Extending for a PhD

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients

Extending for a PhD

Postby Arbiter » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:02 pm

Does anyone know anything about if you finish your bachelors but get into a PhD program?
Will SMART likely allow you to do it if you give them time afterwards?
Does it increase the amount of time you have to give your SF (PhD usually will pay you - you're (SMART) not paying for education).
Does anyone know anything about this?
Arbiter
 

Re: Extending for a PhD

Postby Extension » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:37 am

Arbiter wrote:Does anyone know anything about if you finish your bachelors but get into a PhD program?
Will SMART likely allow you to do it if you give them time afterwards?
Does it increase the amount of time you have to give your SF (PhD usually will pay you - you're (SMART) not paying for education).
Does anyone know anything about this?


(1) You can apply for a follow-on award. SMART will pay for your PhD and your commitment will be increased in kind. (2) Alternatively if you want to get your PhD, but not have SMART fund it you could apply for a Leave of Absence, which would not increase your commitment, but would not get you any funding during that time. I am not sure you are supposed to use a LoA for that reason though.

Be careful with either of these approaches. SMART will only fund 5 years in row and there is also a limit to what you can take as a Leave of Absence (I think it is 2 years, but I do not know). A lot of scholars had trouble with PhDs. Due to circumstances outside of their control they did not finish their thesis within these limits so SMART dismissed them and triggered full payback.

If I were you, I would graduate with your Bachelor's, serve your commitment, and begin taking graduate classes at night during the commitment (you should be able to get them paid for through your SF). Then when your commitment is served go fulltime to finish up.
Extension
 

Re: Extending for a PhD

Postby Sisyphus » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:19 pm

You should NOT extend for a PhD with SMART under any circumstances.

The average length for a PhD in any STEM program at most universities is going to be ~5-7 years barring insane luck, and a good portion go easily past that.

SMART won't give a shit and will throw you on LoA after 5 years to finish it yourself (but not you; you already have been funded for several years), and then cut you off soon after if you still don't finish regardless of your situation even if you're doing nothing but working full time towards your degree while TA/RA'ing to pay for your tuition.

Source: my experience with SMART. This program should NOT be funding fresh PhD's as they're put timeline wise at an automatic ~50% risk of default. You can't put hard deadlines on a program that requires original research.

For PhD students this whole program is a gigantic con and potential life ruining trap.
Sisyphus
 
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