Monday, August 22, 2005

Mailbag Information

I'll be answering questions each Monday about MFA programs: researching, applying to , choosing, and making the most of the graduate writing experience. If you'd like to submit a question, either click on the comments section below or email me directly here.

Keep in mind that I'll publish some or all of the content of your question on the blog.

And, we'll eventually have some current and former graduate writing students to answer questions, as well as some writing teachers.


The Gamehole's Blog said...

I'm going to be applying to programs this coming fall and had a question about the GRE. I've talked to multiple faculty within a couple different programs, faculty who read for admissions, and they tell me the GRE doesn't matter at all -- not one whit. The test is really just a formality of the graduate colleges, and the creative writing departments don't care at all about the applicant's score. Is this true universally? I ask because I want to put forth as little time as I need to studying for it. It seems it would be so much better spent polishing my stories.

Thanks --

Anonymous said...

That's a good question about the GRE. I have a similar question: My grades as an undergrad were horrific. I'm surprised I even got a diploma. I've been out for five years now, and last year I applied to five programs and was accepted to only one--and that was on a probationary basis because of my transcripts. Is this going to be something that will hinder me forever? I plan on applying again this winter, and one of the professors here at the university in my town thinks I shouldn't worry: if my writing is good enough, my grades won't matter. Still, even with her advice, I am in a constant state of anxiety. How can I convince these schools that I am in a far different place--mentally--than I was five, six years ago?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very informative site! I am an attorney seeking to change fields, and am applying for an MFA this fall. In law, going to the "highest ranked" school is very important to future job marketability. Is that the same with the MFA? Are the rankings in any way significant to future teaching jobs or publishing? In other words, if a hypothetical applicant (not necessarily me!) had a choice between a "highly ranked" program (i.e. Columbia or NYU) and a program that was lesser known but which offered more financial aid, would there be any detriment to choosing the latter? My informal poll says that in the end, only the quality of the writing by the writer counts, so one should not go into a significant amount of debt for this degree. Do you agree or disagree?


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