline was something like this:

 

1. Accepted

 

2. Contact POI that day

 

3. POI says it will be about 4 weeks until funding decisions are made

 

4. 2 weeks later I recieved an offer.

 

Hope that helps. This school seems to do things earlier than most however.

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It seems that every school is different. I was accepted to three different programs, and each had its own system.

 

First school (first to accept me and my first choice): They sent me an informal email from the chair of the admissions committee with both an acceptance and funding information.

 

Second school: They sent me an acceptance email and letter. The email said that they really like me, and that they were nominating me for an award of funding. However, the university makes that decision and the department is waiting to hear back.

 

Third school: They are crazy. They sent me an acceptance with no word at all about funding. Then later a professor from the school emailed me asking me to get in touch with him to discuss funding. When I talked to him he said a TAship with a stipend was unlikely, but that I had a good chance of getting a full tuition scholarship. "Would that work for you?" he asked. I said no, that I need to eat and have a place to reside (in a much politer fashion than that, of course). He took offense, saying that the scholarship was an excellent deal, and that many students pay full price to come, even though they might have better offers elsewhere.

 

I was rejected from some other schools and am waiting to hear back from others.

 
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Im in somewhat of a similar situation.  I recieved a PhD acceptance, but the TA/RAships are very competitive and awarded based on merit.  That said, I contacted my POI and he said that funding decisions would be sent out mid to late march.  I think what is happening is that the department has a certain budget, and they are accepting as many students as they 'predict' they will be able to fund, and waitlist the rest.  Also, they want to know what the situation is going to be like with their current grad students, so they have a better idea of that in March. 

 

I'm not too worried about the funding aspect of it, because I have no idea how anybody would be able to get through 5 year while working fulltime.  Further, if I had the money to fund myself (250k at least) then I certainly wouldn't even be going to grad school in the first place.

 

Good luck to all of us! 

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@Phku. Well you wouldn't work fulltime. Thats why they have the Grad Plus loans. Not that anybody wants to take out loans but in some cases, its necessary.

 

Anyway I've been accepted to three programs and all three make funding decisions in early to mid March, so now I'm just playing the waiting game and its driving me crazy!

 

One minute I'm day dreaming of going to this school, then that school, then I remember that I don't have funding to EITHER! AHH! 

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