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Making a decision based on lack of funding

fine mess

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 I was accepted into a doctoral program in a small department of a State University's art school. When I applied I went after two assistantships: one for the art school's grads in general and another more specific to my dissertation interests: a program that supports interdisciplinary research. Since being accepted I've been told that the department for which I applied will not fund assistantships, and that the other award (for one slot) is school wide and highly competitive.  

Additionally, I believe my application to the more competitive award may have been overlooked until now (based on responses to my questions about timelines for assistantship announcements).

All this is making me reconsider entering the program. I'm still in debt from my earlier grad experience. I'm starting to doubt whether a PhD is the right sort of leap to be taking if further debt looms.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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I would consider letting the Dept where you've been accepted know that you are really interested, blah blah blah, but the lack of funding is making you consider multiple options at this "life decision" junction/ moment (which can be other programs or not going to their program, etc) and see what their response is.  At the very least it will show if you they are interested in you / can make an offer / let you know what others have done in the program that have been in your situation before......

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