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post #61 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
I've called them and basically the answer was 'that's great for you, and we'd love to offer you funding, but we simply do not have the funds available to offer anyone funding, let alone you.'

I just thought of something new.. should I call Tech and be like blah blah UVA, and see if they bump the offer? Or why fuck with a good thing?

I don't know if they even can bump their offer.

Call them and tell them you have an unfunded offer from UVA. Ask for more money and see what they say. I'd bet this will be an awkward conversation.
post #62 of 260
I have an MA in History from a top-five school. Not the most practical decision in the world, but it opened a TON of doors for me and the debt I accrued was a total joke compared to the ROI. Do what interests you and you'll turn out well.

One caveat, I went Ivy League. Even if UVA is top-notch for English it may not have the name recognition to other folks.

Hope this helps!
post #63 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly7 View Post
There are people at top institutions (Harvard, Stanford, CMU, etc. etc.) that got an MS/ME from an institution different than their PhD/SciD institution. That is, they got their MS and then were accepted into PhD/SciD programs. If you're a qualified applicant, programs won't necessarily disqualify you for having been in a masters program first. This is purely skeptical, but I would guess that a large number of colleges realize that people often go back for their MS / PhD while working, so they may not do it all at once. I do know for a fact that engineering firms will pay for their top employees to go back and get Master's degrees, apply that knowledge at work for a while, and then will often pay for a 3-5 year hiatus for PhD work. Those programs offer lots of real-world knowledge or utility, much of which can aid in the research these firms do.

Engineering and the sciences are somewhat different. In many top science PhD programs, they'll actually hold getting a job after undergrad against you. They want people with 100% dedication to research, and they tend to think that people who got a job first are just second guessing their career track, not that they're really dedicated to PhD level research. A lot of times they're right.
post #64 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly7 View Post
He can try, but I doubt that they'll do anything. Unless he was their top applicant, they'll just go "whatever, get one of the waitlist kids that would DIE to get into here on the phone."

I've known a couple people who have gotten more money this way, although it is a long shot and the amount they got wasn't exactly that great in most cases. However, all the people I know who have done it were accepted to PhD programs, not masters programs.
post #65 of 260
I don't see how it's that big a decision:

1) You need the PhD long term, right?

2) The teaching experience you'll get at VT will be worth more than the name "UVA" on your master's. Add in some conference submissions or whatever.

3) If you get a PhD, nobody cares where your MS came from.

That's justification that doesn't include $70K.
post #66 of 260
One question, why are you split between an advanced degree in History and English? Isn't that like being split between an advanced degree in physics and biology? My point being these are two totally different paths.

Teger, it really shouldn't take five pages for you to get that option 2 is better. You don't want to be saddled with $35k/year in debt with an MA in english just so you can go to your "dream" school. There are no jobs that will make it possible to comfortably pay the debt payments.

When you're 40, that you didn't go to your "dream" school will mean nothing to you. That you have no student loans to pay for will mean much more.

I have a friend in a phd program for neuro biology. The thought of going to an unfunded program didn't cross his mind. He's in his 4th choice school in UNC because the big dogs wouldn't take him but is having a blast boning his 21 year old girl friend, living like a king in a college town on 10-15k in funding, and gets to get drunk once or twice a week again. Oh yeah and is pursuing what he worked tooth and nail for in College and M.A.
post #67 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
The only reason I'm tempted to even accept the UVA offer is - a. it's my dream school, and b. where I live, a degree from UVA, any degree, really opens doors. People talk about UVA like it is Harvard, and even if it's not justified (I don't think it is), there's still that perception.
So you're basing your decision on a.) a gut feeling and b.) anecdotal perception.
post #68 of 260
It is amazing how well you can live in grad school on practically nothing. I was never so rich as I was then.

A full prof said to me at the time "I was never so rich as was in grad school" and I was dismissive but I later came to understand.
post #69 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekunk07 View Post
when choosing this kind of grad degree, is important to look at the big picture: which will net you the 30k job you want at 30 years old?
post #70 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post

I was waiting for someone to catch that. Very witty
post #71 of 260
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
It is amazing how well you can live in grad school on practically nothing. I was never so rich as I was then.

A full prof said to me at the time "I was never so rich as was in grad school" and I was dismissive but I later came to understand.

every time one of my 23 year old friends who is struggling at some terrible job calls me to complain, i open another beer and post on SF.
post #72 of 260
Note: I have a science PhD. This somewhat colors my opinion here.

I have heard from many people: if you have to pay for a PhD, you shouldn't be doing it. In the sciences, if you're not getting paid to work on your PhD, it's a sign you shouldn't be doing it.

There's several levels to this: you don't want to be in debt up to your eyeballs, especially if you're going into a field with low pay (humanity academics). It's also a sign that you may not actually be an outstanding student. If you didn't excel in undergrad, you are quite probably deluding yourself to think that you'll be a rock star in a PhD program. If you are trying to get a faculty job, you need to be a rock star. It is not at all easy to be one of those rock stars, even if you're someone who killed it in undergrad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
One question, why are you split between an advanced degree in History and English? Isn't that like being split between an advanced degree in physics and biology? My point being these are two totally different paths.
This is also a pretty good point. You should be 100% balls-to-the-wall passionate about something to even consider getting a PhD. I'm not even talking "damn I like chemistry," but "Damn I like the chemistry of transition metal compounds and am tremendously interested in learning more about their quantum mechanical principles in the gas phase, because my previous research in solid-phase work was not fulfilling." Fill in something relevant for English/History. You might not have an exact topic in mind (I didn't know mine when I went to grad school), but you should be way into at least a subsection of your chosen field. If you can't even decide which field you want to study, maybe you should question why exactly you're going to grad school. "I wanna be a professor" probably isn't going to get you through.



There's also the economic considerations, but you know that. Getting a PhD in the humanities actually lowers your lifetime earnings potential. You'd damn well better love it, especially to consider going into debt for it (even working for free for five+ years).
post #73 of 260
If a program offers you funding, then that generally means they will be committed to making you successful. I wouldn't go to a program that wasn't willing to invest in me.
post #74 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
every time one of my 23 year old friends who is struggling at some terrible job calls me to complain, i open another beer and post on SF.

I do the same thing when my 40 year old friends with advanced humanities degrees call me to bitch about how their 20 year old Volvo needs a new part. I tell them they should just lease a new MB every three years.
post #75 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
I do the same thing when my 40 year old friends with advanced humanities degrees call me to bitch about how their 20 year old Volvo needs a new part. I tell them they should just lease a new MB every three years.
"B-but...you have nothing to show after a lease!"
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