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Aarron Sholar
Noodle Expert Member

July 23, 2020

Are school stipends enough for English grad students?

For many young adult graduates in the English field, grad schools often provide tuition waivers and stipends for those who wish to continue on with their education. The reason schools do this is so that they can attract students they want to attend their school, sort of like a type of bribe or perk to going to school. These stipends can range from $5,000 a semester to $20,000 a year, depending on the school, of course. While these stipends can be extremely helpful for struggling students, they may not always be enough to get you by.

The most obvious benefit to getting a part-time job in grad school is the extra money. Part-time work provides students with an extra fifteen hours or so of work each week on top of the TA or GA positions. The first aspect of this to consider is how much you get paid for teaching at your school. Is your school giving you closer to $20,000 a year or more? Maybe you don't need an extra job, then. However, if you don't get paid quite that much, a small, extra job may be helpful; even if you don't need the extra money, it's always good to feel financially secure, especially when you're just starting your adult life.

It's also important to consider how much money you'll need to live off of compared to where you're going to school. Will you be living in a big city? You'll probably need some extra cash, then. Certain areas of the country have a higher cost of living, so that's another example of how a part-time job can be useful for some, but not necessary for all English students.

The last benefit to having a part-time job actually has nothing to do with money, at least immediately. Now that you have your Bachelor's degree, you have the opportunity to actually start to work in the English field. My personal goal while in grad school is to find a remote, part-time job in technical editing, and job I can now get much easier with my English degree. While continuing school, grad students can begin to expand their knowledge and abilities to real job fields, and not just simple retail or food-industry work younger students take advantage of while in high school or college. Use this period in your life to boost-start your career/job field and earn a little extra money while doing it.

Part-time jobs while in grad school definitely have many benefits. Given the time and opportunity, grad students can sustain themselves a bit easier and give their careers a head start. Both of these aspects should be more than enough to convince you to at least consider this option, however, it's not for all students; if you don't feel the need to take on an extra job, then just stay put and coast through school.

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