Wednesday, June 14, 2006

University-Wide Need-Based Funding

Jittery in New Jersey writes...

I'm applying to programs this coming winter as a 22-year-old who will be just out of college (yeah, I know). I'll have little in the way of savings and income. I've read a lot about program funding through tuition waivers and stipends, but I'd like to know more about need-based aid offered through the universities. I would not apply to schools like Sarah Lawrence unless I thought I could get need-based aid. I can certainly demonstrate need.

So, do MFA students have a chance of getting any of this need-based aid?

JiNJ, it will really depend, university by university. My sense is that the Arts are low on the totem pole of need-based funding, especially after the sciences. MFA funding almost exclusively comes through the program itself, though the funding source may be the university as a whole.

My advice: narrow down your programs based on your criteria, then do some legwork (i.e. emailing and googling) to see what each program offers in need-based funding.

My bottom line answer, JiNJ: I didn't run across much of this type of funding in my research for the book. Sorry.

As always, I'd appreciate input from readers.


Anonymous said...

I applied to 8 schools, and most offered funding through the department. Only one school had a university-wide fellowship they encouraged applicants to try for--but it was very competitive and the PhD applicants (from other fields like the hard sciences) had a distinct edge. Not impossible, but not likely.

Jason MacLeod said...

If you demonstrate the need, you should also be eligible for about $18.5k per year in loans from the government. (Obviously as a last resort).