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Hi Guinevere! I'm already gearing up for the application season this Fall, and I'm trying to take a closer look at IUB. My advisor went there and absolutely adored it. Can you shed some light on the funding situation? It doesn't seem like the PhD program is fully funded, but I'm not quite sure what partial funding would really look like or if I can afford it. It seems like there are some really exciting work positions, but I also don't know how competitive they are.

 

Any thoughts? 

 

Hi coffeeandcomics! It looks like you are applying to the Literature program, so my response pertains directly to that. Things vary a bit by department. Right now the situation is that every incoming student should be fully funded with a first year fellowship and a 1-1 teaching load for the remaining years of the contract. I don't know if they updated their website since I applied, but if it's the same thing it's fairly confusing.

 

Because IUB does not offer teaching assistantships to first-year students without MAs, in the past, some students have been offered admittance to the program without being fully funded their first year. So basically, you would have to pay for one year of tution with only partial funding, but then you are allowed to continue on the track of the PhD program with full funding and a TAship after that first year. It's a weird way of doing things - but it's not a reason to not apply because 1. if you do get a first-year fellowship, the deal is sweet and 2. as of this year, they are really cutting down on the size of the incoming class so they can offer them all fellowships.

 

Also, the 1-1 teaching load is a really great offer. My cohort is the first to be offered this for the entire time we will be teaching. The stipend is not huge compared to some other schools, but another thing to take into consideration is that it is a lot cheaper to live in Bloomington than any big city or east/west coast town. My rent next year is only $450 for a room in a three-bedroom house in a cute neighborhood with free parking. I go to Chicago and Indianapolis relatively frequently, and I visited friends in St. Louis last weekend so it's not like I'm starved for big city life.

 

I would say definitely apply if your interests fit with IUB! Like I said, their weird way of funding is not a reason to not apply - unless you really don't see yourself here - because there is the potential to recieve a good funding deal, and if you don't, you always have the option to turn it down or accept it if your only other option is pursuing an unfunded MA.

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Hi coffeeandcomics! It looks like you are applying to the Literature program, so my response pertains directly to that. Things vary a bit by department. Right now the situation is that every incoming student should be fully funded with a first year fellowship and a 1-1 teaching load for the remaining years of the contract. I don't know if they updated their website since I applied, but if it's the same thing it's fairly confusing.

 

Because IUB does not offer teaching assistantships to first-year students without MAs, in the past, some students have been offered admittance to the program without being fully funded their first year. So basically, you would have to pay for one year of tution with only partial funding, but then you are allowed to continue on the track of the PhD program with full funding and a TAship after that first year. It's a weird way of doing things - but it's not a reason to not apply because 1. if you do get a first-year fellowship, the deal is sweet and 2. as of this year, they are really cutting down on the size of the incoming class so they can offer them all fellowships.

 

Also, the 1-1 teaching load is a really great offer. My cohort is the first to be offered this for the entire time we will be teaching. The stipend is not huge compared to some other schools, but another thing to take into consideration is that it is a lot cheaper to live in Bloomington than any big city or east/west coast town. My rent next year is only $450 for a room in a three-bedroom house in a cute neighborhood with free parking. I go to Chicago and Indianapolis relatively frequently, and I visited friends in St. Louis last weekend so it's not like I'm starved for big city life.

 

I would say definitely apply if your interests fit with IUB! Like I said, their weird way of funding is not a reason to not apply - unless you really don't see yourself here - because there is the potential to recieve a good funding deal, and if you don't, you always have the option to turn it down or accept it if your only other option is pursuing an unfunded MA.

 

Thank you so much for shedding some light on this! I'm keeping IUB at the top of my list as I actually wouldn't prefer to live in a big city, and the entire atmosphere of campus and the surrounding community seems so exciting, welcoming, and stimulating. The 1-on-1 teaching load sounds sweet - and thank you for the tip on the shrinking incoming class! It's daunting, yet encouraging to hear that while spots may disappear, funding opportunities might increase. I'm from Boston, and the thought of $450 rent (!!!) is making me swoon  :D

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