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Old 03-18-2008, 11:19 AM
8 posts, read 16,090 times
Reputation: 11


Hey, I am a grad student. I got tuition waived and an assistantship that pays $1500/month at Vanderbilt University. Is it enough to live there?
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:30 AM
Location: Nashville, TN (USA)
802 posts, read 1,644,079 times
Reputation: 940
$1500 a month will really be pushing it but may be enough if you get a roommate and won't have to drive often and very far. You might also want to consider a part-time evening and/or weekend job to cover some of your expenses.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:31 AM
Location: Utah
68 posts, read 210,333 times
Reputation: 32
with a roommate or two and living very sparingly from what I've seen around you could do it.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:35 AM
Location: Tennessee
6,290 posts, read 20,203,973 times
Reputation: 1648
It would be tough, but it's doable for a single student. You would have to rent a cheaper, smaller apartment and really watch your pennies but others have done it before. I certainly wouldn't look this "gift horse" in the mouth if I were you (and if grad school is something that will help you in your chosen career); many people pay A LOT of money to go to Vanderbilt . . . so do whatever it takes to make it work.

And maybe you'd be able to work a few hours doing something like being a waiter.

By the way, congratulations on being accepted into Vanderbilt and getting the assistantship.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:57 PM
8 posts, read 16,090 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the replies. I want to elaborate further.

I have got medical insurance from the university.I am also planning to share apartment with a friend, avoid clubs and avoid eating out often.

As I am an international student, I can't work outside according to the American law.

I would also like to know about the reputation of Vanderbilt. How well is it known by industries?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:33 AM
153 posts, read 615,065 times
Reputation: 102
Hi Dreamer,
Not being allowed to work outside the university isn't really a negative--In my experience, people who try to pull it off inevitably end up hurting their chances of successfully defending. Vanderbilt is certainly a solid university, but the reputation really depends which field you are looking into. The Med school is one of the top 10 or so in the country and viewed that way. Engineering, and the sciences are probably more like top 50--but it is a strong degree nonetheless. I don't know anyone who has had too much trouble finding a job after graduation.
Regarding costs, Nashville has to be one of the cheapest major cities in the US, so it is one of the easiest to afford on a stipend(I have no idea how anyone pulls off Columbia on 1500a month). As long as you stay on a budget, you should be fine. Good luck, and perhaps I'll see you around the physics dept.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:32 PM
144 posts, read 477,508 times
Reputation: 63
My fiance lives in Nashville and is a grad student at Vandy. He makes similar to what you make and has been living there for 4 years and doing fine. He seems to have a pretty similar situation to what you have, free medical insurance etc. I believe as long as you have a roommate and don't try to live too extravagantly you should be fine. He even has time to go out to lunch and dinner during the week and to bars and stuff if he wishes. It just is about budgeting and deciding what sort of things are important to you. I also lived out there for a year and made less and we made it work. There are tons of free things to do in Nashville that you can find in the community papers that will provide entertainment if you are worried about that.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:56 PM
Location: Florida
2,327 posts, read 5,943,675 times
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Have you considered hitting up Sallie Mae for a little extra help? As a grad student, you would probably qualify for a PLUS loan of up to $20,500 per year - which is way more than any reasonable person should need. But if you take out $6,000, that would give you an extra $500 a month and make your situation much more manageable. It isn't what Dave Ramsey would recommend, but it's better than beans and rice, rice and beans.
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:12 PM
Location: Boca Raton, FL
4,727 posts, read 8,053,093 times
Reputation: 5181
Smile $1500 per month

Our daughter graduated from Vanderbilt with a BS in interdisclipinary neuroscience. Loved the school and Nashville. You will love Vandy. As parents, we visited often and loved it as well. She graduated in 2006.

As a young person returning to Nashville to work, she lived in an apartment with roommates - she was on commission and brought home around $1800 per month so I know it can be done.

Enjoy Nashville!
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:39 PM
8 posts, read 16,090 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks a lot for the replies. I was worried a bit about the limited money that i would have to spend there. But I always have lived a frugal life so it won't be a problem for me i guess.

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