View Full Version : What happens to the funding situation at Michigan

04-01-2007, 10:30 PM
Hi guys, I have got a question about the funding in Michigan, and I am wondering whether someone can help me out.

I am admitted to Michigan, but unfortunately, without funding for the first year. When I looked through the forum, I found most of the people admitted to Michigan are in the same situation as me, while some of them also have offers from very top schools.

However, when I contacted a current graduate student at Michigan, he said it is kind of strange for me. Because as he knows, the department is trying to give every student admitted one-year fellowship in the first year.

So now, I am really confused about the funding situation in Michigan. At first, I thought maybe it is that my academic record is not strong enough, but why is it also the case with those very strong guys who get offers from Chicago or MIT? Later, I came up with an alternative idea that maybe chance is little to get the fellowship as an international student. But that guy I am contacting is also an international student, and it seems he doesn't think this would be a determinant.

It just seems that what that guy said about the general situation in the past is kind of inconsistent with what is reflected by the offer reports in here. Does anyone know what happens?

04-01-2007, 11:34 PM
My impression was that while Michigan does usually offer some first-year fellowships, they are having some budget problems this year. It's a risk at any public university. Your status as an international student will not put you at any disadvantage.

04-01-2007, 11:47 PM
I met with Mary Braun last week, and spoke with one professor at Michigan. I learned that funds for fellowships are very limited this year (more so than last year or the year before that). So only a few applicants have been offered funding. The department ranks applicants, and as higher ranked people reject their funded offers, the offers are passed on to those next in line. This will continue until just before April 15th. I have seen at least one post on this forum from someone who was offered a fellowship in this fashion.

Mary was not able to (or didnt want to!) tell me where I was in the line, or how likely it is that I will be offered aid in the end.

Of course, MIchigan more or less assures students funding in the second year, provided they maintain the required GPA in the first year.

I think enrolled students may not be entirely aware of the amount of funds available for first year students this year (hence, the contrasting opinions / evidence you have seen). Remember, also, that students offered funding are probably more likely to join than students wihtout funding, so statements such as "50% of incoming batch was funded in 2006" won't extrapolate to the entire pool of admitted students.

I have also heard contrasting opinions on whether there is a bias against funding international students. A trusted member of this forum assures me that there is no such bias, but professors in the department have told me there is. :hmm:

good luck,

04-02-2007, 04:58 AM
I'm a currently enrolled student, and I haven't heard anything about the department trying to give every admitted student a first year fellowship. (I'm sure the department would like to do that, but does not have the money!)

What is true is that first year funding is typically fellowship or nothing. First year students are not offered GSI (teaching assistant) positions in the econ department.

jukebox hero
04-02-2007, 02:34 PM
A faculty member there told me that the department has 5 university fellowships to give out to first years this year. I would assume there is no bias towards or away from international students when awarding these. Some first year econ students are also funded by the Population Studies Center and I think maybe by the Ford School. Unfortunately, the Population Studies fellowships are restricted to American students because they are funded by outside grants that make this stipulation. They are also, of course, intended for folks who have shown a strong interest in the kinds of topics that the Population Studies Center researches.

04-02-2007, 08:14 PM
i am an american who was admitted without funding. i basically sent a letter to the dgs explaining my situation very nicely and that i would like to go but with considering financial options i could not. she replied saying there was little chance i could get funding. i did not have offers from other top schools though, so that may have been the reason for the bias against me. i'm not sure though. i have somewhat heterodox leanings too.