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Accepted to several programs but...


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Dear readers,


I have been accepted to 5 programs so far for a PhD in EE, however only one of those programs has given me information regarding funding (a fellowship.) All these schools have visiting days coming up, however I do not want to visit schools that won't fund me adequately. 


Is anyone else in a similar situation? Do the visits determine funding? Was my acceptance marginal and they decided not to fund me? I think it's strange that the official acceptance letters mention nothing of funding. Any insight is appreciated. 


Thank you.

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Why don't you just ask the programs? 


I am a little hesitant about contacting them because I don't want to seem impatient to them and possibly bother somebody at my prospective school. I mainly feel this way because it is still February and I guess they have time until march to give funding information. 



The thing I was mainly wondering by making the post is whether visiting affects my funding, because I am too busy with the semester to just leave for 3 days. 


TLDR not visiting implies no/worse funding?

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First off, I wouldn't worry about "asking too soon." You have been accepted, you need to make decisions about where to attend, and funding is an important component of the decision. I'd email and ask whether they can provide more information about funding, or when you can expect to know more if details are not available at the moment. 


Second, it's hard to know how (not) visiting might affect your funding since you haven't shared with us what field you are in, and funding structures are different across fields and schools. I can imagine that if you are in a lab-based science and are funded directly by a PI, that you would need to have a PI who takes you on and that meeting people in person could influence those kinds of decisions. On the other hand, in some fields funding is centrally allocated by the department (and often everyone gets the same amount of funding, unless they won some competitive award), so it wouldn't matter much if you visit or not. Some fields rely on TAships and you'd need to find out how those are decided (I would guess that visits aren't hugely important, but it's really just a guess). 


Visiting has other advantages beside funding decisions, so it may be worth going to visit at least the top 2-3 schools you got into, even if your funding is not dependent on the visit. The visit may make you reconsider which schools are the best fit for you. 

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