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aspencolorado
07-24-2007, 09:49 PM
I emailed my vita to North Carolina State University's Econ dept and the prof wrote back today saying that he thought I would certainly be admitted after looking over my vita and courses and letter from my counselor, while making it clear that a) I won't be getting any financial aid without the GRE and b) he was just conveying his personal opinion/feelings and this was in no way an official admit.

Questions -
1) What are the chances I get funding at NCSU after a semester or a year, i.e. after I have shown them I am a good student?

2) If I go to NCSU unsupported, can I support myself with on-campus jobs or off-campus employment or fixing broken bikes on campus, delivering newspapers, moving lawns, etc?

3) Someone mentioned GMU has a part-time program. Is this the part-time PhD program? Can I do ANY Econ PhD part time while working off-campus to support my family?

apropos
07-24-2007, 10:19 PM
I emailed my vita to North Carolina State University's Econ dept and the prof wrote back today saying that he thought I would certainly be admitted after looking over my vita and courses and letter from my counselor, while making it clear that a) I won't be getting any financial aid without the GRE and b) he was just conveying his personal opinion/feelings and this was in no way an official admit.

Questions -
1) What are the chances I get funding at NCSU after a semester or a year, i.e. after I have shown them I am a good student?

2) If I go to NCSU unsupported, can I support myself with on-campus jobs or off-campus employment or fixing broken bikes on campus, delivering newspapers, moving lawns, etc?

3) Someone mentioned GMU has a part-time program. Is this the part-time PhD program? Can I do ANY Econ PhD part time while working off-campus to support my family?

1) This is not set in stone, but most departments do offer funding to all unfunded students who passed the core exams after the first year. At the same, funded students may lose their funding at some universities (like MSU) if they don't do well on those exams.

2) I think doing any serious non-academic work while pursuing a demanding academic program is a losing proposition. As undergrad, I pursued a double major in applied math and economics while fully funding my education at a UC campus on my own while working at least 20 hours in IT, and this did affect my GPA pretty badly seriously constraining the graduate programs I can get into and also made my life a living hell for three years, and I didn't even have to worry about a family. However, it's somewhat reasonable to expect that you could get a normal full-time job while continuing writing your thesis (I have seen this happen before, specially when a student needs to move elsewhere because family, etc).

3) Perhaps, but won't this take much longer to complete your degree? Are you sure you will have the determination to live humbly and be a graduate student for 7-10 years?

Don't worry too much about first year funding. If you get into a big research university like NCSU without funding, you could always use federal financial aid (both, grants and loans) for one year.

aspencolorado
07-24-2007, 11:21 PM
Does this mean that after a year, NCSU will give me funding even if I don't attempt the GRE?

VA_LAC
07-24-2007, 11:48 PM
Approximately half of the entering Ph.D. class of GMU is part-time. It's 10 miles from DC and there are excellent work opportunities available. There's a lot of business support for GMU in Northern Virginia and I expect its ranking will increase with time. The program is only a few years old and they already have two Nobel Prize winners and are probably in the market to buy some more.

apropos
07-25-2007, 05:10 AM
Does this mean that after a year, NCSU will give me funding even if I don't attempt the GRE?


As far as I know, you can't apply to any graduate program in economics without submitting a GRE score. This requirement is usually set by the graduate school as well as the economics departments.As that professor just confirmed to you, the GRE scores (specially the quantitatve section) do matter in the admission process. I guess what that professor what trying to say is that your GRE scores need to be high enough to get funding at that department. How high? I don't know.. but there is no reason you can't get a score in 780-800 range for the quantitative part if you study enough for this test. I studied maybe one week for the quantitative part and ended getting 790/510/5.0. However, when I took the free practice test for the first time, I couldn't finish it in time and got only 680. Basically, it's important that you become familiar with the test format, computer interface, and timing issues even though the questions by themselves in the quantitative part are quite easy.

I heard that the GRE scores are also used as a filter. At many departments, the adcoms might decide that the applications with a GRE score below X in the quantitative section simply will not be considered. Therefore, you should get the highest score you can get in the quantitative section of this test. However, the GRE score by itself does not get one into a graduate degree program.

The verbal and analytical writing parts of this test are not as easy to study for (after all, it takes more than a few weeks to significantly improve one's vocabulary), but don't worry too much about them as long as you can get say 500/4.0.

SMH
07-25-2007, 06:25 AM
aspencolorado, i think you should seriously think about taking the gre, it will not only expand the set of choices available to you but also increase the funding probability, basically you can forget about funding without gre even if you get in some program, also NCSU just states that gre is not required, i am sure they prefer candidates with gre over those without.

budget is surely a problem and i faced it too, what i did was paid all the fees with a credit card and then converted that to an easy installment plan spread out over many months, may be that solves your problem too

good luck!!!

SMH
07-25-2007, 06:28 AM
double post