Funding TA

guthria
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Funding TA

Postby guthria » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:17 am

Hi,

I was wondering what the typical stipends are for first year graduate students. As I am an international, I have no way of telling what is a 'generous' stipend, and what is a stipend that will require me to supplement it with my own money, if I need to live comfortably.

I understand that this differs from place to place- so would it be acceptable to email graduate students at the universities I am considering, and asking about the cost of living there?

This is because I have received two offers as of now, with about 10,000$ difference in the TAships offered, and I am considering both schools quite seriously.

twinb87
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Re: Funding TA

Postby twinb87 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:28 am

That is perfectly acceptable and it is certainly a good idea. If one of the schools happens to be UMD-College Park you can ask me.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Funding TA

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:45 am

guthria wrote:Hi,

I was wondering what the typical stipends are for first year graduate students. As I am an international, I have no way of telling what is a 'generous' stipend, and what is a stipend that will require me to supplement it with my own money, if I need to live comfortably.

I understand that this differs from place to place- so would it be acceptable to email graduate students at the universities I am considering, and asking about the cost of living there?

This is because I have received two offers as of now, with about 10,000$ difference in the TAships offered, and I am considering both schools quite seriously.


Search for apartments in the immediate area and compare them to each other. Housing will be the biggest difference in cost of living. You can also use bestplaces.net to come up with a rough idea of the cost of living in different cities.

-Riley

pqortic
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Re: Funding TA

Postby pqortic » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:55 am

the 50% TA funding without any fellowship or award is enough to have a normal life in the area, like other graduate students. it's actually a little bit more. the rate of expenses to stipend is also almost the same for universities in U.S.

t2kburl
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Re: Funding TA

Postby t2kburl » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:49 am

you can also find general cost of living data by searching the cities you are interested in on city-data.com or bestplaces.net

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grae313
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Re: Funding TA

Postby grae313 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:11 pm

guthria wrote:I was wondering what the typical stipends are for first year graduate students.
Browse the profiles threads from past years. People typically list their financial offer next to the schools they were accepted to. Range is typically $15k-$30k.

guthria wrote: would it be acceptable to email graduate students at the universities I am considering, and asking about the cost of living there?
No. Google "cost of living" and the first few links will give you all the information you need. Check the local Craigslist to confirm housing prices.

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grae313
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Re: Funding TA

Postby grae313 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:14 pm

pqortic wrote:the rate of expenses to stipend is also almost the same for universities in U.S.


I disagree. My financial offers from Stanford, Berkeley, and Cornell were very comparable, but the cost of living in Ithaca is almost half of the cost of living in the bay area. I'm rolling in dough.

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grae313
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Re: Funding TA

Postby grae313 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:16 pm

Guthria, you should post your profile.

guthria
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Re: Funding TA

Postby guthria » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:40 pm

grae, I am waiting to hear back from my schools. I will certainly post my profile once I am done. :)

guthria
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Re: Funding TA

Postby guthria » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:50 pm

Thanks for the responses, everyone.

I have been offered the 50% TA stipend, and am glad to hear it is fine. The cost of living seems similar and relatively low in both these places, as compared to places in California and NY, so it still is a bit surprising that there is such a vast difference in the two offers.

I think, if I hear back from my other schools in a couple of weeks, I should be better able to judge my situation, and be able to ask more detailed questions.

Thanks a lot!

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Funding TA

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:30 pm

guthria wrote:The cost of living seems similar and relatively low in both these places, as compared to places in California and NY, so it still is a bit surprising that there is such a vast difference in the two offers.


In all of my research of schools, I've only come to find that California and New York City are the only "problem" areas for cost of living in comparison to the stipend. Even in these areas however, I think the stipend would be enough to get you by at the bare minimum if not more.

-Riley

guthria
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Re: Funding TA

Postby guthria » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:15 am

So I decided to stop being paranoid and post my profile.

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grae313
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Re: Funding TA

Postby grae313 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:23 am

Thanks :)

Riley, I remember my offer from UW Seattle being underwhelming.

You're always going to get paid enough to live on at a good University, but in some places you have to be a bit careful with your budget. In others, not so much.

axiomofchoice
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Re: Funding TA

Postby axiomofchoice » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:40 pm

grae313 wrote:Riley, I remember my offer from UW Seattle being underwhelming.


It still is :?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Funding TA

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:23 pm

grae313 wrote:Thanks :)

Riley, I remember my offer from UW Seattle being underwhelming.

You're always going to get paid enough to live on at a good University, but in some places you have to be a bit careful with your budget. In others, not so much.


Wow, I just looked back at your profile. That is ridiculously low. But in general, I think it is safe to say most schools in Physics offer enough money to survive off of.

-Riley

bfollinprm
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Re: Funding TA

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:36 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
grae313 wrote:Thanks :)

Riley, I remember my offer from UW Seattle being underwhelming.

You're always going to get paid enough to live on at a good University, but in some places you have to be a bit careful with your budget. In others, not so much.


Wow, I just looked back at your profile. That is ridiculously low. But in general, I think it is safe to say most schools in Physics offer enough money to survive off of.

-Riley


I'd almost refuse a 14k TAship. It's almost not worth it--I'd just pick up a job tutoring SATs for 10 hours a week.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Funding TA

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:44 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
grae313 wrote:Thanks :)

Riley, I remember my offer from UW Seattle being underwhelming.

You're always going to get paid enough to live on at a good University, but in some places you have to be a bit careful with your budget. In others, not so much.


Wow, I just looked back at your profile. That is ridiculously low. But in general, I think it is safe to say most schools in Physics offer enough money to survive off of.

-Riley


I'd imagine that most universities recognize that a grad student that is dead due to insufficient food, housing, medical care, etc. typically does lower quality research than the living ones.

Really, it's in their own best interest to help us not starve.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Funding TA

Postby CarlBrannen » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:17 pm

Seattle is certainly not an inexpensive place to live. Rent is high, and food is expensive. On the other hand there's no state income tax. And I suppose they have some grad student housing that's cheap.




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