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Evaluate my funding offer!


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Hi All!

 

OK I applied to about 10 schools in the US for a PhD in statistics. The only place that I have heard from so far is UC Davis. They have even communicated the final offer.

 

Now my problem is that I am a complete noob regarding this. I have no idea at all about whether the offer they have made me is good or bad - I don't even fully understand what all the heads mean. :unsure::wacko:

 

Can someone please help me out?

 

Statistics Fellowship Stipend                        $9,000
Teaching Assistant Salary                            $8,800
In-state TA fee remissions (estimated)              $14,600
Non-Resident Tuition Fellowship                     $15,100
Total Amount of Financial Support, 2013-14          $47,500

 

The professor who communicated the initial offer to me also mentioned that they are going to try for a university fellowship. Should I ask him about that?

 

Thanks All!!!!

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This is a fairly decent package - the 14.6k + 15.1k is basically the fees paid on your behalf - check if there is any residual amount you need to pay (usually there is a very small residual amount), and also check whether you need to pay for medical insurance separately (approx. USD 2k per annum) or whether this is included in these fees.

 

The stipend+salary is the pre-tax income YOU will receive, usually given for 9 months - in your case this amounts to approx. USD 2k per month for 9 months. Check if you can get additional support during the summer ? 

 

Did the prof. mention the university fellowship after this offer - in which case definitely ask him. If it was before this, then he was probably talking about the Tuition Fellowship.  

 

Best of Luck !

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Thanks a lot!!!!

  • Yes there is a residual amount mentioned - "tuition not covered by the TA fee remissions...this amounts to less than $800 per year".
  • Medical Insurance is not mentioned.

I have just one more question - is $2000 enough for me to survive? (I'm single) I ask this coz I have a VERY nice paying job in India right now...

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Thanks a lot!!!!

  • Yes there is a residual amount mentioned - "tuition not covered by the TA fee remissions...this amounts to less than $800 per year".
  • Medical Insurance is not mentioned.

I have just one more question - is $2000 enough for me to survive? (I'm single) I ask this coz I have a VERY nice paying job in India right now...

Usually TAs and RAs are considered university employees and they are eligible for health insurance. Check your graduate handbook or the school website for that. 

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The Davis offer is similar to my funding, which was the worst of my offers materially but at a good department with the best personal and research fit so I sucked it up. It looks like you might only be TAing for one semester and funded by fellowship for the other one? Or maybe you only have half-time TA duties? You might want to clarify, that would be pretty nice to be relieved of TA duties for your first term as you adjust to the US. And if you do get the university fellowship (which I think is very unlikely to be the same thing as the out-of-state tuition fellowship you already got -- that is a just a standard part of an offer for a non-state-resident), that will likely waive TA duties for the whole year and/or increase your total stipend above $18K.

 

You also should ask about total amount of fees of any kind that are not covered, particularly health insurance. Health insurance is provided at no cost to graduate students in my program, but you really ought to make sure you don't have to pay a fee for that or that it is small and included in the $800/yr total they mentioned. Also, is this level of funding guaranteed for the duration of your program?

 

I was not exactly a freewheeling Indian bachelor before my program, but I made more in my last year of employment than I will over the entirety of my 5-6 year PhD, so quite the adjustment. You'll do okay, but you won't be saving anything. Living on this budget is not impossible, but I easily spend the entirety of what I make now without living a particularly extravagant lifestyle (would help if I could give up the $80/mth smartphone...). I am really glad to have savings from my former life to smooth things out so that I am not sensitive to the timing of my paychecks or carrying credit card debt from buying one-time expensive purchases like plane tickets, etc. that can more than eat up your entire biweekly pay.

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