Thursday, October 14, 2010

Post-recession PhD funding scenario in USA

The recession that began in December 2007 and hit the US economy badly has finally reached an end and the recovery has begun. The ‘National Bureau of Economic Research’ has declared that 18 month long recession finally hit a trough in June 2009 and the economy is recovering. What is it’s implication on PhD funding?
Well, because of the recession many universities are facing financial crisis. Many of the state universities are facing budget cuts and hence, they have reduced the number of PhD students significantly. The private universities are also facing financial crisis because of less projects available. So in 2009 and 2010, it was relatively harder to secure funding even for them who thought they might easily secure a funding. The situation has become worse for International students. Hopefully in the recovery phase the funding situation will improve but it may take another 2-3 years to return back to initial level.
The recession has not only decreased the funds available for the PhD students but also increased the competition for it. As many of the undergrads who are unable to find a job continue their education to graduate level. However, this does not mean that funding is not available at all. The universities are still offering TA/RA ship to its students.
So presently it’s recommended to have a better GRE score and other credentials in order to secure funding. Even US students are recommended to score at least 1200 GRE with 740+ in quants in order to secure admission with assistantship in a good university.

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