Why is Dissertation Support So Important for PhD Students?

The Importance of Dissertation Support

Financial Pressures on Ph D. Candidates Contribute to High Attrition

Almost universally, residential doctoral programs have reported attrition rates of up to 50% for face-to-face programs and 50-70% for online doctoral programs. A primary reason for attrition was the financial conditions doctoral candidates faced.

The Need for Financial Support

Graduate work is rarely a ‘free ride.’ Student tuition is often covered, yet the cost of living presents a financial burden. Teaching opportunities pay poorly, and by their final doctoral years, it is common for Ph. D. candidates to have exhausted scholarships, loans, and teaching eligibility.

Loss of Doctoral Momentum

To make ends meet, students often work 20 hours a week during the academic year, along with summer employment. The difficulty is not just the reduced number of hours that a student has to devote to dissertation writing, but that there is a considerable loss of efficiency that can lead to a delay of months or even years, compounding the student’s financial pressures.

Financial Support and Encouragement During the Critical Dissertation Year

Our fellowship is designed to accelerate completion of the dissertation. Each year, fellowships of $30,000 are awarded to 7 doctoral candidates. These awards eliminate the need for students to seek secondary employment, resulting in increased focus on timely completion of their dissertation.

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