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Would you accept this scholarship?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am probably going to be offered an assistantship for my second year master's.  Full tuition and $6000 a year stipend.  To take it I will (probably) need to give up my part-time job.  The money is essentially the same; the amount of hours is about the same.  But if I keep my part-time job, I have more salary and more flexibility because I will probably pay some cash for my tuition and put some on student loans.  My student loan debt is not huge and I will be able to pay the whole thing back from divorce settlement.  I will also be getting money from other sources such as alimony and child support.  To get the assistantship I need to be in school full-time (9 credits) and I only need 12 to graduate but I am also working on a Certificate in another department so I was going to take the extra credits anyway.   I feel like the assistantship is an opportunity to make connections, learn more research skills, organize events, etc.  But I give up a job that seems secure (but really may not be because it is a "temporary" job that I will have had for two years.  That part-time job might help me through the period of time between when I graduate and when I find full-time work.  By then that part-time job will be worth nearly $18000 a year, which with child support and other funding I could live on.  But receiving the assistantship would put me in better shape (probably) to get a better job and/or to receive another assistantship for a PhD.  And I am not a young person (although I feel like on in a good way!).  I am 48, but I will have some fairly decent retirement money and a cash cushion when the divorce is final (in 6 months or so).  I am fairly energetic and organized, but I am pretty sure I can't do grad school full-time and work two part-time jobs and still take care of my kids.  Although I have considered it.  I can probably get work tutoring as well because I do that now and other bits of work here and there.  I may get other scholarship money as well. 


This is really a question of giving up cash now for less debt later and giving up security now for potential growth.  And how all of it is going to affect my children.  I will also be giving up paid vacation and sick days, although I don't anticipate that my department will be a stickler about me leaving early if my kids are sick, etc. 


If you read this far, thanks. 

post #2 of 6

It sounds like the assistantship would be a better move for the long term.  I think I would take it if I were in your position.

post #3 of 6

I know you said you don't have a lot of student loan debt, but coming from a 26-year-old with an obscene amount of student loan debt, I'd say take the assistantship, if only to avoid accruing more debt. It also sounds like a better choice in the long term.

post #4 of 6

I would def take the asstship. Apart from anything if you want to apply for a PhD, you'll prbably get a better deal if you've got more teaching experience, plus if you end up looking for an academic job, all your teaching counts.

post #5 of 6

I'd take the assistanship because it will give you much better connections and is more prestigous.

post #6 of 6
Its a ton of work...really...so. much. work. At least it was for me. I'm honestly not sure if I will ever do it again myself. It a great deal for tuition though. Just be prepared to NOT have a life outside campus. If that is good for you, then go for it!
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