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Funding stress


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I am now halfway through my PhD coursework that started last summer. Just to let you know, I am a social scientist.

At the time of application, it was promised on the website that every individual admitted would receive a four year funding package but I was excluded from the benefit. I was the ONLY one excluded.

I've tried to build connections with the professors and asked them to consider hiring me as a research assistant if any but the reality was more cruel than I had expected - they all acted as if they had no opportunities at all while asking around other students mostly from my cohort if they would like to join the project(s).

Then I started getting panic attacks due to this. I am an international student and relocating to where I am right now after spending my entire life in my home country was tougher than those who had resided in the States beforehand. But those I called advisers were so involuntary and passive. One of them still asks me what my "major" is and the school I graduated from after seeing me for more than four times during the last 10 months and reading through my CV at least 3 times and the other has obviously been violating the HIPAA. 

The situation has no sign of getting any better. I feel like wanting to die from time to time and have been meeting with a campus consultant but no big success. Every faculty member and staff irresponsibly tells me to meet with someone else and this cycle repeats itself. It is very sad that I have no one to talk to in the school.. I am losing appetite and confidence. 

Edited by niceweather
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I am sorry to hear that. Is there a program advisor you can talk to? You know, a faculty member in charge of the doctoral program?


If the situation is that dire, I suppose you could look into transferring to a different school--they may accept some or most of your coursework. If you take that route, though, I suggest doing some heavy research into the culture of the potential school. For example, at my institution, we are guaranteed funding for five years, whether it is through teaching and research assistantships or "departmental duties." However, it is our responsibility (and our advisor's responsibility) to find TA and RA positions. At any rate, no one that I know is having trouble with funding, and our department is very transparent about the whole process.


Good luck. :)

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I'm also very sorry to hear of your circumstances. It seems like there was a breach of contract (or something similar) if your initial offer of admission guaranteed you funding. If so, is there a graduate student association you could go to to look into it? I know here we have a pretty effective union at dealing with this kind of stuff. 

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks guys for the thoughtful posts. After another year of going through the same cycle, I've decided to graduate with a Master's degree from the institute I was enrolled in and apply for schools outside the city in a different discipline. Your comments were really helpful especially when I needed some care and cheering from the students in a phd program. Wish me luck in all my future endeavors! Thanks again! :D

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