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Thread: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

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    Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

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    Hello all,

    I was lucky to be a winner of a competitive funding prize for students from over 15 countries in Europe. The prize is quite restrictive (only 1-2 students get it), awarded purely based on academic merit and is meant to be an addition to schools' funding. I have communicated this info to the all the places I applied to right away in hope that it may provide the adcom's with some external validation. Do you think this has an impact if the committee members know about the prize? It is quite known in Europe. I am unsure about the USA, but that is where most of my schools are, as they are in the top 15.
    Last edited by sargeras23; 01-19-2019 at 11:20 AM.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    How much funding?

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    As it would be very easy to find my name if I give the exact amount, I hope it is okay to say that it is enough to cover living expenses only for a couple of years.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by sargeras23 View Post
    As it would be very easy to find my name if I give the exact amount, I hope it is okay to say that it is enough to cover living expenses only for a couple of years.
    So you're saying it's worth 2-3 years of a grad school stipend? That's a lot of funding, so I'd definitely notify schools about that (in fact, many applications explicitly state that you should update them on such info). I guess the only exception would be schools that explicitly say on their website "We will only consider info submitted with your application. Do not e-mail us with any updates after that, including your fall grades."

    Curious to hear what the faculty on this forum have to say about this.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    That's right! Perhaps not three, but it indeed is a generous prize. Of course, it is conditional on me getting admitted, so I hope it may increase my chances slightly. I notified the schools about it in the meantime. (didn't receive responses from all though)

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    It is not that helpful. If the award covered tuition expenses than it would be helpful, but living expenses is not that attractive because most students cover their living expenses with activities that generate the department money, such as teaching.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    Thank you for the reply. I was hoping that it might be a signal of value of some sort since it is quite a difficult prize to get and it is given mainly based on current research. But, oh well, it certainly won't hurt to have it.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    It definitely won't hurt, but I also don't think it will help that much -- especially if the award is not that well known. Now, if you had won something like the NSF (which covers both tuition and stipend IIRC), then that would be a different story.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by sargeras23 View Post
    Thank you for the reply. I was hoping that it might be a signal of value of some sort since it is quite a difficult prize to get and it is given mainly based on current research. But, oh well, it certainly won't hurt to have it.
    Well, it might. Unfortunately, we cannot answer that because you cannot tell us what it is heh heh.

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    Re: Does winning a competitive funding prize increase chance of admissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaysa View Post
    living expenses is not that attractive because most students cover their living expenses with activities that generate the department money, such as teaching.
    I thought most 1st and 2nd year students get stipend funding "for free" without any teaching obligations. In the program's perspective, is it not attractive for applicants to bring in funding for 1st & 2nd year stipends rather than using up university fellowships that they could give to someone else?

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