The new content posting has been pretty quiet around here as I seem to be one of the only people updating the blog these days, what with Tom and Seth busy writing and all, and I have been distracted myself -- with writing, teaching, editing, etc. Never fear. I'll continue to throw up new mailbags, and though the blog tends to quiet down over the summer, there will be semi-regular new posts with relevant MFA related content, so be sure to check back, no matter your status heading into the fall.
For now I have a grab-bag of links for you, and some questions I want to throw out there, and a few thoughts.
The eminently sane Vince Gotera (whose personal statement advice has already proved helpful to many an MFA applicant) has advice about how to handle acceptances, rejections, and (maybe most importantly) waitlists. Sure, this is from 2006, but I think it still stands.
Gotera suggests that if you end up with rejections, you should try and figure out why. The new incarnation of ALC, known as Driftless House (and which seems to be ALC minus Seth) is offering a service to help you do just that. You give them ten pages of fiction, or five of poetry, plus your list of schools, plus $90, and in return you'll get "in-line notes and an evaluation letter." That's nine or eighteen bucks a page! Just sayin'. (I work for less than that, if you are interested...)
This brings me to some questions: If you didn't get accepted, will you be reapplying next year? And what, if anything, do you think you gained from going through the process this time around?
For what it's worth, I always tell my MFA application students and clients that they should think of an MFA as a five or six year process: one or two years to apply, two or three years in the program, and a year to adjust afterward. And that's a minimum, in my opinion.
Also for what it's worth: last year I worked with someone going through her fourth year of applications. She'd been waitlisted before, but never had any full offers. After polishing up her stories and statements she went at it again and was accepted, in fiction, at multiple top schools, including Hollins, Brooklyn, and UNCW [Updated - it was actually UNCG, my mistake.] I can't take much credit on that one -- she did so well because she didn't give up, and used the time in between applications to workshop, hone her craft, and improve her stories. By the time I met her she was already in good shape and just needed guidance on statements and some final developmental feedback. But it goes to show that tenacity pays, both for MFA applications and in your future writing lives. Sometimes the ones who make it are the ones who don't give up.
***end pep talk***
More links: many MFA programs have really terrible websites -- any applicant knows this. But how many have blogs? NMSU does, but I'm not sure of any others. Can we crowdsource this one? Post your links to official (or, I guess, unofficial) MFA blogs in the comments.
Current NMSU student Carrie Murphy also emailed me to let me know about her blog, Master of Fine Eats. "Thought this might be of interest to the MFA blog readers," she wrote, "many of whom are already (if not about to be) poor graduate students."
Last thought: one commentator was lamenting over what to tell your recommenders if you don't have the outcome you were looking for. I say (as a fairly prolific recommendation writer myself) just tell them straight. They won't hold it against you one little bit, and most will be happy to get an update, no matter the results. I sometimes don't hear anything from the people I write recs for -- and I always wish I did.
For all this post's focus on possible less-than-desirable results, the acceptance season is not yet over, and there are still more happy "yay, I've been accepted" comments to come. So don't give up the good fight yet, people!
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Woo! New Mailbag!!
Southern New Hampshire University's MFA blog (new blog, relatively new program): http://snhumfawriter.wordpress.com/
I love the smell of a fresh mailbag!
University of Wisconsin Blog
New Mailbag - can't wait!
re: SFSU Financial Aid offer Email
A friend of mine who applied to the MA program also received an email with the award offer. Likely, this means it is just a standard email sent to all applicants who sent in a FAFSA.
This doesn't, in my mind, excuse sending this type of information to as of yet un-accepted (perhaps even rejected) applicants. I've been rejected plenty of times from other programs but this is the first to offer me money - without offering an acceptance. Defines cruelty.
I am not subscribing yet this time or I will surely go insane.
But I did want to say that I just got my rejection from Ole Miss (in poetry) by calling them. I had to leave a voicemail and play phonetag for a day, because Gary Short is super nice and didn't want to leave a rejection message. Kindest rejection yet, that's for sure. Anyway, crossing that one off my list. Three left to hear from.
ugh. i wonder if i should call them. (Ole Miss I mean, applied in fiction.)
@Florida Exile and @Julian -- thanks for the blog links!
Nancy, thanks for those links to Vince's MFA materials, good stuff.
May the new mailbag bring everyone phone calls, letters, acceptances and really, truly some decisions on funding! Good luck all.
This mailbag gizmo thing...I don't get it. Am I supposedly receiving mail or sending mail out?
Sorry to hear about Ole Miss. But at least Gary Short was classy enough not to break the news over voicemail... I've had exes who could learn a thing or two from him :)
Does anyone know anything about Southern New Hampshire University's MFA? I'm curious because SNHU is really more of a community college, and I was really surprised to learn that it offers an MFA. I know it's new, but does it have any kind of a reputation?
wow I just looked at the SNHU webpage and their MFA is more expensive than UNH's.
I'm still really curious to know about this program if anyone knows anything.
Since "I love the smell of new mailbag in the morning" has already been taken, all I can think of is "Smells like teen mailbag."
I had my assistant fax my grandson to see what a "blogger mailbag" was, and my grandson says it's a lot like the corkboard at the Vet bingo hall. People post interesting things (Werther's originals coupons, favorite quiet benches in parks, etc.), then they upload their blogs, and we can choose to Friendster them or not. That's how I understand it.
Is anyone else still waiting to hear from GCSU for fiction? They sent out an email last Wednesday saying they would send out decisions "within the week"...but I am yet to hear a word. Anyone else in a similar boat?
Chatham University's Creative Writing Dept. is telling people who've been accepted there that though they have until April 15th to pay their tuition deposit and commit, their course registration for Fall 2010 starts April 7th, and they're saying classes fill up fast, and that they recommend people paying the deposit by March 31st in order to be all in the system by the 7th to get in to the courses that they most want.
Is that actually kosher with that whole April 15th deadline to decide grad. school agreement thing? I guess it must be but it seems a bit odd.
Fairfield University also has a blog: http://blog.fairfield.edu/inspired/
@M. Swann, so you're 92. That means you can take out $200K of student loans, right? I mean, how long do you really expect to live? Seven more years or so? Eight?
You'll get your MFA, you can defer your loans for a few years (financial hardship, of course), and then you're off to discover what lies in the hereafter, if there is such a place.
No worries. Much as they'd like to, the debt collectors can't follow you there!
Sorry that I haven't been as active on the blog as in the past, but I've been perusing the conversations.
I wish everyone well. Waiting can be killer.
I found out around Tax Day 2007 that I had been admitted to Notre Dame. So if you haven't heard from a school, that's good news. Also, Notre Dame has always admitted 11 students (5/6). The university allots the program an odd number of tuition waivers, so one genre has an extra student. In the early days of the program, like in the early 1990s, the program was smaller, graduating only a few students.
Can someone tell me a bit more about UCSD and UCR? Everyone knows about UCI, but very little is said about the other two UC MFA programs.
What about USC's MPW?
Does anyone else also think UC Berkley and UCLA needs to open up their own MFAs (fiction/poetry)? Berkley even has a strong PhD program to go along with it.
Um umm...has anyone heard from SDSU yet? They notified on the 25th last year, so I'm quite tense today, HA.
I got the new school waitlist letter today and I agree that mid-summer is unacceptably far away. "OK, you're in! Pack your bags, school starts in a week!"
@kevin re: uc berkeley
i did my undergrad at cal - unfortunately, they only offer creative writing as a minor, not a major, so the likelihood of an advanced degree program starting up seems slim to none.
which is a terrible shame, as working with bharati mukherjee is awwwwwwwwwesome.
not only does cal not offer an MFA, but you can't apply for an MA program. you can only apply direct to the PhD program and then petition for your master's once you have an adequate number of units.
Anyone heard from Miami?
Regarding UCSD: This program is pretty new. They're geared more towards experimental writing, from what I've been told.
Regarding UCR: This is a more traditional program. I'll be doing my MFA here and I just finished my under graduate work here last week. So, if you have any specific questions about UCR in general you can email me at Samantha.Lamph at gmail.
Another Vandy reject here. Boo. And thanks for the info Sutpen, though it pains me.
With Old Dominion and Ole Miss outta the way, the only school f mine that hasn't notified is UVA. Yeah, right.
Subscribing. I've been staying quiet while I contemplate my probable MFA-less future. Congrats to everyone with good news thus far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a gne or waitlist, just for reassurance.
My goodness, seems I missed there was a new mailbag. (Thanks, Woon!) Reposting this verbatim from the last one:
Ian's fiancée Lucy here again! (maybe I should get my own account and call it that...? HM!)
Yes, he really does always put the seat down. Maybe he should have included that in his SoPs!
Regarding my super-intensity (lol, Jillian!) ... that's just how I get whenever I go into research mode! I also did all 20 of the applications -- geez, programs, why couldn't you make this more streamlined?! Different manuscript lengths, SoP lengths/formats, GRE codes, LoR coversheets, transcripts directly from school to the program, to the grad school, with the packet -- arrrggghhh I am SO glad to be done with it! And it is just awful that schools don't streamline this acceptance/rejection/waitlist process. Kudos to Brown for how they just ripped the curtain off all at once.
By the way, Ian spoke with a rather grumpy individual at NYU who said all notifications had been mailed. Also that he couldn't give Ian his application status over the phone.
Seriously, people? We're 3 weeks from final decisions here. You're asking people to make a decision that will have enormous impact on their lives, possibly involving a cross-country relocation... and you can't figure out how to send an email?
(Oh, and Woon is correct. I'd love to sit and listen to stories of the Great War! We can break out the typewriters and gramophones and go see a nickelodeon as we putter about in a horseless carriage)
Nicholas: I am also waiting to hear something from GCSU for fiction. No news since the mass email last week.
Are you going to be at EWU for GetLit week at all? I was told I should visit during the festival.
Their awesome internship opportunities are so enticing.
@Daniel - When I received my acceptance letter from Chatham I had a date waaay before April 15 (I'll need to find the letter to double check) to send in my deposit and acceptance. However, when I was nominated for a fellowship they pushed back the date until April.
I don't know how valid their pushing for people to send in deposits early in is, but I know that before I was nominated for a fellowship I was supposed to send in my deposit pretty early. It sounds strange to me that they would pressure people so much. No good.
@Everyone - any news (good or bad) from FSU?
@ Ian's fiancée,
Quick question: It sounds like you wrote Ian's SoPs—or am I misreading?
@Not - are you trying to raise an ethical objection?
Penn State's MFA blog:
I applied to SDSU as well and was definitely stalking the mailbox today, wondering if I'd get anything. I check DH every night and so far no little blue date next to 2010.
Here's hoping we'll both be Aztecs!
Hey all - I got a phonecall from San Diego State yesterday, but I keep missing them and haven't been able to make actual contact. So.... whether or not this is good news, it seems like their decisions must be imminent. (also, i've been lax about getting back to them because i'm on ski vacation/looking at schools I was accepted to... this does not implicate their responsiveness.)
If they're calling you it MUST be good news. I'm in fiction, so maybe Spartacus and I have a bit longer to wait...? UGH!
Hey everyone. Just letting you all know that I have turned down a poetry spot at Texas State University tonight, so someone will, hopefully from here, get offered a spot at TSU (a great! program).
My final list (and exit from this blog...here's wishing you ALL the best!! <3 to you.)
Texas State/poetry (Accepted/no funding)
UNCW/cnf (Accepted/funding fellowship)
Boise State/poetry (waitlist)
Notre Dame/cnf (waitlist)
Arizona State/poetry&cnf (reject)
Colorado State/poetry (reject)
No word from:
I just wanted to say one more time THANK YOU to everyone who has offered moral support/guidance through this life-process. And it is that, people, our life-process. Make the MOST of it! :) Good things will happen, do not despair. This was year #2 of application for me. I needed it. My writing needed it and it was worth it. Thank you, Seth. To Everyone--be well, keep writing.
Fiction here as well.
I keep hearing all these stories about people finding out in late March and early April that they were accepted. Here's hoping we can post one of those stories soon.
UGH! Well, at least our torment shall soon be over, for better or for worse. I'm so impatient. SDSU is the school I've been most anxious about from day one.
@Woon, I'm trying to find out if I should raise an ethical objection. Just looking for clarification on what I thought was some ambiguous language on a serious point.
Same here! I love their study abroad. Also something I could only describe as their vibe. Just seemed like it would be a really good fit. Plus I'm growing fond of the idea of staying in CA (native Californian here) and since Irvine didn't invite me, SDSU is my last chance.
UNCG had a blog:
Re: Iowa Waitlist (Fiction)
Hi all. Is anyone on Iowa's waitlist or know much about it? (I think other Emma said she was, and one other person..)
I'm trying to find out how slim the possibility of moving off the waitlist actually is. Any ideas?
Also, would anyone recommend I call and ask about the waitlist, or should I simply chill out and wait for April?
Thanks for the advice. I thought I was anxious in February....
Eep! I just got accepted to Temple in poetry via email. Shock because I'd written Temple off as an assumed rejection a long time ago. They can't give me any financial aid though. I'm going to turn down the offer but it's still nice to get a surprise acceptance!
This means the application season is officially over for me -- all my 12 schools have notified me one way or the other!
Way to go, Laura T! Even if you have to turn them down. How awesome!
(me, Lucy, again!)
Nope! Sorry for the wonky wording. All the writing is 100% his, manuscript, resume, SoP, etc. I just told him how many words each school wanted and what topics they wanted him to cover.
When I say I did all the applications, I mean the tedious name, SSN, birthday, school/work history, etc. nonsense that requires nothing more than clerical organization. All the creative work was 100% his doing.
Hey, congrats! Always nice to feel loved, eh? Did you decide between Emerson and SLC yet? If I remember correctly, Ian's SLC letter said they had an April 8th deadline.
ASU in review people - who did you call at the school, and what did you hear?
Chrissy and Lucy, Thank you for the congratulations!
Lucy, I haven't 100% decided but I think I will choose Emerson, especially if I get merit aid from them. My SLC letter said I had to let them know by April 12 -- that's weird that Ian's said April 8. Maybe the different genres have different deadlines?
new mailbag yay!
Does anyone know if Purdue has sent out rejections yet? I understand that they've already notified the people they've accepted.
@ Fausto: I say do it. It was a super pleasant phone call. Seriously couldn't have been easier. I had to convince him I knew I was being rejected before he even said it to me.
@ whynotbecause: He's definitely a classy guy. And he remembered my work and talked to me about it and was very encouraging about how it was a rough year and they had so many quality apps. Much longer convo than I was expecting actually. Are you any closer to figuring out where you're going? I'm gonna be in Memphis Tuesday visiting and am planning on sitting in on one of the classes that day.
Nope! You're right, April 12th. Not sure where I pulled that 8 from.
BTW Ian called West Virginia today and found out he's waitlisted. So, if you applied and haven't heard yet, the letters are in the mail!
Waitlisted at LSU... who else is waitlisted at LSU for poetry? Anyone?
turned down my spot at CCA, so maybe more funds will open up if you decide to go?
I'm finishing my undergrad at UCLA and even though they offer a undergrad English degree with a creative writing emphasis, there are no plans to open up an MFA program. And like Cal Berkeley they only offer a Masters in English either as a step up from undergrad or in route to the PhD.
UCSD, experimental, fully funded, small program, second year, and as part of the application process they ask for a link to cross genre work.
UCR, they have two programs, one is on campus, fall admits. The other is in Palm desert rolling admits, res and low res. Both encourage cross genre study. I think only the main program offers TA-ship though.
**Curious if the waitlisters have heard from Hollins, or the rejection slips have been sent out?
I have received my Purdue rejection. I think a bunch of us have. It came by email some time ago.
Hey CCA admits--
I contacted several different students that are currently there and asked them a crap ton of questions about the program. I can share if you'd like! My email is jepaslay AT gmail DOT com
and I want my financial aid letter! I need to know! rah..
@ Emerson people,
Merit aid awards for Creative Writing are being mailed today!!! I found out through the Emerson Accepted Grad Students facebook page.
Also, Emerson has a blog:
This is a more optimistic mailbag than usual. I'm liking these stories of getting accepted really late, or that NOT hearing could mean something good.
@Jasmine: Hmm... Well, I guess I'll contact the program since I still haven't heard anything from them. Thanks.
Way to go, Laura T!
I haven't figured out where I'm going yet. Still waiting to hear back from a waitlist and SIX programs, two of which haven't begun notifying yet. Very frustrating. That said, I think my chances at the rest are slim (Virginia, etc.).
I'm visiting Memphis, but unfortunately, a week later. I really like the program, but I'm wavering a bit. Getting accepted woke me up to my financial reality, and since aid seems unlikely, I'm considering reapplying next year with the hopes of better funding (or at least time to save).
I hope you have fun at Memphis! If you get a chance, I'd love to know what you think of your trip- ellen/dot/scheuermann at gmail.
Have you decided where you're going yet? And you're in poetry, right? (It's hard for me to keep up. And I'm in fiction).
OK, I am now in a fight with Staples Copy Center. I woke up this morning super late for work, but I saw on my cell phone that I had a missed call and a voicemail from an unknown 212 area code, and nobody ever calls me, so I was all, "Eek! Columbia!" But no. It was just Staples Copy Center calling to say my scans wouldn't be ready until Monday. Grrr.
Subscribing and congratulating everyone who's heard good news! I hope that everyone on a waitlist finds themselves getting off of it soon :)
**Good luck Kaybay! and Trilbe, I read about what you did while I was catching up. You iz awesome.
Here's to much more good news to come!
@FWD - a scan of what?
@Rachel Hurn / Portland State applicants
Congrats on the acceptance! Just curious. Did you already know that you were on Portland's waitlist before you received the "you're in" email? I hadn't heard of PDX waitlisting anyone on the blogs, but maybe I missed it.
I have some info that might be helpful to those waiting to hear from NYU. I just spoke to Zachary Sussman, the Graduate Program Coordinator, who said that e-mail notifications will go out mid next week--I assume he means the remaining rejections. He also said that if I need to commit to another program, and I haven't yet received an acceptance from NYU, I should probably go ahead and accept another offer. Which I am going to do!
Just a heads up: The Brooklyn College "My Enrollment" page is working again, but it appears they did not use the lengthy downtime to update any statuses (stati?) there.
Help. I was really thinking I'd get closure on some schools this week but I have once again heard nothing. I need to accept my low-res offer At Queens University of Charlotte By April 1st... the first residency is in MAY, so I also need to do tons of reading, etc. if I'm going to be going there.
At this point I'm still waiting on New School, Columbia, American, PSU, Toronto (and Brooklyn, tho I know I can write them off according to reports on this blog). I have tried emailing New School to no avail.... at this point do I call all of these schools??? I have phone-terror but I also am so stressed that I don't know if I'm starting school in MAY!
if I were you, I would call. The worst they can do is say they can't tell you anything. The best is you get some closure! Phones are scary but you can do it! <33
Anybody tried calling Virginia? It's the last school for me and once they notify, all the pieces will fall into place. (Insert your favorite "I see the light!" metaphor here if you don't like jigsaw puzzle metaphors)
I'd like to raise an ethical objection to your being a hard on.
Were you going to tell Ian's mom?
I mean...shit, people...
I would also suggest calling. It might not help-- I've been calling a few of my schools for closure and they refuse to answer!-- but you have so many you've yet to hear from. Also, I know for a fact that Columbia, at least in terms of poetry, is not finished notifying. Stay strong, girl!
And what did Trilbe do for Kaybay? I'm too lazy to find it.
@Woon Contacted them by email:
"The decisions have not been made yet. They will be made at the end of March for both poetry and fiction."
@Julia - thanks!
Does that mean you're in at Florida? I'm waiting for news from them too, it sounds like their wait list is rather small.
I want answers from Miami, Florida & Brooklyn!
"Please tell me, umpire, please tell me!"
Anyone have any word at all from Georgia State?
Trilbe initiated a "scholarship" for kaybay to use Seth's SOP/portfolio review service if she has to reapply in the fall. It was super nice and super classy.
@Emily - Ixnay on Florida (for now...). I'm on a bunch of waitlists and I believe that the applicants who've been offered seats at my waitlist schools are also hanging tight because they too are waiting on Virginia's verdict. My picture will become clearer once Virginia gets off their fat asses. Also, there's the remote possibility that I may get into Virginia. Anything can happen! It's so exciting! I'm making popcorn.
OH. Well, that was very kind of her.
I know it's been asked before, and I don't believe you've ever answered, but what do you do that allows you to make popcorn and go for runs in the middle of the day?
Oh - but I guess at your advanced age, you're retired?
Man...I'd like to go ahead and commit to ODU, but I can't seem to get a response from UNCG or Ole Miss. I mean, I have no compelling reason to think I'm in at either place, but...
I don't envy you guys having to decide between a bunch of schools. I'm not cut out for that. I've never been able to break up with a GF. I'd just accept them all and try to clone myself or something.
Ah, ok. If the list was moving I'd have to start obsessing again. Back to the books.
@hilary - yes, super nice of Trilbe, but I would stop short of saying it was super classy. Not that it isn't classy or anything. I don't think it has anything to do with "class." I personally would not do such a thing not because I'm a prick or anything like that. It's just that I don't take people's words at face value. For example, I don't know that kaybay isn't the heir to the Proctor & Gamble empire or that she's making $30,000 per month on alimony or some pre-nup. The fact is, I don't know anything about kaybay. And it's not just kaybay. I don't really know anyone here.
I know a guy in San Francisco who was in one of my classes at Stanford. He's a trust fund guy and yet, he applied to fully-funded MFA programs a few years ago. I'm not suggesting that only poor people should apply to MFAs. (In fact, I believe funding at MFA programs should be based on merit anyway, not need.) I'm merely saying you don't know the financial situation of your fellow MFA'ers.
@hilary - (cont.)
I'm not slamming Trilbe. On the contrary. Like I said, it was really nice of her. But it has nothing to do with "class." It almost sounds like those who didn't set up such a scholarship with Seth has no class. hilary, I don't believe that was your intent, but it did come close to sounding that way.
@phillywriter - why aren't you IN at Indiana yet?
Woon: a gift is always classy.
You sound like my mother. She disbelieves everyone about all their acceptances/rejections/anxieties/bookbinding-obsessions.
"Do you believe everything you read? It's a creative writing blog, right? HA! Foolish child!" -Mom
@Ratliff - For the acceptances/rejections/waitlists, I tend to believe most of it. The other stuff? I don't put much thought into their veracity. Having said that, I talked to someone at an MFA program who told me, "Don't believe that darn blog!" It's a literal quote. LOL!
I am still waiting on Purdue as well. I emailed them and they just said I was still "under consideration" and probably wouldn't know more for a couple weeks. But another poster indicated they had already notified people on the waitlist. So, I can only imagine we're in some kind of backup pile. (I'm fiction)
MFA blog addict and lurker crawling out of the woods here. Assuming Columbia will never notify me, I'm almost completely set on Sarah Lawrence (fiction). If anyone else is looking to this program (or already there) I would love to talk about it! TKMadden@gmail.com
Upon further reflection, would I give a gift to kaybay (or anyone else) if I actually knew them?
I'm nice to people around me. I smile and joke and share small moments of sharing with them. But I'm not a gift-giving type, I guess. I know my neighbors and coworkers fairly well and in all my years of knowing them, I've never given them a single "just because" gift. Even my closest friends. I just don't routinely give gifts to people. I donate to certain charities, but that's the extent of it.
Congrats on your decision to go to UCI, it's a great school/program!
A friend of mine has one of the fiction spots. My understanding both programs are close knit groups, solid contacts, TAship, and so on..
@Coughdrop. The financial aid letter will reach you soon, I got mine quicker because I live in Cali. Just as a general point aside, while they do give "merit" scholarships, which are tuition waivers, there are only a couple, and they have been given out I'm told. But who knows you may be one of the lucky ones! So far it seems for those of us who have gotten out letters it's a uniform, one size fits all: 10K scholarship maybe work study, and the rest loans in the 40k range. A bit too rich for my blood I'm afraid. But...I've heard amazing things about the programs. *sigh*
Regarding Columbia, this is what they wrote to me - At this time we do not have the final decisions from the faculty but we hope to get them during the coming week. Even if we were able to inform you of your decision we could not do so until we begin to mail them.
Someone please decode this for me!
I wish, but alas, I am nothing more than a waitlist to my beloved IU. I keep wanting our relationship to progress to something more, but it appears the feelings are not mutual. At least, not yet!
just got my rejection from Houston. nothing special.
dreams of being a cougar: laid to rest.
good luck to everyone else!
Thanks for all the blog links, people!
That sucks, I'm sorry. Can I ask- how were you notified?
Michigan's official forum: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/grad/mfa/forum/default.asp
Nobody seems to use it.
SAIC rejection in the mail. Booo haha. Ah well... 2 more left to hear from and I'm done!
As a testament to the subjectivity of the MFA application process, I would just like to weigh in with my personal situation again.
After three years of applications, I have not yet found the ideal situation with any program, and I have warmed up to the idea that there will be need to be a fourth round of applications.
My acceptances in the past have included Montana, Columbia, Alaska-Fairbanks, and a waitlist at Notre Dame. Unfortunately, funding was never full or guaranteed for any of these situations, and that led me to this years round of applications. So far, I have four or five more schools left to hear back from, and I realize things can change in an instant, but I'm preparing for Plan B, which is either teaching English abroad in a Spanish-speaking country or moving somewhere exceptionally cheap, maybe renting a room in someone's place, and writing for a year, reading, and writing some more.
By the time round four of applications rolls around, I plan on having a statement of purpose, writing samples, and any other materials that will knock my application out of the park. I'm also going to apply to many more schools (money pending), and hopefully, one of them will be Iowa or one of the top programs. If not, I'll live, but it sucks to have programs in front of you that you can't really afford to take. Again, I support the non-time-sensitive nature of the MFA, so worse comes to worst, I wind up an even stronger writer than before. Good luck to everyone still waiting to hear back, oh, and if anyone has any suggestions on places to live, I'm all ears. (I love being near the water, and nice weather doesn't hurt either). ;)
@ Lo Real Maravilloso
I like your attitude, the whole if-nothing-else-I'll-become-a-stronger-writer thing. It's my first year applying and my only for-sure acceptance isn't likely to be fully-funded... I'm thinking of adopting your mindset.
Anyway, I hear Pittsburgh is great and really affordable, though I've never been there myself. Also teaching English in South Korea is a great option- they pay for a one-bedroom or studio apartment, the salary is decent (on top of that)the pay is good, cost of living pretty cheap (even in Seoul). Plus Korea is awesome. Good luck!
Thanks, whynotbecause. I've had a couple friends who have taught English abroad in Korea, and they loved it. The only thing I'm worried about is not having access to the books and such that I have at home. I guess I could ship myself a box from time to time or something?
@Ian's fiancée, thanks for clarifying.
@Lucas, I'm sorry you don't understand why I might object—in a public forum devoted to sharing information about this process—to an applicant's having had his personal statement written for him (which Ian did not, to be clear).
More than that, though, I'm disappointed you'd resort to name-calling.
I would like to say this has been a super frustrating week... I only have 2 schools left to hear from, and they are both on spring break this week.
When did you hear from them?
You are right, this email needs decoding. What I understood is that they are still deciding, and telling you not to bother contacting them anymore, because they will not tell you anything anyway. But how could they be still deciding if they started notifying? Puzzled.
@Yinz I just got a call that I'm in at Columbia for poetry but no funding. I'm going to turn down this offer, but did not mention that on the phone. I just can't put that kinda debt on my already stacked undergrad debt.
Good luck, all!
@Woon, completely fair what you said. I definitely didn't mean to imply anything negative about the rest of y'all (and myself, for that matter), but I certainly see your point. I suppose a better way to convey what I meant by "classy" was that I thought Trilbe handled the situation well, in a way that was generous in spirit and in good faith without trying to make anyone feel awkward.
@Brooks-- Ugh.I can't believe it.
Cue the muzik! Brooklyn College--go do the Tanz of Shame.
All right, sorry for the name calling, trying to be funny (I guess). Wasn't trying to flame or anything. I generally assume I'd like all of the people on this board if I met them. So, my bad on that.
But you were acting as if you had some sort of official capacity concerning dude's application, and you don't. I know what comes next...we are all affected by that sort of potential dishonesty, yada yada. Thing is, your tone was self-important, and self-importance irritates me.
You can check your status online. Just make sure you have a Panther ID.
@Lucas, thanks for your apology and your explanation. I wasn't trying to come off "official" in any way; I just wanted to know what the situation was. For what it's worth, I wasn't going to say anything about how we're all affected by that kind of dishonesty, true as that may be. I was going to voice a concern—to future applicants who might be reading here—that if you get caught doing something like that, you can get in real trouble.
In the end, I guess we both presented ourselves in ways that could be misinterpreted; I'm as sorry for my part as you are for yours.
Last night I slept well for the first time! This season, one of ups and downs, has been stressful. I'm glad it's over for me!
Oh, well, back to reading Woolf's To the Lighthouse for a class. I can't say I'm enjoying it thus far.
Yeah nice little Brooklyn rejection waiting for me at the app status site. Glad to finally know for sure though.
Is SFSU calling or emailing acceptances?
FYI about Columbia. A student there I talked to the other day said that they are accepting fewer poets this year for various reasons. Not sure if funding is one of them.
Given that Columbia so lightly funds, I would guess that might be one of the smaller reasons if so.
Fair enough. Shall we pretend it didn't happen?
for all who are distracted by intriguing owl mamas with their chicks:
Abbie has prompted me to follow suit and inform ya'll that I'm as we speak drafting letters to programs I won't be attending. Hope this helps someone out.
Iowa - We're now in a committed relationship.
SAIC - Declining offer. (Fellowship and scholarship.)
New Mexico State - Declining offer. (A sexy fellowship.)
Montana - Waitlisted. I bow out.
Houston - Waitlisted. It breaks my heart because I really wanted Houston, but oh well. Buh-bye.
WUSTL - Rejected!
Vanderbilt - Rejected!
Texas A&M (M.A.) - Rejected!
Arizona State - Rejected!
Notre Dame - Rejected!
The New School and Virginia - I've waited so long I don't care anymore. Lost my enthusiasm.
Good luck everyone. Looks like acceptances are still rolling out to folks.
@MFAguy - To the Lighthouse is one of my 3 most favorite books!
Lo Real Maravilloso - Thanks for that. You have courage, something I hope to have too in case everything falls apart.
@ Lo Real...
I was right there with you, concocting a similar plan, and I was pretty psyched, honestly. Then I got an offer. I hope that happens for you, but you are dead on the money...the better you get before going to a school, the more you will get from being in said school. And, in some ways, I year of hardcore, even vengeful writing and reading may well help more than a program. Cutting out the middle man, so to speak.
It's 12:19 PM. Pizza in Saratoga for lunch.
Where is Woon to say he "doesn't see what the big deal is about Virginia Woolf?"
called new school. very nice woman looked up my app. said it was "pending". then she put me on hold, came back and said i'd be hearing from them shortly and took my name, number and email address to pass on to them? i dunno. i'm very confused. anyone want to try to read into that?
@Coreyann - shouldn't the school already have your name, email, and phone number?
And the hits keep on coming! Letter in snail mail from The New School with a rejection. Second time they've rejected my application.
uh yes. thats why i was confused. She looked me up by my social and seemed to get my account. but then asked for my info. i'm flummoxed.
Coreyann, i think this sounds like good news! at least a waitlist. she could have said goodbye after telling you it was pending, but she specifically took down your contact info. no one is going to call you to reject you. maybe they have waitlisted you and want to let you know soon so they can sell you on the program a bit? i'd get back in touch again next week if you don't hear anything by wednesday. but i'm pushy, so, i don't know. i've also succumbed to living vicariously thru other ppl's good news.
best of luck, i hope you get in!
I'm really leaving for lunch this time.
Drella - this is what I did, I emailed them everyday since the first person reported their acceptance. I was weak. Finally I got that email. After the email I thought a while only to call them again and found out they had not finished sending out acceptances and hence they were reluctant to release any information. I was told to call again next week, preferably mid-week because they might know by then what is going on.
UNLV News for Fiction applicants -
Called them, yes yes I'm weak, and it seems the list confidential as of now and we may hope to hear in the coming week. Just Brilliant!
I have four schools left and they've decided to torture me slowly - I presume to death!
I forgot an 'is' between list and confidential! No wonder they won't write to me!
I'm (1) subscribing and (2) just taking this opportunity to say I'm SO SUPER FRUSTRATED. It's March 26 for God's sake -- and I still can't make a decision because I am waiting to hear about funding at one program. Not to mention I need "official rejections" from FSU and U of Florida. Grr. And Central Florida, the program that's accepted me with funding, wants to hear by APRIL 1st! Their registration opens up on April 5 and I've been told that classes fill up really quick. God. Ugh. SOMEBODY PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY!
("Somebody" = the NEOMFA. Please call me and tell me you'll give me funding! Pretty please?)
Would have gone for a frustration-fueled run this morning, but alas, it SNOWED last night and it's so super cold.
But anyway. CONGRATULATIONS to the latest acceptances, and also CONGRATULATIONS to all those who've made decisions and know where they're going in August. That must feel AWESOME :)
Hey everyone. Just got an acceptance from UNCG through email. Fiction. Anyone else out there receive an offer, or already a student there? I'd definitely like to chat. Thanks. And congrats to everyone on their success. Best of luck to those who are still waiting.
Congrats Spencer! Was this the first you heard from UNCG?
@Rising Yellow Rose
I was able to check it, but got the ever cryptic "No Decision at This Time."
Hoping to hear from them, either way, sometime soon.
@Perpetua - Your name=my confirmation name. I feel a kinship to your posts, and with that in mind I urge you to RELAX. It is Friday. You have a whole weekend ahead of you, and you cannot, should not stress every waking moment of it away. For God's sake's go bowling and work some of that stress out on some duck pins!
Whatever happened to "Hope, hope, hope, hope!?"
Congrats on UNCG! Nice start to the weekend!
It's been a crazy week. Lots of good news for people..and some rotten. But huge congratulations to all & best of luck to those still waiting and/or going in for another round of applications next year!
Yeah, this is the first I've heard from them. To be honest, I'm still pretty shocked because I'd already kind of written them off. I didn't get one of their infamous GNEs, so I assumed that a rejection was coming.
That's so awesome! You must feel amazing right now!
I don't expect to hear anything from them at this point, but it's heartening to hear of acceptances coming in still, even without the GNEs!
Thanks Courtney & Red,
It's my first acceptance so I'm pretty stoked about it. The whole process has been paralyzing for me because I'd had a bunch of rejections and one wailtlist spot up to this point. In some ways I feel like I can continue my life again.
I know exactly what you mean! I'm in a similar situation (well, minus the waitlist and acceptance...) but your post reminded me not to give up hope. And of course, there's always next year.
Again, congrats on your first acceptance!
Is anyone else really worried that they're going to get game-changing information ON April 15th and have to make a decision really quickly?
How late in the day on the 15th can we decide?
I definitely didn't think I'd still have so many undecided factors up in the air this late in the game.
It just occurred to me that a Kindle would be an awesome tool to bring to a teaching abroad experience. Dur. Thanks brain for the delayed help.
Congrats, Spencer! I hope you have a very celebratory weekend.
Now off to figure out how to cook a brisket and buy apples for charoset... the culinary joys of having a Jewish boyfriend :)
UNCG confuses me. Why tell people they're getting high marks from the adcoms if you're not going to have spots for a lot of them?
At least I got pulled off the Montana waitlist yesterday, yay!
Lauren-- I think you need to call the NEOMFA and let them know your situation. They might be able to tell you right away whether funding is going to be a possibility. COMMUNICATION! IS KEY.
Yay, k! It's nice to hear about people getting in off waitlists - heartening for us all. Congrats!
I'm in the same shoes as you were before your acceptance (lots of rejections + one waitlist), and I never got a GNR from UNCG..... so I still have hope, it seems!
Congrats times a jillion! I can't wait to continue on with my own life again soon. (I've kind of accepted the idea of not getting in anywhere and applying again, so if I DO get into any of my remaining [currently silent] schools, it'll be a huge happy event.) yaaaay for yoooou!
Ahhhhh GNR = GNE. durrrrhhh
@ Meredith, do you find yourself constantly refreshing your email Inbox, hoping that an acceptance from UNCG will suddenly appear? Or is it just me?
So many questions!
Did Montana call you for the news?
In your original wait-list notification, did they say where you were on the wait-list?
Did they offer funding?
I'm wondering if I should prepare myself to not get in to Montana.
Okay, I refrained from commenting on this blog until this point because I've been writing in a vacuum for the last few years and was afraid of getting my hopes up about MFA acceptance. BUT - I just got a call that I was accepted at UNLV!
I'm a fiction writer.
Anyone else out there heard from them? Fiction, poetry?
I was also accepted at the University of New Orleans. Anyone else out there for that one?
Rejected: Vanderbilt, LSU, Alabama and Michigan.
Yet to hear from: Virginia Tech, UVA, Penn State, Florida and Ole Miss.
Fingers crossed for everyone on here. I send happy acceptance vibes your way.
@klairkwilty and Abbie:
Big congrats on being able to make up your minds on this. Awesome!
I got an e-mail. I assume no funding, as that only goes to the top five.
I had asked for my position when I was waitlisted, but they wouldn't give me any more information. But the fact that they've gone to the waitlist already would seem to indicate that more spots could open up, but who knows this year.
Ratliff - I'd give anything to be able to put into practice your advice.
There is still - Hope,hope,hope,hope,hope - just felt silly writing it all the time. Thanks for the reminder.
Oh and where I am there is no bowling. We have other games.
peripateticmc - First off congratulations! And secondly I've been accepted at the University of New Orleans. When did you hear from them? Have they said anything to you about funding?
I've applied to UNLV as well but I'm not sure how I will fare with them. Ah well.
Thanks k! Much appreciated!
@Memphis hopefuls and waitlisters: Accepted for CNF today, via email. Nothing mentioned about funding--though I didn't apply for a TAship there. Not sure if I came off the waitlist or not--did receive a GNE earlier this week--but I'll be turning it down as soon as I figure out who to notify, as the email was from the grad school at a no-reply address.
I feel like I have to apologize for secretly following your agony over the past few weeks. I'm basically waiting on the same schools you are. Still no word here, either!
I have been in contact with the people at the NEOMFA. That program's a little different, since it's a consortium of 4 universities. I was accepted into 2 of the 4 universities. At one university, I'm waitlisted for funding. At the other, they had a lengthy application process for funding (statement of teaching abilities, academic writing sample, additional LORs) and they have not made funding decisions yet.
The school at which I'm waitlisted for funding won't tell me where I am on the waitlist -- I already asked. I was told I've moved up on the list, though.
There are a few things about the NEOMFA vs. UCF that make me want to say if I get funding I'll choose the NEOMFA. It's 3 years (UCF is 2) and I'd be able to teach for all 3 of those years. (I really want teaching experience and I think I will enjoy it very much. UCF doesn't let first-year grad students teach classes.)
On the other hand, UCF's program has its own strengths, and communication with them has been really positive.
So, anyway...Limbo. I hate limbo.
Accepted to Mills College, Fiction, via e-mail! The letter said funding amount would come in a separate message.
AHH! So stoked.
The New School
U of Arizona
@klairk and others,
I woosed out and got the audiobook version of To the Lighthouse. haha.
Man, I'm lame!
Congrats, man! Chee Heee! 808! Victory chili and rice at Zippy's? Man, I miss the food over there, even if it's diabetes inducing.
@peripateticmc, Perpetua, all
Just got off the phone with UNLV- Accepted for fiction with funding!
I'm super excited...still waiting to hear from Iowa about getting off their waiting list. They said the list is short for fiction, and they will know when everyone who was accepted accepts or declines the offers for sure.
My list so far:
Iowa - Waitlist
UNLV - Accepted w/ funding
UVa - Nothing yet
FSU - Nothing yet
Arkansas- Nothing yet
Congratulations John Douglas.
@John Douglas - Wow, that's a super small list! You were either very confident about your admissions chances or kinda lazy like me. I only applied to eight schools. Even though I could've applied to about 4-5 more, I just threw up my hands and said, "F*** it. I don't really want to enroll anywhere other than these eight."
Congrats to today's acceptances! Las Vegas awaits.
And to those praying to get off waitlists, I feel your pain. I didn't anticipate it being this frustrating. To make it through, I'm just reminding myself of this Fight Club line: "It could be worse. A woman could chop off your penis and throw it out the window of a moving vehicle."
I mean, I don't have a penis, but I've gotta think that would be pretty bad. Possibly worse than waitlist purgatory.
@Woon- I was pretty confident in my writing, but it was more about only applying to places I was willing to move.
I'm a bit older than the average MFA applicant (not much, I'm 29) and I could live with the idea of not getting into one of those schools. So I only applied to the schools in towns where my wife and I would live, and where she would be able to find work as a high school teacher.
But when I hadn't heard anything from any schools around the beginning of March, I did start to freak out and wished I applied to more schools. I feel OK about it now though!
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