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Should the funding be increased? Considering about the UofT and York strike recently...


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If you haven't heard of this issue, just google "Toronto York strike". I found one opinion article here, which may add some flavours to this discussion: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/why-u-of-t-york-strikes-are-more-than-labour-disputes/article23279298/

 

Now I am wondering... what is the amount of the common "fully funded" packages in the states? Is it higher than 15,000 bucks? (UofT waives the tuition and provides additional $15,000 CDN per year to graduate students, which is its minimum / typical funding package; correct me if I am wrong)

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There is a lot of variance among US schools and their respective departments. I believe that there are schools with no funding packages for PhD students. On the top end, in the US you could be making 25-30k + full tuition waiver.

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My offer at U of T (which I declined), was $17,500. That's standard in the math department. It is also below the poverty line in Toronto.

 

As for the US, this can vary hugely, and it also depends a lot on field (STEM funding is usually higher than humanities). Some prospectives I was talking to at a recent visitation weekend said they had received offers on the order of $15,000 to live on in the US. The cities are cheaper than Toronto, though (mostly small towns).

 

My highest Canadian offer was about $19k after tuition initially. I was offered external funding that bumps that to $24k. I didn't apply for external funding in the US, since I didn't realize there were any I was eligible for as an international student - I'll do that next year. Excluding the external funding, all my US offers were higher than my Canadian ones in actual dollars, but not necessarily by a lot. One is around $21k, and the cost of living is high in that city. Another is very generous, at ~$30k with a relatively low cost of living. The third is a similar amount, but the rent is so astronomically high that it's really not so fantastic. All of them are enough to live well on, though, which cannot be said about all of my Canadian offers.

 

Edit: all my US offers included tuition waivers and health care.

Edited by MathCat
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Speaking of external funding in Canada, is there any big ones for international students? I checked NSERC and SSHRC, which are only eligible for PR and citizens. OGS has very few spots for international students, and I don't know whether it favors STEM or not (I am in social science...). 

 

Updated: I am a master degree applicant. 

My offer at U of T (which I declined), was $17,500. That's standard in the math department. It is also below the poverty line in Toronto.

 

As for the US, this can vary hugely, and it also depends a lot on field (STEM funding is usually higher than humanities). Some prospectives I was talking to at a recent visitation weekend said they had received offers on the order of $15,000 to live on in the US. The cities are cheaper than Toronto, though (mostly small towns).

 

My highest Canadian offer was about $19k after tuition initially. I was offered external funding that bumps that to $24k. I didn't apply for external funding in the US, since I didn't realize there were any I was eligible for as an international student - I'll do that next year. Excluding the external funding, all my US offers were higher than my Canadian ones in actual dollars, but not necessarily by a lot. One is around $21k, and the cost of living is high in that city. Another is very generous, at ~$30k with a relatively low cost of living. The third is a similar amount, but the rent is so astronomically high that it's really not so fantastic. All of them are enough to live well on, though, which cannot be said about all of my Canadian offers.

 

Edit: all my US offers included tuition waivers and health care.

Edited by homie
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Aha, that's why. Thanks anyway. 

I don't think there's much for international students in Canada. When I said I'm international, I only meant for US considerations - I am a Canadian citizen.

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I don't think there's much for international students in Canada. When I said I'm international, I only meant for US considerations - I am a Canadian citizen.

Hi

Got admitted into a Canadian University for a research based Master's Program but no word yet on funding..I did however read on the website that the University gives students funding of 17k+ CDN per year which is divided into GA(which is valued abt 7k), and some sort of stipends(about 3k)..

But here is my question, will the remaining 7k be used as part tuition waiver? and if not, how is funding usually structured in Canadian universities wrt to monthly pay and tuition waivers?

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Most Canadian universities charge you tuition as a completely separate process from paying your stipend. You will either have to pay the entire semester's tuition at the beginning of the semester, or enroll in a monthly payment plan and pay your semester's tuition in equal monthly installments. 

 

Even if you get a tuition waiver, this usually comes in the form of a fellowship/stipend payment first, then you use the money to pay tuition afterwards. At most schools, you get your fellowship/award money in a lump sum at the beginning of each semester (or year), and you get TA or RA payments in biweekly or monthly paycheques (like any other job).

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Most Canadian universities charge you tuition as a completely separate process from paying your stipend. You will either have to pay the entire semester's tuition at the beginning of the semester, or enroll in a monthly payment plan and pay your semester's tuition in equal monthly installments.

Even if you get a tuition waiver, this usually comes in the form of a fellowship/stipend payment first, then you use the money to pay tuition afterwards. At most schools, you get your fellowship/award money in a lump sum at the beginning of each semester (or year), and you get TA or RA payments in biweekly or monthly paycheques (like any other job).

Wow...Thanks

I asked because I've read lots on here mention something along the lines of Tuition waivers+GAs being the two main advantages of Assistanships/Fellowship.

I like the idea of getting fellowships in lump sum at the start of each semester tho..At least it guarantees It can be used to cover tuition expenses which eases one off a little(as being an international student from a developing economy, things may be abit rough) although I realize all dis is irrelevant unless I get it, so we'll see what happens but I believe the best is going to cone my way..

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2/3 of my Canadian offers required paying tuition. Only U of T waived it. In practice, I think that their waiver usually means they give you the money to pay your tuition, in a lump sum, on top of the funding they've given you.

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Yes, I really really appreciated the lump sum in September to cover all of the moving costs and apartment deposits etc. And this was in 2010 when I started a Canadian graduate program as a Canadian. Unfortunately, the US school I'm currently at do not pay this way but they did offer a $2500 no interest, no fees loan for starting students, which was helpful to cover all the extra fees associated with moving!

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I have been following this with great interest as I'm a masters student in the area. Something I find interesting is how they're even able to strike because they're unionized. At my school, there is nothing we can do. Is it common to be part of a union when you're working as a TA or RA in the US? 

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That means UofT is still the richest school in Canada (highly probably..), and they pay the most stipend to students I suppose? 

2/3 of my Canadian offers required paying tuition. Only U of T waived it. In practice, I think that their waiver usually means they give you the money to pay your tuition, in a lump sum, on top of the funding they've given you.

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For this strike, most people in the union are lecturers but not the TAs according to the news. I guess the only way of joining a union is to team up with those instructors? 

I have been following this with great interest as I'm a masters student in the area. Something I find interesting is how they're even able to strike because they're unionized. At my school, there is nothing we can do. Is it common to be part of a union when you're working as a TA or RA in the US? 

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That means UofT is still the richest school in Canada (highly probably..), and they pay the most stipend to students I suppose? 

No, there are many schools that give more funding, especially when you take into account the cost of living - there's not many places in Canada as expensive as Toronto. Their funding is actually quite low compared to other schools I got offers from, and others I considered and ultimately decided not to apply to. I think they feel that they have enough name power to not have to lure students there with good funding, while the lower ranked schools have to compete in that way.

 

I think most (if not all) of the Canadian schools have money problems, since the government keeps cutting their funding. It also depends how the particular university allocates funds - I'm sure some departments are more flush than others.

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I feel the major difference is housing price. Other than that, the cost would be similar. Plus Toronto has more opportunities, so it is really a self-decision - whether we feel UofT is mean or not.

No, there are many schools that give more funding, especially when you take into account the cost of living - there's not many places in Canada as expensive as Toronto. Their funding is actually quite low compared to other schools I got offers from, and others I considered and ultimately decided not to apply to. I think they feel that they have enough name power to not have to lure students there with good funding, while the lower ranked schools have to compete in that way.

 

I think most (if not all) of the Canadian schools have money problems, since the government keeps cutting their funding. It also depends how the particular university allocates funds - I'm sure some departments are more flush than others.

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In Canada, at all the major schools, TAs are unionized. At some schools, the RAs are also unionized. TAs are generally considered public service employees, much like government employees (since all the major schools in Canada are public schools). Even if you are a TA who is not unionized in Canada, you are still considered an employee with all the employee rights.

 

In the United States, it's much more rare for a union to represent TAs and it's also common for TAs to not be considered employees.

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Some MA programs at UofT offer very little funding $1-2k if anything at all. It's a different story for PhD students. However, i'm lucky to be in a program with a lot of resources (in the social sciences!) at u of t so they offered a package which was equal to my tuition. You're eligible to receive more through OGS/SSHRC but UofT actually "revokes" the funding in lieu of external funding.

 

An example: U of T offers 15k. You are guaranteed that 15k, but if you get OGS ($5k per semester, for 3 consecutive semesters), they will revoke 10k/15k of that funding.

Edited by nakuu
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For this strike, most people in the union are lecturers but not the TAs according to the news. I guess the only way of joining a union is to team up with those instructors? 

 

At York the union is both sessionals (lecturers) and TAs. At U of T it's the TA union that's striking, which does include a few graduate instructors, but it's mostly just TAs. (See also, this is why York is actually negotiating with their union whereas U of T is refusing--a strike is a much bigger deal when it takes out the people responsible for teaching 2/3 of your classes.)

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