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No word on funding until summer?!


TulipOHare

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Oh yes, you read that bullshit right! I wrote to ask when I should expect to hear about funding, and what I should do if I'm interested in a TAship or RAship. Several days later, I get this reply:

Tulip,

It's likely we won't know anything about funding till the summer. I know you've been in contact with Dr. Z about working with her, so I would suggest doing so again the middle of the summer.

Department Chair

To force myself not to send back an e-mail full of expletives, I called the department secretary. Nope, it's not just me, nobody's going to hear anything about funding until after April 15th; and yup, I still have to respond by April 15th anyway. What the fuck?! It's one thing if they say outright they have no funding, or that they do but I'm not going to get any... but expecting everyone to enroll blindly? Makes me want to send a deposit to the other school just out of spite!!

Edit: I just turned on my trusty MP3 player, told it to Play All > Random, and what's the first song that comes up? Billy Joel's "A Matter of Trust." :|

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Wow that's ridiculous, how can they expect you to do that? I mean of course there will be some that can afford it anyway and those who will take out loans to cover no matter the cost, but still. I know it's a tight economic year for everyone, but it would make me wary of going there. You could try to contact other students in the program to see if they went through this and what their result was. Good luck.

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Since your program is a professional one, they assume students will enroll either way. You may want to check with other units on campus to see if they'll have a TA/RA position available.

rising_star, what do you mean by "other units" ? Other departments?

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rising_star, what do you mean by "other units" ? Other departments?

Assuming you are talking about Teacher's College, then yes other departments within Columbia. Depending on what skills you have or what you can do, you could see if any other departments would be willing to extend an x-ship to you in case funding at the school does not work out. I have known quite a few people to do this successfully.

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If you have no other options, then waiting to see if they offer you funding or if you will take out loans is the best you can do (and if you get no funding, you can always withdraw and reapply next year). But if you have other funded offers, honestly... I would take one of them. IMO, a guarantee in this economic/competitive time is always better than a maybe.

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The exact same thing happened to me at UCDavis; I was admitted to an interdepartmental group, that has no TAs to give. (I can ask the chem department, but they give their own students priority.) They said they have some money, but they don't know how far it will stretch until they see how many enroll, so basically they won't know until after April 15. There's a strong possibility that they may not even have enough to cover a tuition waiver for me, never mind a stipend.

It sucks. Big time. Luckily I have fully funded offers elsewhere...

I always said that I didn't care how big the stipend was, as long as I had a tuition waiver and SOMETHING, enough to cover fees and books. I still stand by that. But the possibility of nothing? Not sure I can go with that.

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No fun. Not fair. In same boat. Was also told to try my luck for an assistantship at other university offices. I understand these are different times. Depts are probably more concerned about the staff they may have to lay off; but it is tough to find myself scrambling at the last minute, when I am supposed to be worrying about other things right now. I guess they'll get scrappy people who really want it, though.

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Nope, it's not just me, nobody's going to hear anything about funding until after April 15th; and yup, I still have to respond by April 15th anyway.

At least the one school that told me they won't be notifying everyone of financial aid decisions until late April had the decency to send a letter saying "there is NO deadline to accept our offer." Unfortunately, they don't seem to realize that other schools do have deadlines, and if I accept someone else I'll have to close the door on them. Which is unfortunate, because this particular school is my first choice.

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At least the one school that told me they won't be notifying everyone of financial aid decisions until late April had the decency to send a letter saying "there is NO deadline to accept our offer." Unfortunately, they don't seem to realize that other schools do have deadlines, and if I accept someone else I'll have to close the door on them. Which is unfortunate, because this particular school is my first choice.

I'm in the same boat now, tkm256 -- I got an e-mail from my other school a couple hours ago, saying that exact same thing.

Crap.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In this case I wouldn't hesitate to enroll, and feel free to cancel everything if you don't get the funding you need. It's a two way highway. Schools can't expect their students to make decisions without information about funding. I'm currently in 2 similar positions, where I was accepted without a real financial aid offer. I had one admission decision extended until May 1st, and I will definitely ask for an extensions at the other school if I don't hear back soon. They are expecting to hear back by Monday.

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