New York Baby writes...
I've been accepted to both Columbia U and the New School for an MFA in Nonfiction. (I was rejected by Hunter.) Fortunately, money is not an issue. I'll be entering my MFA with a somewhat clear idea of the memoir I want to write and want a program that offers me a structured environment in which to write it and workshop it, as well become a better writer in general. I'd also love to teach creative writing in the future. Any opinions on which program I should choose?
NYB, I don't know much about the New School. If money is not an issue, then Columbia is an excellent choice. I know we're often down on Columbia on the Blog, but it's mostly because of the funding issue. I'll give you the advice that any prospective student should take: On Monday, contact both schools and ask for the emails of a couple three current students. Get in touch with them. Ask them the questions that seem to be most on your mind: teaching experience, help with the memoir, and structure. I'd also ask the question that Aimee Bender gave us in the MFA Handbook: "How's your writing going?" This simply question can tell you a lot about the experience in any particular program.
I'd appreciate any comments for NYB from readers with experience in either program. NYB: As far as your decision goes: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Get those opinions from students. Talk about your quandry with a trusted friend. Sleep on it. Then go with your gut. Best of luck to you, and let us know how it works out.