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Expectations on funding opportunities


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i have applied for MSE in Aerospace Engineering programs in various good ranking schools and I am still waiting for the majority of my offers. So far, there have been no funding offers which I am not greatly surprised with, because I come from a very low reputation international school and i want to switch to research different that what I did for my undergrad.

Thing is tuition and all the expenses at Purdue for example go up around 45k$ per year all included. Which considering the program is a 2-year one, its a hell lot of money for someone to invest. I also doubt I have it to be honest. 

Because I assume the rest of my offers will also be unfunded, I want to ask what are generally the chances of securing some kind of funding (probably in the way of an RA, since I want to continue with Phd after). I have the ability to support myself for the first semester, but what happens next? What are the chances that professors will actually be helpful when u start knocking doors? I know it is a great program with good reputation etc but at least securing the tuition somehow seems quite necessary.

 

 

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What I have been doing for my masters is taking out tuition only in loans and have been working for living expenses. My first semester I had to volunteer for a few months in the lab I wanted before I started getting paid so this meant classes, research as a volunteer, and work. It sucked. This semester I am getting paid for the research to I just do research and school. Going this route, I will take out around $5k a semester in loans which isn't too horrible for a masters. Also, there are tons of small fellowships that can be applied for that you will learn about once you start a program. A couple thousand dollars here or there can help a lot.

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So far, there have been no funding offers which I am not greatly surprised with, because I come from a very low reputation international school and i want to switch to research different that what I did for my undergrad.

 

 

Most MS or MA programs in the US are unfunded, so don't feel like it's a result of your background of school ranking.  Funded MS degrees are pretty rare.

 

What are the chances that professors will actually be helpful when u start knocking doors? I know it is a great program with good reputation etc but at least securing the tuition somehow seems quite necessary.

 

There are sometimes opportunities to get funding for an MS, such as through an RA as you mentioned.  Often these are competitive.  I would send emails to your adviser (if you have been given one at this stage) and the program director to ask (1) if these kinds of opportunities are available and (2) how commonly they are awarded.  Also, try to get in contact with some current students (your adviser or the director can probably give you some contact info if you ask) to talk with them about how the program is and if they know of any funding sources that students at your program can make use of.

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