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unsaid78


Dec 30, 2008, 1:41 PM

Post #126 of 172 (8605 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Age of MFA students Can't Post

Good for you, Sibella! I wish you the best!


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


Sibella
Pam, that is.


Feb 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Post #127 of 172 (8456 views)
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Re: [unsaid78] Age of MFA students Can't Post

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm partway into the application now. Got the poems pretty much ready, transcripts and references are on their way to Warren Wilson, and I'm losing sleep over the essays. :^)


knixxery


Mar 10, 2009, 8:44 PM

Post #128 of 172 (8261 views)
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Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

Any over-40s getting accepted to residential programs this year? I know it's especially competitive now. I applied about ten years ago and was accepted into 2/3 top ten schools for fiction. This year, with what I think is stronger writing, and essentially the same package otherwise, I'm (so far) not getting any offers. I'm curious to hear about those of you who are over-40 and getting into schools. Which schools are accepting regardless of age?

It will help me decide whether or not to apply again, next year. Thanks!


writerteacher


Mar 11, 2009, 3:58 PM

Post #129 of 172 (8152 views)
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Re: [knixxery] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

I got in two years ago at age 44 (I know the landscape has changed). My experience is that:

* The MFA faculty doesn't even know the age of the applicants when reading mss.
* The SOP and/or transcripts may reveal age, but may not. (Not everyone graduates from university at 22.)
* Most schools actively seek diversity among students; diversity includes age.

Not sure what constitutes a top school in your mind, but I can't imagine why applicant age would be handled any differently at schools that receive more applications, as they all are this year. In general, "advanced" age does not work against an applicant, and may work in his or her favor in the final stages of the decision process. It's hard for me to imagine that it would ever, in any case, be a determining factor.

Hope that helps.
WT


Khalilah


Mar 11, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #130 of 172 (8089 views)
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Re: [knixxery] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

Forgive me for speaking up because I know you asked for over 40 responses but I'm way past traditional student age although not 40. Anyway, I just think this is a tough year because of the number of applications and if you applied to the sames schools this time around that you did a decade ago, a different set of professors may have been on the admissions committees of those same schools and a lot of this process is about the professors on the admissions committee feeling a personal connection to the subject of your work as well as judging your talent to be great. I've heard stories since I began this journey to the MFA about people who applied 2 or three years before they were accepted by even one school. So applying again next year is a realistic decision. Also, the MFA is more popular now than it was a decade ago. Maybe ten years ago someone could bank on getting in just applying to "top ten" schools but competition is so strong now that most people who seriously want the MFA and not just a specific school, apply to 13-15 schools and spread their applications around Top Ten, Up and comers and some unranked programs. You may even want to throw in some unfunded or low funded programs.


Sugah


Mar 11, 2009, 5:38 PM

Post #131 of 172 (8069 views)
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Re: [knixxery] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

I began in the fall at 40. I know my age could not have worked against me--my writing sample gave it away.

I'm one of the oldest in my program, though those "fresh from undergrad" are definitely the minority.

Peace & Love,
Sugah


http://sugahsshack.blogspot.com


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Mar 11, 2009, 5:44 PM

Post #132 of 172 (8051 views)
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Re: [Sugah] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

Glad to know there are other old folks out there like me. . . I'm 38 and starting in the fall.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


Khalilah


Mar 11, 2009, 6:49 PM

Post #133 of 172 (8010 views)
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Re: [alamana] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post

I knew that I would have more adults around me in grad school than I have had in finishing my BA but its so good to hear I'll be with more than a few people over the age of 25. When I go back for that PhD I'll be back in 20s ville. Lookin' forward to seeing the 35+ers.


EmilyMay


Mar 23, 2009, 2:44 PM

Post #134 of 172 (7890 views)
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Age of students Can't Post

I met four of the other MFAers accepted at my school this past weekend. At 31 I am the oldest. Another is 29, but will be 30 this spring. Another is 28. One is a couple years out of undergrad but I'm not sure his age, maybe 23-24? And the last is currently finishing up her undergrad, so I'm guessing 22.

We're a pretty mixed bag, geographically and in other ways, but all got along very well. I am excited to work with all of them!


v1ctorya


Mar 23, 2009, 4:49 PM

Post #135 of 172 (7839 views)
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Re: [EmilyMay] Age of students Can't Post

Emily, even though you won't be going to the same school as I, I'm so happy to see someone else here my age! There are times when it feels like everyone is so young. . .


unsaid78


Mar 23, 2009, 4:55 PM

Post #136 of 172 (7832 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Age of students Can't Post

I just turned 31 yesterday! Woo-hoo! lol Yeah, I was also comforted by Emily's age lol.


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


rivera



Mar 23, 2009, 11:39 PM

Post #137 of 172 (7747 views)
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Re: [unsaid78] Age of students Can't Post

I'm 22, but I very much want to attend grad school with students older than me. In my undergrad workshop now we have a woman in her mid-late 20's I think, a woman in her 30's, and one man who's 50. I think everyone has so much to add to a workshop that diversity in age is crucial.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Mar 24, 2009, 7:45 AM

Post #138 of 172 (7695 views)
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Re: [rivera] Age of students Can't Post

I'm going to an MFA program recruiting event today and I'm a little nervous because I'm afraid I'll feel old. . . and I'm only 38!


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


Josh Fult


Mar 24, 2009, 9:24 AM

Post #139 of 172 (7681 views)
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Re: [alamana] Age of students Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm going to an MFA program recruiting event today and I'm a little nervous because I'm afraid I'll feel old. . . and I'm only 38!



Just so you know, a lot of twenty somethings probably think 38 year olds are pretty hot. Yes, I just made this board vaguely sexual, but anything for the comfort of an aspiring MFA student.


gcsumfa


May 12, 2009, 12:26 AM

Post #140 of 172 (7467 views)
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Re: [Khalilah] Anyone over 40 accepted in top schools? Can't Post


In Reply To
When I go back for that PhD I'll be back in 20s ville. Lookin' forward to seeing the 35+ers.


No you won't; at least not in English. In fact, you'll find more 20 somethings in MFA programs than PhD English programs.


argus


Jul 22, 2009, 1:39 AM

Post #141 of 172 (7107 views)
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Re: [rivera] Age of students Can't Post

I'm 49 and feel like I'm everyone's mom sitting in the classroom but I really enjoy the classes.

In Reply To



greenpenquills


Oct 15, 2009, 2:11 PM

Post #142 of 172 (6277 views)
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Re: Age of students Can't Post

Just wondering, for those nonfiction MFA students or perspective students, how old are you/were you when you started an MFA program? I'm almost 22, so I'd be starting the program around age 23. I'm only taking a semester off between undergrad and grad, but I've always been very mature for my age and writing a memoir has been a goal of mine since I was 10 or so, which is why I feel putting it off for a couple more years might not be right for me. I'm just wondering if I'd be one of the only younger students in the nonfiction department (assuming I'm admitted to one of the few programs I'm applying to).


lexielizabeth


Jan 4, 2010, 12:56 AM

Post #143 of 172 (5361 views)
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Re: [greenpenquills] Age of students Can't Post

I was wondering to all those who are in their young 20s, what did you write for your statement of purpose that proved that you were dedicated, even at your age? That's one thing I'm worried about, because as someone going to pursue an mfa at 20, I really don't know how to describe just how much it actually does mean to me to go to school right out of school.


meory


Jan 5, 2010, 4:18 PM

Post #144 of 172 (5214 views)
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Re: [lexielizabeth] Age of students Can't Post

Lexi,

I'm 21 and hoping to go into an MFA program straight from undergrad. In my SoP, I tried to strike a balance between emphasizing how serious I am about writing and how eager I am to learn more. I presented myself as committed to growing as a writer as much as possible. I wrote about what I've learned as an undergraduate English major taking creative writing workshops and what I hope to learn in an MFA program. I tried to come across as humble, devoted, and passionate. Also, I wrote briefly about how I feel that an academic environment is where I thrive the most, and my ultimate goals. I tried to connect my experiences as an undergrad (taking as many workshops as possible, attending & giving readings, attending conferences, working in the writing center, etc.) to what I hope to experience, learn, and achieve in grad school, and also used these experiences as examples to prove that I'm dedicated to writing.


kbritten


Jan 5, 2010, 4:36 PM

Post #145 of 172 (5206 views)
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Re: [meory] Age of students Can't Post

Meory, just out of curiosity, did you apply last year?


meory


Jan 5, 2010, 6:05 PM

Post #146 of 172 (5188 views)
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Re: [kbritten] Age of students Can't Post

No, I didn't -- I was only a junior in college last year and couldn't have applied. First time applying now, and hoping it'll be the only time!


kbritten


Jan 5, 2010, 6:32 PM

Post #147 of 172 (5176 views)
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Re: [meory] Age of students Can't Post

Cool, I probably should have just PM'd you that, but I thought your screename sounded familiar and that this was your second go around. I was going to ask about your experience last year, but now I won't :). Thanks!


meory


Jan 5, 2010, 7:28 PM

Post #148 of 172 (5160 views)
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Re: [kbritten] Age of students Can't Post

No problem. :) Sorry I can't be helpful!


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Jan 14, 2010, 11:13 AM

Post #149 of 172 (4958 views)
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Re: [lexielizabeth] Age of students Can't Post


In Reply To
I was wondering to all those who are in their young 20s, what did you write for your statement of purpose that proved that you were dedicated, even at your age?



I talked about sticking to a regular reading, writing, and submission schedule in an attempt to prove that not only did I think I had the talent necessary for the degree, but also the discipline and the interest in seeing my work published.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


Quixote


Aug 1, 2010, 10:23 PM

Post #150 of 172 (2971 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] Age of students Can't Post

I appreciate this thread. I'm not what I would call "old" - 37 years. After many false starts and recovering from a few personal setbacks, I've been maneuvering my life into position to be able to take writing very seriously for the next year or two; this in order to get up a body of work that feels right and powerful to me (if it's in me at all, that is... which I plan to find out over the next stretch of time).

I've realized recently that I am just not going to make the January 2011 deadlines for the writing programs. I simply don't have the kind of work I want yet. I will keep going on it and possibly submit in January 2012, for a fall 2012 start. I feel like I need that time to try it on my own first, without the pressure of a program or deadlines. I'm not even sure if I want to enter a program yet, honestly. The cost and need of it, I doubt sometimes. But I also see how great it could be for someone starting out. I have known friends who went through programs; most loved it, of course. I'm definitely not anti-MFA. But I already have previous school debt. As well, as I said, I'd like to test myself out for a bit more, see what I can do alone first. I might not even want to go the MFA route by the end of that time.

So, my question is, does this make sense to anyone? If anyone has been in my particular shoes at my age, and has any constructive advice or insight, it'd be nice to hear it. I'm rather unsure right now about almost everything, except the feeling that I need to/have to do this, something which has long been present. The details about how to go about it are the only aspects that confuse me. Thanks beforehand for any help.

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