Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Applications, Etc. Part 7

April is almost here!

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
McAllister said...

Has anyone heard from VCU or NC State?

bipsy said...

NC State has notified acceptances and waitlists. Seems like rejections are going out slowly through the online status check though.

Caleb said...

Has anyone heard from the FSU PhD program? I know some acceptances have gone out, but I don't know about rejections. I've still yet to hear anything. I emailed the department and was told my application was "pending," which instilled me with a dangerous level of optimism. Anyone else heard from them?

I applied in fiction.

DT Fullen said...

Boise State sent me a rejection today via email. I don't think a computer sent it. That's something, right? I'm not too optimistic about Bowling Green (my last hope), so I'm preparing myself for total rejection.

I'm looking to exchange work with some serious fiction writers. I've started some groups here in Austin but they've never really taken off. If anyone who was rejected (or not rejected!) wants to share work and what not, let me know. It'd be nice to work with some real serious fiction writers.

Also, I'd be very interested to read someone's accepted fiction. I really want to see what is being accepted into MFAs. I'll share my own, of course.

dfull6@gmail.com

GMFM said...

Meant to mention this: In at Hopkins. Fiction. Via phone, last week. The fellowship package is pretty mind-blowing. I'm still stunned.

2gunjohnny said...

Got a "no" from Boise. Plan B has just become Main effort. Congrats to those that got a yes.

nairb454 said...

@DTFullen, I understand how difficult it is to find people not only committed to serious writing, but also more than just evanascently committed. I was lucky to find while living in Seattle not only writers but also musicians and artists willing to read my stuff and critique it in a serious way. I would never have gotten to where I am (which is still, it goes without saying, with loads to learn) now if I hadn't had people say some pretty harsh stuff about what I wrote - and that goes for everyone, since even things like talent can get in the way of writing well, which sounds counterintuitive but is true. I'll send you something later today when I get back from work and we can start a little something. Oh, and sorry about the results, but the process is - while I've started to stray from the term 'arbitrary' - definitely based on a s***ton of factors that don't necessarily sublate to show your potential as a writer. If you want my worthless advice, I think it's all about the time and effort and open mindedness that you put into writing.

Elsa said...

Is anyone going to the Sarah Lawrence College reception thingy on Tuesday? I'll be there to check the school out! (And Jew them into giving me more money. I'm no Jew but I am of color so it's not racist for me to say that.)

SIMPLE PLEASURES said...

Hello! I've been reading this blog for weeks, and so I guess I'll finally join the fray.

I'm a first time applicant for poetry.

Accepted:
New Mexico State
UNC Wilmington
(waitlisted for funding for both programs)

Rejected:
Vanderbilt
Ole Miss
Arizona State

Now, I don't know how legal this is, but a very sweet, awkward man from New Mexico called to tell me that I was at the top of the waitlist for funding (which is exciting), but NMSU is still the program that I know the least about. Anyone out there with any insight on the program outside of what I can find on the NMSU website? Help!

Thanks, y'all!

SIMPLE PLEASURES said...

Not to get heated, but @Elsa, I'm of color and Jewish and that comment wasn't cute.

SnackAttack said...

Word.

DB said...

Yeah @Elsa you might want to reconsider your policy on the use of "Jew" as a verb.

inandoftheworld said...

Elsa, in case you weren't aware, that term calls up 2,000 + years of Western prejudice and violence toward Jewish people.

I don't think anyone of any color gets a free pass on that.

Dauntless said...

@Elsa, don't mean to gang up on you, but being a member of one minority group doesn't give you a pass. Politeness goes a long way no matter who you are.

@SP, when did you hear from ASU? I haven't been accepted or rejected and there's been no news on the forum until you. Good luck with the $$!

K said...

This was my second round. Made it on one wait list and just made it off.

Going to the University of Illinois.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me afloat this season. No one give up!

Kiesha said...

Yaaaay K! I've been rooting for you. This is awesome news! Congrats :-)

Moll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elsa said...

Does no one understand sarcasm? Totally being facetious. Watch some Louis CK or something, guys!

DB said...

*facepalm*

Kiesha said...

Moll, what's your email again? I haven't forgotten your SOP questions. I've just been preoccupied and let time get away from me. I'm so sorry!

SnackAttack said...

It's Definition Day on the MFA Blog!

sar·casm (noun) \ˈsär-ˌka-zəm\

1. a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2. a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual

big·ot (noun) \ˈbi-gət\

a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Moll said...

@Keisha, no worries! I figured you were swamped with decisions and moving plans! My email is thisreadingismanic (at) gmail.com

Also, just got the rejection email from UVA. Congrats to those that got in.

nairb454 said...

Thought I'd chip in with my own wrap up:

Rejected:

NYU
Columbia
Hunter
Brown
New School

Wait:

Hollins

Accepted:

Sarah Lawrence College

Anyone want to drop their Hollins admission/tell me about it in public on this blog and cheer my spitits? Great awesome look forward to it.

Either way, looking forward to attending either school. Visiting SLC this Tuesday!

John B. Burke said...

This would be an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not Louie: how too-loose use of one word sank a blog about, erm, writing. My dad is Jewish and my mom is Catholic; I support the use of "Jew" as a verb in fiction, but my mom's side of the family is much tighter with a buck.

In this space, I say we acknowledge that the parenthetical in controversy was perhaps less than artful, but then move on already. Fair enough?

ashlee said...

First time applicant in nonfiction. With all schools reporting results...

Accepted--
Montana
Cal State Fresno
University of San Francisco
University of Central Florida
University of New Orleans

Rejected--
New Mex
Arizona
Minnesota
Oh St.
Iowa

Waitlisted--
UNC Wilmington

Funding is where I ideally wanted it to be when starting this process at UCF and New Orleans. Anyone have any opinion on either program? I know they're not of the highest reputation, but I promised myself when I began this crazy journey I wouldn't go anywhere that was going to cost me money out of pocket for this degree and this idea was backed by my professors. Still waiting to see if I get in at UNCW. I declined the Fresno St. and USF offers, and all TAships have been accepted at Montana.

SIMPLE PLEASURES said...

@Dauntless I got an email about two weeks ago and a letter last week re: ASU rejection. Maybe this means that you've still got a chance!?

DT Fullen said...

@nairb454 That sounds good. I appreciate your feedback and look forward to sharing stuff.

Yeah, I've found some people to take it seriously, but no one who is really intent on improving as a writer. And yeah, most people just say "That's cool. I like the description of the moon."

Austin Translation said...

@Ashlee

Have you heard anything about TAships or even a visit day at UNO? I was accepted last night but everything I received seemed to come from the graduate school rather than the MFA program itself.

They offered me a scholarship to pay my out of state tuition, but I'm still on the hook for in-state fees unless I land a job. I'd be a little bit worried even if I am lucky enough to be awarded an assistantship: their website states that a full teaching load is 3 classes/year and pays $8,100.

farfromgruntled said...

@GMFM

Congrats on getting in to Hopkins! I'm a second-year fiction writer there now, if you want to get in touch.

Welcome!
Gwen

mapm said...

I'm waitlisted at Columbia for fiction! (Found out by email via status check on Tuesday. . . generic email note.) Do any of you know anything about Columbia's waiting list (how many people they keep on it, how many people get off it, if those who get off it are ever able to finagle any affordable funding from anywhere?)

hamchugirl said...

@austin translation

Your genre is fiction, no?

holay guacamolay said...

anyone have opinions/ideas on strength of program or general happiness at FSU and Brooklyn? i was offered better (full + stipend) funding at FSU but would be willing to forgo it for a better program. any and all insight appreciated! thanks!

holay guacamolay said...

by the way, ^ that's for fiction

Moll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

@ holay

do you have the time/money to visit these programs before the deadline? i think you'll find that an opportunity to talk to the students about their day-to-day lives in the programs--and to see some things first hand--will help you determine for yourself which is the "better" program for you. Also, my two cents? Full and equal funding is nothing to sneeze at. you're talking about full funding in talahassee vs (i assume) less than full funding in NYC, which is extraordinarily expensive. try not to get hung up on rankings and find the better fit for you.

eve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holay guacamolay said...

thanks for input and advice amanda and moll! brooklyn is saying i can teach w/ stipend, but i'd still have to cover tuition + freakish cost of living, so, not ideal. but still... great faculty...great city...

@moll that's for fiction, and I heard March 11, by phone.

Penelope said...

For what it's worth: my advisor always said that the three most important things in making a graduate school decision were (1) a mentor in your field whose voice you admire, (2) a group of fellow students who will challenge you and encourage you without getting too cut-throat, and (3) a paycheck big enough to live on. She told me to ask myself under what conditions I produced my best work, and then to try to find as many of those conditions in the same program as I could. And she told me to hold out for a liveable funding package. I know I've said this before, but I think pretty much every professional in higher education would advise us to think very very very carefully about whether a graduate degree is worth incurring debt. Especially since as writers, an MFA can be a great experience, but is not a professional requirement to do what we love to do.

Hope everyone is hanging in there!

2gunjohnny said...

Got a "No" From Brooklyn Via E-mail.

Plan B is now officially the Main Effort. Hope some of you on here got a Yes from Brooklyn. Best of Luck to all of you.

Moll said...

Thanks for the info @Holay. I think that is good intel for future years...Brooklyn does staggered acceptances. Congrats again. I think other people are providing you better advice than I could but best of luck.

@2gun, I am right with you on plan B except I never had one. Oops. I am taking this great literature/writing hybrid class though. It's a salve of sorts. When did you get your BK email?

Dauntless said...

@Moll, I just got a Brooklyn rejection email today. Are you still waiting to hear? If so I wish you luck.

Moll said...

Thanks @dauntless. No email yet and I'm already mad at myself for allowing the sliver of hope to take over.

Good luck with your apps. I hope things work out for you.

Midwest wanderer said...

@Elsa

If you used that word to an admin at SL, I think an appropriate response would be to revoke their offer.

Why in the world would you think it is okay here? Or anywhere for that matter. Bigotry and hatred is never okay, not even if you are purple and zebra stripped.

DB said...

Got a JH rejection in the mail today, also still waiting on BK.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Hi guys. I am black, Jewish, and an editor at Poets and Writers. Basically, I am Sammy Davis Jr., working at Poets and Writers. I stopped in to read this blog's comment section, and I must say, I have never been so offended in my life. I take great pride in my rankings, methodology, religion, and race. It is with sadness that my first experience with this blog will also be my last.

2gunjohnny said...

@Moll - Like Dauntless my Bklyn rejection came today. Nothing wrong with holding on to that sliver of hope - hell I'm holding on to it for you - be great if you get a win.

As for your Plan B - as long as a big part of it is to keep writing you'll be on the right track.



2gunjohnny said...

This is for @Jason who may never read it as he has already had his first and last experience with this blog due to the fact that he had "never been so offended" in his life. Frankly - I am wondering if I am missing a joke here but if not - Lucky you Jason. Lucky this is the worst offense you have ever experienced - someone saying something ignorant followed by a number of individuals not letting it slide - rightfully - pointing it out - which aptly demonstrated the real power of the basic unit of our craft - a single word. If that is the worst offense you have ever had - as I said, you are one lucky SOB. Here's something I am offended by - A government that tells us there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - (Power of the word - right?)when they know there isn't - and justify an invasion that gets 4500 Americans killed, some of whom were my friends. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed - not to mention the gravely wounded on both sides. I personnaly get a couple combat tours where people try to kill me everyday - I have to admit I was "offended" by their attempts, but guess what - I get why they wanted to kill me. So, happy for you Jason that the worst offense you ever suffered was right here on this blog. I guess context is everything - I bet @Elsa would agree.

Austin Translation said...

@hamchugirl

Yea.

@FSU/Brooklyn

I think FSU is a pretty well-regarded program.

Jason said...

(heh)

McAllister said...

@2gun

It was definitely a joke

2gunjohnny said...

OK So I'm Roger from the Big Lebowski then...

SnackAttack said...

Johnny, you are Harper Lee's Atticus. I wish you many, many successful publications where people will certainly benefit from hearing your voice.

Let's remember something about rejections. Schools are rejecting our applications, not us. If they rejected us, the person who got into Brown on his third try would've never gotten in. Ever. Brown rejected his first two applications, then accepted his third.

Let's also remember that the decision process is wonky at best. Michener, for example, has a 1% acceptance rate and accepted twins one year. I happen to love their writing, but isn't it interesting that out of literally hundreds of applications, twins get in? They each had a wonderful and deserved LOR from a powerhouse poet. But, well, the word "wonky" comes to mind.

Let's keep writing. Let's keep fighting for a space in a dollar-driven society. Let's quote Pushcart's Bill Henderson here: "Spirit will never be quelled, certainly not by big bucks and bluster."

Onwards!

2gunjohnny said...

Thanks Snack. I'll take it.

3dirtybeasts said...

Has anyone gotten a rejection yet from Montana or Indiana? I see acceptances for both on grad cafe and here, but wondering what the cricket silence means for me.

Ann said...

@Genealogy Journeys...should you see this and if you don't mind, I'd love to hear what made you choose Bennington. As I said, I don't have a writing community, so I'm curious to hear what made you decide if you're willing to share. My knowledge base is so limited.

SnackAttack said...

Hi, Ann.

I can't speak to Bennington's MFA specifically, but what I know professionally of April Bernard is she's an opinionated advocate of her undergraduate writing students and believes in encouraging autonomy. She's worked in the NYC editorial fast lane, so she works on her own writing while directing Skidmore's writing program while also teaching in Bennington's low-res MFA. (I would drown.) Interview with her can be found below; interesting to note she does not hold an MFA but has job experience and a BA from Harvard: http://www.postroadmag.com/7/etcetera/InterviewAprilBernard.phtml

And a few thoughts on Bennington--one of the most beautiful campuses I've seen. Fairytale material. Bennington the town is small with a typical VT mix of poverty and wealth. Blu Benn and Madison's are not to miss for food. Very easy to spend time in the area. Don't forget to visit Robert Frost's grave, and best of luck in your decision and writing career.

DT Fullen said...

@SnackAttack +1 for the pep talk. Being rejected has lit a fire over here. Ready to start tearing through some work.

Mary said...

Guys, I may be violating some unspoken rules here, but I'm between two programs and I'm completely torn and seized with anxiety. I need some help deciding ASAP. I was accepted to Boston University and the University of Arkansas, both with tuition waivers/fellowships. As most of you probably know, BU is a 1.5 year program with a great faculty whose work I deeply admire. UA is at the opposite end of the spectrum length-wise at 4 years, and I'm less familiar with the faculty's work. The courseload there is 2/2, and at BU it's either 0/1 or 0/0, with the opportunity to travel for 3 months following graduation.

Help? Pros and cons? Which would you choose?

letters said...

@Mary what genre?

letters said...

(though preliminary thoughts- BU is a 1 year program, the optional 3 month study abroad is what sometimes makes it 1.5. 4 fully funded years to write vs. 1. Check out alumni of both, too.)

Amanda said...

@ Mary - I suggest you talk to current students from the program ASAP. If you can't visit, try to talk to them on the phone or e-mail. They're going to be able to give you insight into what these programs are really like--not just what they seem like they'll be on paper. Also, keep in mind that simply knowing and admiring the work of certain faculty doesn't guarantee that they're good teachers or good advisors. Arkansas may have wonderful, but lesser known teachers. You won't know until you ask the right people.

Regarding the teaching load, there are a lot of factors to weigh there. If you want to teach later, the 2/2 load x 4 years will provide valuable experience that the 0/0 or 0/1 load x 1 year obviously can't. The value of either route will depend on what you want next.

Also, you dismissed the financial aspects, but is the money really the same when you consider the cost of living in the towns you'll be living in?

Personally, I would weigh 1) money in context, 2) generally happiness of current students, and 3) whether I'm in a hurry to get my degree or if I can take my sweet time.

Best of luck!

Mary said...

Hi guys, I should specify that I'm a fiction writer.

Finances are definitely a huge concern for me. Both schools are offering good packages for the duration of their respective programs that I believe would be enough for housing/food. Arkansas would obviously be a greater total sum since it's for 4 years.

I'm interested in teaching, yes, but I'm also thinking about getting my master's/PhD in English or American Studies down the line. But really I just want to get a book published...

I know I'm really lucky to have options—still freaking out though.

yogithecat said...

Anyone have any thoughts about earning a MA in Literature before going for the MFA? I'm thinking about how this route might help professionally and artistically. If this is a topic that's been discussed before, I've missed it...so I'd appreciate any input!

Maria Alvarez said...

@Mary: Did BU specify if they were done/had finished notifying all accepted fiction applicants? I'm dying to hear from them, as they are my last hope at full funding. Congratulations! BU is my dream school.

Mary said...

@Maria: Not sure if they're done notifying, but I believe if they haven't already they will contact all accepted students very very soon.

Maria Alvarez said...

Does anyone here know about the quality of the MFA program at American University in terms of its faculty/their commitment to their students/the writing community as a whole?

I was accepted into their Fiction program last week and I am undecided because I did not receive any funding. Zip. Zero. Zilch. And from what I've read/heard, D.C. is very, very expensive.

For anyone familiar with the D.C. area, what are some neighborhoods that are student friendly/affordable/safe/have access to public transit, etc.?

What's the literary scene like in DC?

I appreciate any insight! With AU being my only acceptance, I don't know if I can justify the magnitude of debt I'd be burdened with post-graduation.

G said...

@DTFullen I'm in Austin too and I've been trying to find some _serious_ writers to write/exchange work with on the regular. I'll email you?

fjp said...

For those of you accepted to or considering applying to the University of Houston MFA or PhD in Creative Writing, it is important that you know that there is a protest going on regarding TA salaries. Here is an article in the Houston Free Press newspaper http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/03/uh_english_poverty_petition.php. Here is the petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/uhenglishgrad/. Or join our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TFsUnite. I am a current PhD student in Poetry. Spread the word, if you are interested.

DT Fullen said...

@G Yes, please do!

John B. Burke said...

@Mary,

Curious as to when you heard from Arkansas re funding. I'm in there too (also a fiction writer), so it's possible we'll be getting to know each other well soon, but I'm waiting on details.

Happy to chat via e-mail if you prefer. Just say so.

genealogy journeys said...

@Ann, I have to say that I don't think I'd go wrong at either of the schools that accepted me. I know people at Bennington, and maybe that was the tipping point. I think i would have been happy at either program. What is on your mind?

genealogy journeys said...

@Ann, I have to say that I don't think I'd go wrong at either of the schools that accepted me. I know people at Bennington, and maybe that was the tipping point. I think i would have been happy at either program. What is on your mind?

genealogy journeys said...

Ann, email me if you'd like.

Mary said...

John: I would email or call them to check on funding, but I wouldn't be too worried. Just curious, what draws you to the program at Arkansas? Are you considering other schools as well?

John B. Burke said...

@Mary,

Not worried; I had a couple of questions that may have slowed the process. Was planning to call Monday.

As to the rest, I admit: almost everything is by feel at this point, art-not-science and all of that. There are scraps of writing I've seen from the core professors, and I've found a few might-be-telling details in interviews.

One of the profs was taught herself by Eudora Welty, whose work I love -- and my gf has a master's in historic preservation, so we tour a lot of old houses on vacation, and the Welty House in Jackson is the only one that still felt ... inhabited, somehow. I imagine Ms. Welty left something you can touch in everyone she got close to.

Another named Donald Barthelme as one of her favorites, and his Snow White might be the one novel written in English that means most to me. Flip to any page and you know that book could only have come from its author; I am quite possibly obsessed with the notion of leaving a body of work that can only be mine. I try to be brave about indulging my strangest impulses, thus, and it may well be that I need a place that will humor (tolerate?) me. The two stories I submitted as a writing sample were kind of a gentle test that way; I have a pretty good idea of why I was rejected by several schools.

Maybe none of this comes to anything. So hard to know.

I do want to teach (although I share your primary desire to publish), and I like the idea of having the fourth year (or second, third and fourth in your case, from what I gather above) to feel just right about what I hand in as an eventual final work.

There are three places I might end up after turning a fourth down today, and Arkansas does lead in *feel*. I've made decisions this way pretty much my whole life, and I've never felt unlucky afterwards -- but I guess I'm really saying this may be what's right for me, no one else. Assuming that the funding is what I expect, I'm pretty likely to sign up.

Let me know what you decide, whenever you do. I'm more than happy to try to clarify or to answer any other questions, and of course I look forward to schooling with you if it comes to that.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

Boise
BostonU
Emerson

I have been waiting for the past three months without avail. There have been hassles with regards to documents, etc. considering I am an international applicant (I'm a first timer from India) but nonetheless, I am waiting.

Kind of a hypochondriac who can't cope with an illness without the self-assurance that I am doing something about it. In this vein, I wrote to Mr. Wieland at Boise State whose response was as laconic as it can get:

"Thank you for your email. We are in the process of sending out our notifications. You will receive word soon."

I suppose that was enough, but that only added to the anxiety. The admissions office at Emerson hinted at something like 'next week' though I'm not sure. I have never been this anxious in over a year. It's like history repeating itself, with a vengeance.

Anyone with updates on either of Boise, BostonU or Emerson?

Alchemy16 said...

Does anyone here have any thoughts on the Columbia MFA versus the Sarah Lawrence one? For poetry.

And does anyone have an opinion on East Anglia's writing degree?

Thanks! And congratulations to all.

bipsy said...

Emerson's CW welcome event is on April 6 so I am guessing all acceptances have gone out. I received my call on March 20.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

@bipsy - being an international student, they required me to do a WES credential evaluation, which should have reached the admissions office very recently. I have always been paranoid about that detail, even though the admissions office assured me that it is a "rolling admission process" and asked me to take a chill pill.

Do I have reason to be worried, though? Do you know anyone else who had/might have received calls?

M. Hanson said...

First time applicant to Brooklyn for Fiction. Received an update status on February 20 that decisions would be made within 6 weeks, so only a few business days remaining. I haven't heard either way yet and don't know if that should be a sign either way...

bipsy said...

There have been quite a few who posted on the draft about calls and also the grad cafe. I am trying to think if I have seen any rejections but I can't recall (then again not everyone is eager to share that news). You should give the department a call/email on Monday. Often the grad school and departments aren't always on the same page. As for have the extra international paperwork to do when I was a part of higher Ed admin the department would review the ap with the rest and then worry about tracking all the BS down if the person was a go. Not sure if Emerson is the same but just a thought.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

On the contrary, I believe you are the first person to have said anything about being accepted/rejected at Emerson. I have seen a lot of UMass, some BostonU, but no news regarding Emerson over here.

I shall take your word, nonetheless, and write to the department on Monday (I might actually drop them an email when they can get back to when they see it). The admissions office has been extremely reassuring, which makes me be wary of them.

As for you, did you get accepted with a fellowship/waiver? How do those things work at Emerson?

bipsy said...

Oh sorry, I meant the draft on Facebook not here for other acceptances. Also the gradcafe list. They are still working on funding. I know of one person who has gotten theirs already but he heard of his acceptance about a week before I did (also a different genre). I was told it should be complete within the early part of this week though.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

So the admissions office has consistently maintained that the limit has not been reached with a lot of pending decisions. That had kept me a little optimistic until you came along, honestly. Now I don't know whom to believe.

This is not to say that you haven't been of help, but there's a lot of disillusionment I'm facing right now regarding how I handled the whole WES debacle. Wish I had been a little rushed/speedy about it. Sigh.

Ann said...

Thanks, GJ. Was just wondering if you'd heard about any real differences in the programs...for example, one focusing more on craft, the other on publication, etc. I'm gathering that they're pretty similar.

Ann said...

Snack Attack...just saw your comment. Thanks so much for taking a moment to share your thoughts. It's kind of you, and your input made me smile. I'm ready for a fairy tale. :)

genealogy journeys said...

@Ann, I think they are similar. I talked to a lot of people who were or are students of the programs all of whom liked them, worked hard, and liked the faculty. Let me know how to pm you and I will.

weepingwillow said...

@Karthik: I was accepted to Emerson for fiction on Feb. 28, but it seems like acceptances have been *very* staggered this year. Don't lose hope!

As for funding, I've yet to hear anything, which has been frustrating. I e-mailed grad admissions on 2/22 and they said all funding would be allocated "in the next few weeks" and that they couldn't be more specific than that.

@bipsy: Did the "early part of this week" estimate you were given apply to funding for all genres?

Ann said...

G.J.:
anniesmith3527@yahoo.com

bipsy said...

@ karthik - my time in higher ed has made me severely disillusioned about communication between grad school and departments. That said, I fully believe departments forgoe looking at the little details of apps when they have the big parts, in this case the writing sample and SOP. Drop the department a line and don't lose hope until you have a no in hand. This process is crazy cakes.

@ weepingwillow- that is what they made it sound like but again, my time in higher ad has jaded me to timelines. I am poetry though if that brings you any comfort or not.

As for Emerson in general it seems like their process is really messed up this year. I think the delayed deadline had a lot to do with it. You have people admitted before the March 1st deadline and those after and then people still left to hear. I think they totally screwed themselves with moving it and are now playing catch up.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

@weepingwillow - the 28th of February? I applied on a March 1 deadline. Isn't that... wrong? :-/

Unless they had more than one round of applications which they accepted, in which case it all makes sense. 'Staggered' does too, which is what the admissions office kept telling me - something about how it's an ongoing 'rolling' admission process.

I shall not lose hope, then, just because you say so. :)

FantasyCreature said...

I'm attending the New School in the fall for fiction. I found this site and am mystified by some of the posts I've seen on here (and sources cited that sound ignorant).

As a New Yorker, perhaps I'm more familiar.

I've spent the past year carefully assessing the programs in Manhattan and was convinced by its great faculty, its new library opening this summer, its pleasant classrooms and lecture hall, getting a chance to meet a good number of the graduate students currently in the program and hearing their experiences, sitting in on lectures, there's a course that prepares those who wish for teaching (there's a similar course at Columbia...in fact the entire program is similar). You can request a list of courses from this past year (they're not up on the site). I assure you, they're awesome, varied and challenging.

I queried agents about how the manuscripts coming out of New School stack up compared to the other "top large" New York MFA programs (this was important to me?????) and was assured they are as respected and have been equivalent in quality from their point of view, perhaps edgier over all. Two encouraged me to choose New School over another "top large" MFA program.

The tuitions are equivalent, the amount of financial aid would probably be equivalent (I am happy with the "standard" (as it was put) 25% scholarship they're offering).

Staff is available at all times to give advice. An Aetna PPO medical plan is offered at $2500 for the YEAR! (For those who live in Manhattan you'd know this is awesome.)

The professors include a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, writers who've been recipients of the Guggenheim Award, the Rona Jaffe Award, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Pushcart Prize, writers whose works have been adapted to the big screen, many acclaimed novelists whose work I admire--some whose work SELLS!--others already well placed in the publishing industry.

They have a diverse choice of professors, students, specialties within the program itself including a concentration in children's writing, they've just added a program for those who want to do critical writing on the arts...where else to do this but in NYC.

And NYC is the place to be if you want to be around the publishing industry.

And I had no desire to spend two years of my life in a program I wasn't sold on so I did bother to research and research these programs.

Anyway, hello to you all as I've been lurking on these boards while waiting, with baited breath, to get into MY top choice, the New School, and hope to see some of you other LUCKY people in September.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

@FantasyCreature's extra-insightful comment aside, has anyone been accepted into Boise (for Fiction)?

I've seen a couple of rejections mentioned over here, but little else. Anyone passing by who might want to let the world know that they made it there?

weepingwillow said...

@Karthik: Emerson's deadline was 3/1, and I was perplexed too when I was accepted beforehand. Their deadline was originally 1/15, though at some point they pushed it back. I applied prior to the original deadline, for what that's worth. I think bipsy is right that this deadline extension has caused a lot of chaos. In fact, my first notice of admission was an e-mail that read "Congratulations again on your acceptance," which was pretty confusing. My initial letter on the Application Portal also said in one spot that funding decisions had not yet been made, and in another spot that I'd been denied funding. A few days later, that second spot changed to reiterate that decisions had not yet been made. I assume this was a system glitch, but nonetheless, you are not alone in your confusion over Emerson this year.

N. Von said...

First time poster, long time reader.

First year applying. I applied to two schools.

Accepted:

New School

Rejected:

Hunter College

Hopefully I'll see some of you at the New School in the fall!

ashlee said...

@Austin Translation:
One of my professors used to teach there so luckily he put me directly in touch with the head of the program. Was originally offered the Privateer Award (?) to be applied toward tuition and then that offer was replaced by a TAship offer, waiving all tuition fees and awarding $5,400 a year.

As far as I can tell everything is done pretty old school there--mostly written communication. Few emails, phone calls, etc.

Michael said...

Has anyone heard from University of Miami or FIU?

Billy Patrick said...

@ Michael,

Also awaiting word from University of Miami.

Michael said...

@ Billy

Thanks, and good luck. Hoping to hear something sooner than later.

inandoftheworld said...

@ Michael

JUST got an email of acceptance to FIU. No word of funding, though.

SnackAttack said...

Congratulations, inandof! If you eat pork, oh my goodness a Cuban sandwich in Miami is on my bucket list.

DB Cooper said...

Anyone else still waiting on Brooklyn?

M. Hanson said...

@DB Cooper I'm still anxiously waiting. It's down to a matter of days before their own professed usual deadline of notifications. I figured I would've heard a gentle let down by now...

inandoftheworld said...
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inandoftheworld said...

@snackattack

Thanks! It's a nice note to get, even though it won't lead anywhere without funding. I applied for Debra Dean.

Likely won't end up there (I have funding at a different school) but if I did I would eat SO MANY Cuban sandwiches

Amanda said...

@DB Copper, @M. Hanson,

I haven't heard from Brooklyn either (for poetry). Maybe they sent out the accepts already? If not, I think it's nuts of them to wait this late.

John B. Burke said...

"Tampa has the good Cuban sandwiches," he said, dabbing mustard from one corner of his mouth but not knowing to hide the bit of ham that had lodged in his teeth. "As a Floridian, perhaps I'm more familiar."

Billy Patrick said...

Ask and ye shall receive. Rejection from Miami, thus capping a strong 0 for 8 showing in my first bout with MFA applications.

Moll said...

@billy, sorry to hear it. I feel you. Hang in there and keep writing.

SnackAttack said...

@ Billy, send something out to a lit mag and watch it get published. It's the law of averages. Or something.

@Moll, I value your compassion.

@ inandof: Ha!

@ John: First one I ever had was at the Columbia in Ybor in the early 80s. I was so little I could hardly take a bite. But I was hooked.

Have you been down to St. Pete lately? They serve a great Cuban at the Seahorse on Pass-a-grille. Caught a great reading at Eckerd with Beth Ann Fennelly, Tom Franklin, Ann Hood and more. Also, the Vinoy looks better than ever (in my lifetime, anyway). Also again, they're not really going to demo the Pier, are they? The inside could use a reno, sure. But it's a cool building of a dying breed. Chain yourself to that upside-down disco pyramid!

I'm plumb outta @'s.

John B. Burke said...

@SnackAttack,

I head over to St. Pete whenever I want ice cream. Tastes better near the beach. The mayor thinks Tropicana Field is just dandy (he must really like his toilet, too) and the Pier is the eyesore.

For the record, I'm confident there are good Cuban sandwiches in Miami as well. Tampa is not a food town for the most part. Pity, because I eat.

Hazel said...

Has anyone applied for the MFA at Humber Guelph in Canada? If so, have you had any news?

Bad Boy Bento said...

I've been somewhat silent as the grave, but here's the latest for me.

University of Central Arkansas:

acceptance by email/phone.

University of New Hampshire:

went to visit - wonderful program. Funding is somewhat weak, but they are honest and they hide nothing. Respect to these folks, they have a great thing going in Durham.

Georgia College:

waitlisted on funding, will find out more Friday, I hope.

George Mason:

pulling my hair out.

Congrats to all who have good news, and to those who are still waiting - it ain't over 'til it's over.

SnackAttack said...

Bad Boy Bento, what an impressive list. Good for you for keepin on, keepin on. Wow.

inandoftheworld said...

Damn everybody stop talking about sandwiches, I'm hungry

oh hello said...

@Simple Pleasures

I am currently living in Las Cruces and have taken a couple poetry workshop classes at NMSU. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

As for my acceptances, I was accepted into Rutgers-Newark without funding. Does anyone know anything about third party funding such as grants or scholarships?

letters said...

does anyone know if all BU acceptances have gone out? are we just waiting on waitlists and rejections?

SnackAttack said...

Rejected from BU via email from Leslie E. for poetry.

Well, I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're (not) my home.

letters said...

Just now @snackattack? Blast. Fiction here, still waiting.

hlynnbigham said...

Anything from FSU MFA poetry? Anybody?

inandoftheworld said...

I know a few people were discussing the Hollins waitlist on here--I've removed myself from it just now, in case it helps anyone!

bigmouthstrikesagain said...

@hlynnbigham I received an acceptance email from FSU on March 1st(MFA Poetry) but I'm pretty sure they said that acceptances don't go out all at once.

John said...

@Bad Boy Bento:
Fiction or poetry? What did the funding situation look like at UNH? (I ask because I'm on the waitlist for fiction.)

Amber said...

Does anyone know if UNO has sent out waitlist notifications for fiction?

MD said...

Rejected:
Iowa
Boise
FSU
WUSL

Heard nothing from:
Indiana
Purdue
South Carolina
Bowling Green
Wichita

Anyone hear from any of my still waitings?

MD said...

Still waiting to hear from:
Purdue
Indiana
Wichita
Bowling Green
South Carolina

Anyone hear from these places? I've heard nothing!

John said...

Rejected at BU via email this morning (fiction).

Jesus Christ said...
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Jesus Christ said...

I think I will take pictures naked with my MFA rejections letters. Then I will make a cl casual sex ad and ask for degrading/humiliating sex from an abusive woman. That is how I feel right now.

Jesus Christ said...
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Jesus Christ said...
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Nanner said...

@ashlee

Were you given any funding information on UCF? Asking because the program claims to fully fund many students, but all other admits I've talked to were put on a wait list for funding. Just wondering if it really exists.

Alex Mack said...

A philosophical question:

To Facebook Draft Group, or not to Facebook Draft Group?

I'm on the short waitlist at my top program and have been debating whether or not to join the FB group to maybe gather some more information. (I know nothing about the dynamics of the group - so for those who do please share your experiences on Draft). Here, from what I can guess, are the potential cons and pros of me joining another MFA forum.

Cons:
1. An incomplete sample size. It's just as likely that those who have been accepted into my program aren't even on Facebook, let alone in the Draft group.
2. It's just another thing for me to become preoccupied with.
3. Ignorance is bliss. Might as well hold onto my bliss a little bit longer, if you can even call it that.

Pros:
1. I can stop bothering you guys.
2. On the flip side of ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power. Part of me thinks it would be nice to know a little bit more about where I stand...

Anyway, from typing this out, I think I'm just gonna leave it alone and accept that I've done all I can to affect my fate. In this case, knowledge doesn't seem to be power. There is no correlation between me being aware of other people's acceptances and me getting in off the waitlist. But it was cathartic to articulate my inner debate, so thanks for listening!

And good luck to everyone! Congratulations to all those accepted somewhere, hold tight to all those on a waitlist somewhere, and to those who had no luck this year, keep writing! Look to all those on this blog who have been accepted into great programs their second, third, and fourth cycles for inspiration - I know I do.

DT Fullen said...

Still waiting to hear from Bowling Green...anyone receive word from them? They said they would notify me within two weeks (about two weeks ago) if I was accepted. I hope they notify me if I'm rejected...

@G and @nairb454: dfull6@gmail.com Hit me up! (Also anyone in the Austin area looking to exchange fiction...)

Dauntless said...

@Alex Mack: I have been wondering that myself this whole cycle. (Maybe if I was on Draft, I would only obsessively check this site half as often?) Ultimately, I decided that it doesn't matter.

Good luck with your waitlist, dude! Have a Cuban sandwich.

Laura Rock said...

Has anyone heard from the U of Guelph MFA program (taught at the Guelph-Humber campus in Toronto). Website says notifications by end-March, but I haven't heard yet . . . Thanks!

Laura Rock said...

Has anyone heard from the Guelph-Humber MFA program (in Toronto)? Their website says notifications are to be sent by the end of March, but I've heard nothing. Email non-responsive. Thanks.

Lou Mindar said...

@Nanner and @Ashlee --

I was wondering the same thing about funding at UCF. They supposedly offer full funding to the majority of students they accept, but I haven't heard of any recent admits receiving full funding. I've tried to contact both the MFA program as well as the graduate school at UCF to discuss, but they are not particularly good at returning messages/emails. Anyone have any insight?

Alex Mack said...

Thanks, Dauntless! Tonight's pizza and wine night, and I couldn't be more excited.

Nanner said...

@Lou Mindar,

My emails were also left unanswered until I emailed the graduate coordinator, James Campbell at james.campbell@ucf.edu. Apparently they are shuffling program directors, so he is the one to talk to. He told me that they'd given away all available TA positions and that I was on a waitlist for a position. That's the same story for a couple of other admits I've talked to.

SnackAttack said...

That's all, folks. I've heard from all my schools and declined the offer at a non-funded program. Still writing, still snacking, all's well. It was nice to hang with you through it all. Good luck Triple B, Penelope, Dauntless, inandoftheworld, Johnny, magncheese, DT, DB, on and on. You were a lot of fun.

Make snacks, not war.

And write on!

DB Cooper said...

Good luck and keep on keepin' on. Godspeed SnackAttack!

Dauntless said...

SnackAttack, buddy! I've been lurking and enjoying your posts for more than a month now. I'm sure you don't need a pep talk, but I can't help observing that you are a goddamn paragon of good cheer and singular proof that this process is whimsical, arbitrary and sometimes deeply unjust. I wish you the best.

Onwards!

MD said...

I spoke with Purdue last week and they said offers run through Mid-April. .

I didn't hear no bell yet, whether that's bliss or ignorance

Eagleonapole said...

@SA don't leave us now! Not while all of us lurkers are languishing in waitlist land. We need your gentle warnings about turning down unfunded offers mixed with the occasional discussion of Cuban sandwiches.

J S said...
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J S said...

@MD

Still waiting on Wichita (fiction) too. I know a few people were accepted in March. Emailed them last week and no response. Will post if they ever get back to me.

Moll said...
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Lee S said...

I got into Otis College in LA and San Francisco State University. Anyone else get into Otis? Does anyone know anything about what the San Fran State program is like?

Modi said...

Just wanted to throw this out there. Last week I emailed a school I hadn't heard a peep from, even though their decisions supposedly went out a few weeks ago. I figured there was no hope and had already started moving on. Just heard back that I am high on their wait list. Not sure why they didn't tell me. But it's not over until it's over, I guess.

Jennifer said...
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CaliBound said...

Hi all,

I've been sporadically visiting this blog while waiting to hear back from programs, and I wondered if anybody on here will be attending UC Irvine's MFA program this fall? I will be there studying fiction :-) Very excited but still in disbelief. Congrats to all who got into programs this year, and best of luck to those who are still waiting on decisions.

S.C. said...

I will be attending American University in the fall. Anyone that will also be in our nation's capital this fall. Please feel free to drop me an email. My contact info is on my website. Click on S.C. Best, Steve :)

GMFM said...

Has anyone else still not heard back from Iowa? I've been assuming that no news means no thanks. That's fine. I've accepted at Hopkins (funding, location and faculty are too good). It just dawned on me that I still have an application pending. Anyone else?

nairb454 said...

@inandoftheworld: That is delightful news. Would like to increase my options from one to two if possible. Where did you end up accepting if I may ask?

Virginia said...

I got wait listed at IU last week and rejected from Purdue a couple of weeks ago. Good luck!

hamchugirl said...

I feel like I am caught up in some sort of staring-by-proxy contest waiting for someone to blink and give up that ideal spot -- and all the while I am sitting on a spot or two that might be ideal for someone else. Well, call me dumb, call me a quitter, call me the first one to blink, but I think I will officially give up my place in line somewhere today in an attempt to get this constipated pipeline moving again. Anyone care to join me? Anyone?

Kate said...

I've been peeking in but haven't posted until now. I was accepted to Emerson's fiction program, but without any funding. All other schools have declined, with the possible exception of Bowling Green, who I haven't heard from. Given the expense and general reviews I've heard of the program, I'm unsure if I want to commit to Emerson. Ideally I'd take another year to polish up and try again, but my family is really pushing me to take what I've been offered and get started this year.

Karthik Purushothaman said...

@Kate - Same here.

Rejections - Boise and BostonU
Accepted - Emerson.

No funding. I have an additional problem in the fact that I'm from India, which means what's 'expensive' for you folks is just downright astronomical over here. I had never confronted the possibility that I might not get funded, before. And now it's take it or leave it. :-/

Hallie Price said...

Schools that I applied to and did not get into:Boise, U of Idaho, U of O, Oregon State, Portland State and Eastern Washington. I was on the waitlist for a couple, but even if I got in, I cannot afford to go without a TA. I am going to keep applying until I get in because this is what I want to do! I would love to hear comments/feedback from other applicants and accepted students. I am putting up a website to discuss primarily short fiction. I want to include a blog about my experience applying to MFA programs and provide a forum for discussion about these topics. Please check out halliejoprice.com in the next couple of weeks if these subjects interest you. Write on everyone!


Lee S said...

@Karthik @kate I went to emerson for my undergrad and it's a great school with amazing resources. However, it is expensive as hell. My biggest problem with it was actually the social aspect. I made no lasting relationships there and it made it hard to network. Lots of cool kids and art snobs. But again, its an amazing school.

Lee S said...

Can anyone tell me anything about Otis College of Art and Design? or San Fran State U?

Unknown said...

I was accepted to Spalding, Lesley, and Antioch.I chose to go with Spalding and was wondering if anyone else was going there or has heard anything about the program? I'm also getting lot's of flack for choosing to pursue an MFA from those around me.I'm excited about the whole experience and realize the main goal should be to become a better writer, not to find a tenure-track professor position, but no one else understands that. I'm finding it difficult to defend myself anymore. Thoughts?

Regina Tavani said...
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Fancy Nancy said...

Kate: Are your parents willing to pay for your degree at Emerson? If not, then I'm afraid their advice to "just get started this year" is not practical. People outside the writing/MFA world don't necessarily understand the true importance of receiving funding for this art degree that will provide nearly zero help in attaining a job. I'm a professional who makes a solid salary and I feel nervous about leaving my career even to go to a fully funded program. Anyway, I think it's a wonderful plan to wait a year and try again if you can't afford Emerson.

But again, if Mom and Dad are ponying up the funds, that's a different story! But I have a sense that's not your reality.

MD said...

Still nothing from Wichita, Bowling Green, or South Carolina

Catie J. said...

@Kate, @Karthik, and @Regina: I'm a first-year nonfiction MFA at Emerson, and I have not experienced any snobbishness on the part of my classmates. The funding situation is disastrous--for a school of such great resources, I'm really confounded about the lack of funding for grad students. That said, the program is exactly what I hoped it would be: great faculty, pretty open curriculum, opportunity to work in multiple genres, talented and generally unpretentious cohorts, supportive community. Probably a full half of my classmates work full-time jobs, possible since classes are almost all at night. But my TL;DR advice is this: if the debt is too scary, don't torture yourself by subjecting yourself to it! And if it doesn't scare you, then screw that common-wisdom, debt-is-evil advice and do it anyway.

S.C. said...

My advice to those who are considering attending a non-funded MFA program is to go for it, but only if you love the work of the creative writing faculty and the location where you'll be living for the next 2-3 yrs., in that order. I committed to attend American University's MFA Program in Creative Writing without knowing if I would receive any funding. A.U. is a very prestigious private institution of higher learning, so it is very expensive, not to mention that it is located in Washington, D.C., which is also a very expensive place to live, so I was looking at an insane amount of student loans that would have taken me many, many, many, did I say many, yrs. to pay back, but I didn't care, I was going to go regardless, because of my great admiration and respect that I have for A.U.’s creative writing faculty and also for the opportunity to live in Washington, D.C. It turns out that I just recently found out that I was awarded the sole 2013 poetry fellowship, so I will be attending A.U. on a full scholarship, debt free, with a generous stipend, and I have the opportunity to be a T.A. for 20 hrs. a week, but I didn't know that at the time I committed to attend A.U. It seems like some writers have a desire to pursue an MFA, but only if it is convenient, e.g. if they receive full tuition, a T.A. position, etc. They have the desire, but they lack the true passion that all writers should have; not all talented writers have a passion for the written word; the passion that says, I don't care how much I have to pay for my MFA degree, I don’t care what others opine, I’m following my heart’s desire, I’m pursuing my dream regardless of all the costs, figurative and literal. There are also some very negative people who say that it is impossible to get a teaching job with an MFA degree; those are the types of people you should never take any advice from; stay away from negative people disguised as realists, throwing out statistics as if human beings were mere numbers. My advice is that if you are concerned about both financial and job security, become a medical doctor, or a corporate lawyer, a police officer, an electrician, all commendable jobs with great job security. I am writing from the heart; what I write are my opinions and beliefs, not facts. I am not saying that what I write should be taken as gospel, to each their own, but I stand by my words.

Austin Translation said...

@ SC

You just equated the pursuit of an MFA with the pursuit of a dream. Nobody needs an MFA to write, nobody needs to take classes with their favorite author to write better.

That is why so many people warn against going into debt. Writers should be passionate about writing, not about the degrees on their CV. There are other ways to get better that don't have five digit price tags.

Congrats on finding a situation that perfectly suits you, but I am completely flabbergasted that you're encouraging people to take out big loans for an MFA, something you didn't have to do!

S.C. said...

@ Austin Translation. By your comments, it is obvious that you failed to understand my opening sentence, so I will rewrite it "My advice to those who are considering attending a non-funded MFA program." My comments are directed towards those individuals, who by the way, are so harshly discouraged from studying at Columbia University, American University, Emerson and many other quality non-fully funded programs, because many people seem to think, it's a fully funded MFA or nothing. There are many other options to become a better writer, especially for those who don’t want to teach, but like I said, and I will rewrite it again, my intentions were to advice "those who are considering attending a non-funded MFA Program." I would have attended with or without funding, as I explained earlier, another point you failed to grasp. If I would have written, “my advice to those who want to become better writers without getting an MFA or going into debt,” my advice would be as follows: read, read, write, read and write some more, and then contact writers (e.g., e-mail) you respect and admire, and ask them for their input, which is basically what all MFA candidates will be doing anyway. But as I wrote earlier, my intentions were to advice “those who are considering attending a non-funded MFA program.” I do like how you phrased that I “equaled the pursuit of an MFA with the pursuit of a dream,” and I indeed did so, and I stand by that. I will say that I am a little disappointed because you are a translator, and you should have been attentive as to my intended audience; I will also say that I thank you for your congratulatory comments, and no hard feelings. I just stand by my words. I sincerely respect yours. I hope all is well in Texas, Best, Steve

Austin Translation said...

@ SC

I did not misunderstand you. Those who are considering non-funded MFA programs are presumably those who think an MFA is their best route to improving as a writer.

I don't see how mortgaging your future (when you would presumably been have doing all your best writing) is a viable strategy toward that goal.

That said, there is a big difference between being paid to get your MFA, not being paid to get your MFA, and having to pay $50k+ for your MFA. It's really only the third option that I see an issue with: escaping student debt is so much harder now than it used to be.

And no one is challenging the quality of experience you can get from a school like Columbia. But there are equal and better experiences to be had, that can be had for free.

Is a $100k Columbia MFA worth something? Yes. Absolutely. Is it worth $100k more than 2 years of independent study? No. Is it worth $130k more than any fully funded program in America? Absolutely not.

S.C. said...

@ Austin Translation, it’s good to hear you didn’t misunderstand me, it’s just that some of your previous arguments were targeting an audience I didn’t address, so that threw me off a bit. I wholeheartedly agree when you wrote that “there are equal and better experience to be had, that can be had for free.” But there are certain advantages in attending high cost non-funded MFA programs; for example, let us focus on Columbia University. Tracy K. Smith is a Columbia MFA graduate; she won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in poetry; The Pulitzer Prize is awarded by Columbia University; Tracy K. Smith is a genius who deserved the Pulitzer she won, but connections do help. I'm sure it didn't hurt for her to get an award from an institution where she actually graduated from. More Swede writers have won a Nobel Prize in Literature than their fellow Russian writers, which is hard to believe given the rich history of Russian poets and writers over the centuries, but the Nobel Prize Committee for Literature is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Now, would you fault me for being willing to pay the high costs of attending American University, if I said that in part, it was because of its previous rich history; Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Henry Taylor, taught literature and then directed A.U.’s MFA program in creative writing. He taught at A.U. from 1971-2003. Very few MFA creative writing programs can boast to have a Pulitzer Prize caliber poet teach at the same institution for so many years before retiring. The poet Valzhyna Mort is the younger person to have ever been featured on the cover of Poets & Writers magazine, and she graduated from American University’s MFA Creative Writing program in 2011, so A.U. MFA graduates have had very recent success. Richard Cytowic was a world renowned neurologist years before he decided to earn his MFA in Creative Writing from American University, so the diversity of the minds of the various A.U.MFA Creative Writing alumni was another factor for me. My point is that we should not fault those of us willing to pay our own way, like I was willing to do before I found out that I was getting a poetry fellowship, so that I could study under A.U. Poetry Professors Kyle Dargan and David Keplinger; two genius poets I deeply admire and greatly respect. Also, to be living in Washington, D.C. is an opportunity like no other for me ‘cause I’m a big city type of fellow, and I feel most comfortable inside of a Metropolis. This will be my last response concerning this matter, so I apologize to anyone who comments after they read this when I don’t reply, but I said my peace; I just believe that to pass up a chance to study at a school like Columbia in NYC, American University in Washington, D.C. or Emerson in Boston, solely because you don’t want to have student loans is silly, and shows in my opinion that you are not very serious about pursuing an MFA, but would only do so if it is convenient to do so. Of course, there is no need to get an MFA to write, but my advice is solely to those writers who are thinking of pursuing a non-funded MFA program; money is not something a writer should only be concerned with. Think about the greater picture; don’t just worry about the frame.

Fancy Nancy said...

Anyone else notice that some of the the longest comments tend to come from those rationalizing going into debt for an MFA?

Look, if someone is really passionate about going to a school where they go deeply, deeply in debt for the MFA, then they have made their own decision based on their own circumstances, and I won't get in their way. But what the poster Kate was asking, and what many others in her position feel, is whether she should (reluctantly) agree to go into debt for the one non-funded program she got into, perhaps based in part on a concern that this will be the only chance to do an MFA. That is different. In my opinion, people who have the niggling concern this choice might not be the best for them are smart to carefully consider the matter.

S.C., congrats on landing an amazing and unexpected funding deal. That's great. It's also next to impossible for all the other unfunded MFA students to also achieve. Using your story as an example of how it all works out in the end is akin to living life according to that book The Secret.

"It seems like some writers have a desire to pursue an MFA, but only if it is convenient ... They have the desire, but they lack the true passion that all writers should have; not all talented writers have a passion for the written word; the passion that says, I don't care how much I have to pay for my MFA degree..."

And with all due respect, S.C., the above quote is ridiculous. Repeat after me: No one needs an MFA to be a true artist or writer. It's a system like any other. You can have passion for the work and prepared to build your live around your creative work WITHOUT going into $50k of debt. Because that debt, for many writers, can have a crushing and negative effect on their work. The work is what matters, S.C., not the prestigious MFA. Although I'm not sure you're convinced of that.

Austin Translation said...

@ Fancy Nancy

Yes.

I'd like to expand on your point about the negative and crushing affect debt can have on an artist's work, because that is precisely why I am so vocal about this issue.

Debt is nasty, much nastier than it used to be. And it is a much different condition from poverty, which some writers embrace as a muse.

I have friends right now struggling with student debt for degrees that are far more economically valuable than an MFA. They feel trapped,like they're trying to climb Niagara Falls with a pickaxe. They wish somebody had told them what exactly they were getting into 5-6 years ago when they took those loans out so they could have more seriously considered in-state education.

It's a serious thing that should never be dismissed with romantic rhetoric: "follow your dreams... whatever the cost!"

Big debt grows easier than it shrinks. Some applicants need to consider that they might want to do something like start a family in the next five years or so, and the debt will probably not be gone by then.

Unknown said...

Anyone heard from Guelph?

Kiesha said...

I can't front. It really hurt to say no to Syracuse, but I gave up my spot there this week and will be headed to the cornfields of Iowa in the fall.

This whole MFA application process has been one crazy emotional ride, but it was worth it.

Much love and best of luck to everyone at the page and beyond!

Prudentc said...

Anyone here have a strong opinion about Brooklyn College? I'm considering them for fiction.

J S said...

@ Kiesha Congrats!! Any insight you can give us into Syracuse's application process? What Saunders was like? Etc?

rr said...

Anyone in at Purdue?

rr said...
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anonymousjones said...

hey guys, I know it's last minute, but I could really use some guidance.

I just got in off the waitlist at a truly extraordinary program, fully funded, robust teaching opportunities, etc. prior to that, I had told another program yes, a program that I love and that has been courting me and making it abundantly clear that they want me. it's not fully funded (though they are offering me a nice scholarship), and the teaching opportunities are not nearly as impressive. however, I absolutely love the location, and I had a warm, promising, and lovely experience visiting. I should add that the school I said yes to is two years, while the one I was just admitted to is three (sorry for not using names).

so my question: do I have an ethical responsibility to attend the program that I told yes to? how common is saying yes and then reneging in this universe? would I be burning bridges? any one in similar circumstances?

Dauntless said...

Hey Jones,

I feel for you. It sounds like you got a little bit of aid from the first place, which you accepted. Is that school CGSR compliant? If so, my understanding is that if you ask them to release you from your commitment in writing before the end of the day today, they have to do it. Check this out: http://www.cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/CGS_Resolution.pdf

Good luck, and congratulations!

Dauntless said...

P.S. Your question is really about good manners, though, right? It seems to me like the administrators at Program 1 would understand why you would want to take this unexpected opportunity. The MFA admissions process is set up in a way that puts programs and applicants into adversarial competition, and everyone's kind of in the dark about what's going on until April 15th. I bet this kind of last-minute jockeying happens at every program every year.

That's just my inexpert opinion, though.

ZCS said...
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anonymousjones said...

thanks for the council, Dauntless. very helpful. program 1 isn't CGSR compliant, so I'm not sure if that's relevant. but the truth is, I've put myself into high-octane soul-searching mode, and I'm filtering out the noise, and it sounds like my gut is telling me to go with program 1. location isn't everything, but it's something, and coupled with a precedent of warm, welcoming experiences, courtship, attention, all the goodies, it seems like I've made my decision.

maybe in a year I'll have seconds thoughts about the better teaching opportunities, or the extra year, but those thoughts are silly to be concerned with now. there is no way to know. I'll go with what I know.

it's 10:20 am here. too early to start drinking?

Dauntless said...

Don't let yourself be unduly influenced by flattery. Don't worry about disappointing the people at Program 1 who have been kind to you.

That said, it's great to choose the program that's the best fit for you overall, and that may well be Program 1.

Cheers!

Penelope said...

Happy decision day, everyone, and I hope it brings you peace.

Just to pass on (one more time) the advice of all of my undergrad and graduate mentors: do not go into debt for an MFA unless you are independently wealthy. The student loan business is exploitative, the academic job market is in complete shambles, and interest rates on student loans are going to double this summer. Writers are lucky to be in one of the few fields where a graduate degree is not required to do the work that we love. We of all people should refuse to be taken advantage of by the degree programs that demand huge tuition payments, offer little financial assistance, and do not prepare us for the job market. Being poor is one thing, and being in debt is quite another.

I know everyone has to make his or her own decision about this, and an MFA degree can seem like a hard opportunity to pass on. But if you've never had someone counsel you urgently to avoid graduate debt for a humanities degree, please just spend a little time cruising the Chronicle of Higher Education. Protect yourself. Value your work enough to know you should not have to mortgage the next two decades of your life paying other people for the chance to write.

Truly wishing everyone the best, whatever that means to y'all.

CaliBound said...

@Jones...out of curiosity, which is the 3-year program? Sounds like you may have made up your mind already, but if you're still on the fence, I might be able to offer some advice, based solely on my own experience and my friends's experiences. Feel free to shoot me an email at californiabound33@gmail.com. Best of luck, and congrats!

Lee S said...

I paid a deposit for Otis, but I don't think I'm going to go, because it'll cost be around 30k a year including after the money they offered me. Do I have to worry about when I back out? I thought that I could pay the deposit and then just not go and just lose the deposit, but I don't know if it'll work that way after reading some comments on here. Help?

Kiesha said...

@ JS Thank you! :-)

Saunders was absolutely great. Very personable, down to earth, and easy to talk to. Also incredibly thoughtful about the work. Students there rave about his feedback. We had a few email exchanges and he was already thinking ahead on how to best strengthen my work based on the sample alone. So I'd say he's very involved and invested. Passing up the opportunity to work with him was sooo friggin' hard. Even now I'm trying not to think about it too much, lest I find myself questioning my decision. Arthur Flowers was also very cool, funny and thoughtful.

I can't speak much to what their application process is like on the admissions side. I know as an applicant it's pretty straight forward: sample, recs, SOP and teaching statement. The emphasis is certainly on the writing and not so much grades. GRE isn't required at all.

Once admitted the program is extremely thorough in outlining your award and funding, and faculty & students both very accommodating. It's worth mentioning that everyone I spoke to was super happy there, save for the harsh Syracuse winters, which everyone agreed are tough to get through, mentally & physically.

So truly I have nothing but awesome things to say about Syracuse. Great people. Great program!

joseph manning said...
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joseph manning said...

No from Iowa
No from UNC Wilmington.

Accepted at Hollins with a partial
scholarship for 1rst year.
Full Scholarship for 2nd and a potential assistantship

Nonfictioneers, any thoughts please?

joseph manning said...

No from Iowa
No from UNC Wilmington.

Accepted at Hollins with a partial
scholarship for 1rst year.
Full Scholarship for 2nd and a potential assistantship

Nonfictioneers, any thoughts please?

Daniel said...

If there are any future applicants reading this blog, you should check out the UNO Kickstarter: http://kck.st/YWwNXz

We are offering manuscript critiques (20 pages max) as one of the rewards, and our prices are very reasonable. When I applied back in 2009-2010, I paid to have my stories looked at, and it was a huge help for me. We are asking much less than I paid, and I think we have some great writers with good feedback to help out.

J S said...

@ Kiesha - Thanks for sharing all that!! Very insightful! Congrats again on your success!

other news:

denied @ wichita state (for those interested)

letters said...

Anyone out there still making decisions?

KyzerSozay said...
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Viggo Mortified said...

Here are my final results (fiction) for next year's poll:

Accepted:
Boston University
New Writers Project, UT Austin
Texas State University
Old Dominion University

Waitlisted:
Florida State University
University of Houston
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Rejected:
University of Minnesota
University of Virginia
University of Mississippi
University of Iowa
University of Notre Dame
University of Miami
Syracuse University
University of Florida
Michener Center, UT Austin


Ben Linus said...

Is anyone still waiting to hear back from Bennington? I received a letter at the beginning of March stating that applicants would receive notice by the middle of March, but I still have not heard anything.

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