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jargreen

e-mail user

Jan 10, 2007, 8:58 AM

Post #276 of 764 (9101 views)
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Re: [wiswriter] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

That was my list, which was really just for my own research purposes; I wasn't considering low-res programs. But I'm curious now. I think I may have ranked WW, Bennington, and others too low. Two wonderful writing professors here at Indiana got their MFAs at low-res programs: Crystal Wilkinson at Spalding University in Kentucky, Alyce Miller at Vermont College.


ecphraticknolls


Jan 10, 2007, 9:57 AM

Post #277 of 764 (9090 views)
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Re: [wiswriter] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

I don’t think that most MFA applicants are all that interested in the low-res option… although, an information source for those who are interested would be welcome.

Why don’t you rank some of the low-res programs, and give people a little information about each of them. I think it will help in shifting this thread back from all the pointless bickering.


HopperFu


Jan 10, 2007, 10:25 AM

Post #278 of 764 (9086 views)
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Re: [ecphraticknolls] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, a lot of MFA students are interested in low-res, but they rarely overlap with non-low res.
Almost all people who are interested in low-res are interested in almost exclusively low-res because, for whatever reason, the low-res model is the only one that works.
I'd agree with ecphraticknolls that if you are interested in ranking them, there are quite a few people who would appreciate that, though perhaps that should be in the low-res thread?
I do know that low-res programs, even more so than traditional residency programs, have the problem of sorting the real schools from the cash-cow schools, and there has been a huge explosion in the number of low-res programs. Some of them are truly excellent, but there are some that are, essentially, designed to make money for the host institution. So if you want to rank, with your reasons, go for it.
But it doesn't make a lot of sense to rank - however or whatever that means - with traditional residency programs. The applicant pools rarely pull from the same group.


ecphraticknolls


Jan 10, 2007, 12:01 PM

Post #279 of 764 (9057 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that there is a definite section of the application pool that considers the low-res option (or is held to it because of obligations), I just think that it is more of a marginal thing percentage wise. There is no question that some of these programs are very good--but, the vast majority of MFA applicants, based off of the way the application numbers seem to fall (taken from my own unsystematic observation, mind you), are looking for the one-on-one, face-to-face of the traditional workshop MFA.

I also have to agree with you that it is like comparing apples and oranges--making it rather pointless to stick them together in the same ranking system

When it comes down to it, it is just nice to have the information out there for perspective applicants.

It would be nice if there was both information comparing low-res programs, as well as information that might make some people consider including them in their list of applications. I actually was thinking about including a couple, but since it wasn’t a necessity for me, and because I was confused about how much of the funding works (will I be able to rely on the FAFSA for a chunk of my living expenses?) I ultimately decided against applying to any low-res programs.


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Jan 10, 2007, 12:14 PM

Post #280 of 764 (9051 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

There were several posts yesterday and this morning concerning UVAs funding and I thought I might be able to clear things up with "concrete" numbers. As a poet in this years class (one in-state student) I get $1800 and change in stipend each month--this is after tuition, fees, etc. Plenty to live on in C-ville and put a little away for post-MFA unemployment. On the fiction side (also one in-stater) the stipend came out around $1100 a month, if I'm not mistaken. They also received a Christmas bonus.

The stipend amount changes each year based on number of in-state students, but even last year when everyone was out-of-state, poets were getting $1700.

No one's getting rich off UVAs funding, but it's plenty to live on. You won't need to get a job unless you want an excuse to avoid the keyboard for a few more hours a day.

Hope that helps.


(This post was edited by GDClark on Jan 10, 2007, 12:21 PM)


bighark


Jan 10, 2007, 1:09 PM

Post #281 of 764 (9033 views)
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Re: [ecphraticknolls] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

ecphraticknolls,

I don't know if I would agree that the number of Low Res applications are marginal compared with those sent to traditional programs. Judging by the pace by which Low Res programs are proliferating, I would say that Low Res program directors wouldn't agree with that statement either.

Also, I think students looking for one-on-one, face-to-face faculty mentorhsip at traditional MFAs are likely to end up disappointed.

Traditional MFAs are not set up to run that way. You may find a generous faculty member from time to time, but the fact of the matter is that faculty at traditional MFA programs are not expected to provide that one-on-one level of support. They have workshops to run. You may get some face-to-face time in the workshop setting and maybe within office hours, if they're offered, but one-on-one mentorship is not a selling point of traditional MFAs.

Having said that, one-on-one mentorship is the Low Res MFA's stock in trade. Not all Low Res programs feature one-on-one mentorship, some are starting to embrace the workshop model of their traditional cousins--but a majority do. It's a big reason why Low Res alumni speak so highly of their programs.

Anyway, while I think that ranking MFA programs of any sort is kind of silly, I do think that Low Res program ought to be considered when we're discussing reputation and quality.



ecphraticknolls


Jan 10, 2007, 1:25 PM

Post #282 of 764 (9024 views)
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Re: [bighark] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, many of the traditional MFA programs have, or sometimes require, independent study and readings (this is a lot of face-to-face time). I always try to visit my professors during office hours, I think it is one of the means to get the best out of your education. And trust me, in some of these places where the they only accept 5-10 students per year, there is more than enough time to get to know your instructors.

And I don’t doubt that the low-res programs are becoming more popular--there seem to be more of them every year. However, the number is a lot less than the large number of traditional MFAs.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Jan 10, 2007, 2:50 PM

Post #283 of 764 (8998 views)
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Re: [GDClark] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post

This is wonderful and makes me happy. Thanks for the information!


In Reply To
No one's getting rich off UVAs funding, but it's plenty to live on. You won't need to get a job unless you want an excuse to avoid the keyboard for a few more hours a day.

Hope that helps.



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


renapoo


Jan 10, 2007, 5:31 PM

Post #284 of 764 (8964 views)
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Re: [GDClark] My Schools [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Plenty to live on in C-ville and put a little away for post-MFA unemployment.


Yes! Real numbers, god love em.

And even though I'm a fiction-writer, somehow it seems fitting that poets get more money. Writing in general is a hard thing to make a living at; with poetry writing, it's nearly impossible. Why NOT pay them more in grad school?


umass76


Jan 10, 2007, 6:35 PM

Post #285 of 764 (8938 views)
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Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Here:

http://sethabramson.blogspot.com/...a-rankings-2007.html

The good news is, there's no realistic chance that I'll be defensive about this one: it's a popularity/general reputation poll, pure and simple, and it's taken from data on this site and Live Journal. Obviously a lot of people will disagree with the conclusions I drew from this data, but I'm not looking to be contentious about it and will try to avoid being so.

All I think (humbly! this is just my personal opinion) is this: 135 people "participated," which is actually quite a lot I feel, and, as noted at the link, 37 of the top 48 schools in TKS and this new poll are within eleven spots of one another, which immediately struck me (when I suddenly realized it, after compiling the data) as astounding from a "confidence"-level perspective (to use a bit of poll-speak).

But again: this is a popularity/general reputation poll, not a "quality" ranking which takes into account particular criteria, so I don't know that there's much here to ruffle feathers. It is what it is, I think. And it's just a compilation of data; I didn't create or interpret or alter the data, I'm just reporting what [you all] said. So, again, I think it is what it is, and not more than that. Take it for what it's worth--I think it's an interesting curio, in any event.

Cheers, all (not looking for a fight I swear!),
S.

P.S. You'll notice Iowa has recovered its rightful place, now that we're just talking "reputation"(!) :-)


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 10, 2007, 11:33 PM)


laughingman


Jan 10, 2007, 6:53 PM

Post #286 of 764 (8927 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

*puts a talley mark on umass76's side of the board*

Nice work. Might I assume my very own little list was included? *blushes* Nice to be included.

I won't call it authoratitive or definitive, or anything... but it certainly is VERY interesting. A great tool for people applying to programs next year.

-laugher


augustmaria


Jan 10, 2007, 8:08 PM

Post #287 of 764 (8899 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah! The mysterious "University of Indiana" has shown itself. I wonder where that school is located? Maybe in Bloomingtown?

(I keed, I keed.)


bighark


Jan 10, 2007, 8:19 PM

Post #288 of 764 (8894 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that anywhere near Notre Dame University? The one run by the Jesuits?


Clench Million
Charles

Jan 10, 2007, 11:15 PM

Post #289 of 764 (8856 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a pretty interesting blog post (although the link is incorrect there). I can't say as I find schools eleven spaces off to count as close. I'd say anything more than 5 spots is a pretty large gap, and 10 or so is a huge difference. Sure there are 400 MFA programs, but there are only 30-40 (if that) that have any real reputation or get any real amount of applications, so when ranking MFAs we are really just shuffling around those ~35 programs.

Still, interesting. Thanks for putting it together.


umass76


Jan 10, 2007, 11:40 PM

Post #290 of 764 (8847 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

The link has been fixed now, thanks.

I've actually been surprised at how many MFA programs there are that people are aware of and/or willing to talk about. If there were 400 programs actively getting numerous applications (which I'll agree there is not), 11 spots would be a 2.8% difference in "score" between two programs. My research suggests there are maybe 110 or so (and yes, I'm rounding toward this number to make the math easier) programs which ought to be taken quite seriously, which would make 11 spots around a 10% difference in "score."

More importantly, though, I guess my feeling--and I don't have any way to back this up, it's just a hunch--is that when you see a 10% difference in "score" between two admittedly unscientific rankings, you're probably within the margin of error. I think that, for a 10% difference to not be within the MoE, we'd have to think (paradoxically) quite a lot of these rankings, and feel that their MoE was less than 10%. Even as a supporter of these rankings in the broadest general sense, I'd have to concede there's at least a 10% MoE, one reason I felt 11 spots' difference in "score" was not, for these rankings, necessarily statistically significant.

Best,
S.


umass76


Jan 10, 2007, 11:44 PM

Post #291 of 764 (8845 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

P.S. I'll be putting out a composite TKS/LJPW ranking shortly, just so that folks can see what up-to-date, funding-heavy (TKS) and reputation-heavy (LJPW) rankings would look like if conjoined. I think people will find the TSE Composite Rankings interesting, as they do seem to be approaching--if not there yet--a sort of "consensus" ranking a lot of people actually might feel very good about (as a curio, if nothing more; not, I admit, as a particularly deliberative or dispositive rubric--some will see it that way more than others, as always).

S.


JKicker
Jonathan

Jan 11, 2007, 1:14 AM

Post #292 of 764 (8829 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Another nice list. I'm composing a comprehensive list of MFA resources for my undergraduate to give to future MFA candidates and your blog will definately be on the list. Speaking of which, it's probably been posted but what is the link or name of the mfa livejournal community that you pulled your info from? I wasn't aware there were any other big community sites besides this one.


HopperFu


Jan 11, 2007, 7:44 AM

Post #293 of 764 (8811 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...when you see a 10% difference in "score" between two admittedly unscientific rankings, you're probably within the margin of error...

I think Clench's point (and if not, at least mine), is that the "big difference" has less to do with factuality than it does with the emotional impact of rankings. Ten or eleven spots might be within the margin of error, but usually when somebody is thinking, "hey, what are the top schools?", they look for the top ten or the top twenty-five. So it's not being off ten spots out of 400 or even 100 ranked schools, but rather what it does when you are looking at the very top of the list.
I mean, it can't really matter that much if a school is ranked 76 or 86 in terms of applications - at that point you are probably dealing simply with impulses and almost pure personal preference - while it makes a huge difference in terms of the impact if you rank a school 1 versus 10.

Not that we can do anything about the imperfect nature of this. Well, I guess we could go back to attacking each other. That was *fun*.


SabraW


Jan 11, 2007, 8:51 AM

Post #294 of 764 (8804 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, but the attacks offered some amusing reading.

What I find interesting in all of this is that none of the rankings seem to list student success rate post-graduation. Someone who is banking on getting a degree from a "top 10" program and finding themselves earning a living wage after they're done, might be surprised to learn that quite a few award-winning and published writers from "top 10" programs end up adjunct teaching for quite some time. Also, the supply and demand issue has to come into play. How many CW teachers are needed? There's going to be a point of critical mass and I think 400 programs is getting quite close.


umass76


Jan 11, 2007, 9:18 AM

Post #295 of 764 (8795 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Hopper,
This may surprise you a bit...but I actually agree with you. 11 spots has a significant "emotional" impact. I think the only distinction I would draw--which makes, in a sense, my "MoE" analogy inapt--is that we're not talking about one unscientific ranking being 11 spots "off" from the "truth" (in which case that difference really could skew that "truth"), we're talking about one unscientific ranking being, at most, 11 spots off from another unscientific ranking. That is, because we can't know which if either is correct, it's not entirely surprising to see a larger MoE because there needs to be more "space" for the "truth" to be somewhere in the middle...i.e., if there's an 11-point disparity, perhaps each ranking is "only" 5.5 spots off, which would be close enough to the "truth," I think, to satisfy Clench and others.

In any event, because I do agree with you that 11 points is very different from 5 (or 5.5), I created The Suburban Ecstasies Composite MFA Rankings--

http://sethabramson.blogspot.com/...fa-rankings-tse.html

--which average TKS and LJPW in an attempt to hone in on a more accurate reading of where the schools stand in the general opinion, when both reputation and funding are concerned. The TSE Composite seems interesting to me because it softens the effect of some Kealey-specific findings (Texas is top 10 but not #2; Syracuse is top 10 but a little lower; Iowa is no longer two spots from the top 10, but rather two spots from the top 5) and softens some unusual LJPW findings (UMass is again in the top 10 but not #3; Notre Dame is top 25 but not top 10, which feels more "right") while allowing the widely-acknowledged top schools to flourish: i.e, Virginia, Michigan, Cornell, Indiana, Irvine, Texas, Iowa, Brown, Syracuse, UMass, Johns Hopkins, Houston, Columbia, and NYU are all now within the top 15 schools (which, again, with 400 schools, is in the top 1.5% of schools, a pretty rarified class, and the top 15% of schools even if we only acknowledge 100 highly competitive programs). I think, because of the LJPW, I feel a little more confidence than before about some of my gut instincts, like that Texas and Irvine are top 10 but not two and one, respectively, that Iowa deserves to be top 10, and that schools like Houston and JHU and Columbia and NYU are still enormously respected but may not (just conjecture here) be considered top 5 schools as they were ten years ago. Though again, top 15 ain't bad at all.
S.


Glinda Bamboo


Jan 11, 2007, 9:36 AM

Post #296 of 764 (8791 views)
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Re: [umass76] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

I would also like the link to the livejournal MFA community/pages. Thanks.


renapoo


Jan 11, 2007, 9:41 AM

Post #297 of 764 (8789 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure what UMass was working with, but here's the 2007 livejournal page:

http://community.livejournal.com/who_got_in/25331.html

with a link to the 2006 forum up at the top where it says "...last year..."

(This post was edited by motet on Jan 11, 2007, 5:10 PM)


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Jan 11, 2007, 5:06 PM

Post #298 of 764 (8716 views)
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Re: [renapoo] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

renapoo, I'm editing your post to make the livejournal link "hot".

Dana


HopperFu


Jan 11, 2007, 5:22 PM

Post #299 of 764 (8700 views)
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Re: [motet] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
renapoo, I'm editing your post to make the livejournal link "hot".

Dana


You've got mad skillz, Dana. Thanks.


JKicker
Jonathan

Jan 11, 2007, 9:57 PM

Post #300 of 764 (8654 views)
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Re: [renapoo] Another New MFA Ranking [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Rena! That link is hot in multiple ways...ah yes another night's worth of MFA reading.

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