Which is TRUE about GRADUATE SCHOOL!?!?!?





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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Which is TRUE about GRADUATE SCHOOL!?!?!?
By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Iím intending on getting my Ph.D. in a biological field so I can work as a biologist.

Iíve heard so many mixed comments about what I should do for college, and I want to get the facts straight.

A) Iíve been told that only graduate work matters. My state school is highly ranked (in the top 60), and Iíd get a decent education from it, so Iíve been recommended to go there, and save my money for graduate school.

B) Iíve been told, and have found from many reliable sources, that the fees for graduate school in my field (biology) are waived! If in fact this is true, Iíd have nothing to worry about financially; my family will have no problems or complaints in paying for 4 years of college for me.

Which is true?

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 10:27 pm: Edit

:)Bump:)

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit

Bump, bump...

By Barrons (Barrons) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit

The latter. Any PhD student worth a dime is fully funded--tuition plus expenses.

By Topcat0214 (Topcat0214) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:45 pm: Edit

True, in your field, grad students usually get tuition waiver and stipend. HOWEVER, the stipend is often barely enough to pay living expenses...so saving money in undergrad isn't a bad strategy - as long as you think you'd be satisfied at your state univ.

By Rana (Rana) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 12:52 am: Edit

what is your state school?

By Fakeplastictree (Fakeplastictree) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 03:24 am: Edit

Hey! What feilds get fee waivers?

Probably not English...damn...

By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 04:21 am: Edit

Understand that to receive fee waivers as a graduate student means that you are usually working for a professor, the department, or someone somehwere or that your fees/tuition are being paid for out of the money from a grant (where you have been hired to work as part of a research team, for example). You will generally work long hours for what amounts to minimum wage for this priviledge. "Work" can be anything from research team member, to TA, to research assistant (i.e. "gofor"), to any other of a variety of tasks. This is how the system works: use underpaid, overworked grad students as labor on a well-funded project/grant or to teach those well-paying undergrads. It's a very symbiotic relationship: you get lower tuition costs (even free) and exposure in your field of study or a chance to participate in funded research, while they get low paid, highly qualified help.

But, as Topcat writes, this may not cover your living expenses. I know many a PhD student working an outside job (such as seamstress, in one case, or restaurant server in the other) to make ends meet. And not all private colleges nor all fields of study provide these opportunities. Professional programs can be quite expensive (recall all those med students who owe big bucks for med school...that's not their undergrad work they're talking about!!).

By Caspase (Caspase) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 05:38 am: Edit

I also agree with your assertion in part (A). Of course, a great undergrad program can help you get into a good grad school, but in the long run, only grad school matters. However, the personal benefits of a rigourous academic experience can not be argued against.

By Goofy (Goofy) on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 06:50 pm: Edit

The funding depends very much on the school you choose to go to for your graduate degree. At my school, it is not only sufficient, its downright generous. I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle as far as money goes. True, the work is hard, and there is a lot of it. However, any grad student worth his weight in library fines knows that the work you do in your grad career is what propells you forwards, including the RA and TA work. Private universities, I might add, are MORE likely to provide funding for grad studies, not vice versa. They simply have more moola to flash - per student that is. Also, its important where the university is. While Princeton is a fantastic school, the living costs are very high. This is not true for all "good" schools, though often times the funding is similar, thus more money in your pocket.

my .02


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