4 Year Masters on my Application?

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.

4 Year Masters on my Application?

Postby Applicant » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:59 pm

I am applying for the SMART scholarship in Computer Science, and I am currently deciding whether to intend to apply as an undergraduate degree and a masters, or just an undergraduate degree.

If I were to get a masters, I would not want to spend an additional year in school, and, luckily, my university allows me to obtain a 4 year masters if I choose that path. However, I am not 100% sure whether I will end up obtaining the masters degree.

Here is my question: if I apply intending to get a bachelor's degree and end up with a master's degree by the time I graduate, will SMART start me with a pay grade of someone with a bachelor's degree (G7 for some SFs) or a pay grade of a master's degree (G9)?
Applicant
 

Re: 4 Year Masters on my Application?

Postby youBigOlDummy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:57 am

Sounds like something you should ask SMART, use that big beautiful brain of yours
youBigOlDummy
 

Re: 4 Year Masters on my Application?

Postby Saynotousernames » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:20 pm

You would get paid at the GS 9. But, SMART is a contract. It may seem like telling them at the time of application that you’re getting a bachelor’s and getting a master’s in the same time is a good idea, but you will run into issues if you don’t clear the adjustment to your contract saying you’re hired as a bachelor level employee. That’s less risky than saying you’re going to get a master’s and failing to do so. That would likely get you dismissed and trigger repayment.

I highly suggest figuring out what you want to do before you apply and sticking to that to minimize risk.
Saynotousernames
 

Re: 4 Year Masters on my Application?

Postby NicerGuest » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:27 pm

Applicant wrote:I am applying for the SMART scholarship in Computer Science, and I am currently deciding whether to intend to apply as an undergraduate degree and a masters, or just an undergraduate degree.

If I were to get a masters, I would not want to spend an additional year in school, and, luckily, my university allows me to obtain a 4 year masters if I choose that path. However, I am not 100% sure whether I will end up obtaining the masters degree.

Here is my question: if I apply intending to get a bachelor's degree and end up with a master's degree by the time I graduate, will SMART start me with a pay grade of someone with a bachelor's degree (G7 for some SFs) or a pay grade of a master's degree (G9)?


You can try to ask SMART as the first person suggests, but they will likely tell you they can't answer to your core question about salary because the will say it will be up to your sponsoring facility (SF). They don't comment on things outside of their limited purview.

That being said, to answer your question: if you have a MS, your SF should start you at a GS9 regardless of what you initially apply for. However you will run into trouble with SMART by pursuing degrees you didn't apply for. If you are given a 4 year award for your BS, you must be working on your BS the whole time. You can't graduate with your BS 3 years in and then simply use the fourth year to get a MS without advance permission. If the two degrees are both awarded at the end, you might be able to get both with advance permission, but it is a hazier question, and the BS/MS award type would be more appropriate.

Your options vary depending on how the two degrees are awarded. Do you receive the BS and MS at the end of four years? Or do you graduate with the BS and then semesters later graduate with the MS?

If they are award together, you can either: Apply for a BS now, and potentially apply for a BS/MS follow-on later OR apply for BS/MS now.
If they are awarded separated, you can: Apply for a BS now and then potentially apply for a MS follow-on later.

When I originally applied, I wasn't sure I would want to stay for a MS. I applied for the BS award and then later applied for a 1 year follow-on to get a MS through my school's 5 year master's. If I had to do it again, I would do it the same way. However, if you are choosing between 4 year BS vs 4 year BS/MS, I would definitely opt for the BS/MS. It will net you a higher salary, likely a higher promotion ladder, and depending on how the two are awarded, a higher stipend. You get all that for the same exact commitment time. It seems like a much better value.
NicerGuest
 


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