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futureapppsy2

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Just out of curiosity, I've been looking the costs versus funding offered by university-based PsyD programs, and it seems that very, very few (the usual suspects: Baylor, Rutgers, IU-P, Virginia Consortium) actually offer full or significant funding to all or almost all students. Many offer, say a 1/3 off tuition with a GAship to some of the students, but, although helpful, that still leaves significant loan debt. Others offer students pretty much nothing. In contrast, a vast majority of university-based PhD programs, even the more balanced/clinically-focused ones, offer full funding to all or almost all students


I have a good deal of respect for many of these programs academically and professionally and think they produce excellent psychologists, but I honestly don't know if I'd recommend a program that wasn't fully or almost fully funded (say, full tuition waiver but no/only a small stipend) to people just based on the financial reality alone.

What do you think?
 

Pragma

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Well I don't think that you can say a program is any better or worse at training students because they do not offer funding.

However, for me at least, being funded had a psychological effect. It let me know that my department was investing in me and wanted me to succeed. I was happy to work hard and I have a strong sense of unity with my program. I go back to give talks and am happy to do so. Knowing that my school valued me and my potential enough to pay for me and that I was there on their dime made me loyal (I think rightfully so).

If I werent' funded, I may have viewed my education differently. But my program was amazing so I maybe would have still loved it if I were paying :)
 
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JeyRo

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Just out of curiosity, I've been looking the costs versus funding offered by university-based PsyD programs, and it seems that very, very few (the usual suspects: Baylor, Rutgers, IU-P, Virginia Consortium) actually offer full or significant funding to all or almost all students. Many offer, say a 1/3 off tuition with a GAship to some of the students, but, although helpful, that still leaves significant loan debt. Others offer students pretty much nothing. In contrast, a vast majority of university-based PhD programs, even the more balanced/clinically-focused ones, offer full funding to all or almost all students


I have a good deal of respect for many of these programs academically and professionally and think they produce excellent psychologists, but I honestly don't know if I'd recommend a program that wasn't fully or almost fully funded (say, full tuition waiver but no/only a small stipend) to people just based on the financial reality alone.

What do you think?

For a not-insignificant, but likely pretty small minority, cost isn't a big issue (e.g., independently wealthy, rich parents or family, etc). Aside from that, I would agree. Knowing what I know now as a graduate of an unfunded program, I would certainly strongly recommend people stay away from unfunded programs.

I also agree with what Pragma said that funding / no funding isn't determinative of the quality of an education or the quality of the student (although it does seem to correlate fairly well).
 

KillerDiller

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The hard lesson learned is that you shouldn't go anywhere that doesn't cover the vast majority of costs. The profession Is manageable with low/no debt.

I'm curious what people would consider to be low or manageable debt. Would 65K (total academic debt) be a good benchmark because it is the median income?
 

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Many factors have to be considered based on an individual's current income and goals. What seems plausible for one person would not work for another person. My situation is different from others student situations. So, since there are different means to the goals it is difficult to generalize. Some students are wealthy and go to Stanford and hire research assistants to help with their research whereas another student may not have the wealth and needs to have funding to attend a program.

I will complete the doctoral degree in 2013 and complete an APA approved internship beginning in September 2012 through August 2013. I am a nontraditional student with adequate income from my masters level licensure so I have made in the $60,000 to $80,000 dollar range the past twenty years. To give up my salaried position for a funded RA or TA position was not an option. I did not want a RA or TA position during my doctoral degree whereas a younger student who did not have a good salary would like to have an RA or a TA position at low wages.

Granted, I am an older student and I consulted with my accountant and he recommended taking out student loans to fund my program as it is a great tax deduction and when I begin paying back the $700 per month loan over ten years, I will still be able to deduct the interest on my student loans. I own two houses and rent out one house but a younger student may not be able to use the student loan for tax benefit.

So, my opinion is that you really have to evaluate funding or non-funding based on your individual life circumstances.
 
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JeyRo

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I'm curious what people would consider to be low or manageable debt. Would 65K (total academic debt) be a good benchmark because it is the median income?

I think that's reasonable. I've also heard that if you're paying 10 percent or less of your income (net? gross? I forget) for your debt AT THE VERY MOST then you're considered "manageable."
 

wigflip

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However, for me at least, being funded had a psychological effect. It let me know that my department was investing in me and wanted me to succeed...Knowing that my school valued me and my potential enough to pay for me and that I was there on their dime made me loyal

I think this is why it's probably not only important to try for funded programs, but try for programs where all incoming students receive the same funding across the board. The "haves" vs. "have-nots" intra-cohort dynamic sucks--in part because profs treat you differentially right from the start based on your funding package (I know this is more typical in non-psych disciplines like mine, but I also know folks in psych doctoral programs who receive more or less funding than others in their cohort).
 

paramour

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Many factors have to be considered based on an individual's current income and goals. What seems plausible for one person would not work for another person. My situation is different from others student situations. So, since there are different means to the goals it is difficult to generalize. Some students are wealthy and go to Stanford and hire research assistants to help with their research whereas another student may not have the wealth and needs to have funding to attend a program.

I will complete the doctoral degree in 2013 and complete an APA approved internship beginning in September 2012 through August 2013. I am a nontraditional student with adequate income from my masters level licensure so I have made in the $60,000 to $80,000 dollar range the past twenty years. To give up my salaried position for a funded RA or TA position was not an option. I did not want a RA or TA position during my doctoral degree whereas a younger student who did not have a good salary would like to have an RA or a TA position at low wages.

Granted, I am an older student and I consulted with my accountant and he recommended taking out student loans to fund my program as it is a great tax deduction and when I begin paying back the $700 per month loan over ten years, I will still be able to deduct the interest on my student loans. I own two houses and rent out one house but a younger student may not be able to use the student loan for tax benefit.

So, my opinion is that you really have to evaluate funding or non-funding based on your individual life circumstances.

Er, I think now you're discounting folks' individual situations. I earned a relatively decent salary in the past and I gave that up to go to grad school (and I know there are others around here who have as well). I know I'm not the only one who sucked it up for an assistantship that provided funding. We all weren't "happy" to give up a solid income with benefits to earn a meager pittance, but we did it. Even the folks I know who didn't give up good-paying jobs aren't especially pleased with their stipends. They're better than nothing, but c'mon, we're not exactly raking in the dough here. There are other reasons for assistantships than just to make money, y'know. ;)

In the meantime, I declined my funding/assistantship offer for the current academic year, and I just recently declined my offer for the next year to boot. I can tell you that I don't have tons of money/wealth behind me or any savings to fall back on to pay myself, much less research assistants to do my work (hell, we get volunteers anyway! :thumbup:).
 

Pragma

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I think this is why it's probably not only important to try for funded programs, but try for programs where all incoming students receive the same funding across the board. The "haves" vs. "have-nots" intra-cohort dynamic sucks--in part because profs treat you differentially right from the start based on your funding package (I know this is more typical in non-psych disciplines like mine, but I also know folks in psych doctoral programs who receive more or less funding than others in their cohort).

Yeah good point! I guess there used to be some of that in my former program, but when I got there they had created a Department-wide policy where all students, regardless of subspecialization within psychology, got the same stipend. Everyone was paid the same, unless a student happened to go get their own funding (e.g. NIH Fellowship).

I think that is how it should be. The problem with it is when you have faculty who get external funding vs. some who are less productive in that sense. In those situations, they may have to "subsidize" students in other programs to some degree. But that wasn't a problem for students.
 
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