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Paper Moon

London School of Economics (LSE) Scholarships? (or Scholarships for the UK)

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Hello Everyone,

I am new here, so I apologize if there is already a thread about this that I missed, but I was accepted into my first-choice reach school, The London School of Economics. They gave me a persoalized letter and the department said they would really like to have me, however, I was not offered any funding at all (the department itself has no funds to offer). I am an American student and I could take out soul-destroying American student loans, but I would really hate to do so if I do not have to. On the other hand, I would also hate to turn down my first-choice school for monetary reasons (I did the same thing for my undergraduate degree--- turned down my first-choice school in favor of a school that was cheaper).

I have been saving money for 3 years here in Japan, but my family fell onto hard times and so I gave all of the money that I saved for graduate school to them. I am slowly rebuilding, but I definitely won't have enough to cover everything. I think I could probably save enough to cover living expenses if no big problems comes up between then and now.

Does anyone know of any LSE scholarships (or scholarships for Americans who want to study at LSE/the UK) aside from the graduate support scheme? For everything that I've found either the deadline has already passed or filling out the online form graduate support scheme was sufficient.

I want to exhaust all my possibilities before I give up on my dream, so if you know of anything, please help me.

I was accepted into other programs that offer funding, but they aren't quite as specific and they aren't a perfect fit for me like LSE's program is.

Thank you!
 

Edited by Paper Moon
Grammar Goblins

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On March 18, 2016 at 2:00 AM, Paper Moon said:

Does anyone know of any LSE scholarships (or scholarships for Americans who want to study at LSE/the UK) aside from the graduate support scheme?

Maybe federal plus loan is a possibly option. I do not think U.K. schools such as LSE has too many scholarships for American citizens. If it does, it is unlikely that the scholarship will cover everything. Either way, you may need to consider federal plus loan as an option, if you really want to attend LSE.

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5 hours ago, historicallinguist said:

Maybe federal plus loan is a possibly option. I do not think U.K. schools such as LSE has too many scholarships for American citizens. If it does, it is unlikely that the scholarship will cover everything. Either way, you may need to consider federal plus loan as an option, if you really want to attend LSE.

Thank you for the advice.

 

That's what I feared. The program told me that I might still get scholarships and that I shouldn't decline my offer yet. 

I'n in a bit of a pickle, because I can choose my dream school with no funding, wait for a really fantastic program that won't get back to me until May and could be fully funded (in Germany), or accept a program I am so-so about which has offered me full funding (but I would hate to turn them down after accepting them, but I won't know about the German school until May and I have to let the so-so school know by 15 April).

Edited by Paper Moon

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4 hours ago, Paper Moon said:

Thank you for the advice.

 

That's what I feared. The program told me that I might still get scholarships and that I shouldn't decline my offer yet. 

I'n in a bit of a pickle, because I can choose my dream school with no funding, wait for a really fantastic program that won't get back to me until May and could be fully funded (in Germany), or accept a program I am so-so about which has offered me full funding (but I would hate to turn them down after accepting them, but I won't know about the German school until May and I have to let the so-so school know by 15 April).

Accept the one (Let's say School A) with full funding with an April 15 deadline first. Then, see whether you got the German school in May. If you do, do not register for Fall classes for School A, and School A will automatically deem you as withdrawing from the program.(Then, you can avoid the problem of violating a contract because technically speaking, one of the fellowship/TAship contract would be registering for a certain credits of classes. If you do not register, you fail to meet the condition of the contract, so you are no longer eligible for the offer you accepted. Then, you could get of the offer you accepted without violating the contract).

I think LSE would be your least priority. If the department does not have funding for you at all, you need to think twice before you accept their offer. Not for the reason that you will have to pay (of course this is part of the consideration, but there is some other considerations). If a department does not have funding at all for you, it is possible that this department has some serious internal financial issues. Such issues will not only manifest themselves in the form that you are not offered funding at all, but also possibly manifest themselves in the form that there may not be much student-professor interactions (because, if the department (at least in the U.K.) lacks of the financial resources, generally the professors on the website may not even teach you. You will be taught in the way that is most economical (i.e. cheapest) for the department) You may be taught be phd students, departmental lecturer, etc. And class size may be huge as a direct result of the fact that the department lacks of financial resources.) So, all in all, I think you need to do more research on what kind of academic supports you can get when you are in the program at LSE. If prestige (of a certain professor/of the department/of the school) is the only reason that drives you to LSE, go to the other funded programs. 

Your academic progress is not going to be supported by the prestige of the professor/of the department/of the school. After all, your academic progress is going to be supported by the academic support from your professors, and the financial support from you department and school.

 

 

 

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You automatically applied for Scholarships at LSE with your application to the GSS. So even though they didn't offer you any funding (its the same for me btw) doesn't mean that you'll not get a scholarship. However: Decisions concerning the scholarships will not be out until July.

Edited by Flou

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On March 19, 2016 at 11:06 AM, historicallinguist said:

Accept the one (Let's say School A) with full funding with an April 15 deadline first. Then, see whether you got the German school in May. If you do, do not register for Fall classes for School A, and School A will automatically deem you as withdrawing from the program.(Then, you can avoid the problem of violating a contract because technically speaking, one of the fellowship/TAship contract would be registering for a certain credits of classes. If you do not register, you fail to meet the condition of the contract, so you are no longer eligible for the offer you accepted. Then, you could get of the offer you accepted without violating the contract).

I think LSE would be your least priority. If the department does not have funding for you at all, you need to think twice before you accept their offer. Not for the reason that you will have to pay (of course this is part of the consideration, but there is some other considerations). If a department does not have funding at all for you, it is possible that this department has some serious internal financial issues. Such issues will not only manifest themselves in the form that you are not offered funding at all, but also possibly manifest themselves in the form that there may not be much student-professor interactions (because, if the department (at least in the U.K.) lacks of the financial resources, generally the professors on the website may not even teach you. You will be taught in the way that is most economical (i.e. cheapest) for the department) You may be taught be phd students, departmental lecturer, etc. And class size may be huge as a direct result of the fact that the department lacks of financial resources.) So, all in all, I think you need to do more research on what kind of academic supports you can get when you are in the program at LSE. If prestige (of a certain professor/of the department/of the school) is the only reason that drives you to LSE, go to the other funded programs. 

Your academic progress is not going to be supported by the prestige of the professor/of the department/of the school. After all, your academic progress is going to be supported by the academic support from your professors, and the financial support from you department and school.

 

 

 

I disagree with a lot of this advice. If OP is going for a masters, they most likely won't get funded, even if they were in the us. That has nothing to do with field or department merit. It has to do with how schools structure their programs. Many schools in the US do have cash cow programs (NYU, UChicago) but a lot more, though you pay for them, provide the same access to professors. I mean, imagine someone telling you turn down Harvard Law because they didn't find you. You will have far more job opportunities with Harvard than a low tier school.

Also, in terms of the withdrawing method: you will most likely have to pay a deposit that is nonrefundable and you will lose that regardless of whether or not you formally withdraw or do this odd waiting until you're kicked out method. I don't know why you would do that to a school, especially one that liked you enough to fund you. They clearly would have planned for you to teach or conduct research. It's highly unprofessional and you could encounter these people in your future job/field and your withdrawing tactic will be remembered. So, if you do accept and change your mind, just tell them in May when you here back. 

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42 minutes ago, Horb said:

I disagree with a lot of this advice. If OP is going for a masters, they most likely won't get funded, even if they were in the us. That has nothing to do with field or department merit. It has to do with how schools structure their programs. Many schools in the US do have cash cow programs (NYU, UChicago) but a lot more, though you pay for them, provide the same access to professors. I mean, imagine someone telling you turn down Harvard Law because they didn't find you. You will have far more job opportunities with Harvard than a low tier school.

Also, in terms of the withdrawing method: you will most likely have to pay a deposit that is nonrefundable and you will lose that regardless of whether or not you formally withdraw or do this odd waiting until you're kicked out method. I don't know why you would do that to a school, especially one that liked you enough to fund you. They clearly would have planned for you to teach or conduct research. It's highly unprofessional and you could encounter these people in your future job/field and your withdrawing tactic will be remembered. So, if you do accept and change your mind, just tell them in May when you here back. 

I beg to disagree. I was in a cash cow master program in a presumable top tier school in the U.K. I was thinking the same thing you said before I enrolled in this cash cow program. Actually, it turned out to be one of the most serious disasters in my life. In terms of job opportunities, it depends on what kind of job you are looking for. If you are looking for non-academic jobs, a degree from a cash cow program in a school with high overall ranking would help a lot. However, if you want to continue to get a Ph.D./get some kind of academic jobs, I do not think a degree from a cash cow program would help a lot (even if it does help in some way). 

Actually, at least in my field, there is no deposit to pay and all I need to do is to simply send back an email saying I would like to attend/to go to the online system and click "accept"/ return the signed form saying I would like to attend (this is the case for both MA and Ph.D programs in my field). I agree with you that this tactic is highly unprofessional, and, frankly speaking, it is a tactic that takes advantage of the loophole of the contract. I would say this tactic would be something like a last resort when no other better option is available. So, all in all, I would suggest the OP uses this tactic with caution. 

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9 minutes ago, historicallinguist said:

I beg to disagree. I was in a cash cow master program in a presumable top tier school in the U.K. I was thinking the same thing you said before I enrolled in this cash cow program. Actually, it turned out to be one of the most serious disasters in my life. In terms of job opportunities, it depends on what kind of job you are looking for. If you are looking for non-academic jobs, a degree from a cash cow program in a school with high overall ranking would help a lot. However, if you want to continue to get a Ph.D./get some kind of academic jobs, I do not think a degree from a cash cow program would help a lot (even if it does help in some way). 

Actually, at least in my field, there is no deposit to pay and all I need to do is to simply send back an email saying I would like to attend/to go to the online system and click "accept"/ return the signed form saying I would like to attend (this is the case for both MA and Ph.D programs in my field). I agree with you that this tactic is highly unprofessional, and, frankly speaking, it is a tactic that takes advantage of the loophole of the contract. I would say this tactic would be something like a last resort when no other better option is available. So, all in all, I would suggest the OP uses this tactic with caution. 

We have had entirely different experiences that are field dependent. Proceed with caution op.

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1 minute ago, Horb said:

We have had entirely different experiences that are field dependent. Proceed with caution op.

Yes, I think you are right. Proceed with caution. 

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Thank you everybody for your input.

It seems like I'll just have to accept my fully funded offer (at an American school) and then see what happens. If I get a good enough scholarship from LSE in July or full funding from the German program, then I might just have to politely tell the American school that I cannot attend.

The fully-funded American program hadn't been particularly keen on me (they haven't gone out of their way to talk to me and try to recruit me like some of the other schools I was accepted to) and my friend who was in the department for undergrad said they're very ivory tower and not friendly to women and especially women who aren't white, so I don't think they'd be sad to lose me if it comes to that, but I don't want to play games with them. I would just tell them that I am very appreciative of their offer, but due to other obligations and financial reasons, I cannot attend. I don't have to pay any fees, to my knowledge, until I actually enroll, and by that time I'd know more about the other schools.

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I think you are both right. Yes, you need to be careful about cash cow masters -- especially at LSE, which has a large number of programmes that are deliberately hard to distinguish from one another by name, but some of which are mainly intended to extract rents from international students. It's definitely worth trying to figure out which kind of programme the LSE one is. But yes, unwillingness to fund in the UK doesn't mean anything. A tiny minority of UK students gets funding for masters degrees.

As a UK student who was also looking at the US vs Germany vs the UK, the repeated warning I got about Germany was that even at the best programmes at the best schools there's very little in the way of individualised contact time, which is the downside of free education. 

But it sounds like you've worked out the dominant strategy for accepting, so this is moot, really. 

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