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Given that one of graduate students' greatest concerns is the pay that they receive for their contributions to field, the GSA has taken a survey of the graduate student body at FNAL to sample the stipends graduate students receive while at Fermilab. One of the purposes of this survey was to facilitate comparison between the pay scale at a given university and the average here at FNAL.
This survey was sent out to the fnalgrad mailing list to solicit the information. 31 people responded to the survey.
As a best estimate, the average pre-tax monthly stipend of survey respondants was $1,279. Of all the monthly amenities added to this due to the higher cost of living in the Chicago area, the most common was free onsite housing to those students whose universities rented houses on the Fermilab site. The average added stipend to account for the local cost of living (either in the form of a per diem or a monthly subsidy) was $150. In some cases, if the student lives on site, the university pays the housing for the student (in some responses, the student has the choice of having the housing or the monthly subsidy). Some students receive the benefits of partially or wholly subsidized health care as well.
So what can we all take away from this survey? One must surely be careful with the figures presented here. I have done my best to report only the monthly pre-tax income, but the information was provided in a variety of ways, so in some cases interpolation was necessary. Some issues you might want to consider is that these stipends do come from many states with various costs of living and taxes. In addition, some universities pay their summer students quite well after a fairly low yearly salary, while some seem to pay quite well per month, but only for nine months out of the year with summer unsubsidized.
Not sure how "PC" this is, but the current list of responses (don't worry, university and student names have been deleted to protect the guilty) is located here.
Send comments and questions about the survey to
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