Degree level change stipend increase

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients
HOrobOD
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Degree level change stipend increase

Post by HOrobOD »

Has anyone here done a degree level change?

I went from BS to BS/MS dual degree and was finally accepted for the award change a few weeks ago. The official documentation implies that I should get the MS level stipend, but the June stipend came in at the original amount. How long should it take before I see a stipend pay increase? I am already working on my MS, and have been for the last two semesters, but only just now got accepted.

FewYearsAhead

Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by FewYearsAhead »

HOrobOD wrote:Has anyone here done a degree level change?

I went from BS to BS/MS dual degree and was finally accepted for the award change a few weeks ago. The official documentation implies that I should get the MS level stipend, but the June stipend came in at the original amount. How long should it take before I see a stipend pay increase? I am already working on my MS, and have been for the last two semesters, but only just now got accepted.
It depends on how your school handles the degrees. At least when I was in Phase 1, the BS/MS award type was actually for cases where your school awards both degrees at the very end of your program or awards them as one dual degree at the very end. If that is the case, unfortunately, you will received the BS stipend the entire time.

If your school awards the BS degree before you complete the full program, then after you have graduated with your BS you need tell SMART and provide them with a transcript showing the degree has been conferred and they will start giving you the MS stipend. They will likely change your award type to MS, which might take a little time, but should be a pure administrative exercise.

guest 50

Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by guest 50 »

FewYearsAhead wrote:
HOrobOD wrote:Has anyone here done a degree level change?

I went from BS to BS/MS dual degree and was finally accepted for the award change a few weeks ago. The official documentation implies that I should get the MS level stipend, but the June stipend came in at the original amount. How long should it take before I see a stipend pay increase? I am already working on my MS, and have been for the last two semesters, but only just now got accepted.
It depends on how your school handles the degrees. At least when I was in Phase 1, the BS/MS award type was actually for cases where your school awards both degrees at the very end of your program or awards them as one dual degree at the very end. If that is the case, unfortunately, you will received the BS stipend the entire time.

If your school awards the BS degree before you complete the full program, then after you have graduated with your BS you need tell SMART and provide them with a transcript showing the degree has been conferred and they will start giving you the MS stipend. They will likely change your award type to MS, which might take a little time, but should be a pure administrative exercise.
I agree, I am BS/MS and because I get both degrees at the end I stay at the BS stipend level

HOrobOD
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Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by HOrobOD »

FewYearsAhead wrote:
HOrobOD wrote:Has anyone here done a degree level change?

I went from BS to BS/MS dual degree and was finally accepted for the award change a few weeks ago. The official documentation implies that I should get the MS level stipend, but the June stipend came in at the original amount. How long should it take before I see a stipend pay increase? I am already working on my MS, and have been for the last two semesters, but only just now got accepted.
It depends on how your school handles the degrees. At least when I was in Phase 1, the BS/MS award type was actually for cases where your school awards both degrees at the very end of your program or awards them as one dual degree at the very end. If that is the case, unfortunately, you will received the BS stipend the entire time.

If your school awards the BS degree before you complete the full program, then after you have graduated with your BS you need tell SMART and provide them with a transcript showing the degree has been conferred and they will start giving you the MS stipend. They will likely change your award type to MS, which might take a little time, but should be a pure administrative exercise.
My award amendment is for MS/BS because the school gives both degrees at once, but when I got my SAAR back and approved, it says there will be an $8000 cost increase for SMART, which aligns with the amount MS stipends should pay. My June stipend did not increase though.

FewYearsAhead

Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by FewYearsAhead »

HOrobOD wrote:My award amendment is for MS/BS because the school gives both degrees at once, but when I got my SAAR back and approved, it says there will be an $8000 cost increase for SMART, which aligns with the amount MS stipends should pay. My June stipend did not increase though.
In that case, you'll have to email SMART and ask if and when your stipend is supposed to increase. From my experience, you are not entitled to the increased stipend, but maybe the rules have changed. Be sure to post here when you have an answer, so future people know what to expect.

It is possible that they budget that $8000 extra for everyone that switches into BS/MS just in case the degrees end up awarded separately.

Thinking123

Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by Thinking123 »

Does whatever they sent you say when the increase starts? It might be that the increase starts for the 2019-2020 academic year. August is when the billing starts for the new people and when they give the supplies/health. It could be possible that they will increase it for the upcoming award cycle, and leave your June and July stipend normal to finish out the year.

JDetwiler
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Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by JDetwiler »

This is also relevant for BS/MS or other grad applicants: SMART can screw you over. They're not really interested in you going to grad school (see my first post when I made this account). What they want is for people to go right into the workforce, and they'll find just about any excuse to make that happen.

If your grad degree takes longer than it's supposed to, you're out of luck. Read some of the other threads from PhD recipients and you'll see the nightmares they've been through. If you want follow-on funding, good luck convincing them that it's worth extending your time away from the SF.

If you're like me, they'll rescind the award with no notice to you or your SF except for a single informal email. The immediate consequences for me would be to miss out on grad school opportunities and go full-time, or pay it back to them. Please tread carefully.
I'm a Phase 2 recipient, B.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Math from Virginia Tech Dec. 2019. I've been with SMART since Spring 2017; Dahlgren is my SF.

Don't walk, run away from SMART (see my first post on this forum).

HOrobOD
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Re: Degree level change stipend increase

Post by HOrobOD »

Just an update, according to my POC in SMART, they saw that I had completed all the BS portion of my dual degree. Even though I don't have the diploma yet, I was told my degree audits that show everything as complete should be sufficient to get the increased stipend. I had to fill out another SAAR. I am still awaiting confirmation that I'll actually get it. My POC sounded confident that I would get it though. I received my August stipend at the original amount, so I'm back to bugging my POC until I get some answers.

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