»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Application Time
Edit your profilePrivate messages Search postsWho's online?
You are not signed in. Click here to sign in.
If you are not a member, Register here!
136536 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 ... 47 Next page Last page  View All


forthedogs


Nov 28, 2007, 3:23 PM

Post #751 of 1175 (9648 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrat1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

ok, according to my notes:

don't know about iu.

iowa: yes one to each the workshop and the graduate college.

i called umass last week. they seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing. you can send everything to the grad school. everything which isn't online, of course.


(This post was edited by JWhelan on Nov 28, 2007, 3:35 PM)


Scrat1


Nov 28, 2007, 4:28 PM

Post #752 of 1175 (9631 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JWhelan] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you Sir (or Madam).


forthedogs


Nov 28, 2007, 4:40 PM

Post #753 of 1175 (9628 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrat1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

it's sir, sir (or madam).

and you're welcome.

what other schools are on your list?

i feel so close to the end here. it's nice. still lots to do, but not the same kind of, well, angst that there was last month.


Scrat1


Nov 28, 2007, 4:49 PM

Post #754 of 1175 (9625 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JWhelan] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

I posted my list a little bit earlier, but:

Indiana
Iowa
Virginia
UMass
Mississippi
Hollins
Brooklyn
Warren Wilson
Cornell
Memphis

Ok, I just re-checked Indiana's website and they say "at least" 30 pages of fiction for the writing sample. How strict do you think this is? I was taking Steve Almond's advice and sending in about 18 pages since most places ask for 20-25.


forthedogs


Nov 28, 2007, 5:00 PM

Post #755 of 1175 (9623 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrat1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

right. sorry. had the internet blinders on there for a second. i remember your list. this is a good list. all of those schools seem great to me. i don't know about indiana. i would side with steve almond, though. if you aim for like 20ish (or 18 as the case may be) i think you're good. i'm not applying to iu, but to my schools i'm sending 20 pages on the nose. it just worked out that way. i had two shortish stories that i felt were stronger than the rest.

i sort of get the impression that give or take a few pages won't make the slightest difference. if you send two short-shorts to indiana, you might be throwing a stick in your spokes, so to speak, but 18 doesn't seem, like, crazy under the limit to me. maybe the experts will weigh in here, though.

you showed me yours, so i'll show you mine:

(in no particular order):
michigan
iowa
illinois
minnesota
syracuse
montana
purdue
notre dame
new hampshire
mcneese state

i may add a late-accepting school if i have the energy for another app or two. i aim to be done with these ones by next week.


drasticmania1


Nov 28, 2007, 8:01 PM

Post #756 of 1175 (9594 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jaywalke] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jay---

any hints or tips when dealing with Queens Application process? How important do you think the Personal Statement was to your acceptance? Have you been to a residency yet? What did you think? How beneficial have you found the online workshop format? Thanks for your answers

Tommy


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 28, 2007, 8:34 PM

Post #757 of 1175 (9581 views)
Shortcut
Re: [drasticmania1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tommy,

If you scroll down a few threads in this forum, you will find a topic called "Low-residency Programs." There are quite a few comments on there about the Queens MFA that you might find helpful. I know several people on here have gone to Queens (or may still be there).

The SOP is important, but your writing sample is the most important part of the application. The SOP is designed so that the school can learn something about you: What are your writing goals? Why do you want an MFA? What do you hope to accomplish in this program? That sort of thing...

Hope that helps.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


jaywalke


Nov 28, 2007, 10:33 PM

Post #758 of 1175 (9558 views)
Shortcut
Re: [drasticmania1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Jay---

any hints or tips when dealing with Queens Application process? How important do you think the Personal Statement was to your acceptance? Have you been to a residency yet? What did you think? How beneficial have you found the online workshop format? Thanks for your answers

Tommy


I start in January, so no residency experience yet. I think the SOP exists as a second look for those whose writing sample does not sell the entire bushel. Sell your soul with the sample, and don't worry about the SOP.

No tips I can think of, right off hand, other than, "Have No Fear." I have no idea why they accepted me, but I did attend the Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop last summer which gave me short-term access to some faculty and to Fred Leebron. His lecture was amazing. It kicked my butt. Everything that came out of his mouth was worth writing down. That, combined with his explicit assertion that we should be writing with a "f***-you" attitude sold me on Queens. He embodies cutting through the BS.

If you want a taste of Queens lite, attend TMWW '08. It is a good time and well worth it, IMO.

Good luck, and I hope to see you in Charlotte.


jaywalke


(This post was edited by jaywalke on Nov 29, 2007, 5:33 AM)


Scrat1


Nov 29, 2007, 1:12 PM

Post #759 of 1175 (9486 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jaywalke] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, a question about reporting GRE scores: Most programs list institutional codes. Memphis, however, wants you to send copies of the GREs to both the Graduate School and the program. But the form ETS sends you only has a place for institutional codes, not addresses. Anyone have any idea what I'm supposed to be doing here?


Scrat1


Nov 29, 2007, 2:32 PM

Post #760 of 1175 (9467 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrat1] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

http://ftp.ets.org/pub/toefl/TOEFL_supp_2005.pdf

I found this if anyone else is having the same trouble I've been having, although knowing my awareness level, everyone always knows about something like this. I know it is for TOEFL, but it has a list of all the institutional codes.

Edit: Yep. After actually reading the whole GRE score request form, I found where it has all the information. I'm an idiot.


(This post was edited by Scrat1 on Nov 29, 2007, 2:53 PM)


sarah_sophia


Nov 30, 2007, 5:05 PM

Post #761 of 1175 (9421 views)
Shortcut
Spring Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

   
Hi ya'll,

This should probably be a new post but I can't seem to find that application on this thread (?). Anyway I was wondering if any other folks out there had applied to Texas State for the spring semester. I applied to their program last year, was rejected, and then included some new, better stories in my portfolio. I was also wondering if anyone had any insight as to how spring admissions work. Do they accept people according to how many graduates students drop out in the spring or what?

Any another experiences with this program and its reputation would also be helpful.

Gracias,

SS


__________



Nov 30, 2007, 6:58 PM

Post #762 of 1175 (9396 views)
Shortcut
Re: [sarah_sophia] Spring Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey there...a fellow at my school got into Texas State, spring semester. They admit a few students -- from 1-7 -- but I don't think there's a specific number. The catch is you're not eligible for any fellowships, including the one biggie ($17-25 K?) they give away during the fall. The web site might be a little vague, but they answered all my questions when I e-mailed.


six five four three two one 0 ->


popeye


Dec 1, 2007, 2:25 AM

Post #763 of 1175 (9325 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

S. (umass76)

In terms of numbers of applications is it possible to distinguish between the numbers for poetry and fiction in each given program? I think this is really important as not all programs are equal in terms of those numbers and it would have an effect on acceptance rates. For instance, if school x receives 1000 applications but only accepts fifteen (five each in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction) but fiction receives 800 applications, poetry 150, and non-fiction 50, there would be a statistically significant impact on acceptance rates. Or is my math wrong?

Popeye


bennyprof


Dec 1, 2007, 2:59 AM

Post #764 of 1175 (9317 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would assume that for most programs fiction represents a higher proportion of the total applications (Although Virginia, for example, might have more poetry apps). You're right, though, that would skew the stats a bit.


(This post was edited by bennyprof on Dec 1, 2007, 3:00 AM)


umass76


Dec 1, 2007, 1:44 PM

Post #765 of 1175 (9269 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Popeye,

You're right, it is a really important distinction, and the reason no MFA student or applicant in America is able to make it is because the programs have hidden all their internal data from applicants, something virtually no other graduate school system (law, medical, engineering) does, and which does not comport with the AWP guidelines for MFAs (guidelines the AWP does nothing to enforce, by the way), which state that "selectivity," as measured by acceptance rate, should be one of the prime considerations for MFA applicants.

Those three or four schools, out of the two hundred MFAs now in existence--so, perhaps 1.5% of the total--that make their application numbers available and provide a fiction/poetry split seem to get fiction/poetry applications in a 3:2 ratio. As 90% (but not all) of MFA programs have roughly similar class sizes in both fiction and poetry, it's possible to apply this ratio information to get what is likely a more accurate (but still, necessarily, imprecise) sense of the acceptance rate within your genre (for each school listed in the Acceptance Rate section of the TSE website).

As ever, the fault for this problem lies squarely with the programs, who are doing their level best to ensure (along with the AWP) that you don't have enough information to make an informed decision come next April, or an informed decision about how many programs, mathematically, you should probably apply to come, well, now.

S.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Dec 1, 2007, 1:45 PM)


bennyprof


Dec 1, 2007, 2:49 PM

Post #766 of 1175 (9251 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand your frustration, but I can also imagine the logic/reasoning behind their lack of disclosure (whether said logic is completely sound or not is debatable). It's about posturing. I think some programs are worried that they might be demoted, perception-wise, were they to release their relatively low application numbers. If a program only receives 50 applications for 25 spots (granted, an extreme example), some might wonder: a.) why isn't the program getting all that much interest? and b.) how strong could a peer group possibly be when half the people who apply are accepted?

Programs like Iowa, Cornell and UC Irvine don't have to worry about this pressure. Their numbers already reflect a high demand, which automatically boosts their perceived value.


__________



Dec 1, 2007, 7:19 PM

Post #767 of 1175 (9217 views)
Shortcut
Re: [bennyprof] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

This is what I hate, reputations based on...reputations. People apply where everyone else applies. Is the Irvine faculty superior to the faculty at any other top 30 school? In some cases, yeah. But not in most cases, I'd say no. It's like that scene in White Noise -- everyone rushing out to see the most photographed barn in America.


six five four three two one 0 ->


bennyprof


Dec 1, 2007, 8:07 PM

Post #768 of 1175 (9204 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I agree... though unlike the barn in WN, there is at least one tangible benefit to attending a highly reputed program: peer group. It follows (unless the faculty is totally inept at identifying talent) that the larger the ore you have to chip away at, the higher the likelihood of finding some truly rare gems. I'd love nothing more than to attend a program where every single writer in my workshop is better than I am. What better motivation for improving your writing on a daily basis?

Also, there's the attention factor. With small, elite programs like Cornell and UC Irvine I get the feeling (though I could be wrong... happened once before) you'd get some real, honest-to-god, quality face time with people from the publishing world. Writing is, at least in part, like any other business: it's who you meet and form relationships with that often, if not always, make the difference when it comes to publishing your first novel.


umass76


Dec 2, 2007, 2:09 PM

Post #769 of 1175 (9136 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, in a certain sense--in the sense of creating "like" peer groups--folks applying to schools in part based on reputation is good for everyone. Playing Devil's Advocate here, if everyone applies to School A, then School A will:

* Have the most applications to choose from.
* Likely have the lowest acceptance rate.
* Possibly have the strongest peer group.

There's a kind of synergy there, in the sense that "in theory" only the strongest applicants will get into School A, and thus end up with a peer group perfect for their level. If School B then gets the second-most applications, it may have the second-best peer group and be perfect for the second-best applicants, and so on...

Of course, in the real world nothing is even close to this black-and-white, and there's absolutely no way whatsoever to make such fine distinctions as the ones above with any kind of precision. I guess I'm just setting up the scarecrow above to play it off the alternative: that no one have any idea whatsoever which schools are the most selective, and are thus most "likely" to have among the strongest peer groups, and so the next Shakespeare ends up in a workshop in which she is not challenged, and in which the other students resent Shakespeare because she is not at the same point in her writing development as they are. The best workshop--for all members of the workshop--is one in which the level of advancement of the individual writers is close enough that they can all benefit from one another, but also just different enough that they can push one another without it becoming cause for resentment, frustration, or a sense of alienation among the earlier-stage development writers. But we manifestly do not want a system in which every MFA features workshops of twelve writers at twelve different stages in their development--as good as that "sounds," in practice it actually just ensures that everyone will be miserable.

Also, while it's true that people apply based on word-of-mouth, word-of-mouth is often based on anecdotal recitations of how supportive and helpful a program is (e.g., A tells B, "I'm applying to [----------] because my friend C had a great experience there, or because I love the professors at school [----------], all of whose work I've read extensively; so what does B do? B applies to the same school as A, not simply because "everyone's doing it" but because the word-of-mouth B received was substantive. Then the friends of B apply because B relates what A said, and so on. In a perfect world? Yes, B and B's friends would have all the time and money and energy and foresight and presence of mind to travel all across the country spending weekends at every MFA they could possibly ever be interested in to get a sense--likely false--of the environment there. But if B trusts A's opinions, there's no reason B shouldn't act on the advice of A, thus creating a domino effect for B's friends, and so on...). Likewise, there's something to be said for "collective research"--if one school is getting 1,000+ applications, it must have some basis, it's simply for the applicant to decide whether that basis is one they care about.

I just think there's more natural logic to these processes than some are allowing for. People and processes are sometimes irrational, but they're not that irrational. At base, applicants are still making decisions based on what they perceive to be their best interest--I think it doesn't give folks enough credit to simply imagine them as sheep all racing toward the same cliff, though I do understand the frustrations indicated above and don't mean to disparage anyone here by disagreeing.

S.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Dec 2, 2007, 2:10 PM)


EastCoastPoet


Dec 2, 2007, 11:22 PM

Post #770 of 1175 (9054 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

While I am in no way going to take the time or length to reply to all of that, (kudos to your dedication, Seth) you cannot be serious with all of that strained logic, can you? Iowa gets over 1000 applications, I'm sure. But why is that? I would gamble on saying a general consensus of the writing world would say Iowa is not the #1 MFA program in this country. Then why do they get so many applications? Not because "person A says to person B..." etc etc...but because they're Iowa! It's the same reason people go to Harvard, buy a Mercedes, and so on...

Iowa is not the best MFA program and Mercedes does not make the best cars. Simply put, it's almost at the level of tradition. Let the s**t storm begin!

Tom


zwilson20


Dec 3, 2007, 1:47 AM

Post #771 of 1175 (9034 views)
Shortcut
Post deleted by zwilson20 [In reply to]

 


popeye


Dec 3, 2007, 1:51 AM

Post #772 of 1175 (9031 views)
Shortcut
Re: [EastCoastPoet] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom,

I think you're onto something with the tradition and brand loyalty argument, however I'd like to suggest that what makes an MFA program great is the students, perhaps even more than faculty. If that is the case then the programs with the highest number of applicants in a way have their pick of the applicant pool and therefore have a greater chance of having truly excellent students. In this sense it doesn't really matter which school is considered best or ranked best etc. or why the program gets 1,000 applications, but which school the best students gravitate towards. I understand that students will gravitate toward a school based on numerous factors such as funding, reputation, faculty etc. but all of those aspects of a program are only worth ranking if they attract the best students. You use Harvard as an example and imply that it is not necessarily the objectively "best" school but does that is irrelevant if Harvard (through marketing, tradition, reputation etc.) attracts the "best" students.

This brings me to something I've been thinking about over the last few days and that is the issue of waiting lists and perhaps this is more Seth's realm, but every single program accepts people off the waiting list despite what the program might claim (Yes I'm talking to you and you know who you are) and I'm wondering what statistical impact that has on the acceptance rates (if a school accepts ten students but eight of the final attendees are from the waiting list then hasn't the program accepted eighteen people?), but more importantly what does it say if school A gets 95% of their first choices, school B gets 60%, and C gets 15% because the rest of them went to schools A and B. What I am getting at is that if the best students are accepted by numerous programs and all gravitate toward one or two programs then wouldn't those schools be considered the best programs regardless of all other objective factors.

I realize my use of the hypothetical "best students" is highly subjective but that is sort of the point. We are all looking to rank art on some objective criteria and find out which school is best at teaching art and therefore producing successful artists and it is really hard to come up with objective criteria. I also realize my entire question is based on the assumption that students make the program not the faculty, which in itself is, I think, an interesting question and worth asking.

Just a few random thoughts.

Popeye


popeye


Dec 3, 2007, 2:03 AM

Post #773 of 1175 (9029 views)
Shortcut
Re: [zwilson20] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

zwilson

Irvine is a tiny program and therefore there is probably more direct faculty mentoring. Minchener is not a tiny program. All workshops at Michener also include students from other Master's programs at the university including film and english, this effectively expands the number of students in the program beyond those given a Michener fellowship to attend the MA in English program. The only differences between the MA in Creative Writing and the Michener MFA are 1) Funding 2) Michener has a third year for creative thesis. Aside from those two aspects the programs share the same courses and workshops and students. This is perhaps why there is some grumbling about permanent faculty, the Michener itself has almost no permanent faculty, those listed on the website are faculty in the English Department. This all seems fairly clear from the website although you might have to do a little digging.

popeye


__________



Dec 3, 2007, 2:11 AM

Post #774 of 1175 (9021 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

That Harvard scenario's a little off...the students aren't teaching fellow students, as in a writing program. Unless they've changed the ol' sit and listen approach. (But as I've said elsewhere, the whole Ivy League thing includes a fair amount of bullshit. My friend from Brown--where they have no legitimate grading system, and are fond of mollycoddling Rockefellers and so forth--got his ass 100% kicked when he joined me at UT for a year. "I have to study!" he said, "And they give me failing grades when I fail!").

Seth, while I agree with your "best peer group" argument, I'd still like to see it changed, the bullshit removed. When your local programs (some with better writers) get more apps, then they, too, become more selective. (Look at UT; no tradition on their side, but they add a big fellowship, and whammo--top 10!) It's not so much the mindless masses I'm chiding, but rather myself. I find myself asking, Why do I want to go to Michigan? Because it's cold and faraway? Because I don't like any of the writers there? The only answer I came up was...Er, it's a good school. Everyone says so.

As for Irvine, it's Geoff Wolfe's departure...Many say he was the program--and now he's gone.

Also, anyone stoked about UT should also consider Texas State. Good permanent faculty, better mentoring, plus they get the same visiting writers as UT. They also award one huge fellowship that's about equal to UT's $25K.


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Dec 3, 2007, 2:14 AM)


umass76


Dec 3, 2007, 2:15 AM

Post #775 of 1175 (9019 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] What are the odds? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom,

I think what Popeye says really gets at my point, far more succinctly: more applications, better students, generally speaking. And therefore the fact that people don't apply haphazardly leads to each student being more likely to find, in their MFA, their current "level."

As to my less important point, the one you responded to, I don't mean to seem coy, but, aren't you agreeing with me? Putting aside for the moment that Iowa and a handful of other schools are the only schools for which word-of-mouth doesn't apply (I assume that's why you chose Iowa as your exception-that-actually-proves-the-rule; what if I said, to counter that, Colorado State? Bowling Green? Purdue? Notre Dame? All schools seeing a rise in applications and general regard because of word-of-mouth)--

--anyway, putting that concern of mine about what you said aside, my point was not that everyone applies to certain programs because they're actually the best. What I said was that there's always some "basis" for certain schools being mobbed with applications, and each applicant has to decide whether that "basis" is one they value. In Iowa's case, you nailed it--Iowa is Iowa. Which is a euphemism for, "the Iowa brand-name is extremely powerful on the market and everyone knows this." And so, we're agreeing--people are applying to Iowa for a reason, but that reason a) isn't necessarily (though it might be) a good reason, and b) that reason is not anything as simplistic as, "Because it's definitely the top school, hands down, in terms of quality...!" Likewise, right now folks are applying in droves to Texas and Cornell, a somewhat more recent development--is it because those programs are clearly tops in terms of quality? Again, they might be, but another explanation would be their funding packages. So, students who value reputation over all else should take something from Iowa's popularity; and students who value funding over all else should take something from Cornell's popularity.

If my argument had been absolutely without nuance--something like (in a drunken shout), "Iowa rules y'all! Woo hoo!"--I think your comment would have blown my argument out of the water. As the argument was more nuanced, you ended up disagreeing with it by writing a post I completely agreed with and which is in concert with my argument. At least that's how I read what you wrote, though I could be wrong.

Best,
Seth

First page Previous page 1 ... 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 ... 47 Next page Last page  View All

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs

 


P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved