Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
With my profile I was surprised to get into any school, but now I've even got choices. The two I'm stuck deciding between are Saint Louis University and UIUC (both masters programs). SLU is offering me 19k per year whereas at UIUC I'd likely have to take out loans to pay the tuition (I thought masters students could apply for whatever assistantships might be left after enrolling, but I was told no funding). Would it be worth to take the financial hit for 2 years to get to go to a great school? If I were only doing a masters I would go to SLU, but I am trying to do a PhD as well and would like better chances of getting into a PhD program. There's also someone I would like to work with for a PhD at UIUC, but the math department says they almost never admit their masters students. Does anyone know why this is so? Do they just admit low quality students to their masters program so they have to pay the tuition?
You got it. And as I said, I would have to take out loans to pay the tuition at UIUC. But I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to take out those loans (up to 40k for a 1.5 year program) in hopes of getting into a better grad school for my PhD. All the potential advisors I'd like to do research with are at top schools, including Sheldon Katz at UIUC. I know UIUC says they don't prefer their masters students for PhDs, but what school doesn't like students they know could handle their graduate coursework, interact well with their students and professors, and is hard working? That's why I was immediately offered funding at SLU.
These departments have every incentive to convince you to come there and pay tuition - if there was any truth to the fact that their MS students would have an advantage for PhD admissions, they would let you know. I would take them at their word and not spend $100k and a lifetime of debt for a small chance of having an advantage. Go to SLU, get a 4.0, and then re-apply, in my opinion.
Or I can take on all that debt and bail it once I leave this country. My American credit score will not matter in my home country and it's not like I'll have anything the Americans can take. I'm looking forward to a salary of around 10k USD gross per year (6k net) as a tenure track professor in the capital. Some people in my country even have to pay the university in order to be able to teach as a kind of adjunct. I (unwillingly) renounced all my connections back home as soon as I started transitioning, but I'm hoping a PhD from a decent school in the US will be enough to make up for that. Everyone is running away from my home country but I'm dumb enough (and stubborn enough) to go back, just as I am dumb enough to want a PhD in mathematical string theory.