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malber


Feb 5, 2007, 4:11 PM

Post #626 of 1175 (12052 views)
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Re: [mares] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

okay... problem solved. i just called there and the secretary said 15 is fine. if they want more, they may call and ask, but the limits are there to guide not dictate. you wouldn't be rejected because of lack of poems.


hope this helps.



In Reply To
I'm applying to BGSU for poetry. They say they want a "minimum 20 pages." How serious do you guys think they are about this? I had a prof tell me that 15 or so would be fine, there's no way they don't get sick of reading 20 poems from a couple hundred people. But I'm not so sure.

I have about 13 poems that I've worked to death that I've been using for all the other portfolios. I could have about 15 or so in their best shape to send to BGSU, but if I'm forcing myself to go up to 20, the quality is really going to drop off toward the end of the packet.

Anyone else have this problem? Any advice? Is it a legitimate question to call and ask the dept.?

Also, sorry for randomly changing the subject. I still don't know how to post a new topic.



mares


Feb 5, 2007, 4:28 PM

Post #627 of 1175 (12033 views)
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Re: [malber] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

you effing rock.

I've been sitting here putting off calling them (did the drawn out telephone gre report thing instead). it's strange how, under these circumstances, one is a little selective about what to "pester" them about, when in reality these are in fact human beings who likely won't look at it as pestering at all.

paranoia. thanks so much for your help!


piratelizzy


Feb 5, 2007, 4:32 PM

Post #628 of 1175 (12028 views)
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?????? [In reply to] Can't Post

It just occurred to me that while I've heard from several schools that my application packets are complete, there are a few I have not heard from beyond the "Thanks for applying to our graduate school" first e-mails after submitting electronic applications.

Should I be worried about this? Do all schools notify when all the materials have been received? I can't believe I might have to stand another month of this clueless waiting.


'sup?!


mares


Feb 5, 2007, 4:38 PM

Post #629 of 1175 (12019 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] ?????? [In reply to] Can't Post

lizzy,
i wouldn't worry too much about this. i don't think i've heard directly from any schools confirming that they have everything. instead, they just expect me to check my online status page to be sure they've received everything. do you have status pages you can check?

also, i think many places will contact you if they *don't* have everything.

i understand your concern, but i think you can be fairly confident, here. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it okay at this point to call the departments to confirm receipt of all materials?


piratelizzy


Feb 5, 2007, 4:45 PM

Post #630 of 1175 (12011 views)
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Re: [mares] ?????? [In reply to] Can't Post

Good looking out, mares. Thanks. Yeah, I think I'll go over to the Texas website and see if I can get an update.


'sup?!


whiskeytown



Feb 5, 2007, 5:25 PM

Post #631 of 1175 (11982 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] ?????? [In reply to] Can't Post

U-Texas' website is worth checking up on. Last week I was still slated as having "incomplete transcript" from my undegraduate school when I knew I had them send it directly to UT in December. So I called Austin, and the woman in Graduate Admissions was very helpful. It turned out that they were just misreading my transcript (my alma mater has a strange way of labeling the academic semesters). 10 minutes later, my status was fixed, and all materials are in (as I suspected they were). Calling can't hurt, so long as you take a patient, humble approach with the person on the line (who surely is bombarded with hundreds of calls--not just from MFA hopefuls, mind you; plenty of applicants in other disciplines are holding their collective breaths now too).
.


EastCoastPoet


Feb 5, 2007, 5:27 PM

Post #632 of 1175 (11981 views)
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Re: [mares] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I also do not know, but alas. I applied to BGSU for poetry as well a few weeks ago (mailed it out with my January 15th deadlines) and if I remember correctly I had the same situation. I had about 18 pages of good poetry going (about 13 poems?) and ended up throwing some other poems in just to round it out. From what I have read in articles and whatnot, it's your first few pages that really matter. If they can get through those then you should be fine for the next round, at least. Do what you feel will impress them the most. I only felt comfortable with sending in some lesser poems because I think they were form poems. I figured hell, maybe they'll be glad someone knows how to write a form poem anymore. Oh well...good luck!


Tapeworm


Feb 12, 2007, 3:15 PM

Post #633 of 1175 (11849 views)
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UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Piss. I completely forgot about the Financial Aid Application UMass sent me via email. It is due on the 15th of this month. I dropped the ball there. I'll fill it out tonight and mail it tomorrow. Bah.


OneWriter


Feb 12, 2007, 4:24 PM

Post #634 of 1175 (11805 views)
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Re: [Tapeworm] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Just sent my UMass financial aid application out today. It's not too difficult, particularly if you had to fill out another such application for another program (which New Hampshire asked for). It's just a little time-consuming. Good luck!


EastCoastPoet


Feb 12, 2007, 4:53 PM

Post #635 of 1175 (11772 views)
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Re: [OneWriter] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

SHIT! I have to do that tonight and mail it tomorrow I guess. Did you guys apply to UNH too? Poetry here...and Emerson...really need to get back to the coast.


umass76


Feb 12, 2007, 5:14 PM

Post #636 of 1175 (11750 views)
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Re: [OneWriter] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Tapeworm,
Do you mean the Teaching Associateship Application, or something else? I'm kinda freakin' out here, wondering whether there's a separate "Financial Aid Application" I missed...!
S.


afkasmhop


Feb 12, 2007, 5:37 PM

Post #637 of 1175 (11726 views)
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Re: [umass76] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Tapeworm,
Do you mean the Teaching Associateship Application, or something else? I'm kinda freakin' out here, wondering whether there's a separate "Financial Aid Application" I missed...!
S.



I dont have anything from UMass either. I havent even rec'd a letter acknowleding reciept of my application, let alone additional forms. In fact, I gas to call them to inquire if my application was complete-- they said yes.

What are these other forms? Are they downloadable?

thanks.


userunknown


Feb 12, 2007, 5:42 PM

Post #638 of 1175 (11717 views)
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Re: [afkasmhop] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it the CSS profile perhaps that you have to fill out on the Collegeboard website? I know some schools want both the FAFSA and the CSS (Sarah Lawrence). It sucks because the CSS is like 18 dollars per school plus I think a 5 dollar registration fee.
I would look at the financial page for your schools and see what they need.


OneWriter


Feb 12, 2007, 5:51 PM

Post #639 of 1175 (11701 views)
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Re: [umass76] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

No worries; it's the teaching associateship application (or at least that's what I was talking about), but in my mind the TA-ship and the financial aid are pretty woven together.


Tapeworm


Feb 12, 2007, 6:40 PM

Post #640 of 1175 (11669 views)
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Re: [OneWriter] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, yeah, it is the TA app.


mlpurdy
Moriah Purdy

Feb 12, 2007, 8:18 PM

Post #641 of 1175 (11625 views)
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Re: [umass76] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Just another clarification, OneWriter, if your application was complete you should have gotten the TA application via email.

It's good to know I wasn't the only one rushing to the post office today. That essay critique was fun, wasn't it?

I used a lot of my answers from the UNH application as well. I'm applying in poetry, too.


umass76


Feb 12, 2007, 9:01 PM

Post #642 of 1175 (11591 views)
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Re: [Tapeworm] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, okay...phew...!
S.


OneWriter


Feb 12, 2007, 11:40 PM

Post #643 of 1175 (11516 views)
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Re: [mlpurdy] UMass Finance [In reply to] Can't Post

"Fun" is an interesting way to word it.

Sometimes I think asking applicants to critique essays like that technically abridges the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(Just kidding – obviously.)


mares


Feb 17, 2007, 2:02 PM

Post #644 of 1175 (11347 views)
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Re: Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

So, i don't know if anyone has ever heard of chatham college in pittsburgh. they don't require the gre, and there is no application fee. I've had my transcripts and rec letters sent there already, but as for sending everything else...this school kind of went to the bottom of the pile because the financial aid link on their webpage takes you to info on stafford loans. yea. no money to be had there that i've heard about.

their program is pretty new, with an emphasis on travel writing (they require a field seminar, and in the past the locations have been really cool). All my profs are lukewarm about the place; one said "this can be your 'safe' school," but I don't believe in those.

Anyway, they've been nice enough to send me repeated emails and snail mail saying "hey, you've already sent us this stuff, come on and apply!" So, I guess what I'm really turning over in my head, here, is if I would even go to a program without funding. I calculated that it would put me somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 in debt.

It seems like people are totally split on this. Some of my profs say "Oh, don't worry about it, everyone goes in debt for their masters, I have tons of loans!" Others say, "you're crazy if you pay for your mfa." I lean towards the latter, but i wonder if that's just because it sounds so nice not to have to pay for it.

well, shit. I don't want to have to wait tables, I want to write.
I think that's what you all are gonna say too. I'm kind of just venting, but if anyone wants to talk about this as a diversion from online status-checking, I'm all ears.


LateApplicant


Feb 17, 2007, 2:18 PM

Post #645 of 1175 (11337 views)
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Re: [mares] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mares,

You'll find that people here at this board are split, too. But my guess is there are more people against taking loans for the MFA, than for it. The reason is simple: what the MFA will give you is for the most part time to write and a community of fellow writers, not job opportunities. Sure, if you're at some top program, you'll very likely have the chance of doing some networking, meeting editors, agents, publishers, etc. But even that doesn't secure you a job. To get a real job (tenure-track, not just up-in-the-air, poorly paid adjunct work), you'll need an excellent publication record at prestigious journals -- and perhaps not even that, but a book deal. Only then will having the MFA degree might help you: if two candidates have an equal pub history, but one of them has an MFA, the hiring committee might lean towards the latter. So, unless you have some independent source of income, or you're certain you'll have a stellar pub record two years from now, going into big debt to get an MFA at a no-name school (no mean to belittle it; perhaps in 5 years it'll be a very prestigious school, but right now it's a no-name) sounds like trouble. OK, you don't want to wait tables. No one does. But if the choice is between "sacrificing" one year waiting tables (and, say, writing at night, thus improving your portfolio) and getting "immediate satisfaction" (starting the MFA right away at this school with no fin aid) but putting your financial future in jeopardy, well, I think the choice is obvious. Wait a year, improve your writing, and you WILL get into a good school that will pay for your MFA.

But this is just my opinion. If you browse this site you'll find a long discussion with lots of people jumping in. Clench Million made the case for getting in debt to get the MFA -- but he was talking of Columbia.

Hope this helps.


mares


Feb 17, 2007, 2:36 PM

Post #646 of 1175 (11322 views)
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Re: [LateApplicant] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree all around. I haven't been thinking about Chatham at all, and then...well, it was probably a combination of
a) all my apps are out and now i feel helpless sitting around waiting and
b) i got my first rejection letter
that made me think about applying there (anywhere!). but, the program doesn't appeal to me at all, really, except that it's *kind of* close to some of my family. I'm just restless, and starting to get really paranoid I won't get in anywhere.

Slight misunderstanding about the "waiting tables" thing: I meant that I didn't want to have to have a job while I'm working on my MFA. More clearly, I don't want to have to fret about money when this experience could be the best opportunity in my life to focus entirely on my writing. I agree completely that it would be wise to take a year off and work, while preparing for a better round next application season.

Of course, it's pretty normal to have a part time job while working on this degree. And I'm sure if I had to do that, I would settle into it fine. I'm just worried about this experience becoming yet another time that my writing has to take second seat to something. And paying the rent is a pretty pressing responsibility!

Yea, school with zero funding....I don't think so.

Thanks for the reply :-)


malber


Feb 17, 2007, 2:38 PM

Post #647 of 1175 (11322 views)
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Re: [mares] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with LateApp. I think that there are only a few schools worthy of going into debt for. Columbia, Iowa, maybe a few others.

I tend to be one of those who are totally against taking out loans for MFA anyways. but these are there the only ones i would think about... secondly: if i got an offer from iowa/columbia with no funding... and an offer from a second tier school (as poorly as this is defined... but for my purposes, let's define second tier to mean "not top 10 in reputation") with great funding, perhaps a fellowship, i'd go to the free one every day of the week.

but maybe that's just me... because i already have like 50K in student debt :) others will no doubt disagree.


LateApplicant


Feb 17, 2007, 3:00 PM

Post #648 of 1175 (11312 views)
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Re: [mares] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi again,

Mares: Sorry about the misunderstanding! I'm kind of sleepy... (Man, bad time to quit caffeine -- but I'm doing it in steps; now I'm taking tea, which shouldn't have that much caffeine, right? Bot oh do I miss coffee...) I agree with you: one shouldn't worry about paying the bills while doing the MFA. I think most programs (or at least, the ones I've applied to :)) give you a combination of fellowship/TAship so that you don't have to worry about that. You have to teach one class, and that's it. You should have plenty of time to write, workshop your stories and all that, without any worries about the bills or health insurance (the TAship at most places includes health insurance). One last thing: it's too early to worry about universal rejection !!! (Easier said than done, I know...)

Malber: I'm with you. Maybe, maybe, if the choice was between nothing and, say, some debt -- not a lot, though :) -- in order to go to Iowa, I would start considering the latter. But if the choice is between debt-ridden Columbia and a fully funded second-tier school, I'd go with the second-tier school right away :)


piratelizzy


Feb 17, 2007, 3:31 PM

Post #649 of 1175 (11361 views)
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Re: [mares] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Man, don't be afraid of work. Work gives you spine and makes you human. I don't know what your situation is, and I am not trying to push your buttons, but I don't think you should be thinking you're going to have the luxury of just writing for the rest of your life. Almost every writer I meet or hear or read about has a long CV of assorted odd jobs they've taken or been forced to take along the line to get by. And while it would be nice to hope that one of the choice programs is going to come along like prince charming and save us from our poverty, unless you have a trust fund I'd be preparing myself for the real possibility that you may end having to wait tables or fish for halibut every summer to support your writing.

I'm not trying to be harsh and please don't take it personally. But this is reality as I've encountered it.

There's an article in the new PW mag about balancing financial and social needs with the need to write.


'sup?!


blueragtop


Feb 17, 2007, 3:40 PM

Post #650 of 1175 (11352 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't pay for a writing degree. Take that money and invest it in real estate or something.

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