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mashedpotatoes


Mar 11, 2009, 8:52 AM

Post #151 of 161 (4365 views)
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Re: [batgirl111] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Hey batgirl...
I'm also in for fiction at UMass, and I'm accepting. I didn't actually apply to any other schools, mostly because I like the area, and there was no GRE requirement for UMass. After I found all these MFA forums, I realized that was not really the best criteria for choosing a program, but, hey, it worked itself out.
I went to UMass for my undergrad, and during that time and for some time after, I lived in Northampton. I really love Northampton... it's a small town, lots of gay people, lots of artists, some good food and good coffee, easy to get around on foot or by bike. The commute to UMass isn't very fun, as there is basically one road that connects Northampton and Amherst, and it's always full of traffic, but if you learn to time your commutes right, it isn't so bad. There's also a bus system that is convenient and free for students.
Like the galester said, definitely, don't go for the dorms. Gross and scary.
I lived in Belchertown for a year, and it was okay... very rural, no real downtown to speak of, but cheap rent and lots of hiking. I prefer Northampton, but there are many nice towns in the area.
If it helps you, these are the sites I obsessively check for good housing deals:
http://westernmass.craigslist.org/
http://www.rentnoho.com/ (My roomate and I just rented a good place through them, but they do charge a broker's fee)
http://www.umoch.org/
http://www.gazettenet.com/
I can't tell you anything about the MFA Program, but if you have any questions about UMass or the area, please let me know. Take care.

(This post was edited by mashedpotatoes on Mar 11, 2009, 8:58 AM)


batgirl111


Mar 11, 2009, 8:14 PM

Post #152 of 161 (4311 views)
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Re: [mashedpotatoes] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Thanks guys for all the info... Seems pretty likely I'll be seeing both of you in the fall! If there are any more acceptees or current students out there, feel free to send me a PM.

Oh, and mashedpotatoes - how much of a fee is that broker fee? I'm used to NYC, where 15% of the annual rent is the broker fee. Completely obscene.


mashedpotatoes


Mar 11, 2009, 8:45 PM

Post #153 of 161 (4299 views)
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Re: [batgirl111] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

It was 60% of one month's rent.


mashedpotatoes


Mar 19, 2009, 8:14 AM

Post #154 of 161 (4223 views)
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Re: [batgirl111] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Has anyone accepted by UMass heard anything about the Writing Program TA position, or any other kind of funding?


Anurag


Dec 6, 2009, 2:20 PM

Post #155 of 161 (3961 views)
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Re: [mashedpotatoes] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

I have applied to this program - would love to know more from the ones who get admission offers...this thread has been dead for long ..why?


Anurag


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Dec 6, 2009, 3:02 PM

Post #156 of 161 (3954 views)
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Re: [Anurag] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

It's the seasonal nature of the application process, Anurag. Threads become very active in the fall (when people are applying) and the spring (when people are accepted or rejected), but generally get pretty quiet around the holidays and in the summer.


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.


Anurag


Dec 6, 2009, 3:14 PM

Post #157 of 161 (3949 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

:) thanks ...Hope some alumni responds and I get answer to my queries.. anyway, lets see if i get through this prog.


Anurag


forthedogs


Dec 7, 2009, 4:21 PM

Post #158 of 161 (3899 views)
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Re: [Anurag] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

What are your questions? I'm a current student at UMass.


Anurag


Dec 7, 2009, 4:32 PM

Post #159 of 161 (3895 views)
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Re: [forthedogs] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Hi - I want to know more about the funding. My correspondence with the graduate studies department has left me slightly worried, though I applied because i absolutely loved the program. It seems that the place is not fully funded. I was wondering what the other opportunities available if full funding is not received.


Anurag


forthedogs


Dec 7, 2009, 5:03 PM

Post #160 of 161 (3888 views)
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Re: [Anurag] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Hi Anurag,

Yes the funding is wonky. Basically, if you get a TO-ship through the Writing Program (the undergrad composition dept) you get a full tuition waiver and a stipend of just over 14,000 before taxes plus health, dental and vision insurance, reimbursement for a gym membership, etc. I would guess that about 70% of the incoming class gets a TOship through the Writing Program. The other 30% do other jobs and also get waivers+stipend. You have to search these jobs out yourself. There are TA and TOships to be had around campus. I know people have worked in the Bio and Jewish Studies departments. There are others too. There's a list every fall of available spots. It's also pretty common to get a TOship your second year in the program, if you don't come in with one. Although, my gut would tell me not to come here without guaranteed funding. It is also possible to get tuition waivers if you earn more than $3000 (I think this is the figure) if you work in a related field. One MFA candidate I know works at a book publisher, but this is unusual. Others have worked teaching at other schools in the area. There are also jobs available at the union or the graduate student senate, etc. These jobs are all difficult to come by and I can't speak to the workload. I know only what is required for the Writing Program TOships. So, to answer your question, yes, it is fully funded in the sense that you get full funding (you have to pay some fees, like everywhere), but not in the sense that everyone is funded. This is a big downside to the program, frankly. Otherwise, though, UMass is great. The professors are amazing. The area is wonderful--community, readings, small publishers, etc.


Anurag


Dec 7, 2009, 5:46 PM

Post #161 of 161 (3879 views)
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Re: [forthedogs] UMass acceptances 2009 Can't Post

Hey, that was wonderfully comprehensive! Thanks a ton! I love the faculty, the program and everything else which is on the website. funding is the main issue. I hope something works and I have noted that 70% gets funded. If i get an offer, I am hope I belong to that 70%! :)


Anurag

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