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mizrachi


Jan 25, 2005, 1:32 AM

Post #1 of 56 (3502 views)
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When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Curious to know when I should expect to hear from the schools I've applied to. It seems the beginning of March is when most letters go out but I've also heard of acceptances in February and April. Also, will I find out by letter or phone call? One thing is for sure, this is an anxious process. I need a major distraction.


wiswriter
Bob S.

Jan 25, 2005, 7:54 AM

Post #2 of 56 (3491 views)
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Re: [mizrachi] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

You can start sitting by the phone and watching for the mail carrier as soon as the calendar strikes February. Things get hot and heavy from around Feb. 10 through early March. Most decisions are out by March 15. We've had instances of people being accepted off wait lists as late as early April, which can be awkward, because most schools want a commitment from you by then. Some schools call with acceptances; others send both acceptances and rejections by mail.

One word of caution, mentioned before but impossible to overemphasize: You're not rejected until you're rejected. Don't assume you're out at a school just because other people have already gotten in. Some programs distribute the acceptances over several weeks, going down their list and admitting new people as others turn them down and go elsewhere.

Good luck, everyone. Cyberfingers crossed.


smg225
Stuart Greenhouse

Jan 25, 2005, 9:28 AM

Post #3 of 56 (3485 views)
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Re: [wiswriter] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

These times are mostly accurate; but are general and you can always expect exceptions as time moves on. For example: my wife & I both applied to the same programs back when we did (so we could get a better chance of both going to the same place, or at least the same city), and we didn't hear from Columbia or Sarah Lawrence until early April, and we heard very enthusiastically (i.e. not late picks or informally off waiting lists) in each case.


freeverses
James Hall

Jan 25, 2005, 12:54 PM

Post #4 of 56 (3462 views)
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Re: [smg225] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I don't know what schools you applied to, and sometimes that helps. For instance, if anyone out there applied to Houston, I know that the committees are notoriously late with decisions. (In the last year or so have been getting more efficient).

I echo the sentiments: you're not rejected until you're rejected. I have a friend here at Houston who was accepted off the wait list a week before classes started. It's not that unusual.

Best of luck!


sovietsleepover


Jan 25, 2005, 4:02 PM

Post #5 of 56 (3448 views)
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When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

This may be a premature question, but I'm utterly terrified about the acceptance phone calls. I've heard in most cases, they're also to feel out whether or not you'll be able to attend without funding. Does anyone have any hints/suggestions at what to expect? Anything you should say/not say, pertinent questions, etc? Assuming you get accepted to more than one school, how cagey should you be about it?


smg225
Stuart Greenhouse

Jan 25, 2005, 5:39 PM

Post #6 of 56 (3437 views)
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Re: [freeverses] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

We applied to a bunch of programs--16 each. It was pricey and annoying, but we were married, and so it was worth it.

After my mfa, I applied for phd programs, and you're right. I didn't hear from Houston until almost May, I think I remember, so maybe a space opened on a waitlist, but I don't think I'd been told officially I was on the waitlist. I ended up choosing utah anyway (from which I'd heard early March), but loved the program in houston as well. can't say it was an easy decision.

That was 2000, so who knows how the decision timelines have evolved at these places since then.


wiswriter
Bob S.

Jan 25, 2005, 6:24 PM

Post #7 of 56 (3434 views)
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Re: [sovietsleepover] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post


In Reply To
This may be a premature question, but I'm utterly terrified about the acceptance phone calls. I've heard in most cases, they're also to feel out whether or not you'll be able to attend without funding. Does anyone have any hints/suggestions at what to expect? Anything you should say/not say, pertinent questions, etc? Assuming you get accepted to more than one school, how cagey should you be about it?


Things to say:

1. "We'll have to talk fast - the phone could be cut off at any moment."
2. "Oops, gotta run, the meal program only serves until 6."
3. "Yes, I received your letter, I'm so grateful for the fellowship...what? Oh, I thought you said Iowa!"

Things not to say:

1. "Kind of busy. Can I pass you to the housekeeper?"
2. "I hope you don't mind if I fly out and give you my answer in person."
3. "Delightful! I'm pouring the Veuve Clicquot right now!"


mizrachi


Jan 25, 2005, 10:10 PM

Post #8 of 56 (3418 views)
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Re: [sovietsleepover] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Great. A whole new thing to worry about: phone strategy. Is that really the case? Do they call to gauge if you'd pay to go? Maybe we should just let the answering machine pick up (yeah right). Why can't they just tell you if you got in, didn't get in, have to pay, don't have to pay? First the waiting. Then the nerves. Then hearing about people applying to 38 programs b/c they didn't make it the year before. And now this. Oy.


jwoodcanyon


Jan 26, 2005, 4:33 PM

Post #9 of 56 (3386 views)
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Re: [mizrachi] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

The way they handled this at Arizona, where there were people who were funded and unfunded, was by a ranking system. Simply put, they gave funding to the people whose work they liked the most, and they did not offer funding to people whose work was less "accomplished". From what I know, this is the standard many MFA programs use. It ultimately comes down to the work.

Joseph


rutha


Jan 26, 2005, 5:43 PM

Post #10 of 56 (3369 views)
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Re: [mizrachi] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

It sounds like things have changed in the MFA application world since I applied 10 or so years ago...my notifications both good and bad were all by mail; if I wanted to talk to them, I had to call them, and in some cases getting a straight answer on what my status was concerning funding was difficult - in one case I had to make a "phone appointment" to talk to the chair of the committee which determined funding (who was not on the creative writing faculty), and my sense was she cared very little about my writing and was much more concerned about what was termed my "deficiencies" -- i.e., the lack of a substantial lit background, so-so GRE scores, and so forth; it was a "let's see how you do the first year and if we like you we'll talk about funding for the second" situation despite the best efforts of the creative writing program director to get me something. What I experienced may have been a result of the sometimes uneasy relationship between English depts and creative writing programs at some schools -- just a thought.

And so while I don't disagree that your writing is extremely important (if not the most important), it's possible to get admitted because of a strong sample but not get funding because of other things -- I had friends who had the same experience as I did as well. Perhaps that's changed or happening less and less, which is a good thing. I ultimately went where I really wanted to go and paid full freight like everyone else in the program, which was a lot of $, but at least I didn't have to feel like a second class citizen because I never took a 400 level lit course and am a terrible test taker. Just my two cents FWIW! Good luck with the process...


missnorao


Jan 26, 2005, 11:52 PM

Post #11 of 56 (3343 views)
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Re: [smg225] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Hi, I'm new to the board, and am as stressed about all this as everybody, but would like to second the idea that there is enough to worry about already without stressing about the phone call. Just be happy, get off the phone and do a little dance of joy! Then worry about funding.


missnorao


Jan 27, 2005, 12:05 AM

Post #12 of 56 (3339 views)
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Re: [sovietsleepover] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

By the way, thanks to all for the great advice. This has been a great resource and it's comforting to know others are going through the same process.


grimson
Justin Bryant

Jan 29, 2005, 12:06 AM

Post #13 of 56 (3271 views)
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Re: [missnorao] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I would think the best strategy would be to know in advance whether or not you will indeed attend any of the programs you applied to without funding, or have a predetermined funding cut-off point. That would make the phone conversation pretty straightforward. I only applied to programs that offer full funding to at least some students each year. If I'm not one of those students, I won't be attending - in the event, of course, that I even get accepted anywhere in the first place.


willbell
Will

Feb 9, 2005, 3:48 PM

Post #14 of 56 (3171 views)
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Re: [missnorao] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I second that--this has been a great resource.

I did a lot of research, spent an endless amount of time on my applications, and went through a million drafts of my manuscript. Now I'm waiting. The worst part is that after the rush and hurried pace involved in the process, I am left with nothing but time. I need to regroup, stop thinking about the outcome, and settle back into my normal writing routine. Did anybody else have this issue? It seems counter-productive that the application process for a writing program detracts from your writing....

I wish everyone the best.


(This post was edited by willbell on Feb 9, 2005, 4:26 PM)


rooblue


Feb 9, 2005, 4:22 PM

Post #15 of 56 (3165 views)
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Re: [willbell] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I didn't write one word of fiction between the day I sent my application off and the day I found out I was accepted. I was only applying to low-res, so I only had to wait a few weeks instead of months, but I was far too much of a wreck to write anything. Hope this helps, and good luck.


desertmolly
Molly Thomas-Hicks

Feb 9, 2005, 4:58 PM

Post #16 of 56 (3152 views)
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Re: [catherinebrown] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Yep, it's true. She was a wreck. (But at least you had company, C.)

If you can write while you wait to hear about your applications, do so. If not, read from the canon and take long walks so that you still feel productive. You aren't alone; everyone feels crazy while they wait.


rooblue


Feb 9, 2005, 9:22 PM

Post #17 of 56 (3131 views)
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Re: [desertmolly] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I'll deal with you elsewhere, b.jones-brownie woman


missnorao


Feb 10, 2005, 11:03 AM

Post #18 of 56 (3111 views)
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Re: [willbell] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I've definately been having that problem. I feel pretty uninspired because I'm so distracted by the wondering. I've just been trying to read a lot and do some writing exercises to keep up.
By the way, has anyone ever had to do an interview before being fully accepted?


silkfx2004


Feb 10, 2005, 11:54 AM

Post #19 of 56 (3104 views)
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Re: [missnorao] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

I know I said (here or in some other thread) that I wouldn't start stressing until/unless I got accepted. I lied. This morning I went through the Choosing an MFA thread from last year at this time just to make myself feel better. It worked, sort of. :)

MissNorao, you hit on one of the things that's making me nervous. Suppose someone calls me and asks about my influences, what I'm reading now, etc.? If I don't mention someone suitably illustrious, will that hurt my chances?

Okay, I need to just step away from the computer now...and start stalking my mailperson...


--------
Nobody but God gets it right the first time. Everybody else has to rewrite. --attributed to Stephen King


fattery
Victoria M. Chang

Feb 11, 2005, 10:47 AM

Post #20 of 56 (3050 views)
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Re: [silkfx2004] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Hi people, I realized that all of this waiting can be annoying for you after reading some posts. I keep most emails and realized I had some information you might find useful since I applied to MFA programs to start in the fall of 2002. I ended up not going for personal reasons but decided to do a low-residency program instead (Warren Wilson). Anyway, the timing of programs will vary, but these might be a good proxy for you waiting to get in. At Houston, back then, Ed Hirsch called me in the week of 3-20, couldn't locate me, and had the administrator send me an email informing of acceptance on 3-26. UC Davis and Iowa sent me letters on 3-1, one yes, and one no. I think I applied to Columbia and U. of Washington, and I can't remember when they got back to me and whether I got in, it's been so long and I can't find letters/emails. Hope that helps you folks waiting. I don't think I got letters/calls until March, though. Good luck!


willbell
Will

Feb 11, 2005, 1:43 PM

Post #21 of 56 (3029 views)
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Re: [fattery] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Oh March...sweet, sweet March. I hope I can make it without imploding. I took a look back at all the posts this time in 2004, 2003, and 2004; it seems that it can drag on until April (esp. if you're waitlisted). Let's all hope for March.

Thanks for the information, fattery, and the glimmer of hope. Time never did move so slow.


Kelsie


Feb 17, 2005, 6:14 PM

Post #22 of 56 (2944 views)
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Re: [willbell] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Well...I guess the great MFA countdown has begun!

I received a VERY nice phone call from University of Illinois today. In fact, I started tap dancing on the ceiling and then ran to tell all of my professors. Then I drank champagne.

Still waiting on four others...but at least I know Illinois wants me.


mizrachi


Feb 17, 2005, 8:27 PM

Post #23 of 56 (2930 views)
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Re: [Kelsie] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Congratulations Kelsie. That's great news.


silkfx2004


Feb 17, 2005, 9:10 PM

Post #24 of 56 (2924 views)
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Re: [Kelsie] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Yay Kelsie! Woo-hoo!

(going back to my mailbox deathwatch)


--------
Nobody but God gets it right the first time. Everybody else has to rewrite. --attributed to Stephen King


bighark


Feb 17, 2005, 10:33 PM

Post #25 of 56 (2917 views)
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Re: [silkfx2004] When are we accepted/rejected? Can't Post

Congratulations!

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