Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Commentary from David Milofsky: Grades, GREs, and Agents

As a much older UMass MFA grad (1977), I was pleased to learn of your blog and to read it. I have only a couple of comments re the advice you gave those who wrote. You're right that GREs matter more to the grad school than to the program; here at CSU, they don't matter to us at all. But if you don't have a 3.0 and acceptable GREs we can't get you in at all, much less with financial aid. People should know that graduate offices are pretty inflexible on this point. Also, you're absolutely right that the MFA is an arts degree and one shouldn't rely too much on contacts. On the other hand, when I was at UMass, my advisor introduced me to my first agent and I've since helped students make contacts with agents and editors when I thought their work merited it. It's not the most important part of what we do, but everyone can use a leg up from time to time and if we can provide it, why shouldn't we?
In any case, I thought your advice in general was excellent. Keep up the good work.
David Milofsky
Professor of English
Colorado State University