Title: Decipher Your Stipend Offer Letter
Format: Live Lecture with Q&A (In Person or Remote)
Intended Audience: prospective graduate students receiving stipends
Length: 60 minutes
Timing: January to March
Summary: The stipend offer letters that graduate schools send out tend to be flattering to the recipients but difficult to understand. This presentation teaches prospective graduate students how to analyze their stipend offer letters to figure out what is truly being offered to them and what is expected of them. They will learn the key words to watch for in offer letters and what additional questions they need to ask of their prospective departments. Ultimately, they will compare their offers to one another directly by factoring in the local cost of living in each city.
- Factors in choosing your graduate school
- Why money in graduate school matters
- What is a typical funding offer for your field? (research assistantships vs. teaching assistantships vs. fellowships, funding guarantees, part-year stipends)
- What is your stipend and why are you receiving it? (calculate take-home pay, work requirement)
- What does your university expect from you? (fees, fee amount trajectory, residency)
- What are your benefits? (health insurance, unions)
- Compare your stipend to the local cost of living
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