I am currently in a PhD program wherein I like my advisers, but unfortunately due to the following issues I have found that I might be happier applying to another university:
The university charges a $1200 fee during the fall and spring semesters which does not come out of our paychecks, and that they charge monthly interest on. There is also 2 months of the 9 month period of our stipend that we receive half our monthly pay. Thus we are effectively expected to make 6.5 months worth of pay work for 9. I have needed to find additional ways to make ends meet which cuts into the time I could be studying and doing research.
The university does not have a method of testing out of classes without needing to take them. As a result I am forced to take classes which I am already proficient in when I could be taking classes more relevant to research.
The workload for being a GTA this semester was far more than what is reasonable, and cut into my time to do research. I have been informed that this is somewhat common here.
I am applying to other PhD programs at the moment and I am currently wondering what is a way I can both explain my situation in a manner so that people understand why I am applying out without sounding like I am badmouthing my current university? (A professor I know mentioned that the above explanation might be too specific and perceived as badmouthing them). I don't want to be too vague so that it seems like I am just making excuses to apply somewhere else because without 1-3 above I would be happy here.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.