Set Yourself Up
for Financial Success
in Graduate School
A 12-Month Interactive Workshop for Prospective Graduate Students
Sponsored by Institutional Professional Development Programs
You're already setting your undergraduate students or postgraduates up for academic success in graduate school.
Now set them up for financial success as well.
Who takes this workshop?
The workshop is to be taken by people who plan to enroll in a funded PhD program in fall 2023.

They can be current undergraduates, postbaccalaureates, or graduates in the work force, as long as they have not yet started graduate school.
Who sponsors this workshop?
The workshop is to be sponsored by programs that develop and shepherd prospective graduate students into PhD programs in the US, such as McNair, PREP, and postbac programs.
Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in Graduate School is a year-long interactive workshop that gives prospective graduate students the tools to:
  • Understand their funding offers
  • Select a supportive PhD program, and
  • Navigate the financial transition into graduate school.
Why should my group sponsor this workshop?
Sufficient financial support is vital for a PhD student to thrive academically and personally, yet all too many graduate students financially struggle due to low stipends and subpar benefits.
The intention is to remove, to the greatest degree possible, finances as a source of stress or reason for non-completion of a PhD through education, skill development, and, most importantly, holding PhD programs to a higher financial bar.
Your program is uniquely positioned to provide these important concepts to prospective graduate students, many of whom have little prior knowledge of the funding norms of PhD programs.
Who teaches the workshop?
I'm Dr. Emily Roberts (she/her), the founder of Personal Finance for PhDs. I am a financial educator specializing in prospective graduate students, graduate students, postdocs, and early-career PhDs.
Through Personal Finance for PhDs, I give live seminars for universities, provide pre-recorded workshops to universities and individuals, host a podcast, and run a membership community.
I hold a PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University and a BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College.
For the last eight years, I've primarily taught graduate students and postdocs, but in recent years I've started teaching prospective graduate students as well.
I believe that many of the financial pain points of graduate school could be alleviated or eliminated by helping prospective graduate students develop a realistic financial picture of what their life in graduate school will be like if they choose a specific program.
I've piloted this content for prospective graduate students over the last two years with McNair scholars through partnerships with The Academic Society and the McNair Scholar Success Institute.
The 2022-2023 academic year is the first time I'll teach this material in the year-long workshop format. I'm confident that the just-in-time delivery of this content is the most optimal way to help prospective graduate students set themselves up for financial success.
Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?
What topics are covered in the workshop?
  • [June] How grad school funding offers are structured (in your field)
  • [July] Applying for fellowships
  • [August] Your financial and life vision for grad school
  • [September] The stipend vs. cost of living for each program you're applying to
  • [October] The financial cost of graduate school
  • [November] Your credit score and how to improve it
  • [December] Optimal side hustles for grad students
  • [January] How to read an offer letter
  • [February] How to negotiate your stipend and/or benefits
  • [March] Draft a budget and right-size your housing and transportation expenses
  • [April] Budget and save for moving/start-up costs
  • [May] Paycheck and tax investigation
In what format is the workshop?
Each of the twelve workshop modules has a similar format:
  • A 10-15 minute video on the financial topic
  • A homework assignment to guide the student in applying the concept to their life in the form of a spreadsheet, worksheet, or reflection; examples:
  • Identify three fellowships to apply for [July]
  • Write down the expected stipend and local living wage for each program/department on the student's application list [September]
  • Populate a template spreadsheet for each funding offer letter to generate follow-up questions and compare offers head-to-head [January]
  • At least one opportunity to attend a live discussion / Q&A call led by Emily
  • A forum in which students may ask quick questions and discuss the content with one another (optional)
What is the timing of the workshop?
The workshop is designed to be taken over 12 months, but that timeline can be compressed or expanded if your program requires it.
As outlined above, the modules are to be taken from June 2022 to May 2023 to match the various phases of the application and interview cycle. This timeline can be shifted according to your needs, and the order of the modules may be rearranged.
If you prefer to make the content available once per term instead of once per month and offer only one discussion/Q&A call per term, that is also possible. Book a call with Emily to discuss adjustments.
What is the delivery process for the workshop?
The delivery process is streamlined!
A unique page will be created for your students at, through which they will register for the workshop.
On the first of each month, the new video and homework assignment will become available.
In the latter half of the month, the student will be able to attend one or more live Q&A/discussion calls focused on that month's topic.
Emily can communicate over email with your students to announce new content and remind about live calls if you prefer.
What is the cost of the workshop?
The workshop is priced on a per-participant basis for the full year.
Option A
  • Video content
  • Homework (worksheet / spreadsheet / reflection)
  • Access to at least one discussion / Q&A call (open to everyone in the workshop)
$300 per participant
Option B
  • Video content
  • Homework (worksheet / spreadsheet / reflection)
  • Access to at least one discussion / Q&A call (open to everyone in the workshop)
  • Access to a 24/7 forum for quick questions and discussion
$375 per participant
Option C
  • Video content
  • Homework (worksheet / spreadsheet / reflection)
  • Access to at least one discussion / Q&A call (open to everyone in the workshop)
  • One discussion / Q&A call per month private to your group
$450 per participant
Option D
  • Video content
  • Homework (worksheet / spreadsheet / reflection)
  • Access to at least one discussion / Q&A call (open to everyone in the workshop)
  • Access to a 24/7 forum for quick questions and discussion
  • One discussion / Q&A call per month private to your group
$525 per participant
Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?
Frequently Asked Questions
Who participates in the discussion / Q&A calls?
The discussion / Q&A calls included in all workshop options are open to all participants in the workshop, regardless of who is sponsoring them. This gives participants the opportunity to meet and interact with prospective graduate students across the country, potentially even in their own field.
Options C and D include an additional discussion / Q&A call private to your group.
How many discussion / Q&A calls will be offered each month?
This depends on the overall workshop enrollment. There will be one discussion / Q&A call time each month per 20 participants in the workshop (approximately) to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to voice their questions and comments.
The more participants there are in the workshop, the more discussion / Q&A call time options there will be to accommodate various schedules and time zones.
What is the forum?
Options B and D include access to a forum, which will be available to all participants. In the forum, participants can interact with Emily and their peers to ask and answer quick questions and share their opinions and experiences. In many of the modules, they can even help one another with their homework through posting resources and their insights.
Can I modify the content delivery schedule for my group?
Yes, Emily can compress, expand, or shift the delivery schedule according to what works best for your group. Please bring this up during your call.
Can I join the workshop to keep up with what my participants are learning?
Absolutely! You and any involved colleagues can join the workshop at no charge.
Can I see an example of a video and assignment?
Yes, Emily can give you access to a sample video and assignment in advance of finalizing your sponsorship.
How does payment work?
Emily will register as a vendor/supplier with your university or institution. Payment can be issued via paper check or direct deposit.
The schedule of the payments is negotiable. The full payment can be made up front for the year or broken into quarterly installments or another frequency/timing of your choice. At least 50% of the full payment should be issued in 2022.
We already have some of these topics covered, but would like to engage you for some others. Is that possible?
Yes! Emily can enroll you for select months of the workshop and prorate the fee. Please bring this up during your call.
There is some aspect of this workshop that won't work for my program. Is it flexible?
Yes, to a degree! Since this is the first time this workshop is being offered in this format, Emily is open to modifying it. Please let her know your constraints and/or preferences over a call, and she will do her best to cater to them.
I'm not quite ready to book a call. May I contact Emily over email?
Of course! Reach out to [email protected] at any time.
Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?