Post # 1
This is for all you grad school bees out there. I applied to two different Masters programs last semester, and didn’t get into the first one (I wrote a post about it). However- I did get into the second one! AND they have offered me an assistantship! Which means free tuition, and a salary of roughly $12,000 a year. I’m so excited…however, I can’t live off of 12,000 a year.
I know you’re not supposed to have another job if you accept an assistantship. I did just accept a job a few months ago that I REALLY like, and if they allow me to cut down to part time, I would love to try to juggle both. My question is…is that illegal? And if not, have you ever done it? I’ve talked to grad students that wait tables on the side, but I’m not one for crazy rule breaking…I wouldn’t want to be kicked out of my program. Does anyone know how this works? Or have any advice?
BTW: The assistantship would be 20 hours a week of being a TA. I think I’ll most likely be grading assignments for an online class.
Post # 3
Lord, I am a course lecturer and you’ll outearn me substantially!
The rules differ school to school, I’d imagine. Mine has a kind of jerky rule about them getting to take away TAships/RAships if you earn the promised amount through an outside job. The solution? Like grad students you’ve talked to, those who work outside skirt the rules carefully. Keep your outside life private. Obviously take that with a grain of salt because your program might keep very strict tabs. I’ve taken on outside research consultations when I’ve been working as a TA and RA, but it was through a connection from my supervisor, as she understood I was totally broke and needed the money. Other friends of mine have done something similar, doing research consultancies. I know others in my program have waited tables/worked as baristas/etc, and have just been quiet about it. Really, outside of your courses and work hours, what you do with your time should be your own concern as long as it doesn’t impact your ability to work.
Post # 4
I had an assistantship during grad school and one of the girls who worked with me had a part-time job on the side. I’ve never heard anything about it being illegal, but it might vary from school to school.
Congrats on being accepted!
Post # 5
I had an assistantship during the spring semester, and while I don’t know if having another job would have broken any rules, I can’t imagine having to work another job! I was so swamped with my assistantship and my grad school classes, it would have been really difficult and stressful to take on another job.
Are you sure you can’t live off of $12,000 a year? My first year teaching I made $32,000 and was living in Chicago, which is a pretty expensive city. I managed to save over half of my yearly salary (I saved about $18,000). If you budget carefully and live within your means, that salary can be enough!
Post # 6
Just wanted to say YAY for getting accepted and getting a sweet offer!
I hope you can work some on the side 🙂
Post # 7
I was a 20 hour/week TA in a masters program and there wasn’t any way I could have taken another job. My pay was similar and it sucked, but I was able to live off it. The program was pretty strict about it, too. I guess it makes sense- you can’t be totally committed to the program if you’re juggling too many things. What will you be studying?
Post # 8
I’m an RA and I can’t imagine taking another job. Firstly, if they find out you’re working on the side you can lose the assistantship or even get kicked out of the program. Secondly, I don’t know how you’d have the time. My assistantship is “20 hours a week”, but my advisor expects at least 40. In top of that, you’ll have to find time for research and classes and the workload expectations are generally a lot more than undergrad.
I think the best strategy is to budget like crazy and live like a poor student. Like a PP, I’ve lived on around 10k per year in grad school. It’s nice to always fun, but it’s doable if you’re willing to change your lifestyle and stick to a budget.
Post # 9
I am very lucky to have a very generous stipend with my assistanship, so I haven’t held down a second job, but based on how rigorous my program was, it would have been nearly impossible to find the time to do it! Between taking classes and either teaching/research obligations, I barely had time to eat/sleep my first year of grad school! Although, I am in chemistry and attending a top 10 school, so it may not be like that everywhere.
I agree with PP, I would try to bunker down and live like a poor student so you can take advantage of the offer! Not to pry, but does your DH pull in enough money that you guys could live off that plus the stipend for a few years?
Post # 10
I turned down an assistantship. They only offered me 20 hours per week. I graduate in May so…I’m going to work as a Teacher’s Assistant for a High School to make ends meet. Personally, I can’t live off of 20 hours per week.
Post # 11
@rrobins7: Wow, did the assistantship cover tuition too? Because while assistantship don’t pay a ton, once you factor in the tuition and health insurance, etc, they are usually a good deal! So for me living like a pauper is a fair trade off to not have to take out loans $30K/year for 5 years for tuition!
Post # 12
First of all, congratulations on your sweet deal! Not many get such offers! 😉
Second, I received a full ride as well to grad school with the assistanceship, but I do receive a $2,500 stipend. Unfortunately, the stipend is per semester, not per month.
Mine is not a teaching position, though, but a research one. However, I do have the option of not renewing the assistantship if I don’t want to continue doing it, and it doesn’t affect my tuition or stipend. I am in my final season of collegiate sports, and it makes it hard to have a full-time job. But once it’s over, I think I’m going to drop the assistantship (which I’ll only be making $10 an hour with an IT degree? Pfft.) to take the full-time job I was offered for a lot more money.
But my classes are all online even though I’m in town.
Some colleges are stricter than others about jobs, but I think if you are honest about the professor you are assisting, they are willing to work with you. But even if you can keep the assistantship and get another job on the side, know that you are getting a great deal. It’s a blessing not to get a ton of debt in pursuit of education. I would see if maybe you could get a stipend in addition to the job? Or at least more than 20 hours a week? It’s worth asking!
Post # 13
@ChemistryBride: No! It actually did not cover tuition.! You would think so being that it’s a State University though…! (Hmmm…) I completely relate with living like a pauper!! Yikes!! I cannot wait to MAY 2013!!
Post # 14
Secondly, in my experience it has been more a case of “you can’t have another job at the university“, although in my case I actually did wind up with another job, with 10 hours there, and my academic department had to have the dean of the school sign off on it, which was fairly routine as I was in good academic standing. Though I had a graduate assistantship, which may have different rules. Also, some of my co-GAs definitely had outside jobs, and there was no problem with it. But that’s how that department worked, and it may be very different other places.
What you might want to do is call whatever office you think might know (if your school has a “Graduate School Office” or similar, that would be a good bet) to see if it is a no-go to have another job with the offer you’ve been given. I say call there rather than ask your department so that you can ask without them knowing who you are.
Good luck! And also, though others have said it, that is a killer stipend. It might take some major lifestyle adjustments, but I promise you a person can live off of less than that. I have!