Mar 20, 2007, 8:51 AM
Post #2958 of 6279
Re: [lkearns] Final(ish) Tallies
[In reply to]
RE: if one doesn't get funding, here are some tricks:
If you take only six credits in the fall and spring of your first year and fulfill a few other requirements (getting a Montana driver's license, registering to vote immediately upon arrival in Missoula, etc) you can get in-state tuition for your second year (which is about 1/3 of out of state).
Further, if you buckle down one semester and take 12 credits (that sounds like a lot, but you can count certain undergrad classes as electives, do independent studies and whatnot) you can then add 12 MORE credits of thesis on top of that (you don't have to do anything for thesis credits, you are just ostensibly working on your thesis). This sounds nuts, I know, but because Montana has a tuition cap at 12 credits, those 12 credits of thesis you tack on are then free. This trick alone knocks off about 25% of the tuition cost of a Montana MFA.
Another trick is that if you are able to get residency and the resulting in-state tuition and then land a three quarter time or higher full time position at the university (anything--even being a janitor), you can get a full tuition waiver after six months. (I ended up going this route myself and work full time in the IT department--not ideal, but I have very few credits left and am flat out unwilling to take out any more loans).
Those without a TA are given preference for summer teaching. This does not come with a tuition waiver, but hey, it's a job that doesn't involve a drive through and you get teaching experience and it pays about $3,000.
Finally, while the program is often considered a two year MFA, you can actually take up to five years if you want. Spreading the cost over multiple years (and making sure you get in-state by the 2nd year) can really lower the financial hardship.
Hope this helps,