Grad school and money

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Applying to graduate school is expensive – application fees, taking tests, seemingly endless transcript requests and score reports, and miscellaneous travel expenses that weren’t reimbursed. All in all, it cost me about $1500 to apply to grad school. If that number seems high to you, consider that many people applying for degrees beyond undergrad pay much more.  I knew applying to grad school wouldn’t be cheap so I budgeted for it and didn’t run into any problems.

I also knew that moving for school would be expensive, but I’m not as prepared for that expense as I’d hoped. That’s partly because I’m not getting paid as much as I expected because of the changed finances of my lab. It’s also partly because moving is going to cost a lot more than I expected since I’m leaving the US. To make it work, I’ll need spend money I don’t have, which I hate to do.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to find out that I’d been selected for a very fancy fellowship. And how terrible it was to find out that this is the first year the fellowship can’t be used outside the US. I haven’t officially turned the fellowship down yet because I need to go buy some chocolate ice-cream before I click the ‘reject’ button on upwards of $120,000.

While the stipend I’ve been offered at Awesome International isn’t as high as the one I would have gotten under the fancy fellowship, it’s still quite good. It’s even high enough to cover my moving expenses and buy a new computer if I’m careful. The problem is that I probably won’t see my stipend until October, so I have to get through several months of unusually high expenses on no income.

As whiney as I’m being here, my situation isn’t as terrible as it seems – once I get my stipend, I can pay off any debt I’ve racked up over the summer.


  1. Clarissa says:

    Wow, the costs have really gone up since I was applying to grad schools. I remember that the entire thing cost me about $300-350.

  2. Ragamuffin says:

    First, a hearty congratulations on your NSF GRFP!! How depressing that you can’t bring it with you… I’m totally behind the chocolate ice cream consolation… 🙁

    Now I understand better your moving concerns — out of country is a much greater endeavor. Well done finding ways to cover it. I’m in the midst of applying for a travel expenses grant myself. I truly hope that your awards will cover you comfortably. You’ve certainly earned that.

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