Set Yourself Up
for Financial Success
in Graduate School:
Stipends vs. Cost of Living
Taught by
Dr. Emily Roberts of
Personal Finance
for PhDs
Who Is This Workshop Module For?
This workshop is exclusively for people who are applying for admission to a PhD program in the US in fall 2023.
Current undergraduate seniors, master's students, and bachelor's or master's degree holders in the work force are all welcome, as are international applicants—as long as you're expecting to start a PhD program in fall 2023.
Why Take This Workshop Module?
This workshop module introduces you to how to properly compare different graduate stipend offers with the local cost of living. It breaks down the basic cost of living and how to make adjustments based on your lifestyle and how that may change from university to university. 
The included spreadsheet guides you in listing, ranking, and evaluating each potential university based on the ratio of the local cost of living to expected stipend for each university on your list.
What to Expect from This Workshop Module
This workshop module includes:
  • A 10+-minute video on the subject matter outlined above [immediate access]
  • A template spreadsheet to fill out as you complete the personal homework assignment fulfilling the objective of the workshop [immediate access]
  • A short set of reflection questions to turn in to the workshop facilitator [immediate access]
  • Invitations to upcoming live discussion and Q&A calls with the workshop facilitator and other workshop participants [2-4 opportunities during the current and following month]
Register for the Module ($30)
Who Created and Facilitates 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.
What Is "Set Yourself Up for Financial
Success in Graduate School?"
"Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in Graduate School" is my financial education series for people who are preparing to attend funded master's and PhD programs. It is your financial guide through application season, admission season, and the lead-up to matriculation.
If you apply what you learn in this series, you will not become the stereotypical "broke grad student."
The topics the series covers are:
  • How grad school funding offers are structured (in your field)
  • Applying for fellowships
  • Your financial and life vision for grad school
  • The stipend vs. cost of living for each program you're applying to [this module]
  • The financial cost of graduate school
  • Your credit score and how to improve it
  • Optimal side hustles for grad students
  • How to read an offer letter
  • How to negotiate your stipend and/or benefits
  • Draft a budget and right-size your housing and transportation expenses
  • Budget and save for moving/start-up costs
  • Paycheck and tax investigation