Brown U. Students Protest Cut in Financial Aid for 6th Year of Study

By Susan Jones | April 24, 2014 | 8:30 AM EDT

From the Providence Journal: Dozens of graduate students protesting outside the home of Brown University's president on Wednesday carried signs reading "We can't live on books alone," "No Brown prof got their PhD in 5 years" and "250 years but not 6th year?" (Brown is marking its 250th anniversary this year.)

The students believe the university plans to phase out funding for a sixth year of graduate study.

One student told the newspaper it takes an average of at least six years to complete work for a doctoral degree, particularly if academic travel, field work and multiple language study are involved.

That same student complained that some of his fellow doctoral candidates have waited for weeks -- "unsure if they'd be able to finish the program to which they've dedicated five years of hard work." He also said some foreign students on education visas were forced to depart the country because of the delayed funding decision.

The Journal said University President Christina Paxson has promised to bring the graduate students together with academic deans to "hash out the dispute."