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PhD in Education - Funding?


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I was wondering what typical PhD funding packages look like for education.  Do funding packages differ by tier (e.g. Harvard/Penn/Columbia vs. Michigan/UCLA/Ohio State)?

 

Are all PhD programs usually fully funded (e.g. tuition + stipend)?  

 

For all those who applied/got accepted this season or last, would be great to hear how your funding packages look!

 

Cheers all!

 

JCMD

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Based on my experience with past admission offers and my current school as well as my friends' experience with other schools, top private schools tend to give Ph.D. students with full funding (i.e., full tuition coverage, health insurance, stipend (service and service-free)) with some exceptions such as Columbia. The amount of stipend varies from school to school but for 9 months, it would be between $25K  and $30K. With summer employment, which is usually not guaranteed though, an annual income becomes between $35K and $40K.

 

For top state schools, if you are among one of the best incoming students, you will be offered full funding comparable to top private schools. Faculty members at top to mid-ranking schools tried to recruit me with full funding with a $26K 9-month stipend and summer research grants. I heard from other people that University of Arkansas offers full funding. Given its location, students can live comfortably.

 

In addition, if you get into a top school, you are likely to find some informal job openings for consultants at education policy organizations, state and local departments of education, private educaiton consulting groups, etc. One year, I got a consulting job working for a government and earned about $40 per hour. Chances will diminish as you go to lower-ranking schools.

Edited by nashville0808
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Based on my experience with past admission offers and my current school as well as my friends' experience with other schools, top private schools tend to give Ph.D. students with full funding (i.e., full tuition coverage, health insurance, stipend (service and service-free)) with some exceptions such as Columbia. The amount of stipend varies from school to school but for 9 months, it would be between $25K and $30K. With summer employment, which is usually not guaranteed though, an annual income becomes between $35K and $40K.

For top state schools, if you are among one of the best incoming students, you will be offered full funding comparable to top private schools. Faculty members at top to mid-ranking schools tried to recruit me with full funding with a $26K 9-month stipend and summer research grants. I heard from other people that University of Arkansas offers full funding. Given its location, students can live comfortably.

In addition, if you get into a top school, you are likely to find some informal job openings for consultants at education policy organizations, state and local departments of education, private educaiton consulting groups, etc. One year, I got a consulting job working for a government and earned about $40 per hour. Chances will diminish as you go to lower-ranking schools.

I was wondering about this as well - from your handle, are you at Peabody? If so, do their funding packages look worse than lower tier schools?

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I'm at Peabody. Based on my experience and what I hear from students at other schools, Peabody's funding package is one of the best, and given its low cost of living it is way better than Stanford, Harvard, UPenn, or UMich. Peabody's funding package includes very attractive grants for Ph.D. students that other competitive schools do not offer.

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I was wondering what typical PhD funding packages look like for education.  Do funding packages differ by tier (e.g. Harvard/Penn/Columbia vs. Michigan/UCLA/Ohio State)?

 

Are all PhD programs usually fully funded (e.g. tuition + stipend)?  

 

For all those who applied/got accepted this season or last, would be great to hear how your funding packages look!

 

Cheers all!

 

JCMD

 

It seems like you are really trying to make a public/private distinction rather than a quality distinction because there are public and private schools at each level of quality.

 

Unfortunately - not all PhD programs in Education are fully funded.  Some are known for funding only a small proportion of their PhD students like Columbia.  Other places you have to apply year-to-year to receive funding.  I heard UCLA was like this at some point, but hopefully they have changed their model.  

 

I guess you could argue that at places like UPenn and Harvard have higher stipends than places like Michigan and Penn State - but the cost of living in Philadelphia and Cambridge is a lot higher than in Ann Arbor and University Park so you would need to take that into consideration.

 

Ultimately - you want to find a place that offers you 4 - 5 years of guaranteed funding which can be found at both private and public schools.  It just tends to vary a lot within subdisciplines of education so I doubt anyone can really make an accurate generalization given that we don't know your subdiscipline.  I could tell you about higher ed, but that is only important if that is your area because how educ policy or curriculum & instruction (for example) fund students can be very different.

 

Personally - my funding packages varied a lot in terms of the amount of the stipend, how many years of guaranteed funding, and whether the stipend covered 9 or 12 months of work.  Once you can cover living expenses with your stipend, usually you base your decision on other factors.  You also want to know whether the funding requires you to do research or teach.  If your ultimate goal is to be a professor at a R1, you'll want to chose a funding package with more research over teaching.

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I was wondering what typical PhD funding packages look like for education.  Do funding packages differ by tier (e.g. Harvard/Penn/Columbia vs. Michigan/UCLA/Ohio State)?

 

Are all PhD programs usually fully funded (e.g. tuition + stipend)?  

 

I'd agree with the others that there isn't a strict demarcation for funding based on tier, or whether the institution is private/public. And region matters a lot - last application season I found out the stipend offered for a NY institution was almost the same as one in the Midwest. From my applications, I could break the funding down into a few categories: 1) Fully funded for 4-5 years, no strings attached, 2) Funded for 4-5 years, guaranteed RA/GA position, 3) Year-to-year funding, with offer/fellowship for the first year, and strong possibility for GA/RA positions 4) Year-to-year, with little to no support for the first year.

 

With the exception of Number 1, you won't really know about funding until you ask students about it, or receive an offer. Hearing from a department that they may have funding down the line, but no way to support me for my first year, was certainly a red flag. I ended up at a Number 3 because the faculty was so great, and there are ample research projects in my area of interest that provided funding and great experience in the field. Which turned out to be a pretty good choice, as other students who didn't have the fellowship were able to secure GA/RA positions for their first year.

 

Outside of guaranteed funding for the longterm, which is generally rare, and very competitive, it all depends on the department - is this a department that cares about its students' funding, and has a history of providing support? Or does it admit a lot of students, have a few tuition waivers, and make them compete against eachother for funding? This is a picture you can get from current and former students.

 

I'd also add that a research-based PhD, rather than a professional PhD/EdD, would have more chances of funding, as the department would be more academic, as opposed to a more professional one, in which students are employed and bring in their own funding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

All the PhD students in education (policy, curriculum, teacher education, whatever) at my university are guaranteed full funding for 5 years. We have a combination of research and teaching assistantships and what's called a "departmental" assistantship, which means you do whatever they ask you to do (help with reports, etc.).

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I don't know how it works in the US, but I know that Western and the University of Toronto are fully funded. Both schools cover tuition, and Western gives $12,000/year while Toronto gives $15,000/year. However other top schools, such as McGill, gives nothing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am going to visit my program coordinator for possible funding opportunities. Do anyone have some suggestion on the conversation art with the coordinator? I mean, is it polite to talk directly about the funding, my ideal number of funds, etc?

PS I am accepted in a doctoral program 2015 fall.

Thanks in advance!

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I am going to visit my program coordinator for possible funding opportunities. Do anyone have some suggestion on the conversation art with the coordinator? I mean, is it polite to talk directly about the funding, my ideal number of funds, etc?

PS I am accepted in a doctoral program 2015 fall.

Thanks in advance!

 

Have you been offered an aid package and you are trying to get a better offer?  Or have you been offered nothing and are trying to get any aid package?

 

My answer would change depending on which one it is.

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Have you been offered an aid package and you are trying to get a better offer?  Or have you been offered nothing and are trying to get any aid package?

 

My answer would change depending on which one it is.

I haven't receive any funding yet, while the poi indicated in the email that they might have funds for students who visited their campus.

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Since it sounds like you have already started this conversation with your POI, I would just bring it up at your one-on-one meeting with him/her during your campus visit.  A conversation opener about it could be:  "You mentioned that you may have funding for students in your email and I wanted to follow up with you about this because funding it a very critical component in my decision making process. Do you know whether you will be able to offer me any funding?"

 

I would just stop talking at that point and see what the response is.  If the response is yes -- I would assume at that point he/she would let you know what that entails.  I would also ask current students about the typical funding package so you have a general idea what the funding situation is in the dept and you'll know how to compare what your POI offered you to what the norm is for your department.  If the response is no -- you need to ask whether it is possible if funding will come available later in the admission season (when other students decline) or whether funding will never be possible for you.  You also want to know whether there are university funds that you can apply to.  However -- if they are not willing to fund you at all in a PhD program - I would strongly urge you not to attend.  Not only will you go into a substantial amount of debt that will be difficult to pay off in the education field, you won't get the necessary training and mentoring that comes with RAing or TAing for a professor.

 

And to put your mind at ease -- funding is a very normal conversation to have when you are visiting campuses.  It is important to know how you are going to pay for tuition and your living expenses during the 4 - 6 years it takes to complete a PhD.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since it sounds like you have already started this conversation with your POI, I would just bring it up at your one-on-one meeting with him/her during your campus visit.  A conversation opener about it could be:  "You mentioned that you may have funding for students in your email and I wanted to follow up with you about this because funding it a very critical component in my decision making process. Do you know whether you will be able to offer me any funding?"

 

I would just ....

Hi thanks a lot for the detailed suggestion! I didn't have time to say thanks before meeting my poi last week but I referred to some of your strategies for sure. 

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