One of the things that some doctoral students do not necessarily want to discuss is money, however it is important to discuss this topic if you want to obtain a doctoral degree. Here are a few important considerations before selecting a doctoral program.
Fully funded vs not: some programs are “fully funded” which means that either 4 or 5 years of financial support is available to you. This means that the school pays your tuition and fees (in my case they also provide healthcare), and then you receive a stipend for living expenses. This is NOT true for every single program, so make sure to ask about the funding package.
Funding is not 12 months: this was the most important thing for me to know because I was single starting out in my program, meaning that during the summer months I had to obtain income by working on FUNDED research projects with faculty at the school. My funding is only during the main academic school year. Check with your programs of interest on what their model for funding is
You can get paid to teach in the summer: This is a way to make some income during the summer months. The majority of the openings are in the summer because some faculty travel or are not around during that time. This is a good opportunity to get teaching experience if you have a desire to enter into academia after your program
Ask about additional funding beyond the stipend: Sometimes you school may not be vocal about this so you have to ask. There may be funding available for conference travel (you may have to be presenting research) or dissertation work.
Don’t be afraid to talk money because it is the last thing you want to be stressed about during your program.