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Chess


Mar 29, 2009, 5:30 PM

Post #51 of 107 (7836 views)
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Re: [rebeccavl] 2009 Can't Post

I was waitlisted for NYU (fiction) and I'm dying to go. Know of anyone planning on turning down his/her spot?


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 12, 2009, 12:01 PM

Post #52 of 107 (7533 views)
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Re: [Chess] 2009 Can't Post

I'd like to reanimate this thread for anyone applying to NYU this fall for the fall 2010 term. I'm applying for poetry.


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.


annimari


Nov 16, 2009, 4:34 AM

Post #53 of 107 (7461 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

I plan to apply for fiction. Currently working on my writing sample and gathering as much information as I can about the funding.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 16, 2009, 10:19 AM

Post #54 of 107 (7444 views)
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Re: [annimari] 2009 Can't Post

I went to the GSAS open house a couple of weeks ago and spoke with some of the MFA reps there (all graduates of the NYU MFA program), and they explained some of the funding opportunities (community outreach programs, teaching, &c). I got the impression that most (if not all) MFA students get at least half their tuition paid for, and those who really go after additional funding opportunities can generally figure out a way to get fully funded. I'll be at the MFA open house tonight as well, so I'll try to get more specifics and let you know what I find out.


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.


Forum Apps


Nov 16, 2009, 11:14 AM

Post #55 of 107 (7436 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

It seemed like their idea of fully funded (which was hard to obtain, anyway there from what I've heard) is full tuition paid. This isn't fully funded. It is expensive to live in NY.


annimari


Nov 16, 2009, 12:43 PM

Post #56 of 107 (7429 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

NY is the most expensive city to live for sure. What about MA in creative writing, anybody applying for that?


WanderingTree


Nov 16, 2009, 2:03 PM

Post #57 of 107 (7412 views)
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Re: [Forum Apps] 2009 Can't Post

Abramson breaks it down on the MFA blog. Almost everybody gets at least some of their tuition covered (a small handful get it all covered). There are also quite a few fellowships that provide stipends ranging from a few thousand to 20k (which is still really cutting it in NY). If people have teaching experience, an MA and/or some kind of proven track record in essay writing, there is also the option to teach in the expository writing program which covers tuition and provides a 20k or so stipend for both years (this last one is a completely different application process as it is not associated with the writing program)

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Nov 16, 2009, 2:04 PM)


Forum Apps


Nov 16, 2009, 2:20 PM

Post #58 of 107 (7406 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] 2009 Can't Post

Well, I guess if you have an MA or wonderful grades and teaching experience it would totally be worth applying. If not, I'd be careful and probably throw my application fee somewhere else. Unless someone is dead set on the school--but, there are lots of schools with wonderful faculty and good funding.


sdh11


Nov 16, 2009, 4:09 PM

Post #59 of 107 (7384 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] 2009 Can't Post

What is the application process for applying to teach in the expository writing program? Do you have a link?

Thank you.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 16, 2009, 6:42 PM

Post #60 of 107 (7366 views)
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Re: [sdh11] 2009 Can't Post

They mentioned at the open house tonight that the EWP won't be available for MFA students anymore.

What WanderingTree said is pretty much correct—if you're lucky and get a merit-based fellowship, they tell you that during the acceptance call. If not, you can apply for the various teaching/community outreach fellowships available, but there's no guarantee you'll get one and you can only apply after you accept NYU's offer (meaning you're gambling a little bit by accepting if your attendance hinges on aid beyond the 50% that everyone gets). If you get no aid above and beyond the 50% tuition remission, you'll end up paying around $20,800 ($1,300 per credit x 32 credits to graduate / 2), not including food/housing/&c, which is pretty steep.

You do have the option of working part- or full-time during your MFA studies, however, so long as both your employer and NYU are okay with it.


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.


(This post was edited by ericweinstein on Nov 16, 2009, 6:43 PM)


HarveyK


Nov 17, 2009, 3:13 PM

Post #61 of 107 (7317 views)
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Re: [sdh11] 2009 Can't Post

Years ago I applied for a position at the NYU EWP after getting notified that I had got in the MFA program--I had an MA and some prior teaching experience. It was a total waste of my time. I had to prepare for a phone interview with the coordinator or director of the EWP. There was a sample student essay I had to critique, and there were a lot of questions thrown at me over the phone. It was like a full time job interview, and I wasn't prepared for that. Overall, it was a very unpleasant experience. I had to compete with Ph.D. candidates at NYU. I turned down NYU and went to a fully-funded program. There's no reason to go to NYU if you have to pay more than $20K or even $10K every year. If you have to stay in NY, apply to Brooklyn, Hunter or City College.


Zuleika Dobson



Nov 18, 2009, 12:43 AM

Post #62 of 107 (7271 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

This is bizarre. I was there as well.

This may have nothing to do with the program, but many of the people in attendance had clearly not researched MFA programs whatsoever and repeatedly asked questions that not only were on the website, but were answered in the FAQ sheet they passed out.

Their ignorance was arresting. It made the 1-2% acceptance rate of some of these top programs slightly less nausea-inducing.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 18, 2009, 9:37 AM

Post #63 of 107 (7235 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] 2009 Can't Post

I KNOW. Remember that woman who wouldn't let go of the GRE issue? Or asked "when do we find out about application decisions" literally two seconds after someone else did?

Also, from what I could gather from the handouts, the odds of getting into the NYU MFA are somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 - 7%, possibly higher if they have a fair number turn down their offers due to lack of funding.


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.


HarveyK


Nov 18, 2009, 10:18 AM

Post #64 of 107 (7223 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

Some say that MFA applicants are the dumbest people who can't even do basic math, although I won't go that far.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 18, 2009, 10:59 AM

Post #65 of 107 (7207 views)
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Re: [HarveyK] 2009 Can't Post

To be fair, there were several intelligent and well thought-out questions. I was just surprised at the number of questions that could be answered by 1.) thinking before asking, or 2.) reading the handouts.


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.


Zuleika Dobson



Nov 18, 2009, 11:02 AM

Post #66 of 107 (7204 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

Ha, the NYU rep didn't skip a beat when she asked about decision notifications. I was impressed.

My favorite was the girl who wanted to reapply without resubmitting anything except a form, and then announced, "I'm so depressed!" after the NYU rep told her no. If you were one of the people that stayed after, you also would have had to deal with a woman who unleashed a laundry list of personal fears and anxieties, running the gamut from financial aid to international status to GREs.

I mean, thank god. 5-7% of that mess really doesn't sound so bad.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 18, 2009, 11:41 AM

Post #67 of 107 (7187 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] 2009 Can't Post

I just don't understand why you'd show up to something like this having done next to no research. Anyone who's spent an hour on Google would know the answers to the overwhelming majority of the questions that were asked.

All I can think of is that they either wanted independent confirmation that what they'd read is true, or that they're just trying to ask something so as to be memorable to these folks when it's time for their applications to be reviewed.


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.


(This post was edited by ericweinstein on Nov 18, 2009, 11:43 AM)


WanderingTree


Nov 18, 2009, 12:18 PM

Post #68 of 107 (7178 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] 2009 Can't Post

I think this goes to show that MFAs attract people that have no business whatsoever going to graduate school (and probably shouldn't have been admitted to their undergraduate school either). These are the people that blindly send their stories to Knopf (unagented) with unicorn stickers and a note from their mother. As such, the acceptance rates are probably more misleading than other graduate programs where people are usually more qualified in the first place. I bet the girl that said she was depressed had a Twilight tattoo ; - )

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Nov 18, 2009, 12:20 PM)


Forum Apps


Nov 18, 2009, 1:17 PM

Post #69 of 107 (7158 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] 2009 Can't Post

 Don't be so harsh on people--there are lots of students going to small colleges.

Many of these colleges have wonderful local-type writers teaching at them.

Their students want to go to MFA programs, too.

It _is_ a shame that they don't do more research.


WanderingTree


Nov 18, 2009, 2:16 PM

Post #70 of 107 (7133 views)
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Re: [Forum Apps] 2009 Can't Post

I didn't say anything about small colleges. I also didn't comment on the academic abilities or inclinations of students in general. In fact, most small colleges provide more research, publishing and presentation opportunities to undergrads than large research universities (which are often grad oriented). I'm not being harsh and I apologize if that's the way it came off. I'm merely stating my opinion that a preponderance of applicants (and surprisingly current students) are still ill-informed (despite multiple blogs, program websites, books) and that this may reflect on their motivations to get the degree, their performance of a student overall, their happiness in a program, and the fact that many people quit writing seriously after the MFA. There's no excuse for not being informed. Yes, an MFA is by and large an art degree, but it is still tied to academia and with that comes certain expectations and requirements.

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Nov 18, 2009, 2:21 PM)


Zuleika Dobson



Nov 18, 2009, 3:09 PM

Post #71 of 107 (7114 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] 2009 Can't Post

Je suis d'accord. I'm always amazed at the lack of quality of a lot of the novels (and even queries) that get sent to agents and publishing houses. Most of them are unreadable. And I don't mean Joyce unreadable.

I'm sure that there's a good amount of overlap amongst this pool and the MFA applicant pool.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


Zuleika Dobson



Nov 18, 2009, 3:11 PM

Post #72 of 107 (7113 views)
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Re: [Forum Apps] 2009 Can't Post

Also, Forum Apps, many of the questions were simply stemming from lack of research, but a lot of them were due to lack of common sense.

Just saying.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


HarveyK


Nov 18, 2009, 4:00 PM

Post #73 of 107 (7093 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] 2009 Can't Post

Well, you'll be really amazed at the "lack of quality" of your peer's writing in a MFA workshop. Most of it is just a load of crap, and you'll have to read and critique it every week. I can't imagine someone paying $20K or more just to do that. You'll often shake your head, asking yourself how the fuck I ended up here--I mean, if you get in somewhere.


(This post was edited by HarveyK on Nov 18, 2009, 4:08 PM)


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 18, 2009, 4:01 PM

Post #74 of 107 (7092 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] 2009 Can't Post

And there's really no excuse for not having done the research, since you had to get the RSVP information for the open house from the NYU MFA website!


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.


Forum Apps


Nov 18, 2009, 4:49 PM

Post #75 of 107 (7064 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] 2009 Can't Post

That wasn't directed directly at you. Sorry if you took it that way. It was more of a general comment.

I just think that (even among those who are online and have looked at the research and the like) a lack of knowledge about the nature of MFA programs is to be expected. That is, unless someone majored in creative writing in some major creative writing program that introduces them to a wide variety of contemporary material. Otherwise, who knows what you're getting into?

Of course, we are talking in terms of basic information here--but not everyone thinks of googling MFA rankings. Instead, their professors tell them about a couple of good programs or they look up some big names and that is the extent of their research.

The lists of rankings people put together based off of "funding" and "selectivity" and "reputation" often aren't much better. I suppose it shows that people google'd MFA rankings and compiled a list--but many (most) of these lists I see people putting together (on these forums or the MFA blog, even) are totally nonsensical if the applicant knows anything about where the faculty of various programs are positioned in the contemporary 'aesthetic' landscape [I don't know how much this applies to fiction but it definitely applies to poetry].

The person who hasn't looked up MFA rankings online might have a better writing sample than the person who has. I don't think being a participant on these forums or looking at MFA rankings says much about the quality of the applicant. I'd suppose the people online are in the same boat as the people offline (aside from knowing which places are funded--which is kind of big in terms of debt and such but not as much in terms of how successful of a writer they will be in the long run).


(This post was edited by Forum Apps on Nov 18, 2009, 4:52 PM)

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