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Funding Experiences at CUNY?


gomezdm

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After being 0-2 of 3 for weeks, I finally got an offer from CUNY for a History PhD. The catch? It's unfunded. The graduate director tells me that only half of incoming students are funded, and all of it has already been allocated. My chances of getting funding for my first year - 2009-1010 - are slim. This is a problem, but it isn't an insurmountable one. My husband and I are NYC residents, so we don't have the inconvenience of moving and I'll get to pay in-state tuition. I can take out a small amount of student loans to cover the year's tuition, and adding $6,000 to $61,000 seems so marginal as to barely have an impact.

My big worry is that the graduate director's assurances that most students can find work as adjuncts after the first year won't come true for me - and then the amount I have to take out in loans turns into $12,000 and that's not so marginal. And then what about the year after that, and the year after that? Not to mention that my husband is a graduate student, too, so even though his stipend is enough to support the two of us it's barely enough - and he needs it to support his research abroad in addition to supporting us!

I'm taking my time and thinking this offer through. I feel like I can take the first year unfunded only if I can get a stipend for the others, but I have no idea how realistic this is. Does anyone have experience with the CUNY funding craziness? How likely is it that I would get funding in later years? Is the department super competitive with so many unfunded students fighting each other for what little money there is?

Anyone have any stories to share or words of wisdom for me? Anything you've got would be appreciated!

(Also, I've posted this in the History thread, too, so if any of you come across it twice that's why and I'm sorry!)

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don't go into debt for a humanities phd. just don't do it. if you don't get any good offers, try your luck next year. you can strengthen your writing sample, retake the GRE, whatever. but i think the vast majority of people with any experience would commiserate with you in this dilemma, but then offer you the very good advice only to go into a phd in the humanities if fully funded.

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