Shana E. Rochester
Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Psychology
Shana's five-year funding package at the University of Michigan includes full tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend through the academic year. Her funding package also includes at least two summer stipends to support research between academic years, Grad Care health insurance and dental care each year.
I first learned about Michigan's doctoral funding from Dr. Henry Meares when I discussed my interest in Michigan with him as a student at Spelman. I met Dr. Meares during my junior year at a graduate school fair and was impressed by the interdisciplinary nature of the CPEP program. He informed me that all doctoral students in the program are fully funded for the five-year duration of the program and are encouraged -- but not obligated -- to apply for external funding to support their graduate studies Reflecting on my experience so far, I think the comprehensive financial support provided to me really helped me focus on gaining the skills needed to become a competent researcher, rather than grapple with how I will pay for my graduate school education.
In addition to being funded as a graduate student research assistant, I have used teaching as a means for gaining valuable experience in the classroom, and as a funding source as a graduate student instructor in the Department of Psychology. It is really easy to always have funding at Michigan because these opportunities are literally built into the program in some way. Not only do you make progress toward fulfilling program requirements, you gain relevant skills and are compensated for your work. I am very grateful for that!
I also applied for external graduate funding and was awarded the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. I really took my conversation with Dr. Meares seriously when he informed me that my program would fully support me, but I also wanted to push myself to compete for funding so other students were in a position to receive full funding packages as I did.
My funding advice to prospective and current students is to make sure to understand 'how' and 'when' your financial support is awarded to you. Check with program personnel to verify your support. I also suggest that you should learn the variety of both internal and external funding that exists for graduate students. The CPEP program and School of Education faculty and staff have a wealth of knowledge about funding and really go the extra mile to connect you with financial resources both inside and outside of the university. I learned about funding resources that I was completely unaware of by simply asking around. Use your resources! People in the School of Education genuinely want you to succeed!
Rochester’s program of study:
Combined Program in Education and Psychology
2240 East Hall