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It was so close.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling really down right now. I'm going back to school in September to do a Master's degree and I had applied for a research grant from the government.

Well, I just found out that I didn't get it.

Just to apply to the bursary, you need a GPA of at least 3.7, good reference letters and a good research application. Well, in the category I was in, they received 28 applications and were giving away 7 grants. I came in 9th.

Yeah, I know, I was close. But that's no consolation right now. It was a lot of money and I really could have used it. Instead, I'll have to scrape every last penny I have in my savings and possibly take out loans just to pay for school.

This sucks!

It also makes me question whether or not going to grad school is such a great idea. I mean, I don't mind paying for my Masters, but this might be a sign that I'm not all that good and will have a hard time ever finding a job, or even getting to my PhD.

Still, there's no way I'm going through the rest of my life as an office worker, doing the same thing every day.

Sorry to be so negative. I'll be fine, really. I just need to vent right now.
post #2 of 13
Just remember that not getting the grant doesn't mean that you weren't good enough. It just means that there were more qualified people ahead of you - that has nothing to do with your own expertise and ability.

The fact that you came in ninth out of 28 is excellent! And it says that you have a lot of potential either to reapply at some future point in time, if you can, or that you will do well when you apply for something else.

Don't let this get you down.
post #3 of 13
Well, Id say not to worry about it. I started a Masters in September 2006, and quickly transferred into the PhD program. THERE IS TONS OF FUNDING AVAILABLE. Government, industry, private....etc etc. It has been my experience (and I am president of our Students Association) that if you are pursuing graduate studies, you will not accumulate debt doing so. Most schools in Canada/USA will guarantee you a minimum amount of funding (for tuition and living expenses )while you are there; some places make you TA to "earn" this money...Thing is, you will find out that as a grad student you do ALL the work that brings in grant funding. It is in your supervisors interest to make sure you are funded. A graduate co-ordinator will be an invaluable resource. Lots of people dont "begin" with funding, including me -I did not have funding prior to the start of my degree. I now have more funding than I can accept, and if you have good grades and references, I would suggest the same will happen for you.
Higher Education is ALWAYS a worthwhile investment. Even if you did have to accumulate some more debt, the personal and financial rewards you will earn for the rest of your life are well worth it!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Februa View Post
Well, Id say not to worry about it. I started a Masters in September 2006, and quickly transferred into the PhD program. THERE IS TONS OF FUNDING AVAILABLE. Government, industry, private....etc etc. It has been my experience (and I am president of our Students Association) that if you are pursuing graduate studies, you will not accumulate debt doing so. Most schools in Canada/USA will guarantee you a minimum amount of funding (for tuition and living expenses )while you are there; some places make you TA to "earn" this money...Thing is, you will find out that as a grad student you do ALL the work that brings in grant funding. It is in your supervisors interest to make sure you are funded. A graduate co-ordinator will be an invaluable resource. Lots of people dont "begin" with funding, including me -I did not have funding prior to the start of my degree. I now have more funding than I can accept, and if you have good grades and references, I would suggest the same will happen for you.
Higher Education is ALWAYS a worthwhile investment. Even if you did have to accumulate some more debt, the personal and financial rewards you will earn for the rest of your life are well worth it!
Thanks. I'll keep my head up and hopefully more money will come my way. So far I have some part-time work waiting for me, as a TA and a RA. Together these add up to 10K. I have also been nominated for an entrance bursary (5K) but it's far from certain that I'll get it. Still, that does not pay the rent, food, tuition and books for 2 years. I have been saving up every penny I could for the last year, and I should be able to scrape by. Still, I was really hoping to be able to use at least a small part of my savings to travel this summer.

edit to add: unfortunately, since I am studying history, there is not much funding from private sources. It's basically either the government or the university. I'm out of luck with the government and I don't think there's much else I could get from the university.
post #5 of 13
Every time I've considered an advanced degree, I decided all it would do for me would be to let me be underemployed at a higher level of expertise.
post #6 of 13
Have you considered going going back part-time? Is that an option?

My eldest is working on his MBA while working a full-time job. He takes 6-8 hours a semester and is just about halfway through the program. His company is paying part of the cost of the classes as long as he keeps his grades up - a reason he hasn't left yet.

My younger son is getting ready to do the same, but in his major.

The youngest is getting bachelors in 3 weeks, but is actually working on her masters already. The university offers this option just in her major - the senior year of college is taken on the health science center campus taking graduate level courses that also count toward her bachelors. She doesn't have the option of going part-time, same with many degrees in the medical field.
post #7 of 13
Aw! It sucks but try to think positive!

My cousin's husband spent several years after college applying to med schools before he got in one. He ended up graduating at the top of his class once he did get in, and then he specialized and was offered a good 'cushy' position even before he finished his residency.

It worked out for him and I know something will work out for you too!
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
Just remember that not getting the grant doesn't mean that you weren't good enough. It just means that there were more qualified people ahead of you - that has nothing to do with your own expertise and ability.

The fact that you came in ninth out of 28 is excellent! And it says that you have a lot of potential either to reapply at some future point in time, if you can, or that you will do well when you apply for something else.

Don't let this get you down.



You did your best, and that's all that you can do. Keep your chin up: something will work out for you.

~KK~
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Awww.... thanks everyone. I'm trying to cheer myself up, but it's not working right now.

I emailed my supervisor and he said he was surprised that they gave so few grants and he said that coming in 9th was a huge achievement. Eventually I'm sure I can manage to be proud of myself for that, but right now I just think that I'm poor and that I wasn't quite good enough to deserve a grant.

As for doing it part time, that's not really an option I want to consider. It would mean giving up working as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the university (which I would love to do, and would give me a lot of valuable experience) in order to keep working my office job (which I don't like, and has nothing to do with my field). Worst case scenario, I'll apply for student loans for my second year if I have to.
post #10 of 13
Bah, go out and get drunk to drown your sorrows

Sorry you didn't get the grant, but Government only gives money to what they care about at that moment in time IMO. Not getting the grant is no reflection on you or your research, it's just not their current top priority. Being placed 9th certainly means there are opportunities for the future.

Good luck
post #11 of 13
Honey, there were 28 applications...you came in 9th. Sure, you didn't get the grant, but good golly you were way up at the top of the list! That means something.
post #12 of 13
Oh honey, I'm sorry you didn't get it, and it really sucks to miss it by that little bit. But, this was only one grant, right? I can't believe the government only offers ONE grant for research. Also, check into scholarships with some of the government branches, ie Smithsonian or something similar (whatever goes along with your history degree). I'm not sure what you field is, but delve deeper into that area and research.

I know it's heart breaking to be that close and not get it, but there are other opportunites and avenues. What is your specialty, btw?

When it comes to letters of reference, a lot of times it turns into "who knows who". It's sad, but it's the truth. Especially in and academic enviornment. So, I wouldn't feel bad about yourself at all.
post #13 of 13
There are going to be ups and downs, whether you are getting another degree or not. As surely as you are down right now, things will start to improve!

I think it's wonderful that you are pursuing more education. Keep your chin up, you can do it! Sometimes what's behind the doors that open is not what we are expecting, but the important thing is you are putting yourself in front of those doors.
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