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Opinion
Megan McArdle

Read This Before You Apply to Grad School

Why it's not enough to have funding for graduate school.

If you're thinking about going to graduate school, read this before you apply. It's an open spreadsheet where graduates have posted about their debt levels, why they acquired so much debt, and how they're planning to pay it off.

Note that a lot of these people had funding. Before they go to grad school, people are warned that you shouldn't go unless you're fully funded (tuition paid, some sort of research or teaching stipend). And that's absolutely correct. If a Ph.D. program admits you without funding, it's telling you that it doesn't care whether you come; the program is willing to take your money, but not willing to invest in you. That means you won't have access to the opportunities and support required to have a viable career in academia.