View Full Version : Application questions about funding

12-17-2014, 04:56 PM
Is there a general guideline about how to answer questions such as this one on Duke's application? I can see both sides: on one hand you don't want to incentivize them not funding you, on the other perhaps you want to maximize admissions odds. Or, perhaps it's utterly irrelevant for admissions.

"If you are admitted to Duke and do not receive financial aid from the university, will you still be able to attend?"

12-17-2014, 06:12 PM
I think it depends on the school. In Susan Athey's graduate school advice, she mentions that some schools won't accept you if they can't offer you enough money to come, but others might give you less funding if you make it seem like you have money. Here's a link to her piece: http://kuznets.fas.harvard.edu/~athey/gradadv.html. Personally, I don't want to go to grad school if I have to pay for it myself, so I answered no to that question.

12-17-2014, 06:18 PM
I answered No to that question at every school that asked, as well.

Some schools, as Econ23 noted, are more likely to offer non-funded admissions. Chicago is particularly known for this, I seem to recall. Some programs specifically have X number of funded offers, and still try to add a few (or more) students that pay their own way. If this is the department's goal, then it becomes a sorting problem after they decide to whom they are going to extend funded offers. This question effectively sorts applicants for them.

12-17-2014, 06:21 PM
From what I know of the program, Duke is incredibly selective and will not admit you unless they view you as valuable (i.e. willing to fund you). Your answer to this question, most likely, will have no effect on your chances of admissions.

12-22-2014, 01:39 PM
Assuming you need funding, you should be honest. An unfunded offer is useless to you.