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Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs Re: [rockjb] Low-Residency MFAs: Edit Log


Oct 1, 2008, 4:17 PM

Views: 24135
Re: [rockjb] Low-Residency MFAs

Hi jrock, basically everything what bighark said. In my conversations with other MFAers, and through my research, I've come to understand that GPA (and to a certain extent, the GREs) is one of the least important components of an application, except for those schools that have unwavering GPA requirements (like University of California, Irvine). And just as a vote for confidence, my GPA too was/is horrid when I came out of undergrad, but I'm still going to try. At the same time, I certainly wouldn't disregard what your professor has to say about GPA in regards to applying to Vanderbilt, given his position with admissions -- this is the kind of thing that also probably vacillates a bit from school to school.

With other stuff, I'd suggest you go out and buy Tom Kealey's "The Creative Writing MFA Handbook" to figure out what's generally important to most people and what's specifically important to yourself. But to basically summarize, unless money is no problem, the number one priority for most people (and myself) is funding. There are perhaps a couple dozen schools in the US that provide near full funding to all MFA students they accept. It's also no coincidence that those schools are also the ones that are the most competitive -- a vast majority of them have a less than 10% acceptance rate. Once you've figured funding out, there are a whole bunch of other things that would be important to some, and not so much to others. Is location personally important to you? You wouldn't want to spend 2-3 years writing, reading, and teaching in a place you hate. Prestige of school, faculty? Cost of living? FYI, the majority of big city schools, not coincidentally, do not have many programs that are well funded (Chicago, New York, San Francisco), so in addition to paying for tuition, you'd have to keep the high cost of living in a big city in mind. I would know, Chicago is a very very expensive place.

There is a lot of research involved, but on the bright side, these forums are a great place to answer a lot of your questions! Check out Tom's book (you can look it up on Amazon), read it, and good luck!

My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.

(This post was edited by moomoocow42 on Oct 1, 2008, 4:20 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by moomoocow42 (User) on Oct 1, 2008, 4:18 PM
Post edited by moomoocow42 (User) on Oct 1, 2008, 4:19 PM
Post edited by moomoocow42 (User) on Oct 1, 2008, 4:20 PM

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