How do you suggest I proceed with appealing for scholarship funds?
March 5, 2012 12:10 PM   Subscribe

I was not granted scholarship funds for my first year of graduate school. However, per my advisor I do have the option to appeal so I can possibly receive funds for my second year. Have you ever made an appeal for a scholarship or grant? Were you successful in doing so? And finally, do you have any suggestions on how to approach writing the appeal?
posted by helios410 to Education (4 answers total)
I'm not sure there's a "one-size-fits-all" answer for your question. This type of thing varies quite a bit among institutions and departments.

I, for example, am one of a number of doc students in my department who did not get funding my first year of study, but I've been on a fellowship grant ever since. As has the rest of my cohort -- these opportunities came up after the first year. At the graduate level, getting funding frequently has to do with being in the right place to hear about grants, scholarships, assistantships, etc. The first year can be tough because you're relying on the formal contacts and processes to do this -- and it doesn't always work out.

It's not clear to me what kinds of "funds" you are most interested in from your question, but I would make sure you are talking to your adviser and other faculty in your department about your interest in getting funding so you will hear of opportunities when they come up.
posted by pantarei70 at 1:23 PM on March 5, 2012

This is so institution- and department-dependent that you're best off discussing this with your advisor. See if they can put you in touch with other students in your department who have successfully appealed, and if these students are willing to share their appeal or provide some guidance on how to go about it. Also, who are you appealing to? Sometimes you may be able to get guidance from whichever group or institution reviews your appeal.
posted by needled at 1:59 PM on March 5, 2012

I have a good friend who successfully did this.

Her arguments were:
1. She had been informally promised scholarship funding when she chose to do her PhD at our university. If she had known that there was, in fact, no prospect of it, she would have gone elsewhere.
2. She still might go elsewhere. She had looked into transferring and had several offers at other universities.
3. Her coursework grades and undergraduate transcript were superior to that of fellow students who did get scholarships (her peers agreed to provide copies of theirs as supporting evidence).

Her letter was ignored, and she sought a private meeting with the Dean (at which I was present). She laid all this out, and the Dean granted her a scholarship on the spot. This is only possible if the Dean (or whoever you approach) actually has access to some discretionary funding, which will vary from program to program.
posted by lollusc at 6:25 PM on March 5, 2012

Oh, and my friend actually still had the email in which her head of department had told her there would "most likely" be funding available if she accepted their offer. So she was able to provide evidence that she had been (deliberately) misled. (There was actually no funding in the budget; all scholarships for that year had already been given out; the policy said you couldn't apply for scholarships after enrolment, and the HOD would have known all of this.)

This is all presumably not the case for you, so you'll need to play a different angle.
posted by lollusc at 6:28 PM on March 5, 2012

« Older Introduce me to meditation properly   |   Voracious Living Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.