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Choosing between UIUC and ASU for MFA painting!


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So far I've gotten the following offers:

ASU said that they would give me a Teaching Assistantship of 25% which included a tuition remission covering the nonresident portion of tuition and a 50% reduction in the resident portion of tuition and a stipend of $2925 paid each semester. They also said that they would nominate me for a $10,000 Dean Fellowship.

U of Illinois said they were still settling financial support but that I was qualified for a Teaching Assistantship which would include a $7,595 stipend (paid over nine months), a full tuition waiver, and a waiver of most student fees.

I know I'm probably getting ahead of myself here but (especially since I haven't been offered UIUC's TA) In the event I am given the second TAship  U of Illinois seems the better deal especially if ASU doesn't give me the fellowship and perhaps even if I do get the fellowship, because this includes a full tuition waiver while ASU just cuts my instate tuition cost in half.

 This is my math:

Illinois:  $7595 stipend (each year) + (Full tuition waiver and fees)= $7595 for living expenses for the year
ASU:  $5850 stipend (each year) - $5256 for half the tuition=  $594

Alternatively if I got the fellowship I'd get $10,594 but only for that first year, once the second year started I would be forced to either figure out how to deal with $594 a year or hope that I qualify for some other fellowship or aid in the second year. But this is rolling the dice because it's a $7k difference between the two schools annually. I'm not sure how difficult it is to get additional funding in the second year of grad or what the deal is with that.

What are you thoughts on either these programs/their funding?


What are you guys doing that haven't been awarded full tuition waivers + liveable stipend? Taking out loans? Getting jobs? A combination of the two?



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Thanks for responding! I can't even begin to imagine trying to figure out this grad school business while maintaining a family! You're right, I'll contact the financial aid dept for both schools and hope they shed some light onto the situation specifically about the funding process for the second year.


I'm starting wonder if it'll be worth it to go to the school with the fellowship even if it does turn out to be less financial support in the long run because it seems like having a fellowship makes you look good when you're trying to qualify for other fellowships. Okay, now I know I'm over thinking things. 

Best of luck to you hwrios!

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If you can, wait until you get the details of both offers.  How long will the UIUC support last?  That is something to consider as well.  Who will cut you off sooner? 


But you are correct that you need to go for the best deal.  Those are both good schools, and although I myself would prefer to be in Phoenix, it's not worth it if it's costing significantly more. 

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