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Clench Million
Charles

May 16, 2008, 1:48 PM

Post #301 of 430 (7473 views)
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Re: [scheherazade] Funding News, Finally Can't Post

scheherazade:

MFA programs that pay a stipend for living expenses almost universally require you to work for the university, either as a TA or for the lit journal, etc.

Not to say that isn't a great gig. I'd rather be paid to have a part-time job TAing classes than flipping burgers, but Columbia's fellowships aren't tied to any work requirements, so it would be easy to have a part time job to pay the housing and living bills if you got a full ride.


kijordan


May 20, 2008, 5:51 AM

Post #302 of 430 (7367 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Funding News, Finally Can't Post

I imagine the fellowships are even smaller for poetry, no ? It's a smaller part of the program and not nearly as lucrative a genre as Fiction/Non-Fiction. Not to reduce art to finance, but everyone knows that these schools understand that poetry is not the most "remunerative" or rewarding investment. When's the last time a book of poetry was a bestseller ? Anyway, I guess I'm trying to fish around to see how paltry my offer was compared to some of the others. $20,000 sounds like a goldmine to me. Any poets see number like these ?


scheherazade


May 22, 2008, 12:14 AM

Post #303 of 430 (7262 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Funding News, Finally Can't Post


In Reply To
scheherazade:

MFA programs that pay a stipend for living expenses almost universally require you to work for the university, either as a TA or for the lit journal, etc.

Not to say that isn't a great gig. I'd rather be paid to have a part-time job TAing classes than flipping burgers, but Columbia's fellowships aren't tied to any work requirements, so it would be easy to have a part time job to pay the housing and living bills if you got a full ride.



True, but having to come up with, what, another $15-20K+ per year (beyond what the largest scholarship would cover) for meager living expenses at Columbia would still require a pretty fantastic part-time job or hefty savings account. As a non-US citizen, my options for part-time employment and student loans are pretty limited, so in spite of how fantastic this program sounds (the comedy writing resources alone are phenomenal) it still seems out of reach for me even under the best circumstances.


upsetme


May 22, 2008, 3:55 PM

Post #304 of 430 (7214 views)
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Re: [scheherazade] Funding News, Finally Can't Post

Tuition plus cost-of-living, according to the university's budget, is $64,554 a year. That includes $43,784 for tuition and fees, $14,400 for room and board, $2,000 for books, $900 for travel and $3,470 for personal/other.

The "year" they define as Fall and Spring semester. That said, every student I've talked with said you can live way, way, way under that for the full 12 months. Regardless, the student "builds" toward that goal with a combination of fellowships, outside aid, federal and private loans. Some, I'm told, with heavy prospective private loans, decide on going smaller than $64K. That seems dangerous to me in the first year.

Of course, this doesn't consider paid internships, work study and part-time employment -- all of which I'm told are abundant.

Hope that helps,


(This post was edited by upsetme on May 22, 2008, 4:01 PM)


kijordan


Jun 26, 2008, 8:43 AM

Post #305 of 430 (7071 views)
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Courses Can't Post

Have any of you registered for classes ? Does anyone know how ? I think I haven't been paying attention to the e-mails because I'm still not sure if I'm going (though I've put my deposit down). But if I do go, I don't want to get stiffed on the classes !

Anyone ?


h orange


Jun 26, 2008, 12:41 PM

Post #306 of 430 (7048 views)
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Re: [kijordan] Courses Can't Post

Hmmm ... I don't think we were supposed to register for classes ...

From the last email, it sounds like the writing division will be mailing us something, with info on orientation, etc., so maybe we'll find out about class registration then?


LauraJean1


Jul 6, 2008, 3:20 PM

Post #307 of 430 (6930 views)
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Re: [h orange] Courses Can't Post

The last email I got included an attachment with the list of classes offered and a link to a site where you can rank which classes you want in order of preference.

Choosing was tough!


Raysen


Jul 28, 2008, 3:08 AM

Post #308 of 430 (6835 views)
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Re: New York City location Can't Post

Hi folks,

This is my first post ever on this forum. I spent many hours reading virtually every thread in the "MFA Programs" subforum and learned quite a bit.

I have one concern wrt Columbia: location. Many people stated over and over again how New York City was such a huge draw. I understand the arguments -- publishing mecca, vibrant urban center, nightlife, resources, etc. For me though, I can't get over the fact that New York is dangerous. Or so I've heard. Columbia is located in Harlem. There are muggings and assaults and homicides daily.

Also, where do you Columbia students live? I'd hate to commute all the way to New York from Brooklyn or the Bronx or Queens. I've never lived in New York so, for the most part, I don't know what the heck I'm talking about either.

Anyway, if someone could address my two concerns about Columbia:

1) safety of area in the vicinity of Columbia's campus, and
2) place of residence.


Clench Million
Charles

Jul 28, 2008, 11:34 AM

Post #309 of 430 (6807 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

Raysen:

Columbia is located in Morningside Heights, which isn't really Harlem (although it is right below Harlem).


Quote
For me though, I can't get over the fact that New York is dangerous.


New York is not very dangerous. In fact, it has been ranked as the safest of the very large US cities for awhile. Here is another report that puts New York as the fifth safest city with a population over 500+.

Major cities will probably always have more crime than small suburban towns, but New York is a far cry from Detroit or Baltimore. Unless you are planning to avoid all large cities in your MFA hunt, I wouldn't worry about crime in new york. It has a lower crime rate than Chicago, Boston, DC , Houston... well, every other major US city.

Which isn't to say I'd live just anywhere. If you are concerned about crime it probably wouldn't be a good idea to live deep in harlem. Columbia university has housing in morningside heights that is a relatively good deal monetarily. There are also security guards that patrol Columbia university and its surrounding buildings and streets.

I'd say most students live either in Columbia housing or in apartments nearby (the area below Columbia is a good one.) A few people live up in Harlem and the remainder live in Brooklyn or the upper east side.

But if you are from far away, I think Columbia housing should be pretty easy to get and probably your best bet.


Raysen


Jul 28, 2008, 12:30 PM

Post #310 of 430 (6799 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] New York City location Can't Post

Thanks, Clench Millon!

Sadly, I'm a victim and a sucker for all the bad media New York City gets. Of course, it doesn't help that I watch Law & Order all the time!

(I also noticed another thread on MFA location, which my posts probably belong.)

Thanks again.


Clench Million
Charles

Jul 28, 2008, 5:56 PM

Post #311 of 430 (6772 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

Well, NYC did used to have a crazy crime rate. For a long time. But in the 90s it dropped a ton and now it is very very low. There has been a lot of debate about why (broken window theory? better policing? abortions [according to Freakonomics]?) but in any event, as far as major US cities go, New York is the safest now.


v1ctorya


Jul 29, 2008, 11:09 AM

Post #312 of 430 (6732 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

I went there undergrad, and came from a smallish town.

I've lived here every since and feel WAY safer here than I did in my small town. And that's as a paranoid single woman.

There are many safe places in NYC, plus, just stay aware, take those ipod earphones out of your ears so you can hear what's going on around you, and you'll be fine. In fact, the only issues I've ever had have been with rude tourists.

Of course, this all goes to what you consider scary. I'm used to ethnic diversity and so feel more comfortable in Washington Heights (about a 10-15 minute train ride uptown with way more reasonable rent prices than closer to the University) but know people that say they aren't afraid yet cross the street to avoid more than one or two latino persons walking together.


aiyamei


Jul 29, 2008, 1:27 PM

Post #313 of 430 (6713 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

I also went to Columbia undergrad, and seriously, DO NOT get all up-in-arms about safety issues. You'd be shooting yourself in the foot. Morningside Heights is a wonderful area; within a few weeks of arriving I knew the people who ran the businesses all up and down Broadway. There's a de facto neighborhood watch...it's charming and funny and friendly and my years there were some of the happiest of my life. Read _The Death and Life of Great Americans Cities_ if you want to understand why a neighborhood like Morningside Heights is safer than your average suburban road after dark.

But I'll stop with the propagandizing and simply say: go there, go up to Columbia, or just visit NYC, and if you still feel threatened, then don't apply. But don't judge before you know.

I suppose if you are a poet you can afford to shut yourself in, la Emily Dickinson, and maintain such misconceptions about the big city, but if your genre is fiction go and see for yourself how lovely it is!


Scarlo


Jul 29, 2008, 5:30 PM

Post #314 of 430 (6686 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] New York City location Can't Post

 
I live downtown, but have a ton of friends who went Columbia. Never heard one complaint about safety. People need to remember that this isn't the New York of the 1970s. It's a very safe city relative to other cities of its size.


ny23


Jul 30, 2008, 8:47 AM

Post #315 of 430 (6660 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

I went to Columbia for my MFA. Morningside Heights is a safe neighborhood -- especially if you stay around the campus. The School of the Arts is near the 116th entrance right off Broadway, a safe spot. Students were cautioned not to go into Morningside Park alone at night when I was there, and I do know of some muggings (then and recently) closer to 125th and Amsterdam Avenue. Just be vigilant and smart, as you would in any city. Campus is especially safe -- it's walled in, and beautiful. Who couldn't love it?!

As a grad student at Columbia, you can qualify for graduate student housing, which is off-campus in the apartment buildings all around campus. If you apply for housing from within NY, you'll have a hard time getting it and may be waitlisted, but if you apply from outside NY you are pretty much guaranteed an apartment, which is what happened to me. I lived on 112th Street and then on 113th Street, good, safe blocks. The housing is so good (and is subsidized, so significantly cheaper than the usual rents in the city) that I extended my enrollment as a research-arts student for as long as I could to keep the apartment and stay in the area.

If you're going, apply for graduate student housing for sure. Most likely you'll get a shared apt. with a roommate. If you're married/with a partner, you can apply for a one-bedroom. It's very worth it. And it's great to be so close to campus. I live downtown now, but miss the area a lot.

Good luck!


Raysen


Jul 30, 2008, 11:19 AM

Post #316 of 430 (6642 views)
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Re: New York City location Can't Post

Thanks to all who replied. I'm now more excited to go to Columbia than ever! (Now, all I need to do is apply and get that damn acceptance letter!)

Are there meal plans at the graduate housing or other dorms I could sign up for, or is it just better to take this opportunity to eat in the many fine cafes and diners and restaurants of NYC?


Clench Million
Charles

Jul 30, 2008, 12:53 PM

Post #317 of 430 (6624 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

I've never heard of a meal plan for graduate students. Graduate housing is just apartment buildings the school owns, they aren't dorms. No cafeterias in the basement or anything. I guess it might be possible to get on a meal plan and eat in the undergrad dorm cafeterias.... but there are plenty of restaurants and grocery stores in the area. Food shouldn't be a problem.


ny23


Jul 30, 2008, 7:10 PM

Post #318 of 430 (6597 views)
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Re: [Raysen] New York City location Can't Post

I second what Clench Million said above... the graduate housing is just an apartment in a university-owned (and thus rent-subsidized) building. It's not at all like a dorm.

But, graduate students can get meal plans:
http://www.columbiauniversity.org/cu/dining/docs/about-us/policies-procedure.html#upperclass

Not sure why you'd want to, though! Your apartment will have a kitchen (even if it is as small as a closet, as was mine).


switchthai


Jul 31, 2008, 1:35 AM

Post #319 of 430 (6572 views)
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Re: [ny23] New York City location Can't Post

I'm starting at Columbia's MFA this fall. I live in Brooklyn off the D and N trains and it's a 45 minute commute door to door. I look at this as the perfect amount of time to get reading done. I have scandalously cheap rent and a nice back yard, and I'm sick of moving.

There are lots of great safe places to live in New York.


cookie1984


Aug 6, 2008, 12:33 AM

Post #320 of 430 (6501 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Courses Can't Post

has anyone heard back about their schedules for the fall? in the email christine mentioned they'd be done early august. thanks!


LauraJean1


Aug 6, 2008, 4:03 PM

Post #321 of 430 (6451 views)
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Re: [cookie1984] Courses Can't Post

No word yet. Eek! And now I am second guessing all the choices I made....


Clench Million
Charles

Aug 6, 2008, 7:12 PM

Post #322 of 430 (6430 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Courses Can't Post


In Reply To
No word yet. Eek! And now I am second guessing all the choices I made....


Don't worry. People change classes a lot. Just get on the waiting list for ones you want and you shouldn't have a problem.


Raysen


Aug 12, 2008, 8:58 PM

Post #323 of 430 (6378 views)
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Pets Can't Post

Okay, bizarre question for you New York city dwellers:

If I had a pet (say, a dog), is living in the city out of the question? Does graduate housing prohibit dogs?


Clench Million
Charles

Aug 13, 2008, 11:03 PM

Post #324 of 430 (6341 views)
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Re: [Raysen] Pets Can't Post


In Reply To
Okay, bizarre question for you New York city dwellers:

If I had a pet (say, a dog), is living in the city out of the question? Does graduate housing prohibit dogs?



I have no idea about graduate housing, but tons and tons of people live in NYC with dogs. There are a lot of parks around Columbia and a few dog parks in Riverside Park I think.


jaywalke


Aug 14, 2008, 7:30 AM

Post #325 of 430 (6321 views)
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Re: [Raysen] Pets Can't Post


In Reply To
Okay, bizarre question for you New York city dwellers:

If I had a pet (say, a dog), is living in the city out of the question? Does graduate housing prohibit dogs?


That depends on your living situation. How much are you going to be home? Will you have a roommate? Do you have time in your schedule to go to the park for an hour every single day? Forcing a pack animal to be alone most of the time in an apartment is a kind of punishment.

Two little dogs can keep each other company. A cat is still likely a better option for NYC. I used to live in the Shitty, but waited until I escaped before I got my big dawgs.

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