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The Taboo Topic: Funding

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Hi everyone!

I literally just signed up and wish that I had known about this forum months ago! It would have been wonderful to deal with the stress of receiving rejection/acceptance/waitlist answers along side everyone else.

That said, I've seen a lot of discussion on the acceptance/denial process and even a new forum on where people are deciding to go. But what I'm essentially coming down to in my decision between the schools I've been accepted to is money. (Which is awful, I know, but financial constraints suck.)

So, I was wondering several things:

1. Does anyone know if some universities offer different students different amounts of funding? The program I'm most familiar with (did my undergrad and masters there) does NOT play the game of "We're going to offer THIS student more than this other student." Which, I really appreciate. But, I'm a little worried that the program I'm considering going to for my PhD does "play favorites", so to speak.

And 2. Has anyone attempted to negotiate when it comes to funding offers? And have they had any success? I know that the worst a program can do is essentially tell me no, but I don't know if that's really something people do at this stage in the process.

Thanks in advance for any insight/advice/help!

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My gut tells me that yes, some universities do offer different students different amounts of funding, but I don't have much to base that on so go ahead and sprinkle some salt on that answer. 

But for your second question, yes you can absolutely negotiate. One of the programs I'm considering actually encouraged us to negotiate and let them know what other funding offers we have gotten so they can compete. I was able to successfully negotiate there for 4 additional summers of funding. . 

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