Jump to content

Admitted but not sure what's next


Recommended Posts

I'm not sure what the next steps are here, so I appreciate any advice. I am a post-bacc student in the sciences, and learned about an open, funded graduate research assistant (master's) position at my university. I expressed interest to the advisor, we met and chatted, then I had some informal interviews with committee members (they've already been chosen for this study). Everything went well, so I applied to the graduate school for summer 2017 admission (per the advisor's instruction). I received my admissions letter right before Christmas. I have not received word about funding, or anything specific from the department or the advisor. I realize the holiday break is probably the reason for the delay.

Should I e-mail the advisor to let him know that I received the admissions letter? Do funding details typically come after the admissions letter? 

I don't want to be pushy/overzealous, but I also received a job offer over the break, and the amount of funding is the make or break on my grad school vs job decision. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I went through that process the funding was discussed separately from the admissions, and was dealt with by someone other than my advisor. If funding is key to your decision there are a couple of things I would point out. Funding can mean different things...my first semester I was a TA with a teaching obligation which paid me, but I had to pay the school for tuition/fees. I then moved to an RA and am on fellowship money so my tuition/fees are paid and I get paid, too. In both cases my family health insurance was generously subsidized. A TA/RA-ship can pay you without covering your cost of attending (or may get you instate rates if your are not normally classified as such). Then, if your tuition is covered you want to know if your fees are covered too, as they (I'm sure you know) can be a decent chunk of money.

While this might not give you specific advice, I am just trying to give your some of the things that might be of concern to you. You might start by asking the PI about this, and if they are not funding you with a grant of theirs they may be able to point you in the right direction. It is not unreasonable to want to know what the situation is, how else can you make plans?


Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is incredibly helpful - thank you so much for responding! 

From what I understand, the advisor received an NSF grant a while ago to fund this RA position, but it must be used by September 2019. They had selected a graduate student in early 2016, but she flaked out at the last minute. He was planning to advertise it again widely, but I contacted him first, and I don't think he wanted to go through the process again if someone was interested and qualified. He said that a tuition waiver would be included. Thank you for the tip about fees - they are substantial. The university has a graduate student union, and the contract specifies that all RA positions must include subsidized health insurance. But, these are all things I will definitely double check.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sounds like it is pretty well buttoned up (excepting the fee question). After you get it set up it should be pretty smooth....direct deposit and there will probably an admin of sorts who will take care of the tuition bill. Once you meet this gatekeeper you will probably just hand over your tuition bill and presto magic. Oh, depending on your uni, your pay/tuition waiver may not preclude you from applying to and receiving institutional awards which might help supplement your wages.

Congratulations, you should be proud of yourself! That is a good spot to be in, and my understanding of my similar situation is that it is not terribly common for MS students.

Edited by Quickmick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I wanted to update in case anyone else had a similar question.

The admissions letter I received in December was from the university graduate office. I did end up e-mailing my adviser, and he said the department was just ironing out details about the tuition waiver. Yesterday I received the admissions letter from the specific department, as well as an appointment letter that detailed the RA position expectations and funding. So, the gap was a little nerve-wracking because I wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but it all worked out.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use