Currently viewing the tag: "Paying for Grad School"
As a service to the prospective applicants to Fletcher who are already reading the blog but who don’t yet know about the Rangel Fellowship Program, let me share some information we received Thursday from the Rangel organization.
First, there will be 30 new Rangel Fellows chosen in 2018. The fellows will receive a scholarship of up to $37,500 annually toward tuition, fees, and living expenses.
Second, the application deadline is SEPTEMBER 21. You’ll find the application here.
For those who are truly unfamiliar with these awards, Rangel Fellows receive support for their graduate studies in exchange for several years of service in the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the program from the Rangel website, Twitter, and Facebook.
If that arrangement (fellowship in exchange for future work for the State Department) sounds familiar, you may already have heard about the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. In the past, the Pickering organization has used a January deadline. Keep an eye on the website for more information about applying.
And, not so different, is the USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship, which similarly supports a student’s expenses in exchange for several years of employment with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Payne Fellowship application deadline has also been in January in the past.
All of these programs are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. If your career goals would take you in a completely different direction, then they’re not for you. But if you fall in one of their targeted groups and if you would be interested in a State Department or USAID career, it’s well worth applying.
One of the questions we hear most often at this time of year asks whether students often work on campus and, if so, how they find their jobs. That makes this the perfect opportunity to introduce “Q&A with Cindy” — a new occasional feature in which our Graduate Assistant Cindy will answer some of the questions popping up most often in the Fletcher Admissions inbox. Obviously, Cindy has found herself a job, so let’s have her describe the process.
Even before submitting my application to Fletcher, I was already thinking about how I would support myself while in graduate school. The reality of a Fletcher education is that the tuition and average housing cost you will pay is expensive, but I like to consider it an investment in my future career and professional network. That being said, I started researching right away how to obtain a job either on or off campus.
The JobX website became my best friend the summer before coming to Fletcher, when I was already living in the area after completing my work as a teacher. This website is run by Tufts University and utilized by both employers to post jobs and students to explore what opportunities are available. If you click on “Students” then “Find a Job,” it takes you to a page where you can filter for both on- and off-campus jobs and also whether the job is “work study.”* I was able to get in touch with several employers through this website to obtain more information about positions. I looked at jobs within the Study Abroad Office, Tufts Student Services, The Tisch College of Civic Life, and various undergraduate departments. I was lucky to obtain a summer job before starting at Fletcher, which gave me extra money for living expenses.
My second best friend (or enemy, depending on how many messages I received each day) was my email inbox. At the beginning of my first semester, I was inundated with emails about student organizations, events at Fletcher, classes being offered, and, luckily, available jobs at Fletcher. After sorting through what was important and what was not, I came across an email from the Fletcher Office of Admissions about an open position. One thing led to another, and I am now happily working as a Graduate Assistant with the Admissions Team.
Aside from my particular job, there are other types of employment available to students. You can reach out to professors who teach at Fletcher or at the undergraduate level who may be looking for teaching or research assistants. There are also tutoring positions, sometimes available through the Fletcher Graduate Writing Center. For those of you who are comfortable with the dorm lifestyle, you can look into becoming a Graduate Residence Director. Of course, there is always the option of doing your own off-campus hunt for retail, food service, or other jobs that fit your weekly schedule.
One thing to keep in mind is that whatever job you take will mostly help to cover your living expenses. Realistically, your job earnings will not contribute much towards chipping away at your tuition. Despite this, I hope some of the job information provided above has been helpful to you.
Good luck and happy job hunting!
*Note that people use the phrase “work study” in two ways. One is simply to refer to a job that fits a student schedule. The other is an official program for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Some offices will only hire students who have the official “work study” funding, though many will not impose that restriction.
Most Fletcher students pursue an internship between their first and second years of the MALD or MIB programs. While some internships are paid, and others come with a stipend, many (alas) are unpaid and might be out of reach for students. That’s where Fletcher summer funding comes in. There are quite a few sources of support for internship-pursuing students. At the time of year when students are making their final summer arrangements, here are a few of the announcements I’ve seen lately:
The Blakeley Summer Fellowship will provide stipend funding to up to ten students to support a summer internship in a developing country, with a focus on microfinance, private sector development, public-private partnerships, SME development, or NGO business development.
The Slawson Fellowship will provide stipend funding to one first-year MALD or MIB student who accepts a summer internship with an NGO to work in a developing country. The student must be interested in a career in NGO management, and must be a U.S. citizen returning to Fletcher in fall 2016.
Each year, the Fletcher Alumni of Color Association awards internship stipends to Fletcher students of color pursuing unpaid or partially funded summer opportunities.
The Topal Family Foundation will offer stipend funding to three or more MALD, MA, MIB, LLM, GMAP, or PhD students selected as Topol Scholars in Nonviolent Resistance for summer research or a summer internship that focuses on nonviolent resistance.
The fellowships may not make students wealthy, but they certainly go a long way toward covering travel or living expenses during the summer months.
Continuing to prep readers for the decisions that we will release soon*, I want to share a little insider info on scholarship awards. Fletcher has a source of scholarship funds for new and continuing students. All of the funds allocated for incoming students (including those who applied by the Early Notification deadline and were admitted in December) will be offered as scholarships this month, and admitted students will learn the amount of their scholarship award along with their admission decision.
But the situation is more complex than that. If we have $100 in our special pot of scholarship cash, we don’t simply distribute $100. Instead, we reckon that half of the award recipients will decide to continue working, attend another program, or, for whatever reason, decline our offer of admission. This is predictably the case and, with enrollment history in mind, we actually distribute $200 in scholarships. It’s a gamble, but if we’ve done our math right, it’s a safe gamble.
Why is this relevant for readers? Let’s imagine that Jim and Bill are friends who have applied to Fletcher. Both are admitted and receive $100 scholarships. Bill decides to enroll at Fletcher, but Jim decides to postpone graduate school for a year. Bill knows that Jim has received a $100 scholarship, and Bill would like to claim it for himself. Alas, Jim’s award doesn’t represent actual cash that goes back in the pot.
At the end of the enrollment process, we’ll calculate how much genuine money has been added back to the scholarship account. (Of course, if we make offers of admission to waitlisted candidates, they may also be offered scholarships.) One thing you can be sure of is that we will distribute all of the available funds. We don’t get to use them to order lunch or redecorate the Admissions Office. Scholarship funds are for students, and every last dollar will be offered to someone who will study at Fletcher in the fall.
*soon=end of the business day tomorrow, EST
Applicants who have submitted all their graduate school applications in recent weeks may be thinking that the next two months are free to relax and get on with life. That’s true. Or a little bit true. Or maybe not so true. In fact, I would encourage you to keep thinking about how your graduate school options are going to come together. Specifically, do you have all the financial resources you need for your studies?
Yes, it’s true that some students will receive a full tuition scholarship from the graduate school of their choice. But we also know that both our own students and those of other graduate schools of international affairs are usually drawing from a combination of different financial resources.
One potential resource is income for work during the semester. For most Fletcher students, that means campus work. (Most international students, especially, have few options for work off-campus, given visa regulations.) Last semester, whenever I saw a job posting, I tucked it away in a folder, and I thought I would share a few so that you can get a sense of the range of campus work. Please note that income from a campus job is likely to help you cover some expenses — maybe all of your food expenses — but is not likely to make a serious dent in your tuition. With that in mind, here are a few of the different jobs offered in the fall. Note that these positions are not open now or for fall 2016, but you can be sure that similar postings will appear in each semester.
Work in offices
The Office of Student Affairs is seeking a student to work approximately 10 hours per week starting as soon as possible and continuing to the end of the academic year. The position entails management of the Fletcher Connect Calendar and other student affairs projects during the semester. Duties include heavy administrative work, logistics, and event planning. Interested students should have strong organizational and communication skills, a proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, and an interest in working closely with school administration. A flexible and friendly attitude is also appreciated.
Tufts Telefund: The Tufts Telefund position offers flexible work hours, great pay and a friendly work atmosphere with fellow students. You will forge strong relationships with alumni, parents and friends of the university to raise funds towards scholarships and many other meaningful causes while earning an hourly wage with the opportunity for incentive-based rewards. Student fundraisers are persuasive, energetic and passionate about Tufts University.
Student, Talent Handler, TV Studio: Dual Reporting to Ginn Library and Communications, Public Relations & Marketing (CPR&M). Provides onsite staffing and support for live and pre-recorded television news interviews with faculty and experts of The Fletcher School in keeping with established protocols and processes. Arrives no later than half an hour before scheduled interview to prep and test studio equipment and establish connection with VideoLink; greets talent; assists talent with on-air preparation. Flexibility is a must! There are no set hours — you will work when there is a broadcast, and requests will come in oftentimes with little advance notice. Assignments will be distributed among a pool of handlers to accommodate other commitments.
Fletcher’s Communications, Public Relations & Marketing (CPR&M) office is seeking talented student writers, videographers, photographers, and editors for paid assignments covering events on campus. We will be taking applications for individual positions as well as combined (e.g., Student Photographer/Writer), with a preference for adaptable candidates who possess at least two skills sets and are able to work across different media. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.
Research Assistant Positions
Research Assistant for Humanitarian Technology: Kings College/London, the Overseas Development Institute, and the Feinstein International Center are partnering on a new research initiative that looks at the current humanitarian system, its deficiencies and strengths and how it might be reformed to be more fit for purpose both in the short term and over a 10 to 15-year horizon. One significant component of this Planning from the Future Project (PFF) is a review of technological “game changers.”
Our research assistant will conduct a rapid literature search and review, highlighting these areas:
- Cash (and support programs like Kache); Hawalas, mpesa or e-money transfer systems, etc;
- ODK, KOBO and digital data collection, entry, and analysis platforms;
- ICT/ comms;
- Crisis-mapping and crowd sourcing information;
- Dashboards and data amalgamation/analysis platforms;
- Drones; satellite remote sensing, etc.
- “Big data” ( and protecting personal ID and personal data);
The Research Assistant should have the following qualifications:
- Strong research skills, including the ability to quickly search and summarize diverse literature
- Writing ability (demonstrate previous lit reviews)
- Knowledge of humanitarian technologies
- Availability to begin work immediately, and to contribute 50 hours of effort by middle of November (15-20 hours/ week)
The Office of the Dean is looking to hire a current first year student as research assistant. This position will take on occasional projects given by Dean Jim Stavridis. Requirements include approximately 10-15 hour per week commitment, strong research skills, knowledge of Microsoft PowerPoint, attending occasional meetings with the Dean, and the ability to function as part of a two-person team with a second-year student.
A Fletcher professor and a Brandeis University professor are co-directors of a project on on “Leadership and Negotiation” sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. They are looking for a second-year MALD or PhD student to help them with the project. Candidates should have a strong interest and background in negotiation, leadership, conflict resolution.
Teaching Assistant positions
International law: Every spring several of Fletcher’s International Law faculty teach an undergraduate course on International Law through the Tufts Political Science department. Two Fletcher students are hired each year to help out as coordinating instructor and TA. In addition to attending the weekly lecture, you would also hold office hours each week for an hour and help run three to four review sessions during the semester. The TA position is a two-year commitment so you will need to be at Fletcher next year. You would be the TA for the course this Spring. Next spring you would be the coordinating instructor with a new TA. The TA would ideally have some background in international law.
The TA tasks include the following:
- preparing discussion questions and leading weekly discussion groups;
- helping to organize a moot court exercise;
- running review sessions 3-4 times a semester;
- assisting with general logistics of the course, including grading;
- holding office hours once a week.
Other teaching positions
The Fletcher Graduate Writing Center is accepting applications for writing tutors. The job basics:
- Work one-on-one tutoring fellow Fletcher students in writing skills
- Plan, execute, and assist with periodic writing skill workshops
- A time commitment of 3-6 hours per week – schedules to be arranged after hiring
- The ideal applicant has experience with tutoring AND editing of various kinds with people from a wide array of backgrounds.
Winter Teaching Opportunity at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: Lead a short study group for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts, an adult education program for retirees seeking intellectual stimulation in a convivial atmosphere. No tests. No pressure. No grades. Just the thrill of learning for its own sake. The Institute is currently soliciting proposals for 2- and 4-session study groups for its 4-week winter program, which will run in January and February.
You’ll receive a small honorarium, valuable classroom experience, an opportunity to develop a course in a subject you’re excited about, and the joy of knowing that everyone who signs up for your class has done so out of genuine interest. Study groups generally meet once per week, either on Mondays or Fridays on the Medford campus, or on Wednesdays at a “satellite campus” in Lexington.
I’m a big advocate of using the admissions waiting period (between submitting the application and hearing back from schools) to line up your financial plan. (That’s assuming you haven’t done so already, which is an even better idea!) Today, student blogger Aditi helps you out with information about working on campus, with special notes for international students like herself.
Deciding to come to graduate school is a daunting process, not least because it most often means giving up a regular income for two (or more!) years. For international students in particular, dealing with unfavorable exchanges rates while adjusting to a new environment can be very overwhelming.
Although a few previous blog posts have talked about jobs on campus, they have all referred specifically to teaching or research assistant positions. However, these positions are limited in supply, and most Fletcher students work in more traditional “office” jobs within the larger Tufts community — for example, one of my jobs is helping with prospect research at the Tufts Advancement (fundraising) office.
Before embarking on the hunt for a job, it’s important to bear in mind that international students face certain restrictions to working here, including not being allowed to work off-campus or more than 20 hours a week (though few students can spare the time for that, anyway!). Upon arriving at Fletcher, all international students are briefed on the process they need to go through in order to start working on campus, including getting a social security card once you have a job. Reiko Morris, the international student advisor, is a wonderful resource and always takes the time to answer any questions people have.
Having worked on campus in the U.S. as an undergrad, I came to Fletcher under the assumption that I would find a job soon after arriving, and budgeted for graduate school accordingly. However, it wasn’t until well into my first semester that I found a job — which led to much panic, re-planning my finances, and feeling stressed instead of enjoying my first few months here. I did eventually find two different jobs, and here are some tips I learned along the way:
Finding a job:
- If you’re planning your budget for graduate school with a student job in mind, remind yourself to be patient about finding a job when you get here. I made the mistake of assuming I would get a job quickly, and was stressed when it didn’t happen as fast as I thought it would. In retrospect, I should have given myself at least a semester to settle in and look for a job.
- Fletcher sends around emails to all students when jobs here become available, but remember that there are jobs in the wider Tufts community that are available to Fletcher students as well. There is an online resource (JobX) that you will become familiar with, which is usually the best place to look for student jobs. Remember that in addition to serving as a teaching assistant (TA) for Fletcher classes, you can also look into TA-ing undergraduate courses at Tufts.
- It might seem like a lot of jobs are only open to work-study students (and therefore not to international students), but don’t get discouraged!
- In terms of deciding what kind of job to get, it’s important to be clear on what your goals are: do you want any job that pays, or do you want a job that ties neatly into your academic and career goals? Obviously, it’s ideal if the job does both, but those jobs are rarer to find. If you are very determined to find a job that is directly relevant to you, remember that that might mean spending more time looking, and passing up on other jobs in the meantime.
Managing your time:
- The number of hours per week that Fletcher students work varies considerably. Last semester, I was able to work a full 20 hours per week (which is more than most students do) but of course, this might change based on my courseload in coming semesters. Working 20 hours a week was very challenging, and I had to learn how to manage my time well. It also means that you face a very difficult trade-off in terms of attending all the amazing events, lectures, and parties at Fletcher! One piece of advice I received was particularly helpful in navigating this trade-off, and that was when a friend told me that I have to decide whether financial stress or time-management stress is harder for me to deal with. I decided that financial stress worried me more, and that I could find ways to manage my time efficiently. However, if managing your time well is difficult for you, then it’s probably not a great idea to work more than 10 hours each week.
The process of finding a student job and then working while at Fletcher can be overwhelming, and in retrospect, I wish that I had approached the process more calmly. If you would like to talk more about working on campus as an international student, leave your questions as a comment on this blog. I’d be happy to answer!
Even as you’re putting the final flourishes on your Fletcher application, you should be working on your plan for financing your graduate education. (Even better would be that you already have a plan!) While it’s fine to wait and see what funding you receive from the schools that offer you admission, it’s important to have a plan in place for if you receive less scholarship funding than you hope for.
In that context, I want to bring your attention to the Tufts University Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Through LRAP, alumni who take post-graduation jobs in the public or not-for-profit sectors can receive support for the duration of the time they are making loan repayments. The actual amount each LRAP applicant will receive depends on level of debt and current income. Naturally, there are guidelines for applying, but for those who meet the guidelines, LRAP can be a big help with finances after graduation.
I hasten to note that students should not see LRAP as an invitation to take on more loans than are absolutely needed. Still, the program can be an element of your overall plan for financing your Fletcher studies.
A question that comes up regularly in our emails, conversations, meetings, and info sessions regards opportunities for students to find work as research or teaching assistants. This fall, I snagged several emails publicizing RA/TA opportunities and I thought I’d share them here. I’ve taken out the specifics — the point is to give you an idea of what professors might be looking for, without implying that these exact positions will be available in any given semester. I also don’t want to lead you to think that every student has an RA or TA position. The majority of students who work on campus are supporting office activities. All of those qualifications aside, these notices may help you imagine what would be available whenever you enroll.
1. TA needed for international law course
We are looking for a TA to help with organizing and teaching an undergraduate course taught by Fletcher international law faculty. Ideally, you would have the following qualifications: 1) Background in international law; 2) You would still be at Fletcher next year. You would be the TA for the course this spring, and next spring, you would be the coordinating instructor with another TA.
Your tasks would include the following:
– preparing discussion questions and leading weekly discussion groups;
– helping to organize a moot court exercise;
– assisting with general logistics of the course, including grading;
– holding half of the office hours.
2. A Professor announces the availability of five research assistant positions
Positions 1-3 require assisting in a research and writing project on the fusion between religion and nationalism in Israel, India (the Hindutva Movement in particular), Palestine (Hamas in particular), Sri Lanka, and Serbia. The positions require the assistants to conduct research on manifestations of the fusion between religion and nationalism in one (or two) of the above areas and their policy implications, summarize reading materials, and draft short papers. The successful candidates should have relevant academic background and knowledge about one of the above-mentioned areas and good writing skills. Each position requires 8-10 hours per week.
Position 4 requires assisting in the following tasks: a) coordinating a seminar series for the Fletcher Seminar on International Conflict (three to four seminars per semester); b) preparing the material for a web site page for the INCR program and the various research projects it conducts; c) coordinating the necessary technical steps to design the web site and post the material. This position requires an average of 8 hours per week.
Position 5 requires assistance in a research and writing project on “new paradigms in conflict resolution.” The position requires the assistant to conduct research on major issues in the conflict resolution field, summarize reading materials, and copy-edit drafted chapters. The successful candidate should have relevant academic background and should have taken or should be currently taking D223 at Fletcher or an equivalent course in another institution. This position requires an average of 8-10 hours per week.
3. A research group seeks to hire researchers to complete case study reports as part of its “How Mass Atrocities End” research project.
Project Description: There is no other phase of mass atrocities that is less studied yet more debated than endings. Individual case study analyses of endings are usually characterized by lament over the enormous losses incurred and a hasty summary of the final moments. Debates in policy, activism, and scholarship often take as their starting point a more ideal ending in which outside forces (usually armed) are able, theoretically, to change the ending next time. Actual endings—discussion of when and how large-scale violence against civilians declines in frequency and scale—are notably absent from the discussion.
This project aims to help fill that gap by creating a dataset that focuses exclusively on the ending of atrocities. Researchers will be required to select a case study and complete a report.
4. Researchers needed for Fletcher/ICRC project
This year Fletcher is working with the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) to develop a “Joint Lab” around the issue of conflict migration. The first set of questions focuses on assessing current humanitarian challenges entailed in conflict migration in the Sahel and North Africa. This segment of the work of the Joint Lab is oriented toward building a firm foundation of knowledge on conflict migration in the region, focusing on gathering and analyzing available data related to migration flows and migrant needs, as well as assessing the current networks of local, regional and international organizations engaged in the response to the humanitarian needs of migrants in the region. One or two Research Assistants are needed to help put together a desk review on this topic. We expect a commitment of 6-8 hours a week.
5. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts needs Winter Study Group Leaders
The Osher LLI at Tufts is an adult education program for retirees with one important characteristic in common: a desire for intellectual stimulation in a convivial atmosphere. Which is exactly what our program offers. No tests. No pressure. No grades. Just learning for the sheer joy of it. While most of our classes are led by our own members—”seniors teaching seniors”—we generally supplement our offerings with study groups led by Tufts graduate students, often from Fletcher.
We’re currently soliciting proposals for our 8-week spring 2015 program and we’d love to hear from any Fletcher grad students who might be interested in leading a 4- or 8-session study group for us.
When she was already in Ghana for her summer internship, Diane sent me this final blog post of 2013-2014. I held it, thinking that September would be optimal timing. Current students may want to know about Diane’s search for external scholarships, while applicants may want to know that such a thing is possible. New posts from continuing student bloggers Diane, Liam, and Mark should return soon, and I’ll be adding new voices from among the first-year students.
For prospective students applying to graduate programs, the question of how to pay for a master’s degree is often a huge part of the decision-making process.
While Fletcher was my number one choice in programs going into the application process, the scholarship aid I received from Fletcher also made my enrollment decision very easy. Nonetheless, Fletcher scholarships don’t generally cover the full cost of tuition, and certainly don’t include living costs, leaving me to figure out how to cover the rest.
Like many students who worked for a number of years prior to Fletcher, I had some savings, and I knew I would also need to take a loan. As I did my financial planning, I realized that my savings would be gone by the end of the first year, and I would have to try to find ways to minimize the amount of debt I would be taking on. This led me to the search for external scholarships.
As I reviewed scholarship opportunities, I found myself in the unfortunate position of being an international student from a developed country, but a country that itself offers very few scholarships for international study. This left me searching for scholarships that I often couldn’t apply for. I wasn’t very successful with my applications before starting at Fletcher, and I planned to submit more applications for my second year of study.
Once I was at Fletcher, I found my greatest resource to be my fellow students. I took the opportunity to chat with other international students about scholarships they knew of, and shared information. I also utilized the resources around me — in particular, I took advantage of the writing tutor program, to get feedback on my application essays before I sent them in.
This turned out to be a positive process! I applied for two external scholarships for my second year, and was successful in receiving one of them. Two of my Fletcher friends who had shared with me the process of applying for external scholarships were also successful. This highlights one of my favorite things about Fletcher: the spirit of collaboration, and how this often leads to shared success.
Prof. Bridget Conley-Zilkic at The World Peace Foundation asked me to share their call for proposals for their upcoming competition. I’m happy to do so!
The World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School invites Fletcher students to submit proposals for a two-day seminar to be held on campus in February 2015. WPF seminars offer a rare opportunity for leading experts to engage in incisive, collegial and sustained dialogue on the pressing problems of our day. The student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.
The topic should be related to conflict, security, peace or human rights. The criteria for selecting the winning proposal will be that it is innovative, well-articulated, and relevant to the Foundation’s vision that intellectual leadership is important to promoting peace. Noting that the vision of these seminars is to explore issues that might otherwise not gain attention, the WPF does not make a requirement that the issue should be directly connected to policy outcomes.
All costs will be borne by the WPF, including travel and accommodation for invited participants, catering, costs for interns for organizing and taking notes, and other associated expenses. The competition winners will work with the WPF to organize the seminar, and will be paid a standard hourly rate for their time.
October 10, 2014: deadline for proposals to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 17, 2014: winners announced via email.
February 2015: Seminar held at The Fletcher School
Events that we hosted based on past winning proposals include:
Unlearning Violence: Evidence and Policies for Early Childhood Development and Peace, February 13-14, 2014. Last year we departed from our model and accepted two closely related proposals as winners and hosted an open conference.
Advocacy in Conflict: Methods, Impacts and Ethics, February 28 – March 1, 2013.
More information including detailed proposal guidelines are available on our website.
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