Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

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InquilineKea
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Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:15 pm

http://www.usnews.com/articles/educatio ... -2011.html

Okay so I'm thinking that these budget cuts might reduce the number of graduate students many of these universities can take. And as a result, they might make graduate admissions at these universities more competitive. I'm considering applying to the universities with less stringent budget cuts - not only because they might make graduate admissions more competitive, but also because they might decrease the quality of the graduate student experience too. Do I have a valid concern in this?

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HappyQuark
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:03 pm

InquilineKea wrote:http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/paying-for-college/2010/07/12/most-public-colleges-face-budget-cut-threats-in-2011.html

Okay so I'm thinking that these budget cuts might reduce the number of graduate students many of these universities can take. And as a result, they might make graduate admissions at these universities more competitive. I'm considering applying to the universities with less stringent budget cuts - not only because they might make graduate admissions more competitive, but also because they might decrease the quality of the graduate student experience too. Do I have a valid concern in this?


I don't think it is unreasonable to be worried about education budget problems or to factor this into your school selection process. With that said, if you are going to avoid universities with a 'High' or 'Very High' budget crisis, then where are you going to go? North Dakota? Arkansas? Alaska? Wyoming? It's unfortunate but true that most of the states that weren't heavily affected by the economic 'crisis' don't tend to have top level universities and in the long run you are likely to be better off if you go to the best school you possibly can.

geshi
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby geshi » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:59 pm

Another solution is to focus on private schools as less of their money comes from the government than public schools. That can lead to other problems (e.g. a lot of private schools that have PhD programs have smaller graduate departments - but not all do).

I'd also agree with everything HappyQuark said.

coffeecoffeecoffee
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby coffeecoffeecoffee » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:07 pm

geshi wrote:Another solution is to focus on private schools as less of their money comes from the government than public schools. That can lead to other problems (e.g. a lot of private schools that have PhD programs have smaller graduate departments - but not all do).

I'd also agree with everything HappyQuark said.


This is very good advice. The public universities are much more anxious about budget woes than the wealthy, private universities.

Strategies to reduce this risk are to apply to a number of schools (at least 5), different programs (physics, applied physics, engineering physics), and even schools in different countries, if possible.

--

How to Get Into Grad School, tips from a current Ph.D. student

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:02 pm

Ah yes, these are all good replies.

Hm, it seems that some schools could be particularly hard-hit. See Wisconsin for example (http://www.alternet.org/news/150067/wor ... rom_speech). I know the source is biased, but the deep cuts are undeniable

bfollinprm
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:28 pm

InquilineKea wrote:Ah yes, these are all good replies.

Hm, it seems that some schools could be particularly hard-hit. See Wisconsin for example (http://www.alternet.org/news/150067/wor ... rom_speech). I know the source is biased, but the deep cuts are undeniable


There are cuts everywhere. I think the biggest change for most of us is that schools have a limited ability to handle larger-than-anticipated classes, so we're going to have to wait longer for acceptances than in the past (assuming you aren't a top applicant). In terms of total number of students being accepted, for most school I bet this hasn't changed much. Most physics research is funded by outside grants, which haven't been as affected, so what's really affected are TA's and fellowships. But TA's are still needed (they're way cheaper than any other way to get the same work done), and very few people are solely funded by fellowships.

If some school has 25 open TAs and 5 fellowships, they can admit 30 people. In the past, if they accidentally admitted 35, they could find something for the other 5 to be funded with. That might not be true anymore, so you might see that school accept only 30 people, and put a ton of people on the waitlist. It also might be possible that a few of those TA's would be taken up by second years, but most people move on to RA positions after their first year anyway, and I don't think that will be affected much.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:39 pm

Ah, thanks for the reply, bfollinprm. Those are good points that we need to consider

==

Hm, Penn State might be hurt hard:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110310/ap_ ... NkZWVwaGk-

But Penn State has never faced a cut as severe as the one Corbett proposed, said Spanier, calling it the most dramatic appropriation cut in the history of U.S. higher education.

This year the school received $330 million from the state and had requested $360 million next year; Corbett proposed $165 million. That figure stunned university officials, Spanier said.


Wisconsin will be hit too, but not as hard:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 93223.html

t2kburl
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby t2kburl » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:01 pm

A major factor in my decision to decline my offers from the Wisconsin schools was the budget issues. UW-Madison ECE told me I should be prepared to pay my own way (which I'm not) and the news projects 10% or more increases tuition. No thanks. Great school, but I'm in enough debt already!

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midwestphysics
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:12 am

t2kburl wrote:A major factor in my decision to decline my offers from the Wisconsin schools was the budget issues. UW-Madison ECE told me I should be prepared to pay my own way (which I'm not) and the news projects 10% or more increases tuition. No thanks. Great school, but I'm in enough debt already!


I'd do the same thing, though I'm glad that they told you beforehand. I'd be unbelievably pissed if you found out you had to pay your way 2 years or so in.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:49 am

Ugh:

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110308/ ... 1144a.html

The US Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown last week by passing a continuing resolution to fund federal activities until 18 March. But the two-week reprieve is prolonging scientists' anxiety over the final 2011 budget that may emerge from negotiations between the Republican-majority House and the Democrat-majority Senate. The delay is also raising fears about how drastic the cuts to science might be.

"It's a time of great uncertainty and the [scientific] community is very concerned," says John Marburger, vice-president for research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. At his university, researchers continue to put in proposals for federal funding, but they worry that a tighter budget will reduce success rates. Marburger, who was science adviser to former president George W. Bush, has spoken out against the cuts proposed by House Republicans. Postdocs and graduate students, who, he estimates, make up 80% of researchers supported by federal grants, will be hit hardest. "It will put people out on the streets."

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:03 pm

Even though TAs are still needed, though, budget cuts are also cutting the number of TAs.

I've actually had a number of classes where they couldn't afford a TA so a professor had to do the grading.

See this, for example:

College administrators say they've mitigated impacts by cutting support services, paring back administrators, eliminating low-enrollment programs, dropping teaching assistants and reorganizing departments.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/e ... ts19m.html

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/l ... ts16m.html

bfollinprm
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:57 pm

InquilineKea wrote:Even though TAs are still needed, though, budget cuts are also cutting the number of TAs.

I've actually had a number of classes where they couldn't afford a TA so a professor had to do the grading.



TA's will be cut, but physics programs won't die out. They're so small in the first place, and cost so little to keep running (once setup) that they aren't good targets for budget cuts. Maybe some upper-level classes will lose their TA's, but the average freshman physics class can't manage with less instructional time already budgeted. My impression is most TA's work in a freshman physics class, grading papers for med school students who need the class for the MCATS.
Last edited by bfollinprm on Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sphy
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby sphy » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:14 pm

coffeecoffeecoffee wrote:How to Get Into Grad School, tips from a current Ph.D. student

I got this when I clicked on How to get Into Grad School.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:35 pm

TA's will be cut, but physics programs won't die out. They're so small in the first place, and cost so little to keep running (once setup) that they aren't good targets for budget cuts. Maybe some upper-level classes will lose their TA's, but the average freshman physics class can't manage with less instructional time already budgeted. My impression is most TA's work in a freshman physics class, grading papers for med school students who need the class for the MCATS.


It really varies from school to school. My school has a lot of tutorial sections for their freshman level physics classes (it's also one of the only schools that has a physics education group) - and that's an area where they could afford to cut out TAs (and potentially, the number of students they could admit).

bfollinprm
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:37 pm

InquilineKea wrote:
TA's will be cut, but physics programs won't die out. They're so small in the first place, and cost so little to keep running (once setup) that they aren't good targets for budget cuts. Maybe some upper-level classes will lose their TA's, but the average freshman physics class can't manage with less instructional time already budgeted. My impression is most TA's work in a freshman physics class, grading papers for med school students who need the class for the MCATS.


It really varies from school to school. My school has a lot of tutorial sections for their freshman level physics classes (it's also one of the only schools that has a physics education group) - and that's an area where they could afford to cut out TAs (and potentially, the number of students they could admit).


Bet that pissed off the pre-med students.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:39 pm

Heh, I don't think the premeds really care. The TAs in tutorial sections don't even help out with regular physics homework - they lead sessions for qualitative problem solving. These sessions have their own problems that are independent of the regular physics homework

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby InquilineKea » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:38 am

Ughh, does anyone think that a federal budget shutdown could really affect things? =/

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Dorian_Mode
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby Dorian_Mode » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:06 am

Right now I'm just hoping it doesn't affect the conference I'm supposed to attend this month. I mean, I don't think it should, but it is run by a government agency.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Budget Cutoff Threats in 2011 and their Impact

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:00 am

InquilineKea wrote:Ughh, does anyone think that a federal budget shutdown could really affect things? =/


Probably not




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