Princeton announces 25% increase in graduate student stipends –


Princeton University will increase graduate fellowship and stipend rates by an average of 25% — to about $40,000 — for doctoral candidates for the upcoming 10-month academic year, officials announced Tuesday.

It is the university’s largest one-year increase in graduate student stipend rates, officials said. The increases will be funded from a combination of sources, including central budget funds supported by the university’s endowment.

Cole Crittenden, the acting dean of the Princeton Graduate School, called the increases “remarkable” in a news release.

“The increases in stipend rates will ensure Princeton continues to attract and retain the very best graduate candidates from all backgrounds and from all over the U.S. and the world,” he said.

Princeton guarantees funding for its enrolled, degree-seeking Ph.D. candidates for all years of regular program enrollment, according to a release. Funding covers tuition and fees, plus a base stipend for estimated living expenses.

Stipend rates were already competitive and had increased annually, Crittenden said.

The move comes just a little over two weeks after Columbia University’s graduate student workers reached a tentative agreement with the New York City-based school, after a 10-week strike. One of the deal’s features: a guaranteed minimum annual raise of 3%.

Princeton graduate students praised the news, with some speculating it can partly be attributed to the recent events from the neighboring Ivy League school.

Hunter Wade York, a second-year Ph.D. student in sociology at Princeton, said the news brings “financial freedom and not feeling like I’m wasting earning opportunities by being in a Ph.D. program,” instead of working in an industry.

“It’s definitely (spurred by) the recent actions by the Columbia University Student Union,” he added.

The increases will also help many students with housing costs, York said, as the university is located in a particularly expensive market within the state.

In Princeton, the median home is valued at $866,200 — more than double the amount for New Jersey as a whole — and the median rent is $1,532, according to census data.

Akrish Adhikari, a fourth-year student at Princeton earning his Ph.D. in French, said the increases will help more graduate students afford to live near the university. He also speculated the timing is related to Columbia University’s recent events.

“It’s not coincidental that two weeks after they ratified their contract that we suddenly got an increase that I’ve never heard about before,” he said.

For the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, the 10-month stipend rate for doctoral candidates will increase in the university’s four divisions as follows:

Natural Sciences and Engineering:

  • Assistantship in Research stipend will increase from $31,720 to $40,000
  • Assistantship in Instruction stipend will increase from $34,800 to $42,000
  • University First-Year Fellowship will increase from $31,720 to $40,000

Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Assistantship in Instruction stipend will increase from $34,800 to $42,000
  • University Fellowship will increase from $30,475 to $38,000

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