Penn State's offer too good to be true?

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karlweierstrass
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Penn State's offer too good to be true?

Post by karlweierstrass » Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:51 pm

Hi all!

I have been accepted to Penn State with a TAship of $28.5k with some summer support. This comes to $2.5k per month. I contacted Penn State's current grad students and the cost of living are as follows:

Rent $500-700, (maximum) Food: $700, other expenses: $200. Thus one wouldn't spend more than $1600 per month.

Current grad students say they receive $2200 per month after tax deduction. That saves them a minimum of $600 per month which is insane, right? I always thought a Ph.D. stipend is just to make ends meet and students don't save that much money.

Is there a catch here? Am I missing something? Why are they offering so much extra money?

Cheers!
Last edited by karlweierstrass on Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

nguyen99
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:08 pm

Re: Penn State's offer too good to be true?

Post by nguyen99 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:16 am

karlweierstrass wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:51 pm
Hi all!

I have been accepted to Penn State with a TAship of $28.5k for 10-months and a minimum of $1,000 summer support. This comes to a minimum of $2.5k per month. I contacted Penn State's current grad students and the cost of living are as follows:

Rent $500-700, (maximum) Food: $700, other expenses: $200. Thus one wouldn't spend more than $1600 per month.

Current grad students say they receive $2200 per month after tax deduction. That saves them a minimum of $600 per month which is insane, right? I always thought a Ph.D. stipend is just to make ends meet and students don't save that much money. (One of the grad students at PSU told me I could even save ~$1,000 if I am frugal enough and get some deals on rent and cook my own food. In fact, some of the students bought their own car in the first year itself.)

Is there a catch here? Am I missing something?

Cheers!
It's one way to attract students I think. To some applicants they might choose say Penn State over Ohio State (or UIC/Davis/Santa Barbara) due to the increased funding and low cost of living.

Cyclicduck
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Penn State's offer too good to be true?

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:29 am

karlweierstrass wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:51 pm
That saves them a minimum of $600 per month which is insane, right?
This is "too good to be true" for you? Really? Really??? I can't tell if you're joking...

karlweierstrass
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Re: Penn State's offer too good to be true?

Post by karlweierstrass » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:53 am

Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:29 am
karlweierstrass wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:51 pm
That saves them a minimum of $600 per month which is insane, right?
This is "too good to be true" for you? Really? Really??? I can't tell if you're joking...
The reason I was astonished is that this is my first time realizing one can save so much money while doing their Ph.D. Normally grad schools just pay enough to allow one to sustain and maybe save a little.

Moreover, I have been told that most of their grad students have a very demanding TA workload which doesn't even decrease a lot in subsequent years. This leaves lesser time to do research which by the way is the main point of doing a Ph.D.
Last edited by karlweierstrass on Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: Penn State's offer too good to be true?

Post by pkzrd » Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:02 am

karlweierstrass wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:53 am
Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:29 am
karlweierstrass wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:51 pm
That saves them a minimum of $600 per month which is insane, right?
This is "too good to be true" for you? Really? Really??? I can't tell if you're joking...
The reason I was astonished is that this is my first time realizing one can save so much money while doing their Ph.D. Normally grad schools just pay enough to allow one to sustain and maybe save a little.

Moreover, I have been told that most of their grad students that they have a very demanding TA workload which doesn't even decrease a lot in subsequent years. This leaves lesser time to do research which by the way is the main point of doing a Ph.D.
I thought graduate students are supposed to be cheap labors for schools, especially the public ones lol



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