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sara9870


Mar 23, 2006, 2:29 PM

Post #26 of 430 (8587 views)
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Re: [brooklynpoet] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

Hello- Just thought I'd add some things and ask some things-
Concerning Columbia- I know a few people that graduated last year in fiction and poetry. one was independently wealthy- so of course, in that case, its no problem. The other 2 (fiction) said if they could do it over, they would've gone to brooklyn or hunter. The access to the "famous" teachers is nonexistant and they said you could get a comprable education/time and access to agents and such at a CUNY school.
i applied to 10 schools, personally, and have only got into a school very far away. I saw that the city college deadline is May 1st. Is that correct? I'm actually going to be there next week for a conference and figured i'd go talk to someone. I want to stay in nyc for many reasons- family, friends, live with my boyfriend, job and I find it hard to be away from NYC for extended amounts of time (i grew up here) People tell me to get out and get away from everything for awhile but that might be too hard, and actually have an adverse effect on my writing. So I was thinking of applying to City College too.
Still havent heard from columbia, nyu or new school yet, and I was rejected from Brooklyn. Haven't heard anything from Hunter, but I assume a rejection there too.


Aubrie


Mar 23, 2006, 2:32 PM

Post #27 of 430 (8581 views)
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Re: [sara9870] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

Sara - I wouldn't lose hope on Hunter or New School just yet. I received my rejections a good long time ago, and since we're both in NYC, maybe that means good news on your part?
Give them a call!


Aubrie


Mar 23, 2006, 2:43 PM

Post #28 of 430 (8578 views)
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Re: [brooklynpoet] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

Brooklynpoet - What do you know about City College? I found their website to be painfully useless. Faculty? Class organization? Workshop sizes? I wouldn't have ruled it out except for the fact that I really couldn't make any sort of decision as to what the program offered. Is it one year? Two years? Argh. And it's an MA, right?


(This post was edited by Aubrie on Mar 23, 2006, 3:11 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 23, 2006, 3:06 PM

Post #29 of 430 (8564 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

As long as we are throwing out anecdotes about Columbia grads, let me say that every Columbia grad (which is only a few) was extremely fond of the program, acting like it was the best possible.

Of course, the grads I've met are all pretty successful writers, so they don't have to be bitter about "wasting" money just to get an MFA.


gussy


Mar 23, 2006, 4:02 PM

Post #30 of 430 (8532 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

You're right, Clench: I may have overstated the point. However, I still think the overall suggestion I gave is sound (which seems to coincide with brooklynpoet's: basically, you are the best judge to decide whether you can put up with the debt or not). And I still think there is some reason to be optimistic about a second round of applications if on the first one you've been accepted by SLC and/or Columbia. I mean, that certainly is a sign that your writing is pretty good, and chances are your writing will improve in the year that you have to wait till you apply again. But again, you're right, I overstated it by saying it's "highly unlikely" that you'll be rejected. Thanks for the qualification.


ciaosamin


Mar 23, 2006, 11:31 PM

Post #31 of 430 (8478 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia-Poetry Can't Post

i have to say, i agree with clench on this one. i was accepted at sarah lawrence on my last round, and this time, i haven't been accepted anywhere.


Aubrie


Mar 28, 2006, 6:40 PM

Post #32 of 430 (8628 views)
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Fleeting Hope Can't Post

I emailed Columbia asking them to keep my info. on file for re-application next year (after sticking in something along the lines of "as I assume all accepted and waitlisted applicants have been notified) and the sec. emailed me back about the info and then added:
"That said, notifications are just being sent out now."
So.... perhaps some of us might be waitlisted?
Maybe?!
Or I could just get a rejection and put all this nonsense behind me already. Back to checking the mailbox!


Kcchen


Mar 28, 2006, 6:47 PM

Post #33 of 430 (8625 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Fleeting Hope Can't Post

i called columbia today. rejections AND waitlists were sent out last week and this week. crap.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 21, 2006, 11:37 PM

Post #34 of 430 (8332 views)
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Columbia Can't Post

Did anyone go to the Columbia accepted student open house?
I went yesterday and found it assuaged my concerns... as well as confirmed my fears.
Which is to say, I feel pretty confident its the best program out there as a program on almost every level but I also know the funding situation is even worse than I thought.

But man... it seems so perfect on every other level: Location, faculty (most good programs have talented faculty, but only a handful have faculty that actually make get me excited), alumni success, structure (I like how its in the school of the arts instead of the english department and I like the thesis workshop requirement) and connections (visting teachers/agents/speakers, NYC magazines recruiting students for intenrs, etc.)

What an annoying position to have money stain this...

Well, anyone else visit and have a reaction?


sarandipidy


Apr 23, 2006, 10:35 AM

Post #35 of 430 (8278 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia Can't Post


In Reply To
Did anyone go to the Columbia accepted student open house?
I went yesterday and found it assuaged my concerns... as well as confirmed my fears.
Which is to say, I feel pretty confident its the best program out there as a program on almost every level but I also know the funding situation is even worse than I thought.

But man... it seems so perfect on every other level: Location, faculty (most good programs have talented faculty, but only a handful have faculty that actually make get me excited), alumni success, structure (I like how its in the school of the arts instead of the english department and I like the thesis workshop requirement) and connections (visting teachers/agents/speakers, NYC magazines recruiting students for intenrs, etc.)

What an annoying position to have money stain this...

Well, anyone else visit and have a reaction?


Clench, here is my two cents. I know someone who went there and regretted it. He didn't like the program and regrets taking out those loans to pay for it. And my professors both warned me about money and competitiveness when I was thinking of applying there.

But if it's the perfect program for you, you don't have any other good option for you with better funding, and you don't have many undergrad loans out right now, then maybe you should just go. Look for outside scholarships for the first year and hopefully you'll get some kind of work for the second and third. I don't know your monetary situation, but I would need a job even to pay Brooklyn rent. Maybe you have some savings to help you through rent/utilities/food? It would suck if your job took up valuable writing (and academic working) time. But this is something that can be worked out if you plan it right. Apply for financial aid as well as outside scholarships and see what they give you, maybe it will be enough! Did you already apply for aid and get stiffed, or have you just not found out your award yet? It could be very good.

I guess you have to decide if even the best possible experience at Columbia's program for three years outweighs the worst possible experience years later when you're paying the debt back. Maybe think in terms of these hyperbolic scenarios to help you decide: Columbia ends up being amazing for you, but some of those years later end up being miserable. Debt can be like thick muck under your feet. If it seems worth the risk of a worse possible scenario for a best possible scenario, then go for it. I personally have some loans from undergrad but not so much that they'll kill me later. I thought going here would be worth it for various reasons (boyfriend, gorges, town, classes, friends), and I still think it was. But 60,000+ could be a very different story. Good luck.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 23, 2006, 12:17 PM

Post #36 of 430 (8268 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] Columbia Can't Post

Thanks for your thoughts sarandipity.
I'm surprised to hear you say your professors talk of competitiveness. I've talked to a couple students, including a few that were quite candid about the downsides of the program, and all of them said there was no competitiveness.

I guess frankly, and sadly, there isn't anything to compete over. The merit fellowships only go up to 15,000 tops and I think everyone gets at least 5,000. The TAships are very few and aren't done through the writing program at all or based on your writing skills in the least. So I feel pretty good there isn't any competitiveness in the program... or rather, the copetitiveness that exists there is the same that would exist anywhere else.

I haven't applied for aid yet (since I'm either going to Columbia or not going this year) but I doubt I'll get much as I have a bit of money I inherited that's in my name in some kind of plan that can only be used for education. Which of course means on the bright side I have inherited money I can only use for education still left from undergrad.
I think at a worst case scenario, with no other scholarships, no TAships/RAships or other Columbia funding and everything... I'm looking at 25,000 debt. Obviously I could offset that through having a part time job or working a ton through the summers. So my worst case scenario isn't that horrible (though certainly worse than worst case being 0 dollars debt going somewhere else.) Best case scenario, which isn't that improbable, would be no debt (though my savings would be eaten away surely).

I've met a lot of writers in the real world who were Columbia grads and all have been very fond of the program. I kind of whish I'd met some disgrunteled grads to have a more balanced view, but everyone's always loved it and said the money was worth it.

The complication for me is that, due to various reasons (friends, location, etc.) there are really only a handful of programs with full funding I'd take over the Columbia deal I have. UVA, JHU, NYU as one of the few free rides... maybe one or two more. So it would be a gamble.

But yeah, I'm just thinking out loud here and thanks for letting me.


Guess I still have to sit and wait and hear from the last school still considering my application (?!).


sarandipidy


Apr 23, 2006, 12:47 PM

Post #37 of 430 (8264 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia Can't Post

Hmm. 25,000 is a fair amount, but nothing like what some people who go there have to incur. 40,000+ is way too much for an MFA, but 20,000 or so shouldn't make you miserable later if you plan well. And it's not like you have another free ride option that you'd be sacrificing to go there (for example, that one poster had an FSU offer that far surpassed Columbia's if I recall correctly). If you really want it, I say go for it. It sucks to have to pay so much, but I think that's a doable amount of money, and what else is your inheritance for but education? If you wait til next year who knows what will happen in this crapshoot process (fiction especially)--you could get a free ride at JHU or you could be unlucky everywhere.

And when I said competitiveness I think I was interchanging Iowa and Columbia, since the financial situation there is kind of similar (about 20 per genre incoming class and not enough money to go around). Thinking back all those months ago, one told me Iowa had an uncomfortably competitive environment based on a few of her friends' experiences in poetry, not fiction. The other one advised me against Columbia for financial and some other reasons. It's good to know that the students said Columbia isn't too competitive. I guess the reason why isn't so great (no money, LOL) but at least you won't have to worry about crazy competition for funding. Should be much more relaxed.

I mean, I don't want to be the lone voice here; you will find lots of people (professors, writers, etc.) who say that paying pretty much anything for an MFA is a bad idea. But I know what kind of position you're in, and I know that if I were in it (really felt the program was a good fit for me and didn't have a better offer anywhere else that I also liked), I would most likely take out the 20,000 or so in loans. This choice goes against some of my better judgment, but I bet I would.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 24, 2006, 1:03 AM

Post #38 of 430 (8206 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] Columbia Can't Post

Sarandipity:

Actually, this forum is more like the lone voice telling me not to go. Everyone else I've met has said go for it (though most are people who don't know anything about MFAs), so I appreciate hearing the other side. 25,000 is definitely a fair amount, but keep in mind that is both the worst case scenario and includes my total living expenses. I imagine a lot of the better funded programs would still require me to spend a fair amount on living.

As for competitiveness, at the Columbia student open house the faculty made a few specific comments to the extent of "we don't have the competitive atmosphere due to tiered funding like a certain program in the mid-west."

I also really want to live in NYC for various reasons and barring being one of a like 2 people to get a full NYU ride, all the good NYC and surrounding area programs are expensive as hell.

Oh well.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 24, 2006, 10:21 AM

Post #39 of 430 (8176 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia Can't Post

Ben Marcus -- who heads up the fiction side at Columbia -- seems like a really nice guy, and a generous teacher (he interviewed last spring for the director's job at Iowa, which involved doing a special workshop and giving a craft talk and answering some questions). I didn't apply to Columbia, because I couldn't have afforded it. I also assumed, because of the cost, that it would be the grad school for the independently wealthy or those whose parents were footing the bill. Maybe that's not true, and people are in fact just taking out loans and working while in school. But I couldn't imagine trying to pay that tuition while also paying to live in NYC -- thinking about it made my head hurt. It really is a shame, too, that Columbia doesn't come up with more money for its writing program -- it's not like the school doesn't have the cash. And can you imagine how excited people would be about a program that actually funded writers to live in NYC for 2-3 years? When Marcus was here, he said they lose out on some great writers every year because of the funding thing; he said something to the effect of "I can't in good conscience try to talk people into accepting that offer if they can't really afford it." I think if they came up with the money to fully fund people, they'd be the top MFA program in the country, or at least near the top. But I guess if people are willing to pay, it might be hard convincing the administration to change course.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 24, 2006, 12:28 PM

Post #40 of 430 (8154 views)
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Re: [mingram] Columbia Can't Post

Yes, Ben Marcus seems very nice and also candid about the downside (which is really only funding) of Columbia.


Quote
I also assumed, because of the cost, that it would be the grad school for the independently wealthy or those whose parents were footing the bill. Maybe that's not true, and people are in fact just taking out loans and working while in school.


It seemed like most everyone I talked to was taking out some loans. I didn't get too specific asking people's finances, but I imagine most at least get some help from family if they are young, but most were still paying a lot themselves.

One thing I'd say though is that Columbia isn't "the" program for this or that because it isn't unique in this regard. I'm not sure if you meant that, but I've seen a few people say things like "Why is Columbia the only program that charges you so much!?" which isn't true. Sarah Lawarence has equally bad funding, NYU costs as much if you aren't one of the few people getting good funding, New School costs about the same I think and I'm sure there are many others.

I feel a little defensive about Columbia since it looks like I'm going there, but even before I got any acceptances or rejections from schools I thought of Columbia as easily one of the top five programs... pretty much in its own league with Iowa and UCI and, not considering funding, it beats those two programs for me just on faculty and location.

If they fully funded everyone they'd probably be number 1 no question.... but I'm not sure how much I believe funding should be taken into consideration when ranking schools. I totally agree funding is an important issue, and I'm glad Tom Kealey gave people a good idea which programs fund which way, but ranking based on that seems odd. We dont' rank undergrad based on cost, or only public schools would get high rankings and any large program is going to have tiered funding, which complicates the rankings even from what TK is trying to do. Would anyone seriously think going to NYU (A TK top 20) with no funding would be better than Columbia with no funding? I don't think so.

When trying to objectively rank programs, I think funding should only be considered to the degree that tiered funding might have a negative influence and to the degree that the peer group might suffer from good writers going elsewhere.


dlil27


Apr 24, 2006, 5:35 PM

Post #41 of 430 (8104 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia Can't Post

Hey Clench,

There's no way in heaven or hell I could afford Columbia unless I went into even deeper debt (I have about 35K from undergrad). I do have a rich uncle, literally, but just thinkin' about asking for that kind of cash makes me sick. Even if he offered it to me, I'd be nauseous. Even if my parents had the money and offered it to me...anyway...god damn it if I don't love Sam Lipsyte. Everyone goes on and on about Marcus, but Lipsyte's my man.
I don't know if I'd call Comlumbia the best out there even with full funding because I'm not sure about their actual program. On their web site they list the requirements for graduation as:
  • two 6-pt workshops; one 9-pt thesis workshop; poets must take an additional 6-pt workshop (optional for fiction and nonfiction)
  • seven 3-pt seminars, lectures and/or master classes (any combination of theses three types of classes) including (for nonfiction students) the required Research Seminar (which may be waived by concentration director), and (for poetry students) the required Practice of Poetry seminar
  • 12-18 points of electives including independent study (but no more than 6 pts at 3000 level). Generally, two courses outside of the Division are required; a waiver for one of the two courses may be granted by the Chair

Only 2 workshops over three years?!
My actual question for you is...at the open house did they explain the reason for 2 workshops? I thought the electives would be great if you could take some screenwriting classes, but the film school's web site says that screenwriting classes are restricted to MFA's in film -- and besides, I think they're all part of the same division.
I'm not the biggest fan of NYU either, but if I got full funding...
Here's their program:
  • Satisfactory completion of 32 credits, including four workshops (16 credits) in fiction or poetry, at least one Craft of Fiction or Craft of Poetry course (4 credits), and the remaining 12 credits from any school or department within the University (these may be replaced by additional Craft classes)
  • A creative thesis in either fiction or poetry

At least at NYU you get to take 4 workshops - and they have the Tisch School School of the Arts and I could take some screenwriting or playwriting classes in that program to use up some electives. There really aren't too many film writing programs that can top Tisch. I'm a fiction writer, but I like drama as well.

Anyway...what did Columbia say about the program requirements? That's a big issue with me. One of the biggest reasons I'll be applying to MFA programs is to get and give feedback. I think CU has some outstanding craft course offerings and, of course, Sam Lipsyte, but I'm not sure how much actual writing I'd be doing there or whether I'd ever see Lipsyte in person.

I dig on some NYC too. Let’s face it though; NYU is in the hipper park of the city...also more expensive. AND...I'm not looking to pick a fight - neither of these schools are on my list of schools to apply to (and I have more than a bakers dozen on it already).
However...I can't get CU off my mind, even with its grotesque lack of funding and workshopping (two of my biggest priorities - yes, I do think funding is a big deal when you already have a lot of debt and no outside help).

Respectfully...


(This post was edited by dlil27 on Apr 24, 2006, 5:43 PM)


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 24, 2006, 7:55 PM

Post #42 of 430 (8075 views)
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Re: [dlil27] Columbia Can't Post

This could very well be sour grapes, at least in part, and the guy's definitely got an axe to grind. So it should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

http://www.columbiaspectator.com/.../04/24/444c65f6e911d

As far as his criticism of academic standards -- definitely the same could be said about Iowa (in that no one really fails here -- I think the program's attitude is that getting in is the hard part; after that, they just want to give you time to work, and the benefit of workshops). I like that kind of setup, and would absolutely hate a program that was more PhDish -- i.e., lots of lit classes and critical papers. So I disagree with him on that point because I like the idea of an MFA as basically a studio degree, with lots of freedom and flexibility.

I do think he raises some interesting points about the cost of the Columbia program and lack of funding. I guess that's what sticks in my craw about Columbia, and other schools that don't offer funding -- to me, the idea of funding is that you're saying to artists: We take you seriously, and we think you deserve some unencumbered time in which to pursue your art. Whereas programs that don't offer much in the way of funding seem to be saying: We think you're talented, and if you give us $40,000 a year (or whatever tuition is) we'll let you hang out and work on your art. That's a pretty different ball of wax.


bighark


Apr 24, 2006, 10:35 PM

Post #43 of 430 (8047 views)
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Re: [mingram] Columbia Can't Post

I think Columbia is a fine program, but the fact that it costs so damn much to go there is really disturbing.

Columbia has 140 writers in their program during any given year. If they charge an average of $25,000 per student (full tuition is $35K), then they're making three and a half million dollars a year from their creative writing students. That's a hell of a lot of revenue.

I mean, if you look at Columbia (or NYU or New School or Sarah Lawrence) and compare it to a a place like Washington University in St. Louis (or Notre Dame or Brown or Cornell), you really have to ask WTF?

WUSTL remits its $31,000 tuition and gives students a salary of $16,000 a year. That's a $47,000 a year statement per student per year.

When people start ranking programs, it's impossible to ignore numbers like that. You can pay one school $50,000 (plus whatever you have to pay for your living expenses in the most expensive city in North America) for a two-year MFA or pay zero dollars to another school that will give you $32,000 over two years for your trouble.

Frankly, I don't see how Columbia continues to attract applications.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 24, 2006, 10:55 PM

Post #44 of 430 (8033 views)
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Re: [dlil27] Columbia Can't Post

dlil27:

Hey, I like Sam Lipsyte too. In fact, Lipsyte and Marcus are the two Columbia people who got in touch with me. Smart move for Columbia, makes me want to go there.


Quote

My actual question for you is...at the open house did they explain the reason for 2 workshops?


I'm a little confused by what you posted. At the open house, the impression I got was that there was 1 workshop a semester. So four total. Maybe 3 total, plus the thesis workshop (which is a great idea in my mind). They definitily said you were taking 1 workshop a semester, so I'm not sure why the website says 2 is the requirement. odd.


Quote
thought the electives would be great if you could take some screenwriting classes, but the film school's web site says that screenwriting classes are restricted to MFA's in film -- and besides, I think they're all part of the same division.


My understandig is that WORKSHOPS are restricted to people in the genre, but everything else (lectures, seminars, etc.) can be taken from elsewhere. But i'm not 100% positive about film classes, as that isn't a part of the writing program, I guess.


Quote
of course, Sam Lipsyte, but I'm not sure how much actual writing I'd be doing there or whether I'd ever see Lipsyte in person.


Well, again, my understanding was one workshop a semester. More specifically, I heard the classes are a good size (8-12 people) and you turn in 3-5 times a semester depending on class size. So apparently you write a lot. As for Lipsyte, I know he teaches some workshops although I also know he works for Columbia's undergraduate program as well.


Quote
Let’s face it though; NYU is in the hipper park of the city...also more expensive.


Hipper? Maybe, although uptown seems like the next hip part. NYU is spread out though. I dunno where the writing division is, but my friend is going to grad school there this fall for art history and her program is up in the upper east side.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 24, 2006, 11:06 PM

Post #45 of 430 (8031 views)
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Re: [mingram] Columbia Can't Post

minigram:

yeah, I read that today. A shitty day for that to come out for me, just when I was set to accept Columbia. Although, the more I thought about the piece the less it concerned me. For one, the anger in the piece is obvious so it does seem like a bit of sour grapes. However, I'm willing to accept most of what he says is true.

Still, there are three main complaints raised:

a) There are a lot of medicore students and they all pass
b) they are milking their students as cash cows
c) They higher a lot of bad faculty.

As for a), everything I've ever heard has made me confident that EVERY MFA program everywhere has a lot of mediocre students. I expect this going in. I'd expect htis at Iowa, JHU, Columbia just as I'd expect it at Random State U. I'd except a bit LESS of it at Iowa, JHU and Columbia, but I'd still expect it. Columbia is a very selective school so I see no reason to assume their % of medicore students is different than any other big school

As for all them passing... I'm not sure what to think of that. It doesn't seem like an issue for a prospective student (what do I care if medicore writers graduate? Do I want them to fail?) it seems like more of an issue for Columbia's administration.
But, like my last paragraph, I expect pretty much everyone passes everywhere. I doubt many Iowa or Umass students (to name two more big programs) fail either, for good or for bad

b): This is definitly a big problem. However, this is a problem I (and everyone here at speakeasy I think) was already aware of.

c) I'm not sure what to make of this unless I saw a comparison with other big programs that hire lots of people. I can't say if Mark was right or wrong, but I Can say that Columbia is one of a handful of schools that has exciting faculty to me. Most have competant faculty, but Columbia actually has writers that make me excited. THye might have a lot of shitty ones too... guess I have to just hope to avoid them though. But at the end of the day, there isn't a single program out there that has a facualty that is 100% exciting.


Quote
I guess that's what sticks in my craw about Columbia, and other schools that don't offer funding -- to me, the idea of funding is that you're saying to artists: We take you seriously, and we think you deserve some unencumbered time in which to pursue your art. Whereas programs that don't offer much in the way of funding seem to be saying: We think you're talented, and if you give us $40,000 a year (or whatever tuition is) we'll let you hang out and work on your art. That's a pretty different ball of wax.


I see what you are saying. However, I look at it this way:
No program can give all its students free rides. No university president would allow that. The only ones that give some free rides have tiered funding, which is problamatic for a lot of reasons.

So how do students get full fudning? Universities make them work. They make them teach classes (to undergrads who are paying 40,000). Now, there is nothing wrong with this, and I like the idea a LOT and I surely wish Columbia had more TA positions. But at the end of the day, the difference between Columbia and JHU or whatever is that Columbia can't give TAships to all its students while JHU can.

There are some reasons for this (The Writing Division is all grad, not directly connected to any undegrad thing, so the TA positions it gets are leftovers from the english department after they giver their Phd people spots)... though it doesn't fully excuse Columbia.


__________



Apr 24, 2006, 11:06 PM

Post #46 of 430 (8032 views)
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my big big idea Can't Post

You mean they don't even offer a full waiver to a select few?... Oh well. Perhaps everyone who applied sans trust fund should just get together and start their own MFA program.

Think about it: the talent pool would be the same, and it could be done for a fraction of the cost. A big wooden table isn't expensive; the atmosphere would be supportive; and we know esteemed visiting writers like Denis Johnson or Ben Marcus can be had for less than $75K. There'd even be scads of dough left for your own lit journal. And everybody knows, once you own or edit a journal, your own publications miraculously increase.

Who's with me?


six five four three two one 0 ->


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 24, 2006, 11:10 PM

Post #47 of 430 (8023 views)
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Re: [bighark] Columbia Can't Post


Quote

When people start ranking programs, it's impossible to ignore numbers like that. You can pay one school $50,000 (plus whatever you have to pay for your living expenses in the most expensive city in North America) for a two-year MFA or pay zero dollars to another school that will give you $32,000 over two years for your trouble.


Again, I think you are not taking into account that these programs aren't giving you money for nothing. They are using you as workhorses to teach undergrad.

I have no problem with this. I think it is a great idea and I, as someone who wnats to teach, would love to be doing it. But lets not pretend they are giving you this money free. Tom Kealey says being a TA is equivelant to a 30 hour a week job.

So Columbia is charging 60,000 but not making you work while JHU (or whoever) is charing you zero and giving you a bit of money, but making you work 30 hours a week.

A more balanced view here might consider how much Columbia would cost you if you had a 30 hour a week job on the side. How much would that cut off your tuition? Someone who is more sober can do the math. I'm sure that JHU (or whoever) is still going to be giving a better deal, but the deal wont' be THAT astoundingly better.


lauraliziegler


Apr 25, 2006, 12:37 AM

Post #48 of 430 (8004 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Columbia Can't Post

Hmmm... a quick google search reveals that Columbia's endowments for 2005 were 2.5 BILLION dollars, or about $218,000 per student. I can't help but wonder why their funding is so nonexistent. Seems rotten.

While $25,000 is a lot of money, it's about what most of us who are going to have to do a low-res. program will have to spend.

At any rate, congratulations, Clench Million! It sounds like you have your heart set on Columbia, so it's wonderful that you were accepted. Good luck!


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 25, 2006, 12:51 AM

Post #49 of 430 (7997 views)
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Re: [lauraliziegler] Columbia Can't Post

Laura:

I agree it is rotten. No doubt. But I'm fairly confident, from what I've learned, that it is rotten outside of the Writing Division. Those professors would like nothing more than tofully fund everyone, but they can't due to upper bueracracy.

I don't think I'd say I have my heart set on Columbia. But Columbia was one of maybe 5 schools I was set on (those maybe being Iowa, UVA, JHU, Columbia and maybe Syracuse) but thank you.

25,000 is a lot of money. Too much, really. But again, this is my worst case scenario. Luckily, I could come out with zero debt if things go well.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 25, 2006, 12:54 AM

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Re: [Junior Maas] my big big idea Can't Post

I'm torn on the issue of tiered funding. It would be nice for Columbia (or whoever) to offer full funding to at least a few students, but at the same time... I have to agree with Tom Kealey that such a structure probably creates a very competitice and antagonistic student body.

Essentially, tiered funding is great if you happen to be the one who gets a lot, if not, it sucks.

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