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Thoughts on accepting offer without 1st year funding


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Literally dying here. not getting first year funding anywhere. Is it likely that once we enter we'll get TA or something? And what are the chances of getting RA or a lab position after the first semester/year?



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I would say forget about it the second semester of the year, that stuff typically gets locked down around now for the entire year. I've never known of anyone to get funding for the second half of an academic year. Not to say it isn't possible, just improbable.


Did you talk to current students about what they have done and seen in the department? Are there other places you could do hourly work like "reading" (grading) midterms and exams? Have you asked about the percentage of students in the program who are funded in the first year? And beyond? Will you pay in-state or out of state tuition? What can your lifestyle afford? Do you have previous student loans? etc, etc.


But does the department have any grants or anything on the table? My school has gone through budget cuts and does not have a lot of available funding right now. That means we have very few incoming students because they are (understandably) unwilling to take the risk of being unfunded. Ironically we will most likely have an overabundance of funding come September because we have a number of grants out, which will likely give us 3-6 funded positions for nexy year - we just won't know for sure until June or later. Keep bugging (not literally, be polite) people and you may have a shot before the school year commences.

Edited by iphi
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Not international. American. I have been asking current students who are already in the programs.

Everything they have said and in all the links they have sent...I have to have a valid email address from that university to apply for TA positions. I'm afraid to accept the offer just to get a university email if I am not guaranteed some sort of financial assistance. Should I go ahead and do it?

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I have literally talked to the following:

4-5 professors (3 I have met personally)

Dean and Assistant Dean of specific program,

Dean of Department,

3 people from ECE Graduate Affairs Office,

2-3 grad students I have met personally,

2 postdocs,


Dean of Graduate Admissions


Either I am not getting a reply or just getting bad news.


I am ready to commit to either one - just really need to hear about funding, and if possible...without accepting the offer first in order to apply for TA. Getting nothing on RA first year.


Are we allowed to accept offers from multiple programs simultaneously and then back out on the less favorable ones?

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