markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
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DPT / OTD
Has anyone here asked a school/program for financial assistance?

A professor of mine is encouraging me to write to a particular school about getting financial assistance, in a somewhat tactful way.

A couple of professors have told me it is not uncommon for students to write saying how much they want to come to the school, excited about the program, but that need for financial aid is imperitive.

Have any of you done this? Would you consider doing it?
 
May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
I'm sure that it is acceptable to send a letter. (I'm assuming you've received your acceptance letters?) I would definitely consider it. There are a two programs that would be much higher on my list if the cost was more affordable (granted, I'm comparing them to state school tuition, so it's a bit unfair, lol). If I am accepted, I will likely consider sending a letter saying that while they are my first decision, my financial situation is such that their tuition is a bit out of my reach (or something like that). Then proceed to ask/discuss what options are available for you for funding, and if there is anything you can do to increase the amount of aid you can receive. Also, in your interviews, definitely consider bringing it up.
 

TheOx777

Moderator Emeritus
Jun 25, 2010
477
4
Status
I have sincerely thought about this as well. The COA of all of the programs I applied to is high. Only one of them actually has a Merit Scholarship for "qualified" students, but I am not sure what qualified really means. I have looked into research/teaching assistant opportunities at the programs I applied to. There are limited positions available, and this may help to off-set some costs. Have you looked into this? I have also looked into applying for private scholarships. Just looking on the internet and browsing for grants/scholarships is an option.

I would look on each schools website under their financial aid/grants/scholarship links to see if there are any opportunities. available to you. Also, contact the program coordinator or directors to identify if any "assistantships" are available. Depending on the program, these may be very attractive options.
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
Yes, I received an acceptance from the school, (Pitt, if anyone cares) and they do have on their website that there are a "limited number of merit and need-based scholarships" and I want to find out if they offer assistantships in the form of being a TA and/or research opportunities.

I have been accepted to two great schools, but I hate to say no to Pitt only because of cost...

I am always afraid I am going to offend someone (in any situation), but I mean, they can't take away their acceptance offer, can they? Haha.

Any advice on actual wording? I'm trying to come up with a rough draft now... It just seems like such a touchy subject and I'm not sure how to approach it !:shrug:
 
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May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Don't be afraid to offend someone. If you want, feel free to PM me a draft of your email (ppl tell me I good w/ emails?) and I'd be happy to look it over to make sure there's nothing "offensive" ;). Though, I'm sure it'll be just fine. PT schools understand that the programs aren't cheap, so I'm sure it's not uncommon for them to receive inquiries for tuition aid.
 
May 19, 2009
133
2
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Pitt does have a handful of scholarships (1,000-2,500)/yr. I got one this year, you apply in the fall of your first year. Also, I'm not sure if you realize but you are stipend during your 3rd year, year long clinical. Right now its 1,250/month but there is talk of it going up. Also Pitt freezes your tuition when you enter the program now (just started this year), so you don't have to deal with the Pa. state tuition hikes each year. I'm a 1st year in my 2nd semester and all in all COA will end up being in the low 60's for me. PM if you have any more questions. Pitt doesn't allow DPT students to TA because you just don't have time, the program is very time consuming but I have worked with many Pitt DPT's as an aide and they are all very very good and most importantly they graduate you ready to practice after all the clinical hours which gives you a great opportunity to land the job/residency you want.
 
Nov 3, 2010
203
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Personally, I would rather ask to sit down and ask what aid options they offer and how other current students handle the situation at an appropriate time. You could write a letter too I guess, but if you live there why not before or during the preview day ask?

I'd phrase it as asking to be considered for aid, and that it is important in your decision. I'm honestly sure there are similarly qualified students who are equally interested as well.

Nothing's in the bank til it's actually there. ;)
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
Personally, I would rather ask to sit down and ask what aid options they offer and how other current students handle the situation at an appropriate time. You could write a letter too I guess, but if you live there why not before or during the preview day ask?
Well, I actually live about an hour and a half outside of the 'burgh... My biggest issue is this:

I got accepted to Pitt and have to let them know by Jan 20th and on Jan 15th is a "Preview PT Day" at Pitt for accepted students (Perfect! I didn't get to go to the open house due to the interview at Chatham)

But, then I got accepted to Chatham and they want a decision by December 23rd.

Grrr.... I have PMed a couple of Pitt students, though. :)

Anyway! I didn't want this to be about specific programs because then other people lose out. I was hoping to keep it general! :p (So, this is just a side topic within the main one! haha)
 

jbizzle

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2008
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Markel, is the deposit $500? I'm just saying.....since you didn't get to go to the open house, you may end up really liking Pitt after the preview day. Then how would you decide??? "Gut Feeling" maybe?
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
Markel, is the deposit $500? I'm just saying.....since you didn't get to go to the open house, you may end up really liking Pitt after the preview day. Then how would you decide??? "Gut Feeling" maybe?
Yeah, Chatham and Pitt both require $500 deposits.


I just sent an email to someone this morning... I really honestly need more information on the cost of Pitt's program and how it compares to Chatham since I didn't have a chance to go to the open house in November (it was the same day as my interview at Chatham) and won't be able to visit again until Jan. 15th.

I have considered if I should contact Chatham and ask for an extension on the decision deadline. It makes me uneasy to say "yes" to a school without visiting it, but I feel like I shouldn't make a decision until I have visited both places.
 
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PT Dad

10+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2009
113
3
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Non-Student
Ask for a 1 month extension from Chatham. Most schools will grant it if you ask. My daughter had the same problem as you last year. She was accepted at her two top choices and had a difficult time deciding. Both gave extensions. Here's Pitt's PT financial aid webpage.

http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/student.aspx?id=657
 

callmecrazy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
461
93
Status
Physical Therapist
Has anyone here asked a school/program for financial assistance?

A professor of mine is encouraging me to write to a particular school about getting financial assistance, in a somewhat tactful way.

A couple of professors have told me it is not uncommon for students to write saying how much they want to come to the school, excited about the program, but that need for financial aid is imperitive.

Have any of you done this? Would you consider doing it?
I've never heard of this, but I think it could be a great idea. I don't see any harm, as long as you approach it professionally and tactfully. They may just ignore it or turn you down, but I don't see a problem with trying. I actually know of a few cases where students have negotiated other issues similarly and had a positive outcome.

That being said, contrary to what is stated above, there are TA opportunities for DPT students at Pitt. The TAs for neuroscience are always 2nd year students, and if I remember correctly, 3rd year students have TA'd the Kines course as well. Though I don't know what, if any, reimbursement is involved.
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
I've never heard of this, but I think it could be a great idea. I don't see any harm, as long as you approach it professionally and tactfully. They may just ignore it or turn you down, but I don't see a problem with trying. I actually know of a few cases where students have negotiated other issues similarly and had a positive outcome.

That being said, contrary to what is stated above, there are TA opportunities for DPT students at Pitt. The TAs for neuroscience are always 2nd year students, and if I remember correctly, 3rd year students have TA'd the Kines course as well. Though I don't know what, if any, reimbursement is involved.
Thanks, I was hoping you'd eventually see this post (not like you have finals to study for or anything, haha). I did send out an email, so we'll see what information I get back-- I pretty much just said, hey what financial options are available beyond student loans/chances of getting the help.

The reason I'm inquiring about TA is because of my previous education degree (although elementary, i did teach some in HS and tutored a lot of my classmates in college) and I thought it would be fun (yes, I like to cram myself with even more!)
 

callmecrazy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
461
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Physical Therapist
The reason I'm inquiring about TA is because of my previous education degree (although elementary, i did teach some in HS and tutored a lot of my classmates in college) and I thought it would be fun (yes, I like to cram myself with even more!)
The neuro TAing is in the Spring of 2nd year. During that semester you don't have a clinical and you only have class 3 days/week. However, like I said, I don't know if/what the compensation is for that, and it's only available that semester. Will respond to your PM with a couple other opportunities too.
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
I have considered if I should contact Chatham and ask for an extension on the decision deadline. It makes me uneasy to say "yes" to a school without visiting it, but I feel like I shouldn't make a decision until I have visited both places.
Well, I'm up the river without a paddle... I asked for an extension and am not able to get one since I was an early decision candidate. The only thing I can do is to place myself on the waitlist. That seems unintelligent to me. I don't want to waitlist myself and run the chance of not going to school at all (if I for whatever reason felt that I couldn't fit in at Pitt). So, if I do not give them $500 by Dec 23, then I am out of luck.

This makes everything about 2700x more complicated.
 
May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Do it. It sucks, because it's more money lost, but really, whats another $500 in the grand scheme of tens of thousands of dollars for your education? Don't be the one to take this opportunity away from yourself. The advantage is, you only applied to two schools, so you just have to decide between them. And if you need more time, well, you literally have to buy it right now. It will allow you to make the right, if not simply a better, decision about where you obtain your DPT. Trust me, after applying to 8 schools and having money keep disappearing from my bank account...I'm not looking forward to when interviews and acceptances start rolling in....but then again, it's a small price to pay to get where I want to go. Don't place yourself on the waitlist. You got in to Chatham and deserve a spot there if Pitt does not work out.
 
Sep 12, 2010
31
0
Status
markel,

Congrats on Pitt and Chatham! I have been wondering about aid as well...definitely let me know how that turns out for you. I'll be going to the Pitt preview day as well...I'll probably chat with people at the preview about assistance, but I'd like to hear about anything you find out. Congrats again and maybe I'll see you in January!:thumbup:
 
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markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
markel,

Congrats on Pitt and Chatham! I have been wondering about aid as well...definitely let me know how that turns out for you. I'll be going to the Pitt preview day as well...I'll probably chat with people at the preview about assistance, but I'd like to hear about anything you find out. Congrats again and maybe I'll see you in January!:thumbup:
The lady that I spoke with on the phone was very nice, but told me that she would be honest in saying there aren't many opportunities for aid. I still may come to Pitt preview day, but I'm pretty set on Chatham (because of this and other reasons...Chatham has about the same # of potential small scholarship chances, and I figure their program is smaller so I'd only be up against 30 instead of like 60.)

I did get some other info from some current students, I can forward it to you if you'd like. :)