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franz

e-mail user

Mar 8, 2006, 5:54 PM

Post #1 of 793 (20645 views)
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Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? Can't Post

If you have been blessed enough to be a lucky acceptee at your dream school or a place you're definitely going to, post the school of your choice here. While you're at it, post any other offers of schools where you were accepted or wait-listed but decided not to attend. I think this will provide some information for the many wait-listers who are keeping their fingers crossed.
Congratulations to those of you who know where you'll be come fall, and I wish you all the best!


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


clarabow


Mar 8, 2006, 6:24 PM

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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, Franz, does this mean you've been waitlisted somewhere in addition to your UMass Fiction acceptance! Way to go, if that's the case!


franz

e-mail user

Mar 8, 2006, 6:38 PM

Post #3 of 793 (20595 views)
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In Reply To
Hey, Franz, does this mean you've been waitlisted somewhere in addition to your UMass Fiction acceptance! Way to go, if that's the case!


I haven't been wait-listed anywhere, although I had a dream about being wait-listed at JHU about a week or so ago. Weird. I'd rather be wait-listed at Brown. Wait a minute. I'd rather just get into Brown. Hopefully I'll have some more dreams to that effect. Anyway, I've just seen so many people who have been wait-listed and that it's a difficult limbo to be in. And of course, we're all curious about where people decide to go.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


clarabow


Mar 8, 2006, 6:41 PM

Post #4 of 793 (20592 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope you get into Johns Hopkins AND Brown! But UMass is good, too, even if it's not your top choice.


sibyline


Mar 8, 2006, 6:49 PM

Post #5 of 793 (20585 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

After receiving my Hopkins rejection today for fiction (what I thought might turn out to be a relationship was really just a fling :), I think I'm ready to commit to Cornell, take myself off the waiting list at Michigan, and withdraw my Brown application.

So there you go: Cornell for me! :)


clarabow


Mar 8, 2006, 6:50 PM

Post #6 of 793 (20583 views)
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Re: [sibyline] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

Cornell sounds great. Good luck!


franz

e-mail user

Mar 8, 2006, 7:01 PM

Post #7 of 793 (20574 views)
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Re: [sibyline] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations! I'm sure we could all see it coming-- their program offers so much. btw, I would love to see your story-- a friend of mine said you posted it for friends on livejournal.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


clarabow


Mar 9, 2006, 8:16 PM

Post #8 of 793 (20412 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have decided that, since I wasn't accepted at JHU, I am not going there. And that I am certain of.


fionayale


Mar 12, 2006, 10:01 PM

Post #9 of 793 (20306 views)
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Final Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

I am no longer in the graduate student game! However, I do mentor a student who has made a final decision. She will attend The University of Minnesota and study fiction writing. Hope this helps.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 14, 2006, 3:26 PM

Post #10 of 793 (19937 views)
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If I haven't heard from a few programs by now, does it mean I probably got rejected by them?

I don't really care because I got accepted to 2 great programs already, but I'm just wondering.


bighark


Mar 14, 2006, 3:34 PM

Post #11 of 793 (19923 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Methods of Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure, Rapunzel, because I don't know the programs where you applied. It's possible that your programs won't be making a decision for a few more days or weeks, and it's possible that you could be on an informal (as in, you won't be notified if you're on it) waitlist. Of course, it's also possible that you were, in fact, rejected.

Anyway, I'm happy to hear that you already have some acceptances under your belt. I wish I could say the same for myself.


Congratulations!


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 14, 2006, 4:09 PM

Post #12 of 793 (19898 views)
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Thanks for the response.

and dont worry--it will be okay!!! I was rejected across the board for all my Ph.D programs last year, and this year I applied to MFA programs because I realized I wanted to be a writer instead of an academic, and now things are going better.

Even if everything is a disaster, you can still apply again. My friend endured 2 years and 16 rejections before he got a single acceptance and now he is doing very well at Columbia.


sayra


Mar 14, 2006, 6:24 PM

Post #13 of 793 (20199 views)
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Michigan [In reply to] Can't Post

i made my final decision today: I'll be going to Michigan in the fall for poetry. Said goodbye money and sent an email to Michener turning down their offer (I also took myself off the Syracuse waitlist last week or so). Though I'm positive this is the right choice for me for a variety of reasons (such as I would melt / bake / something very very bad in Texas heat, and spend three years wandering around trying to figure out why Austin never got the memo that winter = cold), I still am a little freaked to finally have decided. And I'm hitting the serious terror level right now as well, trying to figure out if maybe they either saw something in my poetry that wasn't there or even if it was that will never surface again and then they'll wonder why they admitted me. Ahh well. That'll ... well, honestly, that fear will probably never go away, knowing me. But it's ok anyway. Now on to the other challenges, such as apartment hunting (can't say I've ever moved cross country before, so I'm a little lost). Good luck to all with their decisions!


davidjoseph


Mar 14, 2006, 6:38 PM

Post #14 of 793 (20185 views)
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Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just curious - how are folks making their final decisions? What are the deciding factors for people? Is it faculty, location, program reputation, funding?

I was recently accept into the fiction programs at Iowa and UMASS, and waitlisted at UMINN, U-Wisconsin, and U-Washington. Still waiting to hear back from Virginia, among others. Rejected at Syracuse and Michigan.


theapplepicker


Mar 14, 2006, 6:43 PM

Post #15 of 793 (20178 views)
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Re: [davidjoseph] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't made my final decision yet, but funding is going to be a very important part of it. I don't think I'll pick school X over school Y because X has more money to offer, but I will not be going anywhere that can't fully fund me.

As for the next highest priority... I'm not sure.


sara15


Mar 14, 2006, 6:55 PM

Post #16 of 793 (20169 views)
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Re: [davidjoseph] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

While I haven’t made any official choices, I’m starting to feel more prepared to make a final decision. I’ve been accepted to George Mason, Ohio State, Iowa, and Montana (in Nonfiction). However, only GM, OSU, and Iowa have offered funding. Their assistantships are very similar, but I think OSU might be offering the best package. I could say this is the reason I’m leaning toward OSU, but really, it’s only part of the reason. While all of these programs have been a pleasure to correspond with, I feel as though OSU might be the best fit for me. Their faculty has been extremely friendly and encouraging, and I feel like their program might be the best environment for me to develop my writing.


These are my feelings right now. I’ll keep you posted on my final decision. Which is something I hope to make soon (I’m still waiting to hear back from one school).


Congratulations on all of these amazing acceptances—and good luck with your final decisions!




franz

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 7:09 PM

Post #17 of 793 (20159 views)
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Re: [sayra] Michigan [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations Sara! I think you'll love it in Ann Arbor. The program is just great. And I don't think you should worry about what they did or didn't see in your poetry-- you got that great offer from the Michener Center too, and I don't think they both made a mistake (or that either of them did, for that matter).
You are going to make somebody on the waitlist at Michener very happy (and somebody on the waitlist at Michigan sad-- what a house of cards this game is). Good luck!!!


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 14, 2006, 7:11 PM

Post #18 of 793 (20159 views)
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Re: [sara15] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a note on the Iowa nonfiction program -- I don't know how clear they make this, or whether they tell applicants at all, but the nonfiction program is completely separate from the Writers Workshop. That is, it's also an MFA degree, but it's run through the English department, in a separate building, with separate faculty. This isn't to say it's not a good program -- the truth is, I don't know all that much about it, as there's not as much interaction between the departments as you might imagine (though some nonfiction students do take seminars taught by workshop faculty, and there are a few I know through teaching or social events).

Anyway, just thought I'd put that out there for anyone considering the program.


sovietsleepover


Mar 14, 2006, 7:34 PM

Post #19 of 793 (20138 views)
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Re: [franz] Michigan [In reply to] Can't Post

Sayra, what tipped you towards Michigan? I'm curious because I had to make the same decision last year & decided opposite from you. It's shameful to realize how much winter != cold is what did it for me, though! I thought "there is no way I'll be able to leave my house mid-winter in Ann Arbor without hating the world at every second. The high there today is 37, so I'm confident in making a good choice for my happiness & mental stability!


fionayale


Mar 14, 2006, 7:42 PM

Post #20 of 793 (20130 views)
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Re: [davidjoseph] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

David Joseph -

I would choose Iowa over all the programs you have applied to. That's my opinion. Given all the factors you listed, I think (personally) that Iowa wins out on all counts - funding (if you get it...most people do...if you don't get, all grad students I believe get in-state tuition, and it's pretty low...also, Iowa City is inexpensive and a lot of the fun stuff, like readings at Prairie Lights almost every night, are free); program reputation (no program has a rep like Iowa, even non-writers know all about it); location (I think Iowa City is a wonderful place to live, and especially recommend Thai Spice and Thai Flavors if you love Thai food!); and faculty (Two Pulitzer Prize Winners, Chris Offutt, Ethan Canin...hot damn).

Get thee to Iowa! That's what I'd tell you if you were my son.

All those other programs are excellent, excellent programs. But you can't discount the Iowa name, buddy. Plus, you'll have a lot of fun out there and your writing will be worked over something fierce, which can only be good for you.

Fiona


franz

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 7:59 PM

Post #21 of 793 (20117 views)
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In Reply To
I was recently accept into the fiction programs at Iowa and UMASS, and waitlisted at UMINN, U-Wisconsin, and U-Washington. Still waiting to hear back from Virginia, among others. Rejected at Syracuse and Michigan.


I think location is essential. Can you be happy in Iowa City? If so, then go there. I would be partial to a place that accepted you outright as opposed to a place where you're waitlisted. You control your own destiny.
And yeah, Iowa is a very prestigious program. I don't think the funding is quite as great as Fionayale says, but it's true about the instate tuition. Personally, I have mixed feelings about I.C. because I'm actually from there and went there for undergrad-- I can only give the born and bred there perspective (which means I'm bored of there), but lots of people love it and I think it's a good environment to work in. Do get used to wicked cold winters, though. I hear they've been mild the last few years but I remember days as a kid where there would be a week of 40 below weather (with windchill) and when it got back up to zero it would actually feel warm. They wouldn't let us out of school unless it was colder than 50 below and there would be a string of agonizing days where it would be 43, 46 below and I would freeze my ass off going to school.
Mike Ingram, what's it been like these last few winters? I live in Portland now. Sometimes I miss those ol' cornfields. I do have heartland pride, indeedy. We're not quite the hicks that some people think we are.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


pollyannaglassy


Mar 14, 2006, 8:04 PM

Post #22 of 793 (20113 views)
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Re: [franz] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was there (in Iowa City) all last winter and I don't think it went below zero more than two or three days in January...it seemed like January was cold and the rest of the months - December, Feb, March, etc - were just charming Midwestern winters, with snow on the ground and big blue skies above.

My favorite thing about Iowa City is the great "writers" bars...something you won't find in most cities, large or small.


(This post was edited by pollyannaglassy on Mar 14, 2006, 8:05 PM)


sara15


Mar 14, 2006, 9:47 PM

Post #23 of 793 (20053 views)
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Re: [mingram] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Mike. I did know going in that Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program is separate from the Writer’s Workshop. My main reason for applying was to work with Iowa’s topnotch faculty, including John D’Agata. I’m currently working with the lyric essay, a form D’Agata explores and anthologizes in The Next American Essay. So although I’m not sure Iowa’s program will end up being the right choice for me, I would definitely recommend it to other Nonfiction writers.

(In a fun side note, Iowa’s NWP site has audio recordings from NonfictionNow 2005. Pretty cool!).


sovietsleepover


Mar 14, 2006, 11:44 PM

Post #24 of 793 (20012 views)
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Quote
I would be partial to a place that accepted you outright as opposed to a place where you're waitlisted.

But don't feel like being waitlisted puts you at a disadvantage to the people accepted outright should you decide to accept. Once you get there you'll all be first year MFA students starting from exactly the same place. No one will know you were waitlisted (not that it's shameful, but that there won't be any scarlet "W"s to set you apart), and really, no one will care one way or the other.



sayra


Mar 15, 2006, 12:32 AM

Post #25 of 793 (19992 views)
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Re: [sovietsleepover] Michigan [In reply to] Can't Post

there were a bunch of factors, but honestly, i think it was also weather that tipped it for me in the opposite direction that it tipped it for you. as in "it was like 90 there last week--did no one send them a memo that it's march?!". and the fact that it's been about 50/60 here lately, and i kept thinking, this will be my whole winter. and that honestly seemed horrifying to me. yes, i am the only person who would ever say that weather was a deciding point for michigan over texas, but that's ok.


viviandarkbloom


Mar 15, 2006, 1:43 AM

Post #26 of 793 (7234 views)
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Re: [sara15] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sara the 15th, first of all congratulations. Second, I have what might be a dumb question, but I've often wondered about it: what exactly do creative non-fictioners do? Do they focus on personal essays, or more journalistic stuff? I'm also curious how nonfiction gets workshopped. What kind of feedback do you get?


lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 5:25 AM

Post #27 of 793 (7224 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

i know i have four schools to hear from. but it doesn't matter. i know i want to go to alabama and have known and i somehow magically got in.

alabama it is. signed the papers and sent them back today.

it is done. i get at least three years with the option at a fourth year. with funding. great teachers. climate i like. a smaller town with hopefully a little more quiet to be found than here in San Francisco (i need a break from the big city). experimental workshops and forms courses. lots and lots of readings. involved students and teachers. not too many students...

time. time. time.

i do, in fact, feel at ease.

promise i'll let everyone know how it turns out.


sibyline


Mar 15, 2006, 8:38 AM

Post #28 of 793 (7198 views)
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[replyBut don't feel like being waitlisted puts you at a disadvantage to the people accepted outright should you decide to accept.

I think it matters somewhat. It wouldn't prevent me from going somewhere I really want to go to, but if I only marginally prefer one school that waitlisted me over a school that accepted me outright, it would make me think twice.

In my case, I happened to be accepted to the program I ended up feeling was the best choice for me regardless (Cornell) and waitlisted at another really good program (Michigan). If it was reversed, I would have possibly picked Michigan over Cornell, even though Cornell has a better environment for me and more funding.

And people do know if you've been waitlisted, especially in a small department. Questions come up like when people visited and who accepted and declined offers. Not that it would affect me in the long run, but it's definitely a psychological barrier I would personally have to get over. I don't think it's insurmountable at all, but I just feel like I should make people aware of the reality of things.


clarabow


Mar 15, 2006, 9:15 AM

Post #29 of 793 (7452 views)
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Possibly four years at Alabama, Lytonyawename? That's amazing. What a luxury. Good for you.


clarabow


Mar 15, 2006, 9:17 AM

Post #30 of 793 (7452 views)
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I wouldn't care if people knew I was waitlisted or not. If they want to hold it against me, that's their problem. I trust faculty not to hold it against me, and if students are going to get a superiority complex over something like that, then they aren't so smart themselves.

Course, now I need to get in (or wait listed) somewhere good! I still have a lot of places left to hear from...


theapplepicker


Mar 15, 2006, 10:26 AM

Post #31 of 793 (7427 views)
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Quote
Clarabow:
I wouldn't care if people knew I was waitlisted or not.


That's the most important thing. See, I'm not sure I wouldn't care. And it could be a big mental hurdle for me. It's possible that mental hurdle could mean I wouldn't get as much out of the program.

That's what I'm tangoing with now, with Ohio State. I've been in love with that program for three years now. They waitlisted me, and although that shows they do appreciate my work, it also shows that they appreciated someone else at least a little bit more, maybe a lot more. I also don't know how many people are ahead of me.

If I were called up from the waitlist now, I'm not sure how I would feel or what I would do. The program is great; I love Columbus; it's not too far from home and my boyfriend; and the funding is superior to many other programs' funding.

But I would be worried that I'd feel inferior to other MFA candidates. (Even though, if I don't go to OSU, and I find out that one or more of my colleagues was waitlisted, I can't imagine that I'd really think about that when I considered their work. I know how competitive programs are and that even many talented people are rejected. The waitlisted people are talented, too. Just like I am, dammit.)


(This post was edited by theapplepicker on Mar 15, 2006, 10:28 AM)


bighark


Mar 15, 2006, 10:43 AM

Post #32 of 793 (7408 views)
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In my apartment, it costs one dollar and fifty cents to do a load of laundry. I use the change making machine to covert two one dollar bills into eight quarters.

Each of those eight quarters can fill the slots in the washing and drying machines equally well. I don't even think about which would be better suited for the job. They're all capable.

Anyway, since there are only six slots in the washing/drying machines, I usually have two quarters left over.

Isn't that neat?


Aubrie


Mar 15, 2006, 10:52 AM

Post #33 of 793 (7397 views)
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Oh how I feel like a leftover quarter....


augustmaria


Mar 15, 2006, 11:01 AM

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I would totally pick the ones with the best states on them.


zyzzyvas1


Mar 15, 2006, 11:41 AM

Post #35 of 793 (7358 views)
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Re: [theapplepicker] Waitlist Angst [In reply to] Can't Post

The fact that anyone would consider not going to one of their top choices because they were waitlisted seems insane to me. Whatever reasons School X is #1 to you have not changed -- waitlist or not. And when you're talking about admitting 1 or 2% of the applicants like the most competitive programs do, do you think there is really a big difference between a waitlisted writing sample and an first choice sample? If any difference? If you made the waitlist, you already cut through the masses. From there, maybe you didn't quite click with a particular reader, maybe your (gasp, I know I'm not supposed to mention these things, but) gender skewed the final list too far in one direction, maybe your story was about horses and the app committee wasn't sure they could read horse stories for the next two years, but damn if if it wasn't a perfect story anyway, etc, etc, etc.

The entire process is capricious. In my mind if I get in to The Perfect School For Me -- no matter how that comes about -- then it would be crazy not to go there. Besides, I've never, ever read a bio on a dust jacket that said "So and so received their MFA from the University of Blank (where they were let in off the waitlist).


staple
Colleen

Mar 15, 2006, 11:43 AM

Post #36 of 793 (7354 views)
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Re: [lytonyawename] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah, I'm thinking of doing the exact same thing, for all those reasons. So tempted, just to get it all done. Alabama has so many things going for it, at this point. But I'm waiting on two others, plus the two waitlists - should I wait on them, just so I can say I considered all my options (and I keep thinking 'hey! what if I get in to Brown! Wouldn't that be cool!'), even though I'd probably go to Alabama anyway? Hmmm, I don't know.
Good for you on making that decision.


knjay
Nick Kocz
e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 11:44 AM

Post #37 of 793 (7353 views)
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In Reply To

Quote
Clarabow:
I wouldn't care if people knew I was waitlisted or not.


That's the most important thing. See, I'm not sure I wouldn't care. And it could be a big mental hurdle for me. It's possible that mental hurdle could mean I wouldn't get as much out of the program.

That's what I'm tangoing with now, with Ohio State. I've been in love with that program for three years now. They waitlisted me, and although that shows they do appreciate my work, it also shows that they appreciated someone else at least a little bit more, maybe a lot more. I also don't know how many people are ahead of me.

If I were called up from the waitlist now, I'm not sure how I would feel or what I would do. The program is great; I love Columbus; it's not too far from home and my boyfriend; and the funding is superior to many other programs' funding.

But I would be worried that I'd feel inferior to other MFA candidates. (Even though, if I don't go to OSU, and I find out that one or more of my colleagues was waitlisted, I can't imagine that I'd really think about that when I considered their work. I know how competitive programs are and that even many talented people are rejected. The waitlisted people are talented, too. Just like I am, dammit.)



I wouldn't be too concerned about the percieved slight of being a waitlistee who was eventually accepted into a program. George Saunders did an interview last fall in which he said that once a program whittles their applications down to the top ten or fifteen people, the qualitative differences between those writing samples is very slight. All those people, he said, write "beautifully." And I would imagine that each of those waitlistees would be more than capable of carrying their weight in a workshop.

Plus bear in mind that whatever internal student hierarchy that might exist is going to change constantly throughout your years in the program to reflect the quality of work actually being workshopped.

If OSU is your first choice and you otherwise like everything about the program, jump at the opportunity if your name gets called off the waitlist. So what if you feel a bit slighted right now? By September, you'll be feeling a whole let better there if you get in.

Also about OSU-- what really impressed me about the Brad Vice episode last fall was how Erin McGraw rushed to his defense. She was the only "name person" out there (out of many who endorsed Vice's work over the years) that stood up for him. Say what you will about Vice's problems, but you could tell that OSU makes it a point to stand behind their writers.


miekekoo


Mar 15, 2006, 12:01 PM

Post #38 of 793 (7333 views)
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I'm leaning towards the school that accepted me off the waitlist over the school that accepted me outright, so I wanted to chime in. It does feel great to be accepted outright and talk to faculty members who tell you how much they liked your work. You like me? I’m one of your top 10 choices? Oh, I like you too!

But in the end, I feel like I have to decide based on which school best meets my own needs.

And I feel ok doing that because really, the admissions process for writing programs is so imperfect. The writers on these committees are fallible human beings trying to measure and predict each applicant’s potential through a couple of stories or a handful of poems--it’s bound to be hit or miss. A writer who seemed fabulous might not live up to the potential of his writing sample whereas someone off the waitlist might learn rapidly and really come into her own during the program. In the end, what the committee thought of you based on the two stories you applied with doesn’t matter. It’s what you do when you’re in the program that matters.

Once the quarters are in their slots, who cares how they got there.

Meanwhile, the program that accepted me off the waitlist has really reached out and made me feel wanted and welcome, and that is very important too. If that hadn’t happened, I would have more doubts about potentially going there.


sibyline


Mar 15, 2006, 12:07 PM

Post #39 of 793 (7326 views)
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i'm not arguing that it makes a big difference. i'm arguing that it makes some difference. i've been on admission committees before (for photography MFA's) and was with a professor for a long time. being waitlisted often reflects that there's disagreement between faculty members about someone's work, and i've seen cases where that bias has persisted throughout a person's time in grad school. i would rather go to a school where i'm pretty confident that i have unanimous faculty support. it wouldn't prevent me from going to my dream school if i was waitlisted there, but if i had two really good options, i would definitely consider it a factor.


knjay
Nick Kocz
e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 12:42 PM

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In Reply To
i've been on admission committees before (for photography MFA's) and was with a professor for a long time. being waitlisted often reflects that there's disagreement between faculty members about someone's work, and i've seen cases where that bias has persisted throughout a person's time in grad school. i would rather go to a school where i'm pretty confident that i have unanimous faculty support. it wouldn't prevent me from going to my dream school if i was waitlisted there, but if i had two really good options, i would definitely consider it a factor.


Sibyline, you raised some valid points that I had not considered. Having been on the other side of the fence, how would you suggest a waitlistee ascertain whether or not they might face such faculty disagreements should the get accepted? No one wants to make a big move and devote 2-4 years of their life to a program only to find that the program begrudgingly accepted them because they needed to round out a class roster list.


theapplepicker


Mar 15, 2006, 12:54 PM

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Stop trying to pierce my shield of nonsense!


theapplepicker


Mar 15, 2006, 1:06 PM

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You all bring up important points. I have thought about them before, but my concern lingered still.

I do hope I get called up. Maybe my ambivalence will burn up in a blast of enthusiasm.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 15, 2006, 1:15 PM

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But there could also be (and probably is) faculty disagreement over people who end up being admitted outright, too.

I think most schools probably rank the top applicants, then extend offers to the top six, or eight, or twenty five (depending on program size), then if some of those people decline, they just go down the list. So, say you're waitlisted at a school that accepts eight people -- if they had funding and faculty to accept 9 or 10, you probably would have been in from the beginning and never known where you were on the list.

It seems to me the issue is mostly psychological. Are you going to constantly feel waitlisted? Because once you start the program, I'm not sure it really matters; you're there just like everyone else, how you got there is pretty immaterial.

So I wouldn't sweat the waitlist too much. If you're in somewhere, and it's a school you want to attend, go for it.


duderedman


Mar 15, 2006, 1:25 PM

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My roommate in college (Yale) was admitted off the waitlist in late June. The waitlist had officially been dismissed and he had already enrolled at Duke - in fact, he was in the Duke facebook that fall.

He turned out to be the one of the smartest and thoughtful people I've ever met.

If you have an opportunity off the waitlist, take it! Once you're in, it's the work you do in the program that matters, not the battle to get there.


eirene


Mar 15, 2006, 1:41 PM

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Speaking of wait lists, I emailed UW (Seattle) to ask how long their list is. I didn't really expect a direct answer but here it is: 15 people, and not ranked "at this time." It will take a couple of weeks to gauge "retention of acceptees" etc. This might be of interest to some folks.

And applepicker, I hear your angst r.e. the wait list situation. But there's no way to know what transpired in those admissions committee meetings, no way to know what those faculty think individually about your sample. You know you want to write, you know what schools you want to attend, and that's what matters. I say this as I hang in the balance myself -- waitlisted at my two top choices.


viviandarkbloom


Mar 15, 2006, 1:50 PM

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In Reply To
In my apartment, it costs one dollar and fifty cents to do a load of laundry. I use the change making machine to covert two one dollar bills into eight quarters.

Each of those eight quarters can fill the slots in the washing and drying machines equally well. I don't even think about which would be better suited for the job. They're all capable.

Anyway, since there are only six slots in the washing/drying machines, I usually have two quarters left over.

Isn't that neat?


Then I think I'm a bent bustoken that has tried to pass itself off as a quarter.

By the way, what was "the Brad Vice episode" that knjay mentioned?

Sincerely,
Bustoken


emptymug


Mar 15, 2006, 2:10 PM

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15 people on the UW wait list? All in one genre? How many people do they accept in fiction and in poetry?


eirene


Mar 15, 2006, 2:17 PM

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I wish I knew! I assume she means 15 people all together, both poets and fiction writers. I don't know how many they accept, but the MFA program total in both genres at any given time is 30-40 ppl (this according to their website).


Jendago


Mar 15, 2006, 2:21 PM

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Ah, I was thinking 15 sounded like a hefty number for just fiction. Eirene, I hope you're right and it's both combined! Emptymug, are you on that list with us?


knjay
Nick Kocz
e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 2:41 PM

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In Reply To

By the way, what was "the Brad Vice episode" that knjay mentioned?

Sincerely,
Bustoken


Brad Vice is a short story writer who graduated with an MFA from OSU. His short stories have apppeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Shenandoah and Five Points and BEST NEW STORIES OF THE SOUTH. His first collection won the Flannery O'Connor prize last fall.

Allegations surfaced that he plagairized a couple of background descriptions in his stories from non-fiction sources and he was stripped of the Flannery O'Connor prize. He argued that what he "borrowed" amounted to "fair use."

I'm not a copyright expert and haven't felt troubled to review the full extant of what he may or may not have done, but I have read a few of his stories and thought they were excellent. It troubled me that such an obviously talented writer's career was in jeopardy and I was glad that someone stood up for him.


sibyline


Mar 15, 2006, 2:45 PM

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Sibyline, you raised some valid points that I had not considered. Having been on the other side of the fence, how would you suggest a waitlistee ascertain whether or not they might face such faculty disagreements should the get accepted?


What I would have done had I not withdrawn from the Michigan wait list and possibly gotten accepted eventually is to meet with as many professors as I can and read between the lines. I think it's important to remember that professors are human beings. They have many biases and imperfections. They will divulge those biases if you ask them the right questions.

On the other hand, being accepted off the wait list is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if a person isn't necessarily satisfied with the current direction of his or her work. Coming from the wait list gives you drive, and something to prove. What you need to be careful of is making sure that no one you're going to work with is going to not like your work due to unjustified personal biases, or due to aspects of your work that you don't want to change.


lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 3:19 PM

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Well, i thought about it and even if i got into someplace like Brown, as cool as that would feel (and I would frame that letter for sure), it's only two years and 8 classes compared with 4 years and 16 classes. that's a killer comparison for me. next, indiana: but on the whole i just don't feel like it's as perfect a match and i have no great pull towards that area of the country. Arkansas? well, first they take forever, apparently. second, i don't know if there's funding... that's an open question too. oregon? oh, i'm sure it's lovely there and i would love to spend some time there someday. it seems perfect as far as climate without so much conservatism... but, again, i don't think the match is as perfect. Las Vegas? well, that would be interesting, and i love the international requirement, but there's a lot of unknowns and i visited the campus once and wasn't that impressed with the school at large.

sometimes, in either a show of narcisism or honestly, i think i didn't put as much into my applications to other schools. I sent different stories to each, trying to accurately reflect my range writing while slightly appealing to the different sensibilities. I purposely sent a rough story to every program because I didn't want to be accepted on some false idea of what kind of writer I am. My supposedly most publishable piece, the one my mentor thinks i should have sent out already, isn't very like the vast majority of my writing. It just so happened that this voice works for a particular character i've been trying to write for a while. and while i am writing more with that voice, it's frankly a specific project and narrow in scope. if you could call it experimental, i'd say it's only due to the syntactical play of trying to mantain a very specific beat and turn of sentence. but, it's not much like my other writing. i didn't want to end up anywhere where they didn't like what they saw in my writing as opposed to how polished i am or am not... this is about approach and philosophy. nona is fond of saying i have a "wild writer's mind" and i guess i take that as a compliment... but she also means i've not fully tamed myself. and i need to be someplace where they can see that and think they could work with it, rather than seeing it as a burden. when i first started taking my writing seriously it felt as if i wanted to cause some sort of physical violence upon my reader. i think i've calmed down and am ready to move on from that... but writing still does feel like a physical connection.

i hope you come if only to see your writing... you were so high on their list... that has to mean something.


shadowboxer


Mar 15, 2006, 3:20 PM

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In Reply To
On the other hand, being accepted off the wait list is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if a person isn't necessarily satisfied with the current direction of his or her work. Coming from the wait list gives you drive, and something to prove. What you need to be careful of is making sure that no one you're going to work with is going to not like your work due to unjustified personal biases, or due to aspects of your work that you don't want to change.



I don't think your experiences with photography are necessarily applicable to the MFA process. Being on the waitlist doesn't mean that the professors on the committee have personal biases against your work. At some of the larger schools, you might not even have a workshop with the professor who dinged you in the committee. Even if you do, it's part of the learning process to understand why someone has reacted negatively to your work. I think it's foolish to turn down a stronger program that waitlisted you because of mental issues with rejection. Getting into the MFA is just the beginning of a barrage of criticism you'll have to face as a writer. Will you stop sending stories to the New Yorker if they reject you once? Will you stop publishing books if you get bad reviews? I have noticed this mindset on a number of posts in this thread and I don't really understand. Any type of acceptance is an opportunity to improve your writing, nothing more, nothing less.


bighark


Mar 15, 2006, 3:30 PM

Post #54 of 793 (6715 views)
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I understand that everybody loves to be loved, but if you're not writing like you've got something to prove, perhaps you should consider a different profession.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 15, 2006, 3:34 PM

Post #55 of 793 (6711 views)
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Aubrie--

I'm in this for the PhD (well, and one MA program...), not the MFA, but it's as much of a crapshoot for me (at least for my area of study--American Studies--which only accept about 5 people per year).

And right now I am feeling like a leftover quarter as well.

You are nowhere near alone.

my fingers crossed,
S.


sibyline


Mar 15, 2006, 3:38 PM

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In Reply To
I think it's foolish to turn down a stronger program that waitlisted you because of mental issues with rejection.


I've said it twice before and will say it one more time: I am not advocating that someone decline a program that they really want to be in because they were on the wait list. I am simply saying that it should be a factor in their decision-making process, and that I think people may be naive to think that it doesn't play any sort of role, because it does.

The programs I happened to be evaluating (Cornell and Michigan) were both small and highly comparable. I was already leaning towards Cornell before getting accepted, but it was a pretty close call. Meeting all the professors on the admissions committee and getting the sense of their commitment to my work cemented my decision. If the situation were reversed, with Cornell wait listing me and Michigan accepting me outright, it's possible that I would have decided to go to Michigan.


clarabow


Mar 15, 2006, 4:05 PM

Post #57 of 793 (6680 views)
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no, not on any waitlists. just thought 15 sounds like a lot of a waitlist...


staple
Colleen

Mar 15, 2006, 4:05 PM

Post #58 of 793 (6678 views)
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Yeah, just dealing with my own instabilities and nervous-anxious-waiting stuff, and I always want to be sure, and things like that. I know someone who hasn't heard from anyone and it's driving him crazy. But there's so much to be said for finding that place that just feels right. It looks like you found that place. I think it was a good thing to just show them what you had, to just be honest, and it obviously got you where you wanted to go.
And after getting a call from Wendy Rawlings today about an extra fellowship that I seem to have won (!), I think I've found the place too. I mean, I would have gone there nonetheless, I'm sure, because I think my writing just fits there, perfectly, and will gain so much from just being there, but money is nice.


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 15, 2006, 4:14 PM

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I'd LIKE to make one, but of the 11 schools I applied to I haven't heard back from 7 of them.


lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 4:44 PM

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yes, the money is nice. i came out of undergrad with hardly any debt. i'm buried in it now from having to find a way to live in SF. mostly subsidized loans, at least.

so, i knew i would not go anywhere that did not give me aid. period.

did you get that fellowship where you don't have to teach? i'm looking forward to teaching. i don't like the way undergraduate composition is almost always a haze and i'm hoping i can find a way to not patronize students and teach them why it matters... we'll see.

not that you probably wouldn't have gotten it anyway (that early call says everything you need to know about how much they wanted you there-it was a quick and easy decision), but way to hold out. a friend of mine wanted me to play coy with them... but i just couldn't.

the discussion some are having about whether they'll treat you different because of being waitlisted worries me a tiny bit and i think is serving as an entirely unhelpful diversion. i guess i've always assumed that once they had it down to a dozen or so names that they had to start considering other factors. i had an "uneven" undergraduate experience and, frankly, a hard life until about three years ago—severe depression, insane family, marriage, childbirth, bad-bad-bad nightmarish marriage and divorce, coming out, custody issues… sigh, i find it all so boring to talk about now, but yeah, i guess it almost derailed me. i resisted the urge to share much more than a sentence about it in my SOP. i don’t know if that was good or bad, i’ve just notice that in the last few years it really got old to talk about it and so, well, i make it brief or don’t mention it at all... and if i were on an admissions committee, it wouldn't make me say no to someone, but it would plant a seed of doubt and make me more inclined to accept the people without baggage (academic or otherwise)... or not. now that i have said it sounds insane and not at all like something i'd do. maybe. i dunno. i console myself with the "first on the waitlist" part--which is also the thing that makes me think that they really, really probably liked it... but that the relative "roughness" and my undergraduate (not my graduate--that's shiny and pretty) background might have made them go, well, we like these people just as much and look, everything they sent was polished and there's little or no history of issues at school, blah, blah, blah. maybe. or not. maybe i'm just kidding myself.

i hate the racist apology song "Sweet Home Alabama."
i've heard it more times in the last two weeks than in the whole of the last ten years... malls, grocery stores, at a bar, someone else's car, that annoying movie that was on the night before i got the call...


lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 4:51 PM

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i like your take the best. that makes me feel less defensive.

though... i've recently decided, after two nonstop subscription years to the New Yorker, that i really just don't like the vast majority of the stories they choose anymore. i'm thinking Paris Review or Kenyon... :)


kcole7
Kristin

Mar 15, 2006, 4:54 PM

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For my waitlist notification, I was notified that I was on the waitlist, but that if I was offered admission, I would get a TAship. The TA application was separate, and there are few spots. If I'm offered admission off the waitlist, I still have funding that not all students get. To me, that says that they liked something about my work and my teaching philosophy.

If another school accepts me outright with full funding, I would go. Otherwise, to me, an acceptance is an acceptance, and I wouldn't turn down an acceptance off of the waitlist just because of some potential issues. When it comes to my work, I have a thick skin. Plus, I think I could learn more from a prof who doesn't think my work is quite up to par. For instance, in my undergrad, I had a professor that loved every word that I wrote and praised me heavily. He was always quick to tell me that he felt I was more advanced than him. I learned nothing in that class. In contrast, my graduate level workshop was run by a professor who was quick to describe our horrible flaws. Praise was rare. However, I learned more from him in six weeks than I've ever learned. The one piece of praise that I received from him still sticks in my mind. He held up my story in front of the class and said, "See, an editor of a lit magazine will get a piece like this and say, 'This person knows what she is doing.'" That statement (which was followed by criticism) made me feel like a writer, not just some 24-year-old screwing around.

So, if a professor doesn't quite like my work, I'm okay with that. I want to mature as a writer.


murasaki
Marie Mockett
e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 4:57 PM

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So, if a professor doesn't quite like my work, I'm okay with that. I want to mature as a writer.



For my money, that's a great attitude to have if you are going to go to any MFA program!

I do have to say, I love getting the advice from Shadowboxer that we all have to learn to box with our own shadows . . .


staple
Colleen

Mar 15, 2006, 5:10 PM

Post #64 of 793 (6601 views)
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lytonyawename: oh, I want to teach too, definitely. The fellowship is just for the first year. Then I'll have to fend for myself, I think.

About the waitlisting discussion: I'm not so sure being waitlisted means there was a major disagreement among the committee about your writing. I got a note from Wisconsin about being waitlisted and along with it came some very sincere praise about my sample, telling me to take pride in my talent and craft and such. If there are 300 applicants and only ten or less spots some are going to get picked and some aren't, and when you get to the top tiers it probably has very little to do with the quality of the work or with what the committee thinks of it. I don't think I'd have a problem going to a school where I was waitlisted - they must have liked something, or probably close to everything, about me, after all, if I got to be in the top 20 out of 300.
I like the idea too of not really caring if one professor doesn't absolutely love your work. You're going to have to put up with adversity and critics sometime, and, yeah, it'll make you stronger. Being coddled is not what I'm going to school for. I like a challenge. :) Outright hate might make me think twice, but putting a writer on the waitlist cannot possibly mean they hated him, right?



lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 5:44 PM

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yeah... hate is bad... i can't imagine anyone could make it to a waitlist with a "hated it" from someone. i was thinking of a "yeah, but..."
plus, if the first person on the waitlist almost always has a good shot of getting in, they can't possibly actually put someone there whom anyone is unsure of. at least, i like to think they can't.

that's cool to have a little extra time the first year. congrats to you.


sk1grrl


Mar 15, 2006, 6:09 PM

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I think the bottom line about the waitlist thing is that you will never really know. You will never really know if it meant that some professors liked your work and other professors said, ah, not so much.

You will never know if it simply meant that you were a 9.98 and the guy they admitted was a 9.99, so you went on the waitlist, although the differences in quality in your work were basically imperceptible.

If being accepted off the waitlist will make you feel insecure and eat away at you, then you probably shouldn't go to that program. If it doesn't bother you, then congratulations!

I really think our reactions to this process are so personal it's impossible to advise someone else to proceed in a certain away when they've been waitlisted, since it's truly all conjecture, unless you get the dirt directlly. from the program director.


lytonyawename



Mar 15, 2006, 6:30 PM

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well, i guess it isn't eating away at me. i accepted. however, it's something i hadn't really thought of and the conversation made me a little.

maybe i like a challenge, but i doubt that knowing a professor wasn't as fond of my writing would have prevented me from saying yes. First, there are only 3 perm faculty for prose anyway... so, it's seems doubtful... but second... there's more than one which means i could always avoid it later if it were that bad.. which i cannot believe is possible.

but, i guess, it's always good to consider the ideas of it... two to four years is a lot to commit to.

would you want to marry someone whom you knew picked someone above you but was willing to settle for you? well, yeah-to a point... if i loved them and knew i wasn't merely making them miserable but that their "first choice" really was some sort of impossibility. it might bite a little, but love does that a little anyway.


franz

e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 7:07 PM

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It's funny that this whole waitlist versus outright acceptance discussion started from an offhand comment I posted yesterday. Still, I think it's an important discussion for people who have solid offers but are also on a waitlist.

Personally, I don't think it matters if you get in off the waitlist or if you're accepted outright. There really isn't a qualitative difference, although there may be a funding difference in some cases, in which case it does matter.

Here's why I think taking an outright offer is better than being on the waitlist. My comment was based on the fact that if you're on the waitlist, you haven't been accepted. It might happen, but then again, it's just as likely, in many cases perhaps more likely, that you won't be. It's the same limbo we've all been in for months now, but worse in a way-- you're so close to the goal, but so far. You don't know where you stand. You don't know if the guy ahead of you is going to accept or not. I know that there are people agonizing about whether I'm going to JHU instead of UMass and when I'll turn UMass down. And then there are people agonizing in the other direction, hoping that I won't go to JHU.

For everyone on the UMass waitlist, I'm sorry to say that the earliest I'll be turning down that offer is the end of March, when I'll be visiting JHU and (hopefully) falling in love with it. And I'm willing to bet that there are lots of other applicants like me who are still waiting for the dust to settle, which could take weeks or even a month to happen. People have to visit their schools. They have to find out their funding situation. They're still waiting on a dream school, or they're lucky enough to have choices. I know that I, for one, am still waiting for that inevitable rejection letter from Brown, just in case. And if I'm lucky enough to be waitlisted, well, I know my chances there are tiny-- I can hang my hat on a cloud or take a solid, tangible offer.

And that's why I said what I did about outright offers versus the waitlist. For the former, you're making the decision. For the latter, the school still controls your destiny.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


sibyline


Mar 15, 2006, 7:23 PM

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I feel like I should rename myself Cassandra. I apologize if I'm freaking anyone out or making anyone feel bad. I'm making what seem to be dispiriting statements for some of you just because I want people to be aware that even if a process is in place doesn't mean that it's a perfect process. It's always ultimately run by flawed human beings in a completely subjective field. I would just recommend that everyone keep their eyes open as we're all trying to make decisions about our future. I'm going to stop now. :) And as always, I wish everyone the best.


franz

e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 7:27 PM

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Cassandra's a nice name [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Cassandra-- I think you're contributing your opinion and it's a worthwhile opinion. It was a factor in your decision after all. Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, Cassandra's a nice name, and didn't she have some "sybiline" powers too?


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


franz

e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 7:38 PM

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Okay, one more thing-- I would say that it wouldn't make a whit of difference if a classmate of mine were in off the waitlist. You know how I feel about this JHU thing?
Incredibly, unbelievably, hot-damn lucky. I don't feel like a great writer or a hotshot, and I certainly don't feel like I have an edge over anybody on a waitlist. I feel like my name was put in a raffle machine and was the one that came out due to some incredible confluence of factors (weather, humidity, the quality of Stephen Dixon's coffee that morning?)

Some of you may recall I had a dream about JHU a week before I got the call. To be more specific, in the dream there were seven names and I was the seventh name. There was the tiniest hair between the sixth name and the seventh name, and that was the difference-- based on the dream, I wasn't in, I was waitlisted. It never occurred to me in the dream that the first six names were better or worse writers, only that I was the seventh name and still in a kind of limbo.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


redboy620


Mar 15, 2006, 8:48 PM

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Sara15

I was also accepted to OSU in nonfiction and am thinking it's highly likely that's where I'll end up. Are you attending the Open House at the end of the month? Just wondering if I'd see you there...


sarandipidy


Mar 15, 2006, 11:29 PM

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I had a similar dream about Oregon. I was the one who didn't quite make the cut of the 'final six,' and some guy who didn't actually teach there-- some random relatively attractive man-- was explaining "why" to me. But I got in anyway, too. :)


sara15


Mar 16, 2006, 5:55 AM

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Re: [redboy620] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Vivian—

That’s a great question. And a topic that comes up in nonfiction workshops, as well as in seminars that study the history of the essay. Perhaps this stems from nonfiction’s (relatively) new space in academia. As well as the fact the genre is defined by what it’s not. But this doesn’t answer your questions. And I’m not sure if I can (but I’ll certainly try!). In my opinion (which is certainly limited), the personal essay is concerned with memory (and ways of understanding consciousness) and truth (or the search for truth, in its varying degrees). Some nonfiction writers believe the portrayal of memory should be as truthful and objective as possible. Others argue it’s more important to write what “feels true for you.” In either case, the personal essay can provide a way of knowing and accessing knowledge in artistic and innovative forms. And perhaps most importantly, creative nonfiction privileges the presence of the author as narrator.


Although nonfiction workshops are very similar (in my experience) to workshops in other genres, this last fact can sometimes shift the approach of the ws. If a writer is exploring a deeply painful or personal topic, it might be best to refer to the narrator as “the speaker.” Which provides some measure of distance between the writer and narrator. Perhaps making it easier for the author to discuss his or her piece.


I hope this (partially) answered your questions—I’m sure other nonfiction writers might have further insights.


Redboy—

Unfortunately, I can’t make it to the Open House. But I’m really excited about OSU’s program.

Who knows. Maybe we’ll see each other in the fall--keep me posted on your final decision:)




sibyline


Mar 16, 2006, 8:34 AM

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In Reply To
I understand that everybody loves to be loved, but if you're not writing like you've got something to prove, perhaps you should consider a different profession.


That's funny... I pretty much feel the exact opposite.... I feel like the best writing is its own proof.


augustmaria


Mar 16, 2006, 8:53 AM

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I agree. I write to please myself and I write to meet my own standards, which, I suppose, is writing to prove something to myself. But whenever I've tried writing with the audience in mind (don't you need to have something/someone else in mind if you are working to prove something that is outside the writing?), the words come out forced.

Regardless, I am a believer in different writers working different ways. What hinders me may drive someone else to beautiful writing.


theapplepicker


Mar 16, 2006, 10:51 AM

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Re: [augustmaria] An observation [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel the same way. Of course I want to prove something with my writing, but if I'm thinking about that while I'm writing, either I can't write at all or what I write is crap (which might eventually be revised into something that is not crap).

The conditions I need to write well are pretty similar to the conditions I (once, long ago) needed to act well. There's this flaky sounding talk about the feedback loop, "being in the moment" (the latter frequently being tossed around on The Actor's Studio with James Lipton). It's just to say that while I may hope for applause, awards, any kind of accolades for my work, I have to ignore those desires while I work. Everything outside has to go away until I'm inside the poem/story/play/whatever.

Then I set the work aside for awhile and come back to it from the outside.


(This post was edited by theapplepicker on Mar 16, 2006, 10:52 AM)


Aubrie


Mar 16, 2006, 11:02 AM

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Re: [stephkarto1] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Stephanie!
I've got my fingers crossed for you, too!


viviandarkbloom


Mar 16, 2006, 11:36 AM

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Re: [sara15] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Fifteenth Sara: Thanks. Very interesting. Are a lot of nonfictioners working toward a memoir for their final thesis? Is it strange having your life workshopped? That seems especially terrifying.

I've been in fiction workshops in which people said things like, "I really don't like this narrator." I suppose you have to avoid comments like those in nonfiction workshops.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 16, 2006, 2:43 PM

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Re: [bighark] Methods of Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anybody know if Indiana or Irvine are out yet?


bighark


Mar 16, 2006, 2:45 PM

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Re: [rapunzel1983] Methods of Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

Last year I got my Indiana rejection pretty late in the game. I recall it arriving some time in the second or third week in March.

Irvine is notoriously late with its notifications. I wouldn't expect to hear anything until after April.


(This post was edited by bighark on Mar 16, 2006, 2:46 PM)


clarabow


Mar 16, 2006, 4:23 PM

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Re: [bighark] Methods of Acceptance [In reply to] Can't Post

ack, this is week three of march. indiana? hellloooooooo indiana!


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 16, 2006, 5:35 PM

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I want to know where my JHU acceptance or rejection is. Apparently they've been sending out rejections for weeks and acceptances the past couple days. I only live one state away from MD, tell me already....


sara15


Mar 22, 2006, 3:47 PM

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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Vivian,

I think a nonfiction writer could either write a memoir or compile a collection of essays for their final thesis. And yes, it can be strange having your life workshopped (a great way to put it, by the way!). But I think “nonfictioners” (I like this, too) still appreciate receiving feedback on their writing. So even though we might avoid comments like, “I really don’t like this narrator,” we might instead say something like, “Your narrator is coming across in ‘this’ way. Is this how you hoped readers would respond to this narrator?” And again, I’m sure other nonfictioners would have more to add!

Good luck with your applications and with your writing (and I would certainly recommend a NF workshop if you get the chance!).




jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 3:21 PM

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I feel like I'm kind of in a bind and I'm curious what other people would have to say about my dilemma. I applied to a bunch of schools in nonfiction this year but have only been accepted into three programs and waitlisted at two. I'm still waiting to hear from three other programs, but because it's so late at this point to be hearing, I'm assuming the news won't be good. I would be ecstatic if I turn out to be wrong, but I'm just telling myself that since it seems likely that I'll be getting rejections or maybe waitlists whenever I finally hear from the last three schools.

Anyway, I'm thrilled about the three acceptances but all three schools are expensive, private schools and I'm only seriously interested in one of the programs (Sarah Lawrence.) One of the others, Emerson, has offered me a graduate assistantship, but even with that the MFA would still cost me at least 50K, and I'm not that excited about the program. SL of course isn't offering me much $, and if I went it would put me at least 64K in debt. I just feel like that is too much for me, especially since it seems like so many people get funding from schools. If I don't get off the waitlists or into any other schools, I'm wondering if I should continue to work on my writing and reapply next year to only well funded programs and hopefully get some good funding. But I'm not sure how many people actually do get good funding from schools. It seems, though, like a lot of people on the Speakeasy do/have....

I really want to go to school next fall. I'm 32 now, I really wanted to go ahead and get started on this now. But the idea of being socked with debt that would take me years and years to pay off just doesn't feel right -- especially when it seems like so many people don't pay that much for their MFA, and I might get a much better offer next year. Plus, I may want to go on for a Ph.d. later on ... that would be more money....

My best friend and her husband encourage me to just go ahead and do it, and they wonder about the likelihood that I would get better funding a year from now. But, having all that debt for an MFA just doesn't seem like a good plan, you know?

What do other people think?


HopperFu


Apr 7, 2006, 3:50 PM

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Well, I'm coming from the fiction side, and I honestly don't know about the non-fiction side in terms of funding. What I would suggest is to take the next couple of days and try to quickly research how many programs there are that offer good funding that you would be interested in going to next year. If there are say, 10 programs, then I would suggest taking the risk and applying again.
There are people here who don't have a problem with the debt. I do.
I have two young kids and my partner makes essentially the same salary as a teacher, which is okay, but certainly in the range where $50K of debt would be huge.
If you have a spouse with a great job or family that would help significantly, that's one thing, but if not, then taking on debt is something that should be done only with serious thought. Think about the job you will likely end up with when you are done and your ability to handle that kind of debt and what it will mean for your life choices.
There is no lock on getting in next year, but since you did get in at three schools this year, my guess is that if you apply to enough schools next year (10 to 15, say), you will get in somewhere. Just make sure that they are all places that a) you really want to go, and b) have funding.
I'd also argue that if you do decide to go and pay out of pocket, you should ONLY go to places that you absolutely feel like you HAVE to go to.
I can understand why you are torn, but to me, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is, how many programs are there that I COULD get money from. I'm 32 and I'm going this year, but I only applied to four schools because I only applied to schools that I absolutely burned to go to, figuring that it made sense to wait one more year than to compromise early on such a huge decision.
I know that when I was originally looking at schools to apply to (in fiction), I only considered schools that offered tuition waivers plus a decent stipend, usually in exchange for TA or other work. There were a lot of them.


theapplepicker


Apr 7, 2006, 3:51 PM

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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand the desire to get started now, but if you're feeling this uneasy about the financial aspect of committing to a school that will cost you big bucks, well, a year isn't really that long.

If you reapply next year to a well-funded 2-year program, you'll be graduating with those of us that enter 3-year programs this fall.

I can see how painful it would be to be so close and then choose to wait, but debt is a really terrifying thing. And yes, there are people who attend some expensive schools, sink themselves into debt, and later say they have no regrets. But debt is stressful. Chances are, we're not going to make the money to pay off our debt within a relatively short period of time. And how much are you going to be paying for the $60k education? This is something that seems to go overlooked. Maybe it isn't actually overlooked, but we don't seem to discuss it: you aren't just going to be paying back the $60k. You're going to be paying it back with interest. What will that interest amount to over the life of your loan? Another ten thousand dollars? If you're lucky.

Here's an example, and it's really scary. I'm not trying to be scary; it's just that this is how I see things. I don't want to give out too much personal information on the Internet, so I won't use specific numbers, but I have a federal student loan (which means it's relatively low interest). I selected a fairly aggressive repayment option. If I payed my minimum every month for the life of this loan, I would be paying 1.3 times the amount I borrowed. If you got your loans at this same interest rate and you had the same aggressive plan that I did, you would pay $78,000 over the life of the loan for the $60,000 you borrowed.

I'm not a financial advisor, so this figure is probably buggered (for instance, it might actually be *more* because you will be taking out half that amount for the first year, not likely paying much of it as you go, and then taking out the other half for the following year). But this is how it looks to me, and as such, it is the main reason why I didn't apply places where I didn't have a good chance of getting funding.

So, is it worth that amount of money for you? Or do you think you really would be happier without that kind of debt?

If you decide you want to look elsewhere, one place you can look is Ohio State. I'm not a nonfiction person, so I can't give you details on a bevy of programs, but I can say that people studying at Ohio State seem to be very happy. Ohio State is also a fully funded program.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 7, 2006, 3:57 PM

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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you're right to be concerned about taking on too much debt for a degree that won't necessarily get you a better-paying job than you could get now (I don't know what you do now, or what kind of work experience you have).

One suggestion would be to go take a look at the Department of Education's web site and figure out how student loans work, and see what your repayment options would be for $64,000 in loans. That will make it more tangible -- my guess is you'd be paying between $300-$400 a month at a minimum, and at that level it would take you a pretty long time to pay the money back. But this is only a guess; others who know more about loans can probably give you a better figure.

The reason I suggest doing that research is so you can think more concretely about what that loan amount would mean for your life. How much money would you need to make, post-graduation, to meet those payments (plus pay rent, bills, etc.)? Is making that kind of money realistic for you? What sorts of sacrifices would that entail, and would they be worth it?

This might also lead you to thinking about what you want to do after graduating from an MFA program. Teach? Because there are jobs to be found, but initially most of them would be adjunct or part-time positions that don't pay all that well.

Anyway, none of this is to say you should decide one way or the other ... just some questions you may want to try and answer for yourself.


theapplepicker


Apr 7, 2006, 3:58 PM

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Any way. As I said, I'm sure my figure's buggered, but you can probably find yourself a debt calculator somewhere on the internet, which would give you a more accurate idea of what you're up against.


Lglabor


Apr 7, 2006, 4:08 PM

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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there by any chance an option to defer admission at Sarah Lawrence? Do any of the MFA programs offer this possibility? I work at a university graduate program in another field, and when we admit someone and they say they want to wait a year before starting, we let them; their admission stays in play until the following year. Maybe none of the MFA programs offer this since they're in such demand--but maybe some do. Have you asked? If you can defer admission for a year, that would solve everything, woudln't it? You can research and apply to other programs for next year, and then be able to decide between SL and any of the new batch that accept you.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 7, 2006, 4:12 PM

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Jennymack:

Its a tough decision. I'm in a similar position (unless I get off some waitlists). Some things I'd keep in mind:

If you are 32 and have been writing for a long time, I'd have to assume your writing won't significantly increase or decrease in quality. As such, you probably have the same chance of getting in next year as this year. SL is a great school and a great program, but even if you got into it this time there is a chance you won't get into any next year. In fact, there is a speakeasy member who said he got into SL (fiction I think) one year and then no programs the next year.

So its a risk. Most likely you will get in somewhere next year, but there is a chance you won't and you should keep that in mind.

Like Hopper said, I don't know what your finanical situation is. If you have family that can help you pay, then it might be worth it.
Keep in mind that being in NYC is a big advantage. The publishing records of the big NYC schools is fantastic and you are right in the literary heart of america (if not the world). Let me quote someone from TK's blog:

Quote
I did the journalism masters program at NYU, one of the most expensive places on earth. I was dirt poor, but I was plugged straight into the literary light-socket in New York--lots of readings, contact with writers, and chances to work with good people.

Always weigh contacts and job markets alongside the cost of an MFA. Funding-less, NYC will be a challenge. With some funding, it is do-able. Be like me--just live in Brooklyn, pack lunches, and find a couple reliable, cheap bars. Jason Boog, at 2:12 PM



tammay


Apr 7, 2006, 4:13 PM

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Hi Everyone,
Glad I found this forum (through Tom Kealey's appendix). Hopefully I'm not an intruder here.

I'm almost done with my master's in literature at Texas Tech University but I've applied for PhD programs in Creative Writing. I chose PhD over MFA mainly because I want to continue in acadamia as well as write so I thought it would be the best choice for me.

I applied to eight schools and got rejected from all except for Texas Tech University (where I'm at now) and University of South Dakota (I expected this, coming with a more literature than creative writing background). I'm seriously debating between the two. I'm trying to go by Tom Kealey's book regarding the list of priorities. He recommends the following:

1. Funding
2. Location
3. Teaching Experience
4. Faculty

I made out a detailed list about what each of the schools above have to offer and I'm at an impasse - Funding is the same for both, though USD tuition/fee waiver is higher than at TTU - Texas weather is pretty nice, the town is mid-size, whereas Vermillion is mega cold in the winter (I'm told) and a tiny town (though that actually wouldn't bother me at all) - teaching experience at USD sounds a bit more reasonable (but the way they teach composition at TTU is a bit screwed up because they have an "experimental" system) - these three things are pretty much comporable - it's where it comes to the faculty that I get stuck on. TTU has 6 creative writing faculty (2 poets, 2 non-fiction writers, 2 fiction writers, though all, except for the poets, write other things) and they are actively publishing and the grad students are also actively publishing. USD has 3 CW faculty (one poet/fiction, two fiction, but one recently published poetry) and they seem pretty good but I don't know if their publishing and awards credentials are as good as TTU. Also, their students seem ok in terms of conferences and some publishing, but from what I've seen, most of that is in the literary journal that the department publishes.

One the one hand, I've been at TTU for a few years and though I could certainly stand it, I'm the kind of person who likes a change and Vermillion sounds like a friendly supportive community (not that TTU isn't...) On the other, I'm worried that career-wise, it might not be a good move. I know that the TTU faculty's reputation has been rising and one of the CW PhD students went into the job market this year and despite the massive competition, managed to get a few offers for tenure-track positions and had to turn one down.

I'm making myself make a decision by Monday, even though technically I have until April 15, just to get the pressure off. I've been debating this over and over for weeks now.

It's been really helpful to read these posts and look at what other people are considering and what choices they're making.

Tam


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 4:18 PM

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I'm in a somewhat similar position with Indiana and UMass...I just don't know what to do. Love both faculties; similar funding (I think...does Indiana have better funding?); both are in great college-y places...I am totally bugging out. I don't know what to do.


augustmaria


Apr 7, 2006, 4:25 PM

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Indiana definitely has better funding and, in my opinion, a better teaching load.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 4:27 PM

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I am still really confused by Indiana funding. Can you explain a little more?

Why do you think the teaching load is better?

Thanks, August Maria...! Perhaps we will be classmates next year.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 7, 2006, 4:27 PM

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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Jenny: Also, do you know if there are other funding options for second years?
I don't know anything about SL's program, but Columbia is another NYC school with bad funding, yet they have a variety of funding options for second year students (TAships, RAships, etc.)


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 4:34 PM

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Re: [Clench Million] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my post. I really appreciate it! If I don't get off the waitlists (I'm No. 3 at AZ, they've already accepted No. 1 off the list but I think the program is tiny like they accepted only like 5 people), it's going to be a tough choice, but I'm agreeing with the people who caution against astronomical debt. Thanks HopperFu for the research suggestion -- that's a really good idea and I think I'll do that research. I actually am confident my writing will improve a lot this year, it improved a lot from last year, so I think (I hope!) I'd have a chance of getting into more schools next year. But, again, like someone said, there's no lock on that. I have a decent job I suppose now income-wise, I edit and do production work for a news website. The salary isn't great, especially for the San Francisco Bay Area, but I'm able to live on it and slowly pay off my pre-existing debt, but I know that post-MFA I likely won't be any more marketable than I am now. I can get jobs, but it's not like I'm ever going to be pulling in six figures or anything. Basically, I don't want to have major MFA debt, if I don't have to -- if I have a good chance of getting into a competitive program next year that suits me that can also offer significantly more funding.

Sarah Lawrence looks awesome to me, but it's true that it doesn't have everything I want out of a program, so it's not quite like my absolute, ultimate dream fantasy program, you know? It's really great in some things, but than there are some things it doesn't have....

I'm just really praying I'll get off a waitlist, but I know that might not happen and I'll have to make a tough decision!

Anyway, thanks for everyone's thoughts and suggestions.


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 4:37 PM

Post #98 of 793 (6677 views)
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Clench Million, thanks, yeah, that's a good point, although actually SL doesn't offer more funding second year. Emerson offeres TAships to 50 percent of the students, but if I went there I'd already be doing a graduate assistantship (10 hours/week), a friend who went to Emerson said TAships can eat up 20-25 hours/week, and I'd still be paying gobs of money for a school that I'm not totally psyched about.... So ... it doesn't seem like the most ideal option in the world....


augustmaria


Apr 7, 2006, 4:41 PM

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Indiana's funding is, I think, better than what UMass offers because it's non-competitive; everyone gets a very generous amount. As for teaching, the first year, all the A.I.s teach one CWR workshop a semester, and then the second year A.I.s teach Comp and CWR, I think. There's even more options for the third year. The website explains it much better than I can. Also, I suggest calling Catherine Bowman with your questions--she's incredibly nice and was patient with my inane questions. :)


(This post was edited by augustmaria on Apr 7, 2006, 4:42 PM)


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 4:41 PM

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Franz...I know you turned down UMass...I'd like to know why...I know JHU had bonuses over UMass...but were there aspects of the UMass program you were less-than-happy with? I've been choosing between UMass and Indiana for over a month now and still don't feel 100% sure! Thanks.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 4:45 PM

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re: Indiana University


Hey AugustMaria, thanks for the info.

I'm waiting to hear back from Catherine. Do you know what the average funding package looks like? You seem to have heard more from them than I have.

What are AIs? And where is this on the website? Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see it. I just see fellowship info.

Teaching Creative Writing AND Composition in one semester seems a little excessive...

Thanks again!


sarandipidy


Apr 7, 2006, 4:53 PM

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I echo what you said about UMass vs. Indiana funding, augustmaria. But I'd also add that I think Indiana trains you for composition, whereas UMass seems to just kinda throw you into it after you've made the TA cut (a stressful process as it is!). That's one of the reasons I liked the funding at my program: they train you in pedagogy so you don't go in blind. Unfortunately you need a B+ or better to pass the course and get your TA appointment, but I'd prefer that situation than just being thrown into a freshman comp class with no idea what I'm doing. I haven't actually been in the pedagogy class yet, so I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems like a better idea. For the first year, I am going in "blind" to teach creative writing, but I feel much more comfortable with it than I do for composition. Maybe it's just me, though.


(This post was edited by sarandipidy on Apr 7, 2006, 4:56 PM)


sara15


Apr 7, 2006, 4:53 PM

Post #103 of 793 (9469 views)
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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Jenny. What a difficult decision. Although you may not choose to reapply next fall, I just wanted to suggest some Nonfiction programs that might offer more funding. I was offered funding packages at George Mason, Iowa, and OSU. I ended up choosing OSU, but any of these programs would be worth looking into.

Right now, I'm finishing up an MA in Fiction at Ohio University. OU also offers a good funding package, and they have a PhD program in Creative Nonfiction.

I wish you the best with your decision, and I would be happy to answer any questions about OU's program.


cantonioni


Apr 7, 2006, 5:18 PM

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oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 5:33 PM

Post #105 of 793 (9432 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow...thanks, Sarandipidy.

Can I take a litmag poll? Indiana has The Indiana Review...UMass has the Mass Review and jubilar...thoughts?

Also, I believe Amherst has an annual books festival, and Bloomington does not? Am I right?

I'm starting to lean toward UMass...I don't know why, exactly. Anyone want to change my mind toward Indiana? :)


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 7, 2006, 5:41 PM

Post #106 of 793 (9420 views)
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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Indiana Review and Jubilat are two of the best literary magazines around. Can't go wrong with either.

ETA: Umass has a larger program than Indiana, so maybe that will be a factor in your decision. Personally I'd rather have a larger class to work with (more chance of finding good friends and such) but I'm sure many people would prefer a smaller one. Indiana takes like 6 a year and I think Umass takes around 13.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Apr 7, 2006, 5:48 PM)


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 7:06 PM

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Re: [sara15] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Sara15 for those suggestions. I've heard good things about OSU, but haven't really look into it. I will, now. I've heard great things about George Mason, but I grew up right around there and really don't want to live in that area again. Iowa I applied to but didn't make it. I will apply again if I don't go anywhere next year.


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 7:12 PM

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Re: [cantonioni] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Cantonioni,

I really appreciate your thoughtful response! It's good to hear from people who have already made these hard choices. I know you're right about choosing the program that provides the best environment for writing overall. And I will definitely research funding at other schools before I make a decision ... in a little over a week (ack!). Anyway, it's good to be reminded that it's not all about the reputation of the school -- I know I can get caught up in that kind of thinking. Thanks.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 7:30 PM

Post #109 of 793 (9378 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Good point, Clench.
Good point.
Does anyone have anything to say about the social scene amongst MFA students at Indiana? :) Heather on the UMass thread made it sounds like their program is a lot of fun...!


franz

e-mail user

Apr 8, 2006, 1:43 AM

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UMass Vs. Indiana [In reply to] Can't Post

In respnse to your question:
There weren't any red flags in my decision to turn down UMass. I was sad to say no, but I love just about everything in the program at JHU, and the weather is nicer in Baltimore. If I hadn't gotten into JHU I would have happily gone to UMass.
I actually didn't find the people at UMass to be disorganized. They were really helpful in getting back to me. I think the stipend for UMass is something like $12,500 if you do a TA, and you get a tuition waiver. I've never been to Bloomington or Amherst but I'm from Iowa City and I think it would be nicer to live in Amherst than Bloomington.
To me, it would really depend on which program offered a better financial package. I thought that Indiana gave their students full funding. Am I wrong? I also personally think a smaller program is better than a larger program. You'll get more attention from the professors that way.
It's a tough decision, but a good one to have. I wouldn't flip a coin. I would ask yourself to answer the question intuitively and trust your instinct. You'll have an amazing experience at either program. Good luck.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 2:35 AM

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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I dunno about the social scene, but I'd echo what clarabow said (in another thread) that Indiana seems exceptionaly concerned with ethnic/minority/political issue writing. They apparently take ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other issues into consideration when picking a class. Umass has a more general focus. Maybe the Indiana style will appeal to you (personally I am totally turned off by it), but maybe that is another thing for you to take into consideration.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 8, 2006, 9:43 AM

Post #112 of 793 (9287 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Heather gave a pretty good run-down of the readings and bookstores in the Amherst area. Does Bloomington have a comparable readings/festival/bookstore scene?

I really appreciate your help, everyone.

Clench, I looked at the Indiana MFA graduate book and the stories weren't all culturally/politically centered. I thought the stories were pretty good...but the style *is* different between the two schools' faculty, and that's making all this really hard.


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 10:04 AM

Post #113 of 793 (9281 views)
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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the "emphasis on multicultral/politically-driven writing" at Indiana has been exaggerated in this forum, which is unfortunate simply because I think it is somewhat of a misrepresentation.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 8, 2006, 11:49 AM

Post #114 of 793 (9252 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I think that's a little true...but compared to other schools, I think they do put way more emphasis on cultural background. They make a real effort to be diverse, and that shows in the subject matter of the writing.


viviandarkbloom


Apr 8, 2006, 12:02 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

While I can understand the concern about Indiana's cultural/political leanings, I'm really not sure how that would change the actual workshop. I mean, write the stories you want. I seriously doubt they will tell you, "Yeah, this story would be better if you worked in some sort of statement about immigration." One of my undergrad writing professors also taught a class on ethnic fiction, and before taking his workshop I was concerned that maybe he would only focus on issues and so forth. But he took every story on its own terms and turned out the be the best professor I've had. To all the Indiana-bound: Stop worrying and enjoy the Midwest. And a belated congratulations!


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 12:08 PM

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Re: [viviandarkbloom] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

While I can understand the concern about Indiana's cultural/political leanings, I'm really not sure how that would change the actual workshop. I mean, write the stories you want. I seriously doubt they will tell you, "Yeah, this story would be better if you worked in some sort of statement about immigration."

Agreed wholeheartedly, Vlad Nab.


clarabow


Apr 8, 2006, 12:15 PM

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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that you can write what you want wherever you want...but isn't it more exciting to be able to have a dialogue and work with people who have some of the same ideas about literature as you? They understand better what you are trying to do, so they can better help you achieve it. I'd think it'd be good to work with the professors whose work most matches your own philosophies of craft and what have you...it wouldn't make it less challenging, in my opinion.

I'm taking myself out of the running at Indiana, California College of the Arts, Columbia College and American University. Hope this helps people on the waiting lists.


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 12:47 PM

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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

At the same time, there's something so exciting about people doing things that are different. I worked with Cornelius Eady over the summer in poetry (which I was terrified of to begin with as a fiction writer) and not only was he fantastic, but he introduced me to Kyle Dargan and a host of other writers that don't match anything that I'm doing - but I've learned so much from their work. Perhaps this puts me on the other side of things, but I think I'd rather be in a group of diverse people who have a ton of different viewpoints. My undergrad classes always had differing ethnicites and ages, and that made discussions wildly interesting. You can always find a niche in your class, but you don't want the whole class to be that niche, no?


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 1:55 PM

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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Its hard for us to say how much of an emphasis there is since none of us are currently in the program. Its certainly possible people are exaggerating it here, but if so I think the school exaggerates it itself, as it really toutes that aspect as integral to their program.
I have no doubt you can write whatever you want in the program. I'm sure they have no silly "issue" requirements. But as clarabow said, some writers might not enjoy that kind of enviornment and might find a different enviornment more healthy for their work.

Certainly the indiana-bound shouldn't worry about the program. It is a great program. But for someone deciding between Indiana and another great program... well, maybe it is something to take into consideration.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 1:59 PM

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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

As a general rule, a diverse set of styles and viewpoints is definitly healthy (though I question the extent that correlates with age and ethnicity). However, I think one can safely assume that most programs will have that. Certainly UMass should.
I think the point is that if the emphasis on issue writing is prevelant at Indiana then the class is actually LESS diverse than other programs.


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 2:13 PM

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In Reply To
As a general rule, a diverse set of styles and viewpoints is definitly healthy (though I question the extent that correlates with age and ethnicity). However, I think one can safely assume that most programs will have that. Certainly UMass should.
I think the point is that if the emphasis on issue writing is prevelant at Indiana then the class is actually LESS diverse than other programs.

Keep in mind we're talking in generalizations right now. Lots of things shape your style and opinions. I think it's safe to say that a 42 year old Latin American-born man will have a different take on the world, and therefore most likely a different style of writing, than myself, a 26 year old American-born female, right?
[I'm not agreeing that this should factor into admissions - we've already beat that subject to death in other threads.]
My point was that I'd rather have a workshop with a varied group of people, not 11 Aubries.
Whew. Definitely not 11 Aubries.
Yes, it seems that Indiana is conscious of how they shape their incoming classes when it comes to diversity. This will appeal to a certain type of person.
It seems that I am one of them.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 2:19 PM

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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

What I mean is that one should keep in mind that variation within a group is almost always stronger than between groups.
Sure, said hypothetical writer would probably have a different view of the world than you. But so would another white american most likely.

But I really wasn't talking about the ethnic/age make-up. I think that is probably a good thing (not for admissions decisions though). The concern for me (which wouldn't be a concern for many other writers, no doubt) is the focus on issue/ethnic/political writing, which would mean less classroom diversity. If its as prevelant as it sounds its kinds of like going to Brown. Surely Brown doesn't force your writing to be experimental, but its probably a healthier enviornment for expermintal writing.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Apr 8, 2006, 2:24 PM)


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 2:38 PM

Post #123 of 793 (9167 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.


clarabow


Apr 8, 2006, 2:48 PM

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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I think AugustMaria and Nikkiwrites have accepted at Indiana, so you could ask them what they think the program is like (as far as the whole multicult genre fiction thing goes).


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 3:09 PM

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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't accepted Indiana. I'm still completely undecided...


clarabow


Apr 8, 2006, 3:30 PM

Post #126 of 793 (8256 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you know anything about the whole multicult/etc issue at Indiana discussed on this thread, AM?

I'm so glad I'll be bobbing on the blue waters next fall...these threads have made me feel like I've already gone to grad school and burned myself out!


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 3:40 PM

Post #127 of 793 (8249 views)
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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, I'm not digging all the speculation about Indiana. I'm opting to stay quiet from now on.


HopperFu


Apr 8, 2006, 4:15 PM

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Re: [clarabow] Indiana speculation [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Do you know anything about the whole multicult/etc issue at Indiana discussed on this thread, AM?

Well, from my seat, it seems mostly like speculation based on a few 'graphs in the brochure or on the website or something, and gossip of the "friend of my brother's ex-girlfriend's hairdresser's lawnservice dude" type. I have no vested interest in Indiana, and know pretty much nothing about it (though it was on my original long list of schools to apply to), but we have yet to hear - that I know of - from anybody who has actually gone to Indiana. I think that's a really important thing to remember. There are posters here who have said, "this is what I think about my progam," and that is really appreciated (Mike Ingram has been great about Iowa info), but I would be really wary about information that isn't particularly first hand, or, for that matter, even second hand a lot of the time. What I do know about Indiana is that it has a well-respected lit mag, good funding, and it is a three year program. I have heard mixed things from people who have lived in Bloomington (some loved it, some hated it). I spent a little bit of time with a prof from Indiana (not MFA) last summer, and she had good things to say about the program. Again though, at this point you may really want to get some information directly from students at the program. The program should be able to connect you with current students, and if you want, with recent alumni.


tammay


Apr 10, 2006, 4:31 PM

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PhD program - accepted Univ of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, after much digging and much stress, I accepted Univ of South Dakota this weekend. I went back to looking at the four top issues with weighing CW programs (funding, teaching, location, faculty - in that order) and USD seemed to win out on all of them. I just think it'll be a better fit. I'm very happy with my decision but still a bit nervous. One of the current students I emailed mentioned that there isn't a push to publish the students - that is, if you ask for help, they'll gladly give it, but no one is going to scrawl on your papers "You should send it to the following publications" (which is what one of the CW faculty at TTU is now doing for a class I'm taking with her). I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, though - it'll push me to take the initiative and ask for help.

This guy also mentioned that some of the faculty members were not encouraging of "experimental" writing. Not too sure what that means and what they would consider "experimental" but I don't write experimental fiction (I don't consider it, at least) and I've read the faculty's fiction and the kind of fiction their students publish in the South Dakota Review and it didn't seem very conservative to me.

However, I'm still glad I accepted and now it's just a matter of finding the right winter clothes (and living in Texas, that's gonna be tough... :D)

Tam


clarabow


Apr 10, 2006, 4:43 PM

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Re: [tammay] PhD program - accepted Univ of South Dakota [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats, Tammay! I'm so happy for you. Just think how great it will be for your writing to be in a new environment! Yay! It's a good school.


jennymck


Apr 12, 2006, 3:23 PM

Post #131 of 793 (7964 views)
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Re: [cantonioni] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to everyone who responded to my query about deciding between expensive Sarah Lawrence or waiting a year -- I really appreciated all the thoughtful responses. I also have some good news! I got an email today and it looks like I'm getting off the waitlist and into University of Arizona. I can hardly believe it!


bighark


Apr 12, 2006, 3:31 PM

Post #132 of 793 (7955 views)
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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

What wonderful news! Congratulations.


jennymck


Apr 13, 2006, 12:53 AM

Post #133 of 793 (7850 views)
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Re: [bighark] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you!


vitadimanche


Apr 13, 2006, 7:30 AM

Post #134 of 793 (7823 views)
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Florida State [In reply to] Can't Post

I returned yesterday from a visit to Florida State University. When I went down there, I was telling everyone I was 98.5% certain I'd go to Columbia (this is for a Poetry MFA), but I was trying to keep an open mind. They're such different programs; one would pay me (FSU) and one would put me about $100,000 in debt.

I expected to go down to Tallahassee and look at the program and visit and meet people and realize that it's not the right place for me, that it's just not a good fit. That way I didn't have to feel guilty about turning down all that money.

Well, I ended up absolutely loving it and I sent Columbia my rejection of their acceptance today. Everyone was so amazing and generous and kind with me. I even got to go out to a bar with the professor I hope to have as my advisor! They were really wooing me and every bit of the visit was a positive experience.

It's incredible what a relief it is to have that part of the process finished. Now I just need to find an apartment and pack up my shit, because I have to be down there by June 26!

Anyone else headed to FSU?


greenrose


Apr 14, 2006, 12:19 AM

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Re: [vitadimanche] Florida State [In reply to] Can't Post

Wonderful speakeasy folks, do help! I was just accepted off the waitlist at Michigan, full funding, (poetry) tonight, and I had already almost made my decision to go to University of Florida, so my head is reeling. I feel a major pull towards Florida, I like their faculty better, but wonder if I'm crazy to turn down a bigtime program like Michigan, with all that funding...I have less than 24 hours to decide, and I have to work tomorrow, so I'm kind of needing any input anyone has to give. I should add that I've been courted by Florida for weeks, and love their sense of community, plus I visited Gainesville and liked it. And I haven't had a chance to even talk to students or faculty at Michigan, but I'm not going to be able to now. Thoughts?


sovietsleepover


Apr 14, 2006, 1:03 AM

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Re: [greenrose] Florida State [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't offer any first hand experience, but I've heard vastly differing views about Michigan--some of the faculty is quite old and maybe a bit more set in their ways (I hear they'll have a couple new poetry hires in the next few years, but maybe not soon enough to affect you). Still, they do have a few younger poets--and more than Florida, if that counts for anything.

Also, the teaching load at Michigan is much easier--graderships your first year (right?), one comp class your second, & one creative writing class your last semester, whereas I think at Florida you teach one class your first semester, without any pedagogical training, and two classes in the spring--hard work, perhaps? Michigan's funding is indisputably better, but the direly cold weather may not make up for the extra money.

I'd say go with your gut, if you even can on this short notice. For what it's worth, I got into both programs last year, and was told by Florida that if Michigan accepted me (I hadn't heard from them yet), Florida would possibly up my funding. You might very delicately broach that you've gotten a last-minute offer from Michigan and that you're having a hard time deciding so suddenly.

I'm sorry you have such a hard decision to make at the last minute. At least know that whatever you decide, you'll be ending up at a fantastic program either way.


franz

e-mail user

Apr 14, 2006, 1:11 AM

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Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

Just my personal opinion but I would take Michigan hands down. Great funding, great faculty... my step-mother teaches at UM (different dep't.) and she says that they really take care of their students in the writing department. Plus Ann Arbor is a nice town and not really that cold-- just snowy.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


greenrose


Apr 14, 2006, 1:20 AM

Post #138 of 793 (7701 views)
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Re: [franz] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear you, Franz. Only thing is, I think Michigan's fiction faculty is very strong, but I'm going for poetry, and for my personal desires, Florida's faculty wins by a landslide. But the funding. Oh the funding. :)


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 14, 2006, 2:23 AM

Post #139 of 793 (7692 views)
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Re: [greenrose] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

EDIT: Whoops, I thought the poster said FSU, not the University of Florida.
My comments don't apply.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Apr 14, 2006, 2:58 AM)


sarandipidy


Apr 14, 2006, 2:38 AM

Post #140 of 793 (7686 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

Right. Poetry and fiction faculties are very different. Some programs are stronger than others in either genre; just because a program is 'prestigious' doesn't mean that they have the best faculty in both of them. Plus, it is a matter of personal preference; the OP says she prefers the faculty at Florida! Why argue with her?

I would PROBABLY choose UMich for the funding, even if the faculty didn't impress me as much as any school. Even with the freezing cold (yes, Ann Arbor is cold! Not serious cold, but pretty damn cold), and I absolutely hate cold weather. But if my heart was actually set in FL...I don't know...it's hard to just choose a program for its reputation, especially when one that Clench and other people find "lesser" actually seems better for you as an individual writer.

I'd think about any debt you would incur as a result of FL and whether it would be worth it to turn down Michigan's funding, because that's what it comes down to. Not "fame" but "fortune"--are you going to regret having debt?


greenrose


Apr 14, 2006, 2:44 AM

Post #141 of 793 (7684 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh no, Padgett Powell is their director (or was, Jill Ciment is taking over soon I believe) and he's a very respected, well-published writer, as are all the faculty there. Anyway, I'm in for poetry, and the best programs for fiction are not always the best programs for poetry, which gets lost in these discussions I think. If I was a fiction writer, Michigan would be hard to beat, because yeah, there are some major names there, and yeah, as a fiction writer, you can actually sell books and make a living that way....which, frankly is never, ever the case for a poet, no matter how successful.

Oh well. It just sucks to have to make this decision in about ten hours. Even when I think I know my gut, I'd like to have time to listen to it a little more...after all, I am a writer, I specialize in brooding, right? :)


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 14, 2006, 2:56 AM

Post #142 of 793 (7681 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

But does greenrose feel that Florida is better for him/her? I got hte impression she hadn't been thinking or investigating until it popped in his/her lap. Anyway I was just saying what I'd think in his/her position.

however, I just realized I was talking about FSU, not UofF. So you should disregard my comments on the program.


franz

e-mail user

Apr 14, 2006, 12:31 PM

Post #143 of 793 (7611 views)
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Re: [greenrose] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds like your gut is saying Florida. I think that's important and it's certainly not worth it to get in a debate over which school is better. I don't know as much about poetry so can't really compare the faculty at the two schools. However, going back to your comment about poets not making money, etc., that's the advantage of having comfortable funding. I'm under the impression that at Michigan you get funding your first year AND don't have to teach, giving you more time to write, then get to teach your second year. What kind of funding has Florida offered you? You can always give Florida a call and tell them what your situation is-- you really want to go to Florida but funding is important to you and you've gotten a full funding offer from elsewhere. Then you'll get a chance to see what kind of love Florida has for you-- because if they want you, they'll find a way to make sure you're funded. And if they say, well, we don't have the money, then it seems like UM is, at the very least, putting a bigger initial effort into you.
But trust your gut more than your head. As stressful as the decision is, what a great situation to be in, and good luck with where ever you decide to go. Honestly, us P&W people don't know what we're talking about-- only you do.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


greenrose


Apr 14, 2006, 12:37 PM

Post #144 of 793 (7610 views)
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Re: [franz] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks everyone for your feedback--I'm going with Florida, and I'm very happy to do so! Franz, the thing about Florida is, they fund all their students equally, which I like. And it's not shabby funding either, just not as impressive as Michigan's. In the end, I think my writing will improve the most there, and that's what I'm going with....thanks again everyone and congratulations on all your wonderful acceptances as well--very impressive year, all around, on the P&W boards :)


lavashlavash


Apr 14, 2006, 3:50 PM

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In Reply To
Thanks everyone for your feedback--I'm going with Florida, and I'm very happy to do so! Franz, the thing about Florida is, they fund all their students equally, which I like. And it's not shabby funding either, just not as impressive as Michigan's. In the end, I think my writing will improve the most there, and that's what I'm going with....thanks again everyone and congratulations on all your wonderful acceptances as well--very impressive year, all around, on the P&W boards :)

I had to turn down my offer from Florida--in fact, I had to turn down all of my offers due to some unexpected financial problems. Let me just tell you, though--nobody was as nice and warm and understanding as the people at Florida. David Leavitt is a great guy, and I'll definitely be applying to Florida again when I get my finances straight.


theapplepicker


Apr 14, 2006, 6:38 PM

Post #146 of 793 (7499 views)
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Re: [lavashlavash] Michigan vs. Florida [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, man, Lavash! I'm so sorry.


Windiciti



Apr 17, 2006, 1:33 AM

Post #147 of 793 (7369 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have made the only decision I could make!
I just accepted--online--at Northwestern. Still waiting to hear about the state fellowship, but I am very happy and relieved the agonizing is over. I will be doing a teaching practicum at the college level, but only for one quarter. This is not tied to any funding, thank God! I also plan to take courses in two tracks: Fiction, mainly, and NF for magazine writing. My thesis will be a collection of short stories I've already begun, and if I am productive and "lucky" a good start to a novel?

Coincidentally, yesterday I got my first "subscriber" issue to P & W in the mail, and I saw the first ad (on p.81) I have ever seen in this mag or any other for the program I am going to attend.

Thank you all for your opinions, encouragement, and support! May you all attain some of the success you desire.
I'll still be lurking around, giving my opinions sometimes. So this is not goodbye but hasta la vista!
Ciao!


cbales


Apr 17, 2006, 2:33 PM

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Is anyone turning down Sarah Lawrence today? My boyfriend is in the top three for their wait-list (fiction), and was told they'd let him know by Wednesday...

I can't handle this vicarious anxiety!!! Oh, how I hope a few of you are turning down SL for other opportunities!


debernardi
jeff thorsby


May 4, 2006, 3:07 PM

Post #149 of 793 (7046 views)
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Re: [cbales] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have accepted to Arizona in poetry, and am very excited.


jennymck


May 5, 2006, 3:01 AM

Post #150 of 793 (8900 views)
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That's cool, I am considering accepting at AZ in nonfiction. Have you visited the program?


debernardi
jeff thorsby


May 5, 2006, 1:50 PM

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Re: [jennymck] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I made a visit a few weeks ago. Everyone I talked to was really cool, and while many complained about funding, all said that they'd go there again if they had it to do over--funding or not. I don't know much about the nonfiction program, but according to one of the MFAers there, the Poetry Center has the largest collection of poetry in the world, and the entire center is very nice, as is the rest of campus. Also, they're building a new Poetry Center that will open while you'd be there. And, again, I don't know about nonfiction, but the poets they turn out there just keep winning prizes and doing great things. If you get any funding, you should really seriously consider attending.


Jendago


Mar 22, 2007, 9:56 AM

Post #152 of 793 (8066 views)
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Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

With the end of March just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to rekindle this topic.

Has anyone etched their program name in stone already? What factors were most important in your decision-making process?


BlueVelveeta


Mar 26, 2007, 9:03 PM

Post #153 of 793 (7839 views)
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Re: [Jendago] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, not officially, BUT...

I just signed my offer letter from U Oregon and am dropping it in the mail tomorrow. Beyond funding, which was for me the most important criterion in selecting a school, I really wanted to stay in the Pac NW and to be within reasonable driving distance of my brand-spankin'-new husband, who will not be able to join me until Spring of 2008. I had a strong interest in working with the UO faculty, and was further won over by Dorianne Laux's straight-forwardness and provision of contact info for numerous current and former students, all of whom gave me very detailed and positive senses of the program. I am also excited that I can take courses in alternate genres if I wish, as I'd really like to take courses in fiction and memoir in addition to my poetry workshops. Finally, though, it was a gut feeling. UO was the first school to accept me, followed by 2 waitlist-turned-offers by other schools, so I did only have 3 to choose from (and that was 3 more than I'd anticipated). They had been in my top 3 all along, so when I got in it seemed like a no brainer, even if my hyper-cautious side felt the need to be patient and thoroughly research the program before accepting. Of the other schools that offered me funding, one required that I teach 2 classes per semester vs. UO's one and the other one doesn't allow extra-genre electives and is in a part of the country where I don't particularly want to live.

I'm really excited---I can't stop browsing Eugene's craigslist and shopping for a new bike to use to get around town. I also just got back from eloping in Hawaii, where I enjoyed the best coffee of my life, and I now feel like joyous sunshine bunnies ate my face.

That's a good thing, by the way.


kiiro


Mar 26, 2007, 9:15 PM

Post #154 of 793 (7834 views)
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Cal State Fresno [In reply to] Can't Post

I just emailed my acceptance of their offer. I received word of some MFA students looking for a roommate, so I'll email them tomorrow to ask about it.


userunknown


Mar 27, 2007, 8:56 AM

Post #155 of 793 (7717 views)
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Emerson [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone thinking about actually going to Emerson? If so send me a message, I'd like to know who I may be seeing/working with in the fall.


gasolinefight


Mar 27, 2007, 12:00 PM

Post #156 of 793 (7644 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be going to the University of Washington. Seattle's going to be a huge change for me.

I haven't given them my official response yet and I still am unsure about funding, but it's really where I want to be.

Anyone else going there?


SweetJane


e-mail user

Mar 27, 2007, 12:26 PM

Post #157 of 793 (7614 views)
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MFA@FLA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just waiting to get the official acceptance letter in the mail from Florida so that I can mail it back to them and tell them I'll be in Gainesville in August! Although the funding was a little less perfect than Wisconsin's, it's still livable, and the lack of real winter is exciting. Plus, the way the students describe the community (close-knit) and the workshops (very structured) sound perfect to me. I feel like I'm falling in loooove. Now it's just a matter of finding a place to live without actually being in the state. Eep.


SJ

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


EastCoastPoet


Mar 27, 2007, 4:00 PM

Post #158 of 793 (7522 views)
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Re: [userunknown] Emerson [In reply to] Can't Post

Again, I'm still on the fence. What are your reasons for going there? I just can't stand the fact that they don't fund anything...

And to go along with the comments from other people, I'm currently experiencing first hand the "non-attentiveness" of the faculty. I called and e-mailed John Skoyles yesterday and haven't heard back with the answers to my question, while I've received two phone calls and three e-mails from the director and secretary at BGSU. What's the deal!? My heart is in Boston and really want to go back home, but this lack of attention is getting to me...


hamlet3145


Mar 27, 2007, 4:29 PM

Post #159 of 793 (7502 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] Emerson [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I'm going to have to come out in favor of BGSU as well. Unless you are independently wealthy, Emerson's tuition + the cost of living in Boston = years of financial hardship well beyond the MFA itself. Remember, you are going to study poetry writing not corporate law and they aren't exactly handing out teaching positions universities these days. =)

The way I see it is this:

Option 1) Go to BGSU for MFA. Have a great time, improve your writing and learn lots. And then one day you will walk away with MFA in hand.

Option 2) Go to Emerson for MFA. Have a great time, improve your writing and learn lots. And then one day you will walk away with MFA in hand. And $40,000 worth of debt. Which, at 7% interest, = $465 a month. For ten years.

I know what I'd pick, but then I don't have that same pull to be in Boston. (Though it's certainly a cool city).

Just another opinion and, regardless of what you decide, good luck!


jaywalke


Mar 27, 2007, 7:23 PM

Post #160 of 793 (7405 views)
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It's not a prison sentence! [In reply to] Can't Post

RE: BGSU vs. Emerson

It's funny that we are all talking about this choice as though it's a term in the pokey! :-] Last time I checked, Ohio had open borders and colleges don't meet in the summer. Without debt, you can catch a last-minute flight out of town for a long weekend or a week in NYC, Boston, LA or any other place for a couple hundred bucks.

When I lived in NYC, I fell into the trap that many do: I almost never went out. The daily grind was so hard that when I got home I stayed there, and beside that I couldn't afford it. Every time you set foot outside you have to have $25 in your pocket ($50 is better). I only went to the theatre or a museum when friends (from the Midwest, usually) came to visit. It's pretty common. I may as well have been in Ohio, but the rent was too high!


prosaic70


Mar 29, 2007, 6:58 PM

Post #161 of 793 (7223 views)
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Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

I will be going to ASU with the bazillion dollars they're throwing at me...
So if you're on the waitlist at Indiana, Montana, New Mexico or Wash U, best of luck--- i'll be taking myself off of all those lists.

Best of luck to everybody...


Fear&Loathing


Mar 29, 2007, 7:11 PM

Post #162 of 793 (7212 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi prosaic70,

Congrats! Enjoy ASU.

Thanks,

Fear&Loathing


Dime49


Mar 29, 2007, 8:59 PM

Post #163 of 793 (7163 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

Pending hearing back from U.C. Irvine, looks like I'm heading to ASU as well - poetry. Should be fun.

I'll be freeing up a spot at University of Washington if nothing else...oh, and San Diego State if anyone cares.


jrosello
Jarod
e-mail user

Mar 29, 2007, 11:24 PM

Post #164 of 793 (7098 views)
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Post deleted by jrosello [In reply to]

 


EastCoastPoet


Mar 30, 2007, 4:05 AM

Post #165 of 793 (7043 views)
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Re: [jrosello] Penn State or FIU? [In reply to] Can't Post

My suggestion is go somewhere new. I'm speaking from experience here, but there's only so much you can get from the same professors year after year. I have my heart pulling me in one direction too, but I'll most likely go against it because it's the smarter thing to do. I say go to Penn State.


hamlet3145


Mar 30, 2007, 8:45 AM

Post #166 of 793 (7018 views)
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Re: [jrosello] Penn State or FIU? [In reply to] Can't Post

I vote for Penn State too. Because of the full funding and the reputation. FIU (Florida International, right?) might well be a great program, but doesn't have the national visibility of Penn State (i.e., I've never heard of it). Also if that is where you've done your undergrad, I think it would be very beneficial to go live somewhere else for a few years. Change of scenery, new perspectives, etc. could only help your writing I'd think.


HopperFu


Mar 30, 2007, 9:17 AM

Post #167 of 793 (7004 views)
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Re: [jrosello] Penn State or FIU? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the earlier comment about working with somebody new is pretty smart. Dufresne might be a great teacher (Power & Light's a great book), but you'll have a chance to grow more as a writer if you get to work with new teachers. Everybody critiques differently, and the more ways you learn to read your own work the more likely you are to figure out what your blind spots are (and, the hope is, determine how to get past them).
I'm also a huge "take the money" fan. FIU may be cheap, but Penn will actually pay you to come to them. You get teaching experience, which is good if that's what you want to do eventually, and you can save whatever money you would have spent at FIU and bankroll yourself a year or two of extra writing after you are done Penn.


betp


Mar 30, 2007, 11:24 AM

Post #168 of 793 (6952 views)
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other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've jumped in and out of these forums quite a bit, so this question might have already been asked, but I have two schools (both funded but lesser known programs) that are requiring me to decide by April 9--Eastern Washington & Wyoming. However, I'm on one short waitlist (Minnesota) and still haven't heard from two other programs that are on rolling admissions and where my apps only recently were complete(UNCW and USC). I really really love USC (California, not Carolina ;))

Do I contact these programs? I was planning on calling Minnesota to see my status, but is it kosher to call/email programs where you haven't heard anything and let them know you need a decision?

Basically, if I don't let either EWU or Wyoming know by a week from Monday, I won't lose my acceptance, but I will lose my funding. Grrrr... And does anyone have any thoughts on EWU vs. Wyoming...?


EastCoastPoet


Mar 30, 2007, 2:00 PM

Post #169 of 793 (6885 views)
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Re: [betp] other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought almost every MFA program signed some kind of pact that April 15th would be the earliest deadline?

I'm in the same boat, because BGSU is pressuring the hell out of me to tell them my decision. Still waiting on ASU though, and possible Emerson funding.


bighark


Mar 30, 2007, 2:24 PM

Post #170 of 793 (6869 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

The April 15th thing is not an agreement among MFA programs--it's an agreement among graduate schools.

Anyway, Bowling Green State University is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools (http://www.cgsnet.org/Default.aspx?tabid=102&ctl=InstSearchResult&mid=437&TYPE=REGION&VALUE=MIDWEST), which means that you have until April 15th to make a decision regarding your scholarship offer.

Of course, this doesn't mean that BGSU can't apply a little pressure. I mean, you can't blame them for wanting to know as soon as possible. As long as they don't threaten to pull your funding, they're allowed to put a little heat on you.

Knowledge is power.

Good luck!


gasolinefight


Mar 30, 2007, 5:32 PM

Post #171 of 793 (6785 views)
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Accepting an offer [In reply to] Can't Post

Besides mailing in the official forms that the school sent me, I should probably also call them to accept the offer, right?

Do I call the professor who contacted me to accept? She gave me her home phone number, so I'm unsure if I should use it for that purpose. I've also been in contact with her through email--would an email be acceptable? Should I just call the department secretary instead?

Any input would be nice. I know this isn't any big deal, but I'm unsure which would be best. Plus, I'm horrible on the phone and don't want to make an even bigger fool of myself.

I think I have a slight phone phobia.


rpc
ryan call

Mar 30, 2007, 10:34 PM

Post #172 of 793 (6718 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] Accepting an offer [In reply to] Can't Post

call the professor
i think that would be nice to do


<HTMLGIANT>


RCWalker2


Mar 30, 2007, 10:44 PM

Post #173 of 793 (6712 views)
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Re: [rpc] Accepting an offer [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to Virginia Tech. Good funding, tuition is covered, the cost of living there is dirt cheap, and the faculty is pretty darn good...I'm a happy poet. Anyone esle headed to VT?


JonathanC


Apr 1, 2007, 1:00 PM

Post #174 of 793 (6577 views)
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Re: [RCWalker2] Accepting an offer [In reply to] Can't Post

Me too. Though I have a couple of interesting waitlists, I'm pretty much torn between my acceptances at Columbia and VT. They're nearly mutually exclusive programs: one is expensive as hell, in a huge city, an old program, etc. and, well, one isn't. Both appeal to me.

How did your telephone interview go? What do you know of the faculty?


jennymck


Apr 3, 2007, 6:03 AM

Post #175 of 793 (8061 views)
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Re: [Jendago] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to Ohio State for nonfiction.


podi


Apr 3, 2007, 10:19 AM

Post #176 of 793 (7870 views)
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Re: [jennymck] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to Hollins, fiction. If anyone has any tips or advice, let me know!


blair_violet


Apr 3, 2007, 10:58 AM

Post #177 of 793 (7847 views)
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Re: [jennymck] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also going to Ohio State for Nonfiction. Feel free to PM me!


BMH5


Apr 3, 2007, 12:33 PM

Post #178 of 793 (7798 views)
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Re: [blair_violet] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I called Irvine yesterday and they said letters had just been mailed out last Friday. That puts this whole crazy thing to bed for me.

So, in the end, I'm headed to UNC Wilmington for fiction. My visit a few weeks ago was great--seems like a supportive community, students and faculty were very welcoming, plus you can't beat the location. The campus is four miles from the beach in one direction, and four miles from a cool dowtown area on the Cape Fear River (reminded me of a mini Savannah, GA) in the other.

I'm excited for good surf, good volleyball, and good times. Oh, and a little writing mixed in there, too.


jlr


Apr 3, 2007, 12:39 PM

Post #179 of 793 (7793 views)
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Final Tally [In reply to] Can't Post

The final tally:

Accepted - Cal State Long Beach, San Francisco State, University of Arizona
Probable Rejection - UC Irvine
No word either way - UC Riverside, San Jose State

I applied only to schools in the west because I have California residency (though currently in the midwest) and because grey days make me tired and depressed and thus, more likely to nap than write. There were aspects to each of the schools that I really liked: UC Riverside has an interesting group of young faculty; San Jose allows writers to work in two genres; Long Beach is home to Stephen Cooper, whose scholarship I admire; San Francisco has some unconventional professors who push beyond workshops; Irvine is the alma mater of some of my favorite writers; and Arizona has a really great community of MFA students and an interesting mix of faculty. Last week, I decided not to wait on Riverside or San Jose any longer and signed up with Arizona. I have visited the school and am very excited to be starting there this fall.

This was a real learning experience for me - sometime in February, as I read about others receiving calls from schools and my schools were all still quiet, I worried that I hadn't applied to enough programs, that I was somehow selling myself short if I didn't take a shot on all of the most highly-ranked schools. But I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out in the end. I've been out of school for six years now and have a strong publishing record in nonfiction. I know agents and editors and am not too concerned with grad school as a networking tool. What I want is time to write, time to read, and a community of writers with whom I can exchange work.

I think Tucson is going to be a great place to find that.


apelavin

e-mail user

Apr 3, 2007, 2:42 PM

Post #180 of 793 (7748 views)
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Re: [BMH5] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Just got a wonderful fellowship offer from UC Riverside. I'm taking it! Inlandia here I come.


writerle


Apr 3, 2007, 3:48 PM

Post #181 of 793 (7703 views)
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Re: [apelavin] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I live in the Inland Empire, so if there's anything you would like to know about the area, don't hesitate to ask. Also, Susan Straight is great. I got a chance to meet her once and she's very open and approachable. Best of luck!


amykw


Apr 3, 2007, 7:48 PM

Post #182 of 793 (7613 views)
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Re: Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone else on the board planning to go to Rutgers-Newark in the fall? I'm in for fiction.


malber


Apr 3, 2007, 11:35 PM

Post #183 of 793 (7532 views)
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ohio state [In reply to] Can't Post

I just accepted an offer (with a fellowship!) from Ohio State in fiction. Turned down a few offers because OSU's program is so so solid and the location/money were great.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 4, 2007, 1:56 AM

Post #184 of 793 (7494 views)
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Re: [apelavin] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations on UCR, AP! Maybe I'll catch you in the IE or elsewhere in SoCal on the weekends. It looks like Irvine is a rejection for me and I suppose UNCG is likely to be as well. I thought I'd be disappointed with the rejections, especially since 7 of 8 notifications so far were rejections, but Cal Arts seems the right place for me. Even though I had 6 more schools to hear from when I was accepted, it just felt right. The Accepted Student event in New York tonight just confirmed I'll fit right into the eclectic group of artists in every discipline.

However, after all my concern over Columbia's lack of funding, leave it to me to get into a school that is only $4k less in tuition and the same living expenses (what? as NYC?!), so I'm breaking my own rule and borrowing a boatload of money. I am focused the next few months to lower that amount through outside grants, living with my mother for a few months to maximize wage saving and applying for outside funding earlier for the second year. I am awaiting word on an assistantship, which I hope will defray another considerable chunk of the cost. Wish me luck!


wildmind1


Apr 4, 2007, 10:29 AM

Post #185 of 793 (7421 views)
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Temple... [In reply to] Can't Post

My final decision is to attend the MA program at Temple University. I live in Philly and love it here. Looking forward to the next two years and cutting back on all this freelance writing work. Anyone else on here attending Temple?


invisiblefriend


Apr 4, 2007, 11:06 AM

Post #186 of 793 (7397 views)
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Wichita State [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be attending Wichita State for poetry this fall. Anyone else nervous about Kansas? I'm excited about the prospect of full funding, but Kansas is just so . . . flat. Other Shockers PM me, plz.


waiting


Apr 4, 2007, 12:57 PM

Post #187 of 793 (7351 views)
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Re: [betp] other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

I work in an admissions office and I think that from our perspective it's perfectly kosher to call and let them know that you have some other offers with quickly approaching deadlines and if they could please let you know your status or when they might be releasing information on your status. Emphasize that you are very interested in their program and did not want to rule them out just yet.

What genre have you been accepted in?

It's okay to call the schools with rolling admission also due to the time of year. USC is such an amazing school, good luck there!

As far as making decisions goes. Think about the faculty and who you want to work with. Also, think about the locations. The schools that you are talking about are all in fairly diverse locations. Also, along with location, look at the cost of living. As far as I know, living in Wyoming is far less expensive than living in Spokane. Is weather a factor for you? How do you feel about winters?

Good luck making your decision and let us know what you hear from the other schools and decide.


apelavin

e-mail user

Apr 4, 2007, 2:40 PM

Post #188 of 793 (7296 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Way to go TL! I have no doubt that you'll have an amazing experience at CalArts. For all the inherent uncertainty in this process, I think you're right about the programs often being judges than we of where we "fit."


jrosello
Jarod
e-mail user

Apr 4, 2007, 7:53 PM

Post #189 of 793 (7176 views)
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Post deleted by jrosello [In reply to]

 


gcsumfa


Apr 4, 2007, 8:34 PM

Post #190 of 793 (7157 views)
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Re: [BMH5] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I called Irvine yesterday and they said letters had just been mailed out last Friday. That puts this whole crazy thing to bed for me.

So, in the end, I'm headed to UNC Wilmington for fiction. My visit a few weeks ago was great--seems like a supportive community, students and faculty were very welcoming, plus you can't beat the location. The campus is four miles from the beach in one direction, and four miles from a cool dowtown area on the Cape Fear River (reminded me of a mini Savannah, GA) in the other.

I'm excited for good surf, good volleyball, and good times. Oh, and a little writing mixed in there, too.


UNCW is an awesome program. How many programs have their own department? Not many. You're a lucky duck!


jargreen

e-mail user

Apr 5, 2007, 2:44 AM

Post #191 of 793 (7054 views)
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Re: [jrosello] other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jarod, this is a difficult decision! Perhaps your wife will hear from Penn State by April 15; won't you have until then to let Penn State know of your intentions? If your wife doesn't hear anything by then, I would accept the offer if you really want to go. If she is not accepted, perhaps she could apply again next year. Is there a scenario right now that has you accepted at another writing program and your wife accepted at their law school? If so, perhaps that would be the only ideal compromise.

Let us know what happens. Best of luck to you both.


ellen362


Apr 5, 2007, 3:12 AM

Post #192 of 793 (7050 views)
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Re: [jrosello] other schools? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jrosello,

It doesn't seem you have anything to lose if you let the MFA people know why you are waiting. They have faced this before. It's not good to accept and then bail out; that will damage your chances of getting in next year. You could fax the paperwork as soon as you find out if your wife is in, if the MFA people agree to this. That buys you a few days. Putting pressure on the law school might not get you the answer you want. 'No' is easier to say than 'yes'.

Good luck!


medusashair


Apr 5, 2007, 8:26 AM

Post #193 of 793 (7024 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to UVA baby!


duchess919


Apr 5, 2007, 11:43 AM

Post #194 of 793 (6949 views)
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Re: [boody01] Another thread revived for 2007 [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone out there sitting on an acceptance from Irvine?


sarahc


Apr 5, 2007, 7:37 PM

Post #195 of 793 (6826 views)
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whew. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to the Michener Center at UT Austin. It's all over: the angst, the pros-and-cons list-making, the sinking feeling in the stomach. Congratulations to everyone on acceptances, waitlists, and just plain old survival. Turns out waiting is really hard.


eesa


Apr 9, 2007, 10:31 AM

Post #196 of 793 (6620 views)
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Re: [sarahc] whew. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to the University of Washington for fiction. I'm so unbelievably stoked to be going to a program that seems like it will be a really good fit for me. (But all of a sudden I have to think about the logistics of moving to the opposite coast, etc.)


SalPane



Apr 9, 2007, 6:38 PM

Post #197 of 793 (6486 views)
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Pitt [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be attending Pitt's program for Fiction. I know that its funding kind of sucks but I'm twenty-two and already have some debt leftover from undergrad (where I majored in the lucrative field of creative writing with a minor in film studies) so I figured why the hell not. Good luck to everyone.


sjc477


Apr 11, 2007, 7:10 PM

Post #198 of 793 (6272 views)
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Re: [SalPane] Pitt [In reply to] Can't Post

Going to Minnesota, decided today.


a2poet


Apr 12, 2007, 9:32 AM

Post #199 of 793 (7144 views)
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IU [In reply to] Can't Post

Going to Indiana-- it's final.


http://mwicker.blogspot.com/


madelinek


Apr 12, 2007, 11:14 AM

Post #200 of 793 (7128 views)
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Re: [a2poet] IU [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm deciding between BU and Arizona. Does anyone have thoughts? I'm struggling with this big-time.


minna pratt


Apr 12, 2007, 12:16 PM

Post #201 of 793 (7754 views)
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Re: [madelinek] IU [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to the University of Florida for fiction.


lkearns


Apr 12, 2007, 12:48 PM

Post #202 of 793 (7735 views)
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Re: Any Montana Takers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Has anyone accepted an offer from Montana in fiction? I'm still waiting with bated breath about a TA ship so if anyone has turned one down let me know!


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Apr 12, 2007, 12:50 PM

Post #203 of 793 (7734 views)
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Re: [madelinek] IU [In reply to] Can't Post

I say Arizona. Through and through. At BU you will be rushed through your 1 year (!!!!!!!) program, will have the ridiculous expense of BU tuition AND Boston rent (and T/bus pass, and utilities, and...I live here, have lived here a long time, and the living expenses are insane and can be really stressful if you're trying to also be a student...), and may be facing some really difficult situations with faculty--great reputations, but there are too many cases of people who sort of suffered through their year and then wanted to have as little to do with writing, publishing, and getting to know other writers after being in that program. Arizona is an EXCELLENT program for both fiction and poetry (I do not know your genre), your writing will likely be nurtured more and challenged more, and over the length of that program, you will have far more of a chance to get in touch with you as a writer and start to really consider yourself as a publishable writer than at BU.


hamlet3145


Apr 12, 2007, 1:39 PM

Post #204 of 793 (7705 views)
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Re: [lkearns] Any Montana Takers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ikearns,

One little tidbit, we had a fiction admit visit this week who has been accepted to a number of other programs as well. Word on the street is that he is going to go to elsewhere. I'm 99% sure he was offered a TA so one may very well be opening up. On another note, my first year in the program one of my friends didn't get a TA until, I kid you not, three days before classes started. (Someone backed out at the last moment). You might want to call and see if they can tell you where you are on the TA availability list. Do you have other offers that you need to respond to by the 15th?

Oh, btw, for anyone who got into Montana that might be visiting in the next couple of weeks, we're having the (rather tongue in cheek) MFA Spring Formal (on my lawn, 106 Daly Avenue) on April 21st starting at 7 pm. Y'all are invited. Hell, anyone who reads this is invited.

--Jason


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Apr 12, 2007, 1:40 PM)


Aubrie


Apr 12, 2007, 2:00 PM

Post #205 of 793 (7687 views)
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Final Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to The New School for Fiction - made the decision today!


EastCoastPoet


Apr 12, 2007, 2:24 PM

Post #206 of 793 (7667 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Final Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah I have decided about 400 times now...unfortunately it's different each time. I won't get into it since the people at the blogspot site have already continuously for weeks, but it's between Mr. No Fund Emerson and Bowling Green with a free ride...obviously I'll be choosing Bowling Green real soon. Yay...free poetry MFA!


rpc
ryan call

Apr 12, 2007, 4:27 PM

Post #207 of 793 (7598 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Final Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

well-done aubrie


<HTMLGIANT>


lbland818


Apr 12, 2007, 5:17 PM

Post #208 of 793 (7567 views)
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Re: [lkearns] Any Montana Takers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've just accepted at Montana for poetry - they called today with TAship, so there is still hope! Hang in there :)


Cookies4brkfst


Apr 12, 2007, 5:29 PM

Post #209 of 793 (7553 views)
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Syracuse for me [In reply to] Can't Post

It's off to Syracuse for me, in poetry. This whole process has worked out pretty well, and I'm excited about where I'm going. If anybody else is headed to SU for poetry or fiction, feel free to drop me a PM--I've been contacting others who I've seen posting acceptance there, but I probably missed a couple people. My final tally:

Accepted:
Syracuse (poetry)
Wyoming (poetry)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
CalArts

Waitlist: NYU (poetry)

Rejected:
Brown (fiction)
UVA (poetry)
Montana (poetry)
U-Washington (poetry) Never actually got a letter from them, so I assume I was rejected or on an Infinite Waitlist. Whatever.

I declined @ the schools where I was accepted/waitlisted over the past week, so good luck to anybody who's waiting for acceptance or funding!


FinishTag


Apr 12, 2007, 7:05 PM

Post #210 of 793 (7512 views)
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Eastern Washington for Poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

My allergic-to-forums significant other has chosen Eastern Washington in Spokane for Poetry.

And for people looking for next year, if you're more interested in working for a press than TA-ing, it might be the school for you, too.


soozybleu


Apr 13, 2007, 1:41 PM

Post #211 of 793 (7369 views)
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Re: [FinishTag] Eastern Washington for Poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

Syracuse for me! (Poetry)


seemingmeaning

e-mail user

Apr 13, 2007, 2:02 PM

Post #212 of 793 (7358 views)
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Re: [soozybleu] Eastern Washington for Poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats Soozybleu!


potataz


Apr 14, 2007, 3:21 PM

Post #213 of 793 (7219 views)
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Re: [seemingmeaning] Eastern Washington for Poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

perhaps this is a stupid question but how do I formally accept an offer? Can I e-mail them by the 15th or did they expect a deposit in their office by Sunday? How much longer do I have??? I'm freaking out....

Anyone accepting to the New School care to share why they've chosen /would choose that over Pittsburgh.. I could really use the help.


hamlet3145


Apr 14, 2007, 4:02 PM

Post #214 of 793 (7203 views)
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Re: [potataz] Eastern Washington for Poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

You should be able to just e-mail or call them to accept.


CHughes77


Apr 14, 2007, 4:23 PM

Post #215 of 793 (7195 views)
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New School [In reply to] Can't Post

Going to the New School for fiction. Decided this week.


Windiciti



Apr 14, 2007, 6:51 PM

Post #216 of 793 (7158 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Final Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations, Aubrie! So happy for you that you don't have to leave NYC. I know you said that last year.
Wendy


yvgeny


Apr 14, 2007, 7:18 PM

Post #217 of 793 (7148 views)
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Re: [Dime49] Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

I've decided on Arizona State for fiction. Anybody else going?


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 15, 2007, 1:05 AM

Post #218 of 793 (7077 views)
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Looking for funding miracle [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I'm in a quandry. I was only accepted to one school and, while I believe it's a great fit for me, the money factor is one I'm just not sure how to address. That's what I get for saying Columbia is too expensive and doesn't have enough aid. I'm in at Cal Arts with a scholarship that would be huge at a state school, or sufficient at NYU, but doesn't cover 1/4 of my tuition. Even after borrowing the max Staffords, I'd be $18.5k short of my budget.

I am absolutely heartbroken. Not only do I have tremendous debt from undergrad, but I've wasted the past 2 years just looking for work and trying to stay afloat, I am not thrilled about wasting another year (I'm in my mid-30s, so getting established, having babies, etc. are all pressures I'm feeling right now).

I haven't found any fellowships I qualify for as yet -- I'm either too young, too old, not undergrad, not established or something silly like that. I am going to ask friends on both coasts to have fundraising concerts for me. I am not sure how much they can raise, but maybe it'll at least cover books or something.


candle_face


Apr 15, 2007, 1:16 AM

Post #219 of 793 (7074 views)
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UMASS AMHERST [In reply to] Can't Post

Im going to UMASS AMHERST this fall (fiction) Im 24 years old Female,,,,,,,,,,if anyone else going wants to message me thats cool,,,, we could get to know eachother a tiny bit or trade stories/poems,,, or rent a place together next year,,, is that crazy?


catenz
CATenz

Apr 15, 2007, 6:55 AM

Post #220 of 793 (7050 views)
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Re: [jrosello] Penn State or FIU? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi J - This is a bit late, but I went to PSU so if you have questions about the place or program, send me an email off the board and I'll see if I can help.


Fear&Loathing


Apr 15, 2007, 1:19 PM

Post #221 of 793 (6994 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Looking for funding miracle [In reply to] Can't Post

Cal Arts is a good school but ridiculously expensive. Is there anyway you can hold a full-time job and go to school? There's always the low-res option if you can't at Cal Arts. You might be able to get away with only paying around $15k for it a year, which is below the Stafford max. and tuition at many private schools. There are a number of good low res. programs, and you can spread your net wide. If you've already explored this option, maybe I'm speaking too soon.


OneWriter


Apr 15, 2007, 5:18 PM

Post #222 of 793 (6934 views)
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UNCW [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, after giving up all hope, things finally came together at the last minute and I scored some funding/TA at UNCW. That's where I'll be going this fall.

If anyone else is going this fall, let's chat or whatnot.

Also, anyone who will be coming to IU should feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns about Bloomington, Ind. I'm on a recent good karma kick.


potataz


Apr 15, 2007, 5:33 PM

Post #223 of 793 (6916 views)
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Re: [CHughes77] New School [In reply to] Can't Post

If you don't mind me asking -- how did you decide on the New School?? I'm leaning in that direction but I'm worried about everyones comments on the program's "fullness"


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 15, 2007, 6:55 PM

Post #224 of 793 (8391 views)
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Re: [Fear&Loathing] Looking for funding miracle [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks F&L. Your name reminds me that Hunter S. Thompson's widow is a new student at my school at Columbia. There are so many incredible connections in life, things are possible.

I feel confident Cal Arts is the best place for me, largely because it is an all-arts community and also because I am ready to be back in California at this time in my life. Low res might be an option if I'd found a good job in the 2 years since I was supposed to graduate from Columbia, but since I haven't gotten otherwise settled, I'm not sure that's the right plan for me. Maybe if I do find a real job in the next 6 months and funding doesn't work out at Cal Arts, that will be the way to go. I hate to lose yet another year.

We'll see how the fundraising efforts go. I'm going to keep looking for grants as well. There's one I have my eye on that more than makes up the difference, but it seems that most of the past awardees are already post MFA or established artists (not requirements). I'm also trying to sell some of my photos. I am both an optimist and a pessimist. I had a funding miracle at Columbia, even though I was admitted only 3 weeks before classes started. I didn't expect to get that much again (which is why I applied mostly to fully funded and public schools!), but if I were to get about half tuition, I could make up the rest in loans and fellowships. I'm willing to foolishly take out loans for an MFA, since I didn't have to borrow so much for undergrad. Of course, I'd start looking for fellowships much earlier for the 2nd year and with the TAship, it would be manageable. It's mostly a matter of the first year.
And I do still have four and a half months.


girlinblack

e-mail user

Apr 15, 2007, 7:20 PM

Post #225 of 793 (8364 views)
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Virginia Tech [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still waiting to hear from one school, but I've decided to go to Virginia Tech. I can't wait to jump up and down to "Enter Sandman" at Lane Stadium!


v1ctorya


Apr 16, 2007, 12:03 PM

Post #226 of 793 (7495 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Looking for funding miracle [In reply to] Can't Post

I think we're in the same quandry tender. I'm also a former Columbia Undergrad (didn't like it all too much) and just got accepted into a school that seems a great fit for me, but monetarily it's tough. I've been in the working world but got sick so have this medical debt, and I just found out (I have to make a call) that I might owe a refund on a government grant which means no more loans will be available to me. I also want to move out of NY and elsewhere (I was an AZ baby, almost applied there, but the rising crime rates freaked me out) but darn if the finances don't get in the way.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 16, 2007, 1:20 PM

Post #227 of 793 (7455 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Looking for funding miracle [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Victoria, glad to hear I'm not the only one who wasn't impressed with Columbia. At least I hope you weren't in GS -- so you didn't spend more money, take the same classes, get better grades and still not be good enough!
I don't know what is up with me and expensive schools that start with C. In both cases, I applied to mostly state schools. I at least got lucky financially at CU, though I had no idea it would cost me my job, so financially it was a wash.

I checked the schedule at Cal Arts and I guess it would be possible to attend 1 day and a couple of evenings, so I could work a considerable number of hours. Except the one mandatory class is 10-1. Yeah, maybe I can get an on-campus job or one that will work around those hours, but that's yet another bird in the bush. I need a few more in the hand to feel comfortable sending a $500 deposit. Even that is a lot of money for me, so imagine $47k.

I do go back and forth a lot on need v. merit funding. But at the same time, I know I have merit, but I also have a lot of need! And, being an artist of any kind, we know it's only the few who make it big and earn the huge salaries. Most of us will struggle all our lives, so it doesn't make sense to take on $72k in debt for an art degree. I mean, maybe if they have enough classes in being a b.s. artist, I'll learn how to slap some crap on a canvas, call it art and laugh all the way to the bank. But serioiusly, there must be a way, this just sounds like a lot of money for me to come out struggling to get a teaching job. I wish I'd worked more at being pretty, flirty and psuedo-mysterious, like most of the women I met at Columbia -- I could just marry well.

Back to fundraising.


gasolinefight


Apr 17, 2007, 6:38 PM

Post #228 of 793 (7277 views)
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UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

I've just been offered full funding with a TA-ship at Washington!

This is a such a huge relief, because I already accepted the offer and was worried about possible debt. I've been waiting nearly two months for the news, so !!! is all I am thinking.

Tonight = celebration with wine.


razmatazmilfoil
Sara

Apr 17, 2007, 8:32 PM

Post #229 of 793 (7232 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

congratulations! definitely an occasion for wine.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 18, 2007, 12:44 AM

Post #230 of 793 (7164 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations NT! That's fantastic news. You took a leap of faith and it paid off. Good on ya!


piratelizzy


Apr 18, 2007, 10:52 AM

Post #231 of 793 (7096 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Yay! Way to be, tina! Great news.


'sup?!


mlpurdy
Moriah Purdy

Apr 18, 2007, 12:11 PM

Post #232 of 793 (7063 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations! You're much braver than me, I was just about to defer the offer from George Mason in favor of doing this whole thing over again next year, with hopes that next time someone would want to fully fund me... but then late Friday I learned someone backed out and I now have a TA, full waiver, a decent stipend, and nothing more to worry about!

Great things can happen this late in the game.


EastCoastPoet


Apr 18, 2007, 1:08 PM

Post #233 of 793 (7034 views)
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Re: [mlpurdy] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Man, Seattle is a great location! I was all set to go to Emerson without funding (simply because I hate my MA program THAT much) but I received a fully funded offer from Bowling Green and I'm going! The location isn't very good, but the money sure is! Good luck everyone! This board has been awesome; thanks for all the good, bad and ugly on here guys!


eesa


Apr 18, 2007, 1:32 PM

Post #234 of 793 (7024 views)
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Re: [nerdytina] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking forward to meeting you in the fall, then, Tina!


renapoo


Apr 18, 2007, 2:21 PM

Post #235 of 793 (7003 views)
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NYU [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to NYU. If anyone wants to chat about housing or who are the good profs or fight over the one sizeable fellowship that's left, feel free to pm me.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Apr 18, 2007, 5:06 PM

Post #236 of 793 (6936 views)
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Re: [renapoo] NYU [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats Renapoo, I had a secret hope of getting into NYU and moving back to the Village, but alas...

I'm assuming you're female, so I'll suggest some of the residences for women, which provide a fairly inexpensive housing alternative. They generally offer small rooms, but some make up for it with meals, common rooms, rooftop decks/gardens and some exercise equipment. You also meet a lot of people from all over the world. If you're relocating here, that's a major bonus, especially with NYU. While I loved going there, I hear students there often struggle to settle in because there isn't a campus feel, NYU just looks like New York. For me, that was great, I worked FT and had outside friends, but some students find that alienating.

If you're not a bonus, nevermind me, I'm rambling.

[Edited to say, "If you're not a WOMAN." Maybe that is a Freudian slip and I see women as a bonus. However, I think it's just further evidence that undergrad ate my brain.]


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Apr 19, 2007, 6:02 PM)


gasolinefight


Apr 18, 2007, 5:20 PM

Post #237 of 793 (6927 views)
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Re: [eesa] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to seeing Seattle, I've never been there and have never lived in a city. It should be an experience.

I look forward to meeting you in the fall, too, eesa!


rrm11170


Apr 24, 2007, 12:16 PM

Post #238 of 793 (6692 views)
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Re: [mlpurdy] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats to everyone who's made a final decision! It's great to see people getting excited about their plans for fall, especially since everyone worked so hard throughout the oh-so-stressful application process. Like mlpurdy, I'm headed to George Mason in the fall. I'll be going for fiction and am fully funded. I know next to nothing about Fairfax and the DC area, so I don't doubt getting to know the area will be quite the learning experience. If anyone's familiar with the DC area or the GMU program, I'd love to hear from you. Congrats once again to everyone and good luck!


rpc
ryan call

Apr 24, 2007, 1:31 PM

Post #239 of 793 (6672 views)
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Re: [rrm11170] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

rrm11170

congrats on your acceptance/decision
pm me if you have any questions
(im 2nd yr fiction at mason)
or go to the website and look up some other students, etc
theyd be happy to help as well

see you in the fall


<HTMLGIANT>


thera


Apr 24, 2007, 2:06 PM

Post #240 of 793 (6658 views)
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Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, after like a month of talking with Jim from UNCG, I FINALLY got admitted for reals. So I just turned down a spot at CSU (sadly, for lack of funding) and at Montana for poetry.
Is anybody on here going to Greensboro?

thera


alishein


Apr 24, 2007, 2:12 PM

Post #241 of 793 (6657 views)
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Re: [rrm11170] UWash-Seattle [In reply to] Can't Post

rm:

Congrats! while I don't know much about GMU's program (in fact, I'm still on their waitlist) - I have lived in DC for a long time now. if you have any questions about the area - pm me.


jacarty
Jessie Carty
e-mail user

Apr 25, 2007, 10:41 AM

Post #242 of 793 (6538 views)
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Re: [thera] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not going to UNCG but I went there for my undergrad about 10 years ago and I am in greensboro all the time so send me a message or post any questions you might have about the area. Would be glad to help :)

jessie

CONGRATS!!! If I had not had to go to school by low-res UNCG would have been top of my list


http://jessiecarty.com


ellen362


Apr 26, 2007, 10:15 AM

Post #243 of 793 (6404 views)
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Re: [jacarty] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

I accepted a 1/3rd time TA-ship at Iowa. In for fiction. I greatly appreciate the Iowa acceptee who declined and gave me a spot off the waitlist! Good luck whoever you are, wherever you are going!


Aubrie


Apr 26, 2007, 10:23 AM

Post #244 of 793 (6400 views)
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Re: [ellen362] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

Ellen - a little late, but I wanted to offer my congrats! I'm so excited for you!


ellen362


Apr 26, 2007, 2:34 PM

Post #245 of 793 (6345 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

Aubrie,

Yes- I was on the waitlist- but I'm very grateful to get in! No complaints from me! Thanks the kudos.


Aubrie


Apr 26, 2007, 6:35 PM

Post #246 of 793 (6289 views)
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Re: [ellen362] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

( I meant my congrats was late - not the acceptance!)


ellen362


Apr 28, 2007, 3:14 AM

Post #247 of 793 (6187 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

:)


Glinda Bamboo


May 1, 2007, 4:41 PM

Post #248 of 793 (6042 views)
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Re: [ellen362] Greensboro, Montana & Colorado [In reply to] Can't Post

You guys are so cute. Smiles all around. :)


cprtop77


May 1, 2007, 5:36 PM

Post #249 of 793 (6644 views)
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VCU, anyone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone else off to VCU next year? I'm in for fiction with a TA gig and some pretty decent funding, and when I stop thinking about all the root-pulling and transplantation I'll be doing come August, I get pretty excited about it.

Also, I have yet to hear a word from UNCG. It's just funny at this point, I think. I couldn't have gotten in or else I probably would have heard something, so I'm just waiting it out to see how long it takes to get my last rejection letter.


alishein


May 2, 2007, 1:58 PM

Post #250 of 793 (7253 views)
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Re: [cprtop77] VCU, anyone? [In reply to] Can't Post

cprtop77 -

I was waiting on UNCG too. I finally called them on Friday to see what was going on. They were extremely nice and helpful and apologetic on the phone. I applied for fiction so all the info I got relates to that. As others have posted earlier - they were having trouble with money from the Grad School. So what they've done is instead of sending out 8 acceptances per genre, this year they've only sent out 4 so far. Then they sent out a round of rejection letters. The last 6 fiction applications (including mine and possibly yours) are still "alive" and are part of an unofficial waiting list. We wait until - any of the already accepted decline the offer or there's a chance that more funding will come through and they'll be able to offer more spots. Again - they were super super nice and they were interested if I had gotten in anywhere else (I haven't), how many waitlists I'm on (5 total! i can't even believe that) and how many programs I applied to. They even said something about the waiting pool being able to reapply next year without having to pay the fee again because this was a special circumstance.

Anyway, again - they're super super nice. They encouraged me to call again if I have any questions. So I would call and check.


thera


May 3, 2007, 11:50 AM

Post #251 of 793 (8890 views)
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Re: [alishein] VCU, anyone? [In reply to] Can't Post

my poetry situation at uncg was similar. they said instead of a ranked wait list, theer was a pool. and if somebody declined an offer, or they got more $$ the would re-evaluate all the candidates and see who seemed like the best fit. I also kept email ing with the people there, to show how interested i was. which probably helped. i think it is nice that they only want to offer people a really great financial aid package, and won't accept anybody else until they can do so...but it is annoying not to know where you stand!


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

May 13, 2007, 1:40 AM

Post #252 of 793 (8712 views)
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Re: [thera] UNCG [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha! I was told I was in that pool in the conference room, but then I got a rejection letter a week or so later. Oh well. The financial situation with Cal Arts seems to improve every week. I was offered a job and they said the odds are good I'll get into housing if I don't sit on the application "for several weeks" (sent it back within a week). So that will save $4000. My need has gone down from $18k to $10k. I'd like to get a bit more in scholarships (I can ask to be reconsidered for more Cal Arts scholarship funds and am applying to outside scholarships/grants). The rest can be filled in with PT work and savings.

Hooray!


SaraBellum


May 30, 2007, 3:09 PM

Post #253 of 793 (8530 views)
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Alaska.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey folks,

I don't know if there are many others besides me still on here that are totally clueless about what you're going to do.....(I've already put in a deposit, but I'm still quite unsure) ...

but, The University of Alaska, Anchorage has a June 1 deadline for applications for the fall..... in case anyone is interested in taking a 3-point granny shot with 2 seconds left on the clock...


---------





shvegan


Jun 3, 2007, 10:04 PM

Post #254 of 793 (8416 views)
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Re: [SaraBellum] Alaska.... [In reply to] Can't Post

i'm going to oregon state in corvallis for poetry. if anyone else is headed out that way, or already there, feel free to email me. shvegan@hotmail.com


ptld


Jun 4, 2007, 9:21 PM

Post #255 of 793 (8348 views)
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Re: [shvegan] Alaska.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I did my undergrad at OSU. For vegan friendly cuisine be sure to check out Nearly Normals on 15th Ave. There's also a great farmers market.


SaraBellum


Jun 20, 2007, 3:25 PM

Post #256 of 793 (8208 views)
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M F'ing A [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey guys,

Well, in March when it looked as though I would not be getting in to any programs this year, I wrote a scathing poem called "M F'ing A" about rejection letters. I think some of you would find it amusing... Since then I was accepted to Sarah Lawrence at the last minute, with no funding - which seems even more hilarious. I'm still working on my poem directed towards the financial aid department.

Anyhow, the June edition is up today, where it's published, and here is the link to the mag:

www.defenestrationmag.net


-Megan


---------





Rambler


Jun 26, 2007, 12:13 PM

Post #257 of 793 (8107 views)
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Re: [SaraBellum] Alaska.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Did anyone make a final decision regarding Rutgers new mfa program?
Anybody going there? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry?


jaywalke


Jul 6, 2007, 8:32 AM

Post #258 of 793 (7981 views)
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Re: [Rambler] Alaska.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did anyone make a final decision regarding Rutgers new mfa program?
Anybody going there? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry?



I read the first line very quickly, and my brain came up with "Rutgers mafia program."

Must be a Sopranos spin-off.


A-OK


Jul 11, 2007, 7:12 PM

Post #259 of 793 (7872 views)
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Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post

  Dear forum members,

I have a big dilemma and under a time crunch, and I'm hoping you guys might give me some perspective. This seemed like the most appropriate forum to put it in.

So, many months ago I accepted an offer to a creative writing program. It was one of my top 3 or 4 choices, and they gave me the best financial aid offer (tuition waiver, TA stipend, small scholarship). Recently, some things in my job and personal life came up which have forced me to consider deferring for a year. I wasn't sure the university would accept a deferral, especially considering how late in the game this is, but I called them about a week ago, and to my surprise, they said they would accept a deferral. In fact, they were exceptionally nice and understanding about the whole deal. The one catch is, they can't guarantee that I'll receive the same financial aid package that I got before (the the scholarship is nice, but the TAship is a deal-breaker).

My question is, will deferring severely hurt my chances of getting a TAship again? The director made is sound like I would have a good chance to get it. He basically said that I was one of their top choices this year and he would expect me to be a top choice for TAship next year. He just couldn't guarantee it. However, some friends of mine who are in grad school for a different program (museum studies) said that students who defer rarely get their TAships back. Does anyone know if that's the case for MFA creative writing programs? I'd really like to defer, and think doing so would be professionally and personally fulfilling. But I'm scared of giving up the "sure thing" of having basically a full-ride financial package.

Also, is it considered poor form to apply to other programs after having deferred from a school, or is it an acceptable practice? If I could be guaranteed financial aid, I'd be sitting pretty and wouldn't need to apply, but financial aid is crucial for me, so I feel like I'd need to cover my bases if I did defer.

I'd appreciate any advice or feedback. Thanks, everyone, in advance!


(This post was edited by A-OK on Jul 11, 2007, 7:28 PM)


__________



Jul 11, 2007, 11:53 PM

Post #260 of 793 (7842 views)
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Re: [A-OK] Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post

Seems to me that if you're deferring the decision for a year, then you're deferring the decision for a year. Applying elsewhere and knowing your funding options will help you make that decision. You don't need to advertise it.

Of course everybody in academia's just super nice, but your friends are correct: the one hard fact they've handed you is that you'll be re-evaluated for funding. Probably's are meaningless.

You know deferring won't help your chances. You know it puts your funding in doubt, moderately, severely, or otherwise. And no one can peer into next year's application packets, see how good they are, and determine whether or not an administrator will think person X deserves more funding than you.


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Jul 11, 2007, 11:55 PM)


bighark


Jul 12, 2007, 9:00 AM

Post #261 of 793 (7811 views)
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Re: [A-OK] Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post

During the period of your deferral, you are free to consider other options. So is your school.

If you go through the application process again (and I think you should) and come out the other side with some good offers from other schools, you may want to change your mind about your original program. Similarly, your program will definitely go through the application process again, and while it will certainly honor your deferred admission, it may offer your funding to some hot young thing it met while waiting around for you.

There's no shame in hedging your bet. Apply to some new programs in case your funding doesn't come through.

Good luck!


gcsumfa


Jul 12, 2007, 4:31 PM

Post #262 of 793 (7773 views)
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Re: [bighark] Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
During the period of your deferral, you are free to consider other options. So is your school.

If you go through the application process again (and I think you should) and come out the other side with some good offers from other schools, you may want to change your mind about your original program. Similarly, your program will definitely go through the application process again, and while it will certainly honor your deferred admission, it may offer your funding to some hot young thing it met while waiting around for you.

There's no shame in hedging your bet. Apply to some new programs in case your funding doesn't come through.

Good luck!


I agree with the previous two posters. There is nothing wrong with re-applying to other schools, and there is nothing wrong with the program director telling you that he or she can't guarantee funding.

Quite frankly, if the program director promised you full funding before even looking at the upcoming 2008 application pool, that would reek of desperation and suggest warning signs about the program's overall quality.


SaraBellum


Jul 13, 2007, 11:57 AM

Post #263 of 793 (7711 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post

On the subject... I'm thinking seriously of deferring at Sarah Lawrence. Of course, there's no TAship at risk, nor any funding to speak of.. it's more like, 'What in HELL will I do now?'

But yeh...I need an MFA with money, and teaching...and pints under $8.


---------





ellen362


Jul 13, 2007, 3:45 PM

Post #264 of 793 (7683 views)
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Re: [SaraBellum] Help! Deferring and TAships [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds to me like you don't have anything to lose by deferring Sarah Lawrence. You might gain thousands of dollars elsewhere! You'd have another chance to polish your application. You could get in a funded program and be able to relax and enjoy it.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 16, 2008, 6:12 PM

Post #265 of 793 (7442 views)
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Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you been accepted into more than one program and made your final decision?
Are you still weighing your options?

Here's a good place to let people know what you're considering or what you've chosen!


Zash
Zachary Ash

Mar 16, 2008, 7:58 PM

Post #266 of 793 (7360 views)
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Re: [motet] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

I will be going to U Mass-Amherst. While I was waitlisted at Wisconsin, a great program, Massachusetts has been very welcoming, plus they've offered me a fellowship. I am a fiction writer.


rppohl


Mar 16, 2008, 8:07 PM

Post #267 of 793 (7346 views)
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Re: [Zash] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

congrats zash. I'm waitlisted for fiction at Wisconsin also. And accepted at Western Michigan. I still have a couple of programs to hear from.


mpagan


Mar 16, 2008, 8:12 PM

Post #268 of 793 (7330 views)
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Re: [rppohl] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

I've accepted an offer at Michigan
visiting next week


blarring


Mar 16, 2008, 9:12 PM

Post #269 of 793 (7259 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been accepted to Emerson, George Mason, and New School so far. Still waiting to hear from some other programs. Given a scholarship at TNS, but still very expensive. Weighing my options and going crazy. It's all still up in the air right now. Any thoughts? I know it's my decision, but I would like to know what others think.

Thanks,



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 17, 2008, 12:32 AM

Post #270 of 793 (7166 views)
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Re: [blarring] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been accepted to both Pittsburgh and Sarah Lawrence. Comparatively, SLC is less expensive (2 years vs. 3 years, and less per credit) but Pittsburgh is a much MUCH less expensive city to live in than Bronxville, NY. Anybody with any thoughts on these two?


sicofelephants


e-mail user

Mar 17, 2008, 1:44 AM

Post #271 of 793 (7126 views)
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hoping [In reply to] Can't Post

As soon as UT takes me off the waitlist, I'm sinking my claws into that sweet deal. Unless UH swoops in at the last minute--that'd be the trump card.

I refer to the UT MA in English w/ creative writing concentration, by the way. How can you say no to a fully funded ride and a name like UT Austin? It's the freakin' golden ticket to the chocolate factory. If I was one of the 4 lucky whores who got accepted, I wouldn't say no. For make sake, though, I'm hoping one of them does.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 17, 2008, 11:23 PM

Post #272 of 793 (6881 views)
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Re: [blarring] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Given a scholarship at TNS, but still very expensive.



Lynn, if you're talking about the cost of housing, there was a conversation in The Local Life about affordable rents in Jersey City and parts of Brooklyn that you might be interested in reading.

Did you get funding from Emerson or Goerge Mason?

Dana


cellularsoup


Mar 18, 2008, 9:56 AM

Post #273 of 793 (6780 views)
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Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

i'm 99.9% sure that i'll be attending umass-amherst for poetry. waiting to hear about the TAship i interviewed for, but even without the position, it's a pretty reasonably priced program. still can't believe i'm actually going somewhere!


jayg


Mar 18, 2008, 10:47 AM

Post #274 of 793 (6734 views)
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Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

I am 99.9% going to Oregon in the fall! Would love to email / chat with anyone else who is also going to Oregon, or hear from anyone who is currently there, or who has lived in Eugene.


jkinnebe


Mar 18, 2008, 11:59 AM

Post #275 of 793 (6665 views)
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Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone tempted to make their decision based on how much schools have wooed them? I mean, not funding-wise. But some of the less prestigious schools I've gotten into have been so nice-- having faculty members call and email, etc., while slightly more competitive schools (I didn't get in anywhere too highly ranked) do no follow-up after the initial call. It just makes me wonder what the atmosphere would be like at both of these types of places. Maybe going to a smaller, low-ranked school would mean more personal attention, a supportive environment, that kind of thing. Any thoughts?


paperplanes


Mar 18, 2008, 12:07 PM

Post #276 of 793 (10028 views)
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Re: [jayg] Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

Jayg and others who are "mostly" sure:

I think it would also really be helpful for some people if, once you have a mostly definite idea of where you are going, to indicate where that means you are not going.

I'm sure people will be interested to know if some slots are opening at the schools being turned down.

Thanks, and congrats everyone!


blarring


Mar 18, 2008, 12:16 PM

Post #277 of 793 (10004 views)
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Re: [motet] Accepted and deciding which school [In reply to] Can't Post

Dana,
I have not received any funding at this point for George Mason or Emerson. GMU is attractive because it's a public university (cheaper tuition) and a smaller program.
The scholarship I got at New School is 4500 a school year. Even with the scholarship, TNS tuition would be about twice what it is at Mason. However, Mason is a three-year program, whereas TNS is two years. Cost of living around Mason would probably be cheaper . . . but it's not New York! Argh! I'm going nuts. I don't know what to do.
Emerson right now is in third place, because tuition is about the same as TNS but no scholarship.

Thanks,



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



(This post was edited by blarring on Mar 18, 2008, 12:17 PM)


cellularsoup


Mar 18, 2008, 12:18 PM

Post #278 of 793 (9993 views)
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Re: [paperplanes] Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

good point.

most likely attending umass-amherst for poetry, not attending brooklyn college and UNH.


jayg


Mar 18, 2008, 12:32 PM

Post #279 of 793 (9961 views)
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Re: [cellularsoup] Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

I was also accepted at Texas State so a spot will be opening there (fiction). I am still waiting to hear from Colorado State, UNCW, and UC Irvine (presumed rejetion there).

I haven't received my packet from Oregon and sent back my letter of intent yet, that's the only reason I haven't yet notified Texas State. But hopefully I wil get all that done this week.


drasticmania1


Mar 18, 2008, 12:50 PM

Post #280 of 793 (9922 views)
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Re: [jayg] Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to Queens University of Charlotte for Fiction. That means I turned down an offer from Spalding and I still haven't heard back from Stone Coast or Farleigh Dickinson. I'm glad I was able to make a decision, because waiting for replies from those two school this late would have killed me. I'd love to hear from others that have decided on attending Queens. Lets starting building our new community!


jayg


Mar 19, 2008, 10:15 AM

Post #281 of 793 (9705 views)
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Re: [jayg] Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

I was accepted to Colorado State last night, so a spot will be opening up there as well.


whataneatgirl


Mar 19, 2008, 11:23 AM

Post #282 of 793 (9655 views)
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Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

Unless my mailbox magically holds a Brown acceptance this afternoon, I'm 99% sure I'll be going to Cornell (for poetry). This means I won't be going to Michigan, UMass-Amherst, or UNH, & already took my name off the waitlists @ Virginia & Minnesota. Still waiting on Oregon & Florida International, but really seriously just on Brown. Oh, Brown. Oh, the mailman. I just kind of want this stupid process to be decided & over with so I can start perusing Ithaca's craigslist in the middle of my workday.


sonata7


Mar 19, 2008, 11:40 AM

Post #283 of 793 (9627 views)
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Re: [whataneatgirl] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

Whoa--congrats on having so many excellent choices! That's awesome. Sounds like Cornell (or Brown) will be lucky to have you!


whataneatgirl


Mar 19, 2008, 12:02 PM

Post #284 of 793 (9587 views)
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Re: [sonata7] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! And major congrats on your own successes as well.


ksy79


Mar 19, 2008, 12:23 PM

Post #285 of 793 (9551 views)
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Re: [whataneatgirl] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all,

Right now I only have two choices, Sarah Lawrence and Columbia. Still waiting on:

UFL (not looking good)
UVA (see above)
UCI (um, yeah)
FSU
Boston
Cal Arts

On the waitlist for Brooklyn, but I'm not sure how long I can wait. Any thoughts? I know Columbia is ridiculously expensive, but I love, love, love the program.


ksy79


Mar 19, 2008, 12:24 PM

Post #286 of 793 (9544 views)
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Re: [ksy79] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, and a huge congrats to everyone!


sas998


Mar 19, 2008, 12:26 PM

Post #287 of 793 (9537 views)
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Re: [ksy79] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
99% positive I'm going to Emerson for Nonfiction---- so no to American University and University of Baltimore...I'm really excited and yet, I'm still nervous. I wonder if that feeling is normal?


Yugao


Mar 19, 2008, 12:58 PM

Post #288 of 793 (9477 views)
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Re: [sas998] Decisions (or lack thereof). [In reply to] Can't Post

I have something like one and a half choices right now. I'm in at the University of Florida and will be visiting next week. However, I am on the waitlist for the Michener Center and it was hinted I might know something by early April. If I get offered the spot, I'd like to visit Austin as well, but it seems unlikely that I would get offered a spot and have time to visit by the decision deadline.

Still waiting to hear from Mississippi, as well as from Brown and Virginia, though I will presume rejections from the latter two and Mississippi is a long-shot.


kijordan


Mar 19, 2008, 12:59 PM

Post #289 of 793 (9472 views)
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Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Unless the small envelope I get from Brown this week says something about a waiting list, I will probably be at Columbia this fall for poetry. Any comrades ?


shireen


Mar 19, 2008, 1:26 PM

Post #290 of 793 (9425 views)
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Re: [kijordan] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Still waiting on NYU and Brown, but I'm pretty certain I'll be heading to Columbia (for poetry) in the fall as well...


auroraleigh


Mar 19, 2008, 1:27 PM

Post #291 of 793 (9422 views)
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Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

I just accepted my offer from Arizona State for poetry today. They've been incredibly generous with funding and so sweet to me throughout this whole process. It's an irresistible offer. I was going to wait until after I visited next week, but decided to just go for it. What an incredible time this has all been.

I'll be turning down my spot at University of Maryland later today, as well as my spot on the waitlist at Ohio State. I still haven't heard officially from Houston or Purdue, but I'm assuming those schools are rejections at this point.

--A.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 19, 2008, 1:32 PM

Post #292 of 793 (9401 views)
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Re: [kijordan] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations on Columbia. Lucie Brock-Broido is an absolutely amazing teacher and one of the most delightful and nutty people I may know. You'll be in good hands there!!!

On Sunday via e-mail, I officially accepted University of Missouri's admisisons offer to the PhD program in creative writing, for poetry. I had been in Columbia visiting the few days before and, aside from having gotten into my top-choice program (and getting rejected from Utah and FSU--and likely a Houston rejection--which means no other acceptances to consider), I wanted to wait until I saw the campus, saw the town, met the people before I gave 'official' word. I'm psyched beyond belief.

Good luck and congratulations to everyone!


kijordan


Mar 19, 2008, 1:40 PM

Post #293 of 793 (9383 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Oo, I get along best with the dotty ! Thanks for the good news ! :)

I know you'll be going elsewhere, but since you've visited, would you mind sharing your impression of Columbia ? I'll be visiting in a few weeks, but it might be after the 15th, so I might have to accept the offer without any tangible evidence of the school being a good fit for me. Did you meet anyone else from the poetry division ? Any current students ?

Sorry, I just feel as in the dark about the environment as I do about the intentionally hazy concept of funding at Columbia.

And congrats on Missouri. PhDs in Creative Writing are a relatively new concept, aren't they ? I'm very intrigued by the idea...


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 19, 2008, 1:53 PM

Post #294 of 793 (9353 views)
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Re: [kijordan] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, I haven't visited Columbia. I just know Lucie Brock-Broido from a workshop set-up in the summers up here in Boston. Sorry to confuse. I do know, however, that funding is nearly impossible to get at Columbia. It's more a school of the arts thing with funding and monies available to individual departments and far less a desire of the program to give individual writers funding. If you can hack the cost of the program and the loans and living in NYC while a poor grad student and such, then it could be worthwhile.

And Phd in creative writing--yes, still a very new concept. The programs are tough as nails to get into, and I'm really, really lucky to have gotten into my first choice. I'm psyched!


kijordan


Mar 19, 2008, 2:01 PM

Post #295 of 793 (9341 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, ha ha ! Okay. Still helpful, however. I look forward to meeting Lucie.

And re:funding, yep, I've already heaved all the heavy sighs I can muster over funding. I'm aware of how elusive (and minuscule!) packages are at Columbia, but, above all, I'd just like to know the cold, hard number, even if it's $0.56, you know ? As of the present, I keep hearing the word "April" murmured, with no concrete assertions of--well, anything. But it's cool, I'll figure it out !

Best of luck to you with the PhD !


cellularsoup


Mar 19, 2008, 3:06 PM

Post #296 of 793 (9248 views)
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officially accepting [In reply to] Can't Post

how did you accept? i had to send in my little answer slip a few weeks ago to say i needed until april 15th to decide, so now i don't have anything to send in... do i just call the grad office or what? i want to be official, but i don't have anything on paper.

this isn't for arizona--just in general.


Dime49


Mar 19, 2008, 3:27 PM

Post #297 of 793 (9197 views)
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Re: [auroraleigh] Arizona State [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to ASU! Bring your sunscreen. : )

And I hope you're good at bowling because the poetry team needs your help desperately.


Quote
I just accepted my offer from Arizona State for poetry today. They've been incredibly generous with funding and so sweet to me throughout this whole process. It's an irresistible offer. I was going to wait until after I visited next week, but decided to just go for it. What an incredible time this has all been.



ksy79


Mar 19, 2008, 3:32 PM

Post #298 of 793 (9180 views)
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Re: [kijordan] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

kijordan,

have you gotten in touch with a student yet? i'm sure that'll help shed some light on the environment.


Zash
Zachary Ash

Mar 19, 2008, 6:25 PM

Post #299 of 793 (9063 views)
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Re: [ksy79] Likely Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

I just informed U Mass-Amherst that I'm accepting their offer. I'm a fiction writer. Also I'm taking my name off the Wisconsin waitlist.


(This post was edited by Zash on Mar 19, 2008, 6:26 PM)


jayg


Mar 19, 2008, 7:02 PM

Post #300 of 793 (8998 views)
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Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm wondering if anyone is having a similar experience as me:

When I was accepted to three schools last week it was amazing and wonderful and I couldn't believe it. I was prepared to be rejected from every school I applied to, and then I wasn't. I was validated! I was a good writer!

But this week I'm terrified. This week my mind is saying, "Oh, shit, you've done it now. You've tricked everyone into thinking you're a good writer, now what the hell are you going to do?"

Is anyone freaking out a little bit? Like I spent the last year of my life preparing for this, and now it's here, it's all happening, and I'm losing my cool, I'm terrified that I have no good ideas, that I'm going to have writer's block, etc.

Anyone? Anyone?

Maybe it's just stress? I just quit my job, sold my condo, am planning my move for fall, and finishing my thesis for my MA, and I'm wondering if I need a therapist. I promise I'm not ussually this nuerotic.


BLUECHEESE


Mar 19, 2008, 7:28 PM

Post #301 of 793 (7058 views)
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Re: [jayg] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean, I'd just say, if you are so worried about it work through some form texts before you get out there. There are a lot of good ones out there for poetry, and I'm sure they are out there for fiction, too. University of Chicago's series of books on publishing are a probably a good place to start. John Hopkins makes some great books to this end, too, I think (I'm only familiar with a couple of poetry-related books they put out, though). I've been doing this for a while now, and I still find it refereshing for my writing to read a poetry form book now and again--and it helps one keep up, and refine, one's sense of approaching poetry. I often find, or incorporate, new modes of reading and writing if the book is, at all, worth its salt. In fact, reading, I think, is the much harder task. To do it well, from the perspetive of the writer, that is. But, most people are going to be around the same level when entering a program, some maybe a little bit ahead, but they may be passed up. Who knows? You seem to be serious. Work at it. People work at getting better their whole lives. So, I wouldn't worry about it. Just take it serious. (My words and my balls is all I have)

But, really, if you got in, you shouldn't worry about it. They think your writing is good enough to attend, so it probably isn't half bad--rather, it is good, on some points, for sure (very few, if any, people are already writing on the level of literary stars when they go into these programs... I'm talking like one or two people, maybe.) Be happy, hey, these programs liked your work and they want to work with you. Now, that is surely something to be happy about! And, sometimes, they are looking for people they can teach a bit--who really need to be out there soaking up new stuff. Who, they think will develop and blossom through being in their program.

So, I'd say, maybe grasp hold of your fear a bit and make it productive, but don't stress out about going into an MFA program. Rather, just take yourself serious all the way up until you get there. Read all the work by all the faculty at the schools you are considering, and the like. Expand your horizons, starting now. That is what we should all be doing. It is, I think, rather sad that one goes to the academy to learn how to write. As though it were an imperative to be in the academy to learn. You have the right idea. The MFA, for all of us, should just be a means to an end--experience teaching, working on journals, study work we want to study, and time to just plain write. But it is, of the utmost imperative, that we strive, I think, to write to the aesthetic that is of artistic imperative to us. So, go and find your imperative. Live it, and, don't worry so much about your compatability to the MFA. If the MFA is going to teach you, it should teach you, and not control your aesthetic. That, at least, is what I think. Also, these place, aside from the Iowas and the like (maybe iowa in perticular) aren't that harsh of environments. Some are, and if you do well in that fine, but I think, for the most part these are fine arts degrees. So, it isn't like you are competeing with the prerson right in front of you--you are just trying to better yourself in a group of people with the same goals/interests.


jayg


Mar 19, 2008, 7:38 PM

Post #302 of 793 (7045 views)
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Re: [BLUECHEESE] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's totally helpful, and you're right, time to keep everything in perspective. I'm unbelievably excited for this opportunity, just a little freaked out by it all.

And I think it has a lot to do with this story I'm working on now that has all these ridiculous problems and wondering if I will never be able to beat it. And then worrying I won't finish this thesis.

I'm so glad I found this forum, it's great to be able to talk to people going through this process.


annie0


Mar 19, 2008, 7:50 PM

Post #303 of 793 (7022 views)
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Re: [jayg] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I really feel you, jayg! I put all my energy for the past 8 months into this crazy, draining process, promising myself that the validation I would get if I made it into just one school would provide the motivation I needed to make a life out of this.

But I was so nervous, I genuinely expected the worst. In fact I was scrambling to get a back-up plan together just days after sending in my last application.

When all of a sudden I began receiving acceptances I was completely elated, (and I am still, and I feel incredibly lucky) but now in a lot of ways I'm more terrified than ever.

It's like you say, I feel like I've tricked these people into thinking I'm a good writer, and now I actually have to live up to that for the next three years.

It's hard to shake the feeling that everyone else in my program will be so much more prepared and professional and well, published than me, so I'm trying to spend the next 5 months getting my portfolio flushed out so that I will actually have something worthy to bring to the table in the fall.

At the moment I am considering enrolling in an online writing workshop. The program at UCLA extension is supposed to be good, and I'm interested to check out the one at Stanford as well. They are expensive though, and I'm not sure about the effectiveness of the online format...

I've also applied for a scholarship at the Tin House summer workshop, and if I get that I will head out to Portland for a week to help me get some more work together, and hopefully some useful feedback before I start my scary MFA program.

Anyone else feeling this way? Anyone thinking of attending a workshop (online or otherwise) before school starts?


jayg


Mar 19, 2008, 8:07 PM

Post #304 of 793 (6984 views)
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Re: [annie0] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank god I'm not alone! Online wkshps sound like a good plan. I have missed being in workshop since I've been doing the thesis. I'm always inspired when I'm reading and thinking about other people's work.


Zash
Zachary Ash

Mar 19, 2008, 8:10 PM

Post #305 of 793 (6974 views)
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Re: [annie0] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

AnnieO, I've attended two weekend workshops through UCLA Extension and found them both to be helpful, fun and rewarding. The teachers are excellent. Terrific student writers there too. I haven't tried an online course, though. I live in So Cal. I'll probably enroll in one more before I head east this fall.


fiorava
Valerie Fioravanti

e-mail user

Mar 19, 2008, 9:18 PM

Post #306 of 793 (6887 views)
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Re: [annie0] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I teach CW workshops online (for UCLA Extension and National U). I think the format, in some ways, is superior to the "traditional" workshop. Students have the time to prepare their remarks and really think about the reading and manuscripts before "speaking," and the thoughtfulness of some students influences others. I think the "discussions" in my online classrooms present at a higher level than my on-campus workshops. There's also less drifting into minutiae in the online class--the mob spending 40 unproductive minutes debating tiny issues and ignoring larger ones that makes the writer want to run screaming from workshops forever. The structure of the online workshop avoids that sort of open rambling on topic that can be hard to rein in in person.


blarring


Mar 19, 2008, 9:19 PM

Post #307 of 793 (6884 views)
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Re: [jayg] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, jayg, I think you're reading my mind and that's freaking me out a little. I was also accepted to three schools last week after I had already pretty much moved on to a plan B. I went into this whole mess not really expecting to get in anywhere. Now, after dreaming of getting into an MFA, it's a reality, and I have to wake up and face it.
First off, I have to make a decision about where I'm going (never expected to be in this predicament) and nobody is going to hold my hand and lead me to the "right" answer. My future is in my hands, and I'm terrified. I almost want someone to tell me what to do.
I'm not really worried about my writing, which is odd. I've been working on my book that I want to concentrate on in the MFA program, but there's always the chance the faculty will think it's crap.
Money is suddenly an issue. All I wanted to do was get into a program; funding was a secondary issue. But now I'm about to go seriously in debt with student loans and I have to deal with that.
Don't ever think you're alone in this process, jayg. I think there are a lot of us riding the crazy train with you.

In Reply To
I'm wondering if anyone is having a similar experience as me:

When I was accepted to three schools last week it was amazing and wonderful and I couldn't believe it. I was prepared to be rejected from every school I applied to, and then I wasn't. I was validated! I was a good writer!




B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



(This post was edited by blarring on Mar 19, 2008, 9:24 PM)


taggie7


Mar 19, 2008, 9:44 PM

Post #308 of 793 (6855 views)
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Re: [blarring] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

  Yeah, you're definitely not alone, Jayg. In response to Blarring's comments (which you ripped out of my brain, just so you know), I'm definitely feeling the same way. I want to someone to tell me what to do, but it's all in my hands now. It a weird and scary feeling, but I know it will all work out--once I make my decision. I'm going to take the advice of the others and start reading and writing. I don't know that I'll sign up for workshop classes though. I think we'll all be fine... :) Tanya


In Reply To
First off, I have to make a decision about where I'm going (never expected to be in this predicament) and nobody is going to hold my hand and lead me to the "right" answer. My future is in my hands, and I'm terrified. I almost want someone to tell me what to do.
Money is suddenly an issue. All I wanted to do was get into a program; funding was a secondary issue. But now I'm about to go seriously in debt with student loans and I have to deal with that.
Don't ever think you're alone in this process, jayg. I think there are a lot of us riding the crazy train with you.


LauraJean1


Mar 19, 2008, 11:30 PM

Post #309 of 793 (6537 views)
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Choose? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay. I'm in for fiction at Sarah Lawrence and Columbia.

What are some pluses and minuses here? Programs, location, anything?


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 20, 2008, 12:46 AM

Post #310 of 793 (6504 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Choose? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sarah Lawrence is less money per year, and they accept fewer students. They are all about individualized attention. I don't know about Columbia.


MissEsquire



Mar 20, 2008, 8:32 AM

Post #311 of 793 (6431 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Choose? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, LauraJean; those are good options. SLC is cheaper, but Columbia has an amazing reputation and faculty. Guess it really depends on how much debt you're willing to shoulder...


ksy79


Mar 20, 2008, 9:48 AM

Post #312 of 793 (6397 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Choose? [In reply to] Can't Post

LauraJean, I'm trying to decide between SLC and Columbia for fiction, too. That's weird. Which one are you leaning toward? I change my mind every hour. Right now I'm on Columbia.


(This post was edited by ksy79 on Mar 20, 2008, 9:50 AM)


danielaolsz


Mar 20, 2008, 10:05 AM

Post #313 of 793 (6381 views)
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Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm trying to decide between Alabama and Notre Dame. Any thoughts?

(I'm a poet, btw)


bighark


Mar 20, 2008, 11:00 AM

Post #314 of 793 (6330 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Fiction or Poetry?


danielaolsz


Mar 20, 2008, 11:04 AM

Post #315 of 793 (6323 views)
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Re: [bighark] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Poetry.


ejdifili
Emily

Mar 20, 2008, 11:09 AM

Post #316 of 793 (6311 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm on the wait list at ND for fiction, so it's ok with me if you go there for poetry :)


bighark


Mar 20, 2008, 11:18 AM

Post #317 of 793 (6295 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I went to Notre Dame for my undergrad. It's a special place.


ejdifili
Emily

Mar 20, 2008, 11:31 AM

Post #318 of 793 (6266 views)
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Re: [bighark] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I went to Notre Dame for my undergrad. It's a special place.


Do you mean "special" in a positive or negative sense? Can you elaborate?

Everyone says the campus is beautiful, but I've heard South Bend isn't that awesome.

I've also heard that Notre Dame is pretty conservative, although I don't know if that applies to the writing department as well. And, of course, some people like conservative.


Glyph


Mar 20, 2008, 11:39 AM

Post #319 of 793 (6247 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

ejdifili:

I've been told by Notre Dame that I'm in the folder marked "Limbo." Do you know if that's the same as being on the waitlist? I've emailed them and asked for clarification, but I thought I'd ask you, since you said you're on the waitlist...


blarring


Mar 20, 2008, 12:19 PM

Post #320 of 793 (6189 views)
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Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, here are three mfa fiction programs in no specific order. Pick one and tell me why you would choose that one. Come on, it will give you good karma;)

George Mason (three year program, no funding)
Emerson (no funding)
New School (small scholarship/9,000 for two years)

Thanks!



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



kate88


Mar 20, 2008, 12:28 PM

Post #321 of 793 (6172 views)
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Re: [blarring] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say New School - at least there's some funding there, but I don't recall your living/financial situation (and I'm not as familiar w/George Mason faculty), so that's just my gut reaction.


danielaolsz


Mar 20, 2008, 12:46 PM

Post #322 of 793 (6144 views)
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Re:Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Meh. I guess I'll just flip a coin.


lostinthought


Mar 20, 2008, 12:57 PM

Post #323 of 793 (6129 views)
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Re: [blarring] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with "kate"... New School! At least they offered you something, that shows more caring than the other schools, and it's a good program, AND you get the benefits of the vibrant NYC literary community!


Raignn



Mar 20, 2008, 1:50 PM

Post #324 of 793 (6075 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] Re:Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

HAHA. If I knew anything about Alabama or ND I'd certainly provide the information, but unfortunately I don't :(

Good luck making your decision!


mchard


Mar 20, 2008, 2:12 PM

Post #325 of 793 (6045 views)
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Purdue [In reply to] Can't Post

Certainly one of the toughest choices I've ever had to make:

(For those interested:)

I have (tentatively) accepted Purdue's offer in poetry. I'll (most likely) be opening funded slots at Arkansas, Idaho and Eastern Washington University, in addition to a top waitlist spot at Oregon.

Best of luck to all of you. It's been a extraordinary four months.

Thanks,

M.


Raignn



Mar 20, 2008, 2:29 PM

Post #326 of 793 (6036 views)
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Re: [mchard] Purdue [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your time at Purdue immensely. I have nothing bad to say about the program and hope in three years you feel similarly.

Any questions you might have about the town or in general, feel free to send me a PM and I'll answer the best I can!


jkinnebe


Mar 20, 2008, 3:14 PM

Post #327 of 793 (5983 views)
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Re: [mchard] Purdue [In reply to] Can't Post

mchard:

I'm poet #4 at Idaho, so thank you! Congratulations on all your acceptances!


aiyamei

e-mail user

Mar 20, 2008, 3:46 PM

Post #328 of 793 (5941 views)
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Re: [blarring] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no question -- go with The New School. Agents and editors might be very abstract to you now, but later you're going to be glad you went to a school that put you in contact with lots of these very interesting people in the most unforced way possible. That's what New School, Columbia, and NYU can do for you, if you're halfway bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, by which I mean willing to go to readings and parties in the city and meet people and hang out. Why sequester yourself? I say this as someone who did NOT go to an MFA program in the city, but I have friends who did, and they have been my greatest resource in trying to navigate the world of agents and editors. And they are none the worse for living in the most fantastic city in the U.S. Of course, I say this as someone who is not convinced that an MFA program is necessary at all, except as a way of mitigating the unbearable loneliness and isolation that is the writer's lot, i.e. I am pretty convinced that what I'm going through with my novel right now for instance (I'm working with an agent who is a bloodhound for weaknesses in plot, style, characterization, freshness) could not possibly be more intense or the learning curve steeper if I were in a program, however I'm infinitely less well set-up socially than I would be if I had a bunch of classmates to turn to, etc.

Oh, but now I'm thinking that maybe you're poetry, not fiction. If you're poetry, then I don't know what to tell you, although I think the above might still partially apply.


blarring


Mar 20, 2008, 4:49 PM

Post #329 of 793 (5875 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

aiyamei, I'm fiction. Thank you, and thank you all for your input. You're helping me more than you know. I can't make up my feeble mind and I needed to hear what others in my situation or those who have been through it have to say.

Thank you all, and by all means, keep the opinions comin'.

Best,



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



bighark


Mar 20, 2008, 6:35 PM

Post #330 of 793 (5791 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a very positive experience.

The campus is beautiful, but so are a lot of other campuses.

South Bend is kind of blah, but so are a lot of other towns that have world class universities.

"Conservative" may mean different things to different people, so I can't really comment on that. What I can say is that the place takes its Catholic character very seriously.


forthedogs


Mar 21, 2008, 5:38 AM

Post #331 of 793 (6983 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, Glyph,

I'm on the same "limbo" list. As far as I understand it, it's a watilist for the waitlist. Like if they make it through the waitlist, then they started making calls to people on the "limbo" list. Maybe you know something different, though.

The (very kind) woman I spoke to on the phone the other day said it "wasn't the best place to be in" if ND was my top choice. You never know, though.

She also said they were making an anonymous database/list of reasons why acceptees decide to go to other schools and where they go. Like is it funding, ranking, faculty. I think this is really good idea. I don't know if other schools do this, but I think getting an idea of what's important to applicants is a good thing.

Anyway, best of luck!


ejdifili
Emily

Mar 21, 2008, 2:36 PM

Post #332 of 793 (6869 views)
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Re: [JWhelan] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

The (very kind) woman I spoke to on the phone the other day said it "wasn't the best place to be in" if ND was my top choice. You never know, though.


Yes, Coleen is very kind--I wanted to comment upon that. I have really appreciated the respectful way she has dealt with me each time I have called Notre Dame. And I'm sure she gets lots of inquiries and has many other responsibilities there too.

People at other programs have been very cold and snippy in comparison, and I don't think that's right. We have all shelled out a lot of money to go through the application process, and we don't deserve to be treated as an inconvenience when calling to inquire about our futures. I can see how numerous applicant calls might be annoying if it's, like, the middle of February, but at this late date, I think we have every right to want to know what's going on.


dickenscratch



Mar 21, 2008, 2:40 PM

Post #333 of 793 (6654 views)
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Re: [taggie7] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

If anyone's interested in my decision process, you can read all about it here...I have no idea if this is interesting to anyone other than me, but I'm mostly just hoping that someone will have some advice for me as I try to choose between a few schools.

Good luck to everyone out there...


Glyph


Mar 21, 2008, 3:03 PM

Post #334 of 793 (6835 views)
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Re: [JWhelan] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, JWhelan! I agree, Coleen is probably the nicest person I've encountered to date through this process (besides you guys, that is). She's got a sense of humor, too.


Osiris


Mar 21, 2008, 3:40 PM

Post #335 of 793 (6595 views)
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Re: [annie0] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I lurk here all the time. I've been accepted at the University of Montana and I've also collected seven rejections. I'm still waiting to hear from UCI, UVA, UNCW and UNLV, all in poetry. I had my best friend call UCI, UVA, and UNCW for me this afternoon because I was too nervous and full of Diet Coke. I am really excited about Montana but I just want to know so I can make the decision! Peace and love to all.


Beathan


Mar 22, 2008, 1:29 AM

Post #336 of 793 (6453 views)
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Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

I love this thread! Thank you to whomever created it. I definitely share the feeling of unworthiness yet I've gotten into a few schools. Right now my choice lies between the University of Minnesota and the New School (nonfiction). These both seem like such great programs. Minnesota however is offering substantial aid so thta's pretty convincing. Damnit! It's impossible to make the right decision, right? Does anyone have thoughts?

Good luck you all!


MissEsquire



Mar 22, 2008, 12:20 PM

Post #337 of 793 (6361 views)
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Re: [Beathan] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Those are fabulous choices. Personally, I'd go for Minnesota just because of the great aid they give there. But, if financing your education isn't such a big deal, you can't go wrong with New York, connections-wise. Wow! These are hard decisions. Guess I've just contributed to their complexity.


lovesapricots


Mar 22, 2008, 1:35 PM

Post #338 of 793 (6308 views)
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Re: [MissEsquire] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,

Have to say I'd cast a vote for Minnesota too. The funding is fantastic, and it seems like a really supportive program. Small, too--which for me at least would be a plus. Either way, great choices!

I wanted to ask for advice too. I'm nonfiction, and trying to decide between programs. The final tally looks like:

Iowa: out
Minnesota: haven't heard from them! assumed out.
Montana: yes but no funding
U of Arizona: yes w/out of state tuition waiver but no funding
Wyoming: TAship
Columbia: 1/3 tuition
Ohio State: yes w/funding

This is my second year applying--last year I didn't get the funding I needed. I'm really happy with how things turned out but am having a hard time making the decision. Any thoughts?

Good luck and congratulations to everyone here. What a process!!


upsetme


Mar 22, 2008, 1:39 PM

Post #339 of 793 (6298 views)
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Re: [lovesapricots] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Columbia or Montana is a tough one. Are you going to visit?

I don't think I'd want to live at any of the other choices ...


paigelgoit

e-mail user

Mar 22, 2008, 2:59 PM

Post #340 of 793 (6256 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm stuck and turning to you folks for some insight. Determined to start a low res program this summer, I submitted 11 applications earlier this year. Status as of today:

University of New Orleans - In
University of Alaska, ANC - In
Spalding University - In

Murray State - Rejected
Queens University - Rejected

Bennington - ?
Warren Wilson - ?
Lesley - ?
USM Stonecoast - ?
Pacific University - ?
Fairleigh Dickinson - ? (doesn't even review apps until April 1st)

If my three acceptances are all I have, I'm picking Spalding. In fact, I like their program a lot. But the schools I'm waiting on are all higher on my list. That being said, Spalding originally gave me a March 17th deadline to accept. I begged it to March 24th. Oh and did I mention accepting involves a $500 non-refundable deposit? I have been told by Spalding that if I don't accept by March 24th, they have the right to offer my slot to someone else. Besides losing my deposit, is there any consequence to accepting and then bowing out later?

Suggestions? Thoughts? Any psychics out there who can see my future? I keep randomly seeing April 15th as a noted date but does that apply only to people seeking funding? I scanned the language of the agreement (which Spalding is part of) and it appears to read that way. Due to tuition reimbursement from my employer and income from my job, I am not applying for funding and wasn't sure if that denied me access to the April 15th timeline.

Help!
Paige


Paige
Life Goes On, I Think
http://lifegoesonithink.blogspot.com


Daaaaave


Mar 22, 2008, 3:06 PM

Post #341 of 793 (6248 views)
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Re: [Beathan] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Outside of funding, what's more important? The NY connections or teaching experience? It might come down to that, as well.

but if funding's a non-issue, it's hard to turn down a few years in New York City.


Moonshade


Mar 22, 2008, 5:15 PM

Post #342 of 793 (6694 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I just posted this under the "I'm In" thread and realized I probably should post it here.
Has anyone accepted to the University of Central Florida's MFA program? Anyone lurking
on the boards that currently attends? I don't think I've ever heard this school's program
mentioned on this site. Anyone have any info/thoughts on the program, faculty, curriculum?
I'd love to hear it.


Scrat1


Mar 22, 2008, 6:06 PM

Post #343 of 793 (6165 views)
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Re: [lovesapricots] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Ohio State: yes w/funding


Dude. Go to Ohio.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 22, 2008, 7:31 PM

Post #344 of 793 (6645 views)
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Re: [Moonshade] Alabama vs. Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Has anyone accepted to the University of Central Florida's MFA program? Anyone lurking
on the boards that currently attends?




No, this would be a topic for discussion in either the particular school thread or for "Accepted & deciding which school". This topic is for discussing various programs, weighing the pros and cons and other considerations as you begin your application process.


mkha


Mar 22, 2008, 7:35 PM

Post #345 of 793 (6105 views)
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Re: [jayg] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, you are going crazy, but you are definitely not alone, there's a lot of us in the same wagon. I'm so tired of the whole thing I'm just going to push myself to commit somewhere on Monday so I can start sleeping better, and free two spots while i'm at it. It looks like the longer I wait, the more I freak out and I just want to be done with it. Otherwise, happy stressing everybody :)


gina.bee


Mar 22, 2008, 8:45 PM

Post #346 of 793 (6064 views)
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Re: [mkha] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been accepted to SDSU and Mills in Poetry. I am waiting on UC-Davis. I'm like a lot of you and anxious about what to do!

I heard from Mills first, and if it weren't for the expense, I would accept Mills' offer right away.

I'm in some sort of limbo at UCD-- I emailed them and got a response telling me all first round candidates have been accepted, but they won't have to make a decision until 4/15. She said I'd hear something after that. So.... does that mean I have a chance?

Also, (I think others mentioned this sentiment) does it hurt me if I tell Mills I need to wait almost a full month before I can decide?

I almost sent my non-refundable deposit to Mills this week, but a friend of mine talked me out of--saying I should wait to see if UC-Davis comes through (as the funding would be much better).

I must mention, too, that at this point I'm more excited about the prospect of going to Mills than UCD at this point. So do I go with my gut, expect to be in debt for the next 3 yrs of my life (Mills) or go where the funding is (possibly) (UCD)?


Stewbags


Mar 22, 2008, 9:59 PM

Post #347 of 793 (6019 views)
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Michigan, USC, or Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Here are my options:

Michigan - w/ funding
Utah - possibly funding
USC (PhD) - w/ funding
Washington - no funding

Vanderbilt - Waitlisted

Cornell - Rejected
NYU - Rejected
Syracuse - Rejected
UMass - Rejected
Albany (PhD) - Rejected
Georgia - Rejected
Michener - Assumed Rejection
Irvine - Assumed Rejection
St. Mary's - Assumed Rejection

Boy, am I glad I didn't get all of those rejections before some acceptances :). I'm heading to Ann Arbor, LA, and Salt Lake over the next two weeks to poke around and see what fits best. Any insight would be most appreciated - Thanks to all for being an invaluable resource throughout!


ali888


Mar 22, 2008, 10:32 PM

Post #348 of 793 (5988 views)
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Re: [upsetme] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone who got in to Montana for fiction with a TA definitely not going, if they feel comfortable saying so?


miss.modular


Mar 23, 2008, 1:16 AM

Post #349 of 793 (5907 views)
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Re: [Stewbags] Michigan, USC, or Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Stewbags,
Is that u of Washington?


Stewbags


Mar 23, 2008, 1:28 AM

Post #350 of 793 (5897 views)
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Re: [miss.modular] Michigan, USC, or Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure is - and was definitely one of my top picks, particularly for location. Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding, I will most likely decline their offer.


germericanqt


Mar 23, 2008, 2:16 AM

Post #351 of 793 (5905 views)
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Re: [Stewbags] Michigan, USC, or Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Salt Lake City is actually a great place to live, and we have some pretty impressive faculty here. Lots of natural beauty, plenty of culture. You wouldn't think so, but it's pretty liberal. The liberal oasis of Utah. Lol.

I also wanted to ask--is anyone turning down Johns Hopkins fiction? I don't know why you would, but I'm wait-listed, so I'm trying to stay optimistic. :)


lionsden


Mar 23, 2008, 3:05 AM

Post #352 of 793 (5889 views)
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nyu, rutgers [In reply to] Can't Post

hi everyone,

thanks for sharing your anxiety. I relate. these are the responses I've received so far:

Rutgers: In, no funding
NYU: In, partial funding
UMass: out
Brown: out
Irvine, Virginia, Brooklyn: assumed out

because nyu is offering funding, it would actually be less expensive to go there than to Rutgers, but I'm intrigued by the Rutgers program and by its faculty, and have heard mixed reviews of NYU's program. I'm also considering re-applying for next fall. any ideas?


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 23, 2008, 10:51 AM

Post #353 of 793 (7299 views)
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Re: [Stewbags] Michigan, USC, or Utah [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm heading to Ann Arbor, LA, and Salt Lake over the next two weeks to poke around and see what fits best. Any insight would be most appreciated -



Stewbags, have you asked about that here in The Local Life?


blarring


Mar 23, 2008, 2:50 PM

Post #354 of 793 (7211 views)
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New School, Emerson, & George Mason [In reply to] Can't Post

After careful, stressful deliberation, I thought I knew where I was going: The New School, mainly because it was the only program to offer some funding (a scholarship). However, I received an email Saturday from Emerson and I've been awarded a graduate assistantship that's over twice as much as the TNS scholarship. Now, Emerson is my top choice. I'm still waiting to hear something from Ole Miss but as of right now, I'm shipping off to Boston.
One day I'm going to this school, next day it's that school . . . God, I'm drained. I know I should be thankful just to be going somewhere but damn, this process takes the cheese outta ya.
I don't know what that means.



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



jaques19


Mar 23, 2008, 3:52 PM

Post #355 of 793 (7169 views)
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Re: [ali888] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey ali--I got into Montana fiction with a TAship, but I'm accepting elsewhere. I called and told them at the end of last week. I hope that means someone else will be notified of funding soon.

Good luck!


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 23, 2008, 6:34 PM

Post #356 of 793 (6543 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Choose? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Okay. I'm in for fiction at Sarah Lawrence and Columbia.

What are some pluses and minuses here? Programs, location, anything?


Congrats, both are very good programs.

I can't speak to Sarah Lawrence, but I know some people who go there and they like it.

As for Columbia, the big downside is money (unless you were offered a good amount) and the big plus side is everything else.

The faculty is simply fantastic. The student body is one of the strongest. Internship opportunities are all over the place. The program is a large one, but that is a plus in my book. It means more options for classes, teachers and peers. The location obviously can't be beat (for my tastes, some people will hate NYC).

PM me if you have any specific questions and congrats again.


lovesapricots


Mar 24, 2008, 12:21 PM

Post #357 of 793 (6953 views)
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Re: [lovesapricots] Wait, yes I am going crazy [In reply to] Can't Post

Decided on Ohio State. Not only is it the best funding, it's also a friendly, supportive atmosphere. More importantly, the students there all seem...happy! Who knew?

Good luck w/ decisions, everyone! Hope this opens up spots for nonfiction waitlisters (U of Arizona, Wyoming, Montana and Columbia.)


de_ja


Mar 24, 2008, 1:03 PM

Post #358 of 793 (6893 views)
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Re: [franz] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been reading this forum for a while but haven't made any comments. But I'm sure people would like to know about the spots I'll be freeing up for poetry.

Final decision: BU

Offers I'll be declining:
FSU
UNCG
NYU
University of Mississippi

Taking my name off the wait list of: UVA

Other schools I'm waiting on (and haven't yet read of any acceptances):
FIU
LSU

So there you go. Good luck to everyone waiting to hear from those schools.


jayg


Mar 24, 2008, 1:09 PM

Post #359 of 793 (6876 views)
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Re: Officially Accepted Oregon! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just officially accepted my spot at the University of Oregon for fiction. If anyone else in the forum is on their way to Oregon, PM me!

I have emailed Colorado State and Texas State to open up spots there.

Good luck to all!


LauraJean1


Mar 24, 2008, 1:14 PM

Post #360 of 793 (6868 views)
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Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in for fiction at SLC and Columbia.

I'm going to Columbia! Fall 2008.


rpc
ryan call

Mar 24, 2008, 1:45 PM

Post #361 of 793 (6392 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

to offer a respectful counterpoint:

id say theres still good argument for mason and emerson

(im biased, obviously)

if its contacts youre concerned about, mason's faculty can just as easily offer you a similar connection (as im sure most any faculty in the country can). sure, its a far cry from the nyc scene, where agents and editors apparently mill about in droves, but there is a decent lit world here: many of our faculty serve on the board at PEN/Faulkner and bring us to events, they often have parties at their house to which their fellow authors are invited, they have hosted agents in our classes, etc. we also have a decent lit festival at mason every fall - 10k people attend it to hear authors and editors speak. this is nice for us mason students, i think, because we can often volunteer to help out, etc.

AWP is also based here.

anyhow, the point is, theres some of that here too. not a lot, but some.

and all you need is some.


<HTMLGIANT>


aiyamei

e-mail user

Mar 24, 2008, 3:09 PM

Post #362 of 793 (6322 views)
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Re: [rpc] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi RPC, I completely agree with you, and I see where you're coming from.

My basic argument is just that the community an MFA provides (faculty, fellow students, and other literary types who flock to places where writers congregate) is the single greatest reason to go after an MFA, and clearly Mason (and many other schools as well) can offer a community that will put you head and shoulders over those who don't have the MFA experience at all, and is therefore nothing to sneeze at.

But it's precisely because I am convinced that the community is the single strongest reason to get an MFA that I would urge someone to make the strength of the community their primary criterion in choosing where to go. The way I see it, the community is simply that much more manifold in NY, where there are four MFA programs more or less on top of one another (Columbia, New School, Brooklyn, Hunter), and publishers/magazines/agencies galore.

But let me just be completely honest and expose where I'm coming from, although I know it will in some ways discredit my opinion (and if so, then so be it!):

First, I wrote what some would call an ambitious and experimental novel, and then with this novel I managed to get quite a good agent, and I'm working on revisions with him right now and I feel like I'm growing all the time, improving but then also not improving, struggling two steps forward and one step back, wrestling with the thing over and over, but in any case, I'm going through what I'm convinced could not be more hellish or intense, but also with no steeper learning curve, than if I were in an MFA program. So I'm simply not convinced that an MFA is something a person has to necessarily do for the sake of "craft" or more simply put: for the sake of learning how to write. However, since I didn't go to an MFA program, I've done this alone, and that's something I do not feel good about -- it could definitely have been improved by being in an MFA program. The loneliness has only gotten worse with time. I've hated it. It's been very hard. Finding good readers, before I got my agent, was incredibly difficult. And I've been very lonely in terms of trying not to feel crazy for putting everything on the line for a novel, in terms of feeling like I had any sort of mandate. Then later, the process of figuring out how to pursue publication was also very hard to navigate, and ultimately I feel like I only had some measure of success because of advice I got from friends in New York who were clued in. While they didn't do me any explicit favors, they knew through friendships and acquaintances who was rumored to be interested in picking up experimental literary fiction at that time. I mean, if my book had been terrible, this advice wouldn't have helped, the agents I cold-queried would have just turned me down (as many did) -- it's not that I think you can be an insider and thusly crowned king of the hill forever and basta, your work is done. No, first you have to write the best book you can, but then if you also are ensconced in this nation's largest literary community, you might well have an easier time of it.

So that's where I'm coming from when I run around giving advice to people on an MFA board without even having an MFA!

And please, I hope no one will think that I'm trying to disparage non-NY programs -- I'm just trying to pass on what I feel like I've learned through this process the hard way -- about the insideryness of NY our nation's publishing capital, about the advantages of being in a good position with that publishing world, etc. NONE OF WHICH is to say that you can't go about cultivating these advantages through other means, and I'm living proof of that myself (I live in Germany for god's sake, and sure, I could have moved to NY if I had really been so convinced it was the only way to go.) But absolutely feel free to reject this very, very un-expert advice.


rpc
ryan call

Mar 24, 2008, 3:48 PM

Post #363 of 793 (6282 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

no worries at all - its fascinating to hear your side. youre certainly not disparaging nonNYC progams and i understand what you saying.

good luck with the book, etc.


<HTMLGIANT>


__________



Mar 24, 2008, 4:03 PM

Post #364 of 793 (6251 views)
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Re: [rpc] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no idea how much emphasis should be placed on connections, but aiyamei's remarks remind me of something a professor told me: make sure you have something to work on before you go through the MFA mill. Are we in agreement that connections don't matter without something near-complete in your hand? Or will these connections still be good after a few years?


six five four three two one 0 ->


readytorun


Mar 24, 2008, 4:49 PM

Post #365 of 793 (6720 views)
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Re: [de_ja] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision? [In reply to] Can't Post

de_ja, when did you hear from Mississippi and how did you hear? I'm waiting on them, and you're the first person I've seen who's heard some news. Congrats, too!


chitown


Mar 24, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #366 of 793 (6165 views)
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McNeese State [In reply to] Can't Post

I was wondering if any current or former students (or anyone) can give some info about McNeese State's MFA program. My correspondence with the director has been very positive and I'm impressed so far. However, I'm wondering if the funding is enough (I believe it's 9K/year for two classes/sem) and how much of a writing community is there.


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 24, 2008, 6:29 PM

Post #367 of 793 (6159 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Help! Pick one! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have no idea how much emphasis should be placed on connections, but aiyamei's remarks remind me of something a professor told me: make sure you have something to work on before you go through the MFA mill. Are we in agreement that connections don't matter without something near-complete in your hand? Or will these connections still be good after a few years?



It depends on the type of connection I think. A professor/mentor could last for life. Or an magazine editor or enthusiastic teacher could help you get a story published somewhere great, even if you dont' have a book completed. Trying to contact agents before having a near-compete manuscript seems maybe like a waste of time, but hopefully after 2 years of an MFA you will have something close to at least a first draft.


cellularsoup


Mar 25, 2008, 1:11 PM

Post #368 of 793 (6505 views)
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umass-amherst! [In reply to] Can't Post

just got a call from umass-amherst, offering me that much-wanted/needed TA position for next year! this means i'll definitely be attending for poetry in the fall. yessss.


Raignn



Mar 25, 2008, 1:21 PM

Post #369 of 793 (6483 views)
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Re: [cellularsoup] umass-amherst! [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations! Are there any other offers or waitlists you're turning down?


whataneatgirl


Mar 25, 2008, 1:21 PM

Post #370 of 793 (6483 views)
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It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just officially accepted at Cornell for poetry, & now it's finally hitting me, & I am euphoric.

Will be declining UMass Amherst, University of Michigan, & University of New Hampshire.
Took my name off the waitlists at University of Virginia & University of Minnesota.

This godforsaken process is finally over! I am so happy! Thank you, all, for this space, which helped me channel my manic anxiety. And good luck to everyone in making their own final choices!


cellularsoup


Mar 25, 2008, 1:31 PM

Post #371 of 793 (6456 views)
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Re: [Raignn] umass-amherst! [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks! i'm turning down brooklyn college and UNH.


cellularsoup


Mar 25, 2008, 1:40 PM

Post #372 of 793 (6439 views)
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Re: [whataneatgirl] It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

congrats!


beefilet


Mar 25, 2008, 2:21 PM

Post #373 of 793 (6375 views)
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Re: [whataneatgirl] Acceptance etiquette? [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations!
I've been quietly following this site and everyone's advice has been really helpful and encouraging.

I have a general question related to accepting etiquette. What is the best way to accept an offer, other than simply sending in the enrollment form and deposit? I was accepted to VC and will probably go there, although I'm still holding out for word from Bennington and WW. Is it best to also send an email to the director telling them you're decision, or is that too much? How have others handled this? I know this seems like kind of a silly thing to worry about, but alas, I worry.

Also, has anyone gotten a phone call from Bennington today? just curious...


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Mar 25, 2008, 4:53 PM

Post #374 of 793 (6237 views)
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Re: [beefilet] Acceptance etiquette? [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats on your acceptance to VC. It's a great program. I'm in my first semester there in fiction. I sent an email (I think to Louise) saying that I was accepting their offer and that my deposit check and enrollment form were in the mail.

Hope that helps.

Jeanne


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


hmm...


Mar 25, 2008, 4:54 PM

Post #375 of 793 (6231 views)
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Re: [whataneatgirl] It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. You decided. Congrats! I'm leaning towards Cornell as well- in fact, it's Cornell or Iowa. I just turned down Michigan today, and UVA last week, and U of Arizona before that. I hope to decide by the weekend.... but maybe I'll be seeing you in the fall.

Congrats again.


beefilet


Mar 25, 2008, 4:59 PM

Post #376 of 793 (6451 views)
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Re: [jlgwriter] Acceptance etiquette? [In reply to] Can't Post

That helps a lot - thanks! I'm glad to hear you like the program. So far I've gotten a really positive feeling for it and the people there.
(Maybe I'll see you in June.)


fesler


Mar 25, 2008, 6:38 PM

Post #377 of 793 (6359 views)
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University of Pittsburgh [In reply to] Can't Post

I've decided to attend Pitt. Sugah, I know you're going too. Has anyone else decided they're going there for sure?


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 25, 2008, 6:55 PM

Post #378 of 793 (6329 views)
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Re: [fesler] University of Pittsburgh [In reply to] Can't Post

In all honesty, I'm leaning toward Sarah Lawrence right now. They offered me funding based on my financial situation, and when I called Pitt they told me they couldn't tell me what my financial aid package looks like until the middle of July. Does that seem strange to you? Even though the cost of living in NY is much higher, it would be for 2 years rather 3 at Pitt. I still like Pitt's faculty and location, so I think when I visit on the 7th I'll talk to Troy Boone and find out what my options are. Any suggestions Fes?


fesler


Mar 25, 2008, 7:33 PM

Post #379 of 793 (6284 views)
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Re: [pensive] University of Pittsburgh [In reply to] Can't Post

Pensive, I'm in the same boat as you - as far as not knowing what kind of loans Pitt will offer me - but I don't have another school to choose from. The decision is a little easier for me since I already live in Pittsburgh and want to stay here. I actually almost just applied to Pitt and then I read about how you're supposed to apply to 8 - 11 schools, so then I applied to 4. I'm lucky since I'll be able to get in state tuition. Not that I can afford that without loans!

See you April 7!


mkha


Mar 25, 2008, 7:57 PM

Post #380 of 793 (6242 views)
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Re: [hmm...] It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

Neatgirl, congrats, its over for you. now you can get on craigslist :)
hmm, i'm in the same boat. It's Iowa or Cornell. I've missed my own deadline but i should make up my mind at least after tomorrow.


Amyr738


Mar 25, 2008, 8:02 PM

Post #381 of 793 (6234 views)
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Re: [fesler] University of Pittsburgh [In reply to] Can't Post

Fes, it looks like I'll be at Pitt with you. 4 schools have yet to inform me of their decision, but I'm thinking rejection...
Emerson has admitted me, yet Pitt's approach has been much more welcoming and personal. Lord, I feel like I'm a contestant on the Bachelor, not an MFA applicant. I also have the in-state tuition working for me and I can easily keep working the job that I already have secured. It is just all (finally) starting to come together. Yet, I'm not doubting that things could still get crazy. Who knows?

See you on the 7th!


fesler


Mar 25, 2008, 8:25 PM

Post #382 of 793 (6205 views)
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Re: [Amyr738] University of Pittsburgh [In reply to] Can't Post

Amy, Are you planning to work full-time while going to Pitt? I work 8-5 Mon-Fri and, while I noticed there are classes offered in the fall that I could take from 6 - 9 p.m., I'm worried that my life will suck if I try to work so much and go to school. I guess talking to students on the 7th will help answer that question.


HopperFu


Mar 25, 2008, 8:27 PM

Post #383 of 793 (6199 views)
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Re: [beefilet] Acceptance etiquette? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have a general question related to accepting etiquette. What is the best way to accept an offer, other than simply sending in the enrollment form and deposit?


You should also email or call either whomever contacted you with your acceptance to let them know you have accepted. If you've been corresponding with an administrative assistant, let him or her know as well (and thank them profusely for any help they've given; admin assistants have the power to make your life much better or much worse).
Faculty like knowing that you've accepted the offer.


shireen


Mar 25, 2008, 10:08 PM

Post #384 of 793 (6253 views)
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Distraught... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm torn between NYU and Columbia for poetry. I adore Columbia's curriculum and faculty, but NYU tempts me with (a small amount of) money and a TAship in the second year. Any thoughts?

And, for those hoping/waiting, a spot should be opening up at Sarah Lawrence tomorrow!


pacificblue


Mar 25, 2008, 11:02 PM

Post #385 of 793 (6086 views)
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Final Tally - Off to Oregon... [In reply to] Can't Post

hi folks. for i guess mostly those who will peruse this board in the future (not that any sense is to be gleaned), here is my tally at the end of this crazy race:

in FICTION:

Waitlisted @ Michigan (e-mail 2/19) & Sarah Lawrence (letter 3/7)
Accepted @ Oregon (phone 3/6) & Washington (e-mail 3/17)
Rejected from (deep breath): Cornell (letter 2/12), Wash U St. Louis (letter 2/12), Wisconsin (letter around 2/20?), Iowa (letter 3/3), UMass Amherst (letter 3/3), Minnesota (letter 3/6), Syracuse (Letter 3/15 or so?), Brown (letter 3/11), UVA (e-mailed and ask about it yesterday)

i will be in eugene in the fall. for those wondering why i'm not waiting: i found out i was low enough on michigan's wait list, and no way that many people are going to say no to michigan. i'm ready to be done and to get excited.

so, this will open up a spot at washington, to those waiting!

(and digression to completely document--i'm on a roll--last year i applied to UVA (wait listed), Michigan (wait listed), Minnesota (rejected), UMass (rejected), and Oregon (rejected). so no giving up!

perhaps this is me signing off (who am i kidding, really--i'm a quiet addict)? if anyone is going to oregon (i got you jayg), let me know!

thanks to everyone who posted, perfect strangers quelling and heightening anxieties and making us all feel like we're not quite insane.
good luck & best wishes to all!


Rambler


Mar 26, 2008, 12:06 AM

Post #386 of 793 (7176 views)
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Re: [pacificblue] Final Tally - Off to Oregon... [In reply to] Can't Post

Could everybody who has made a final decision do a final tally like pacificblue's? I think it's not only helpful for those of us still waiting, but also of interest to future writers.


RaoulDuke
Cobra Cobachi

Mar 26, 2008, 12:27 AM

Post #387 of 793 (7160 views)
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Re: [Rambler] Final Tally - Off to Oregon... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Rambler, (sorry to digress on this wonderful thread) did you ever hear back from SIUC? I remember you posting about that school. How about you? Any tally?

Take care,
Richard


hmm...


Mar 26, 2008, 11:19 AM

Post #388 of 793 (7042 views)
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Re: [mkha] It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

mkha- are you fiction or poetry? I'm fiction.


mkha


Mar 26, 2008, 12:47 PM

Post #389 of 793 (6946 views)
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Re: [hmm...] It's. Finally. Over. [In reply to] Can't Post

fiction...and do check your mailbox, i'll pm you.


keliz308


Mar 26, 2008, 6:08 PM

Post #390 of 793 (6794 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats LauraJean1 on accepting at Columbia! I'm still trying to decide and finding it difficult. What helped you make your decision?

I'm in at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, and the New School (all for Fiction) Has anyone accepted at the NS yet? They dont let you sit in on classes... :(


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 26, 2008, 6:12 PM

Post #391 of 793 (6788 views)
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Re: [keliz308] Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a fair amount of info from SLC as I've been communicating with faculty and some former students. If you'd like any of that info, just PM with your email and I'll relay it along to you:)


(This post was edited by pensive on Mar 26, 2008, 6:13 PM)


cellularsoup


Mar 26, 2008, 6:12 PM

Post #392 of 793 (6785 views)
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final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

okay, i officially accepted at umass-amherst for poetry today. declined at brooklyn college and u of new hampshire.

my final tally:

umass-amherst: accepted with TAship (attending!)
brooklyn college: accepted
u of new hampshire: accepted
arkansas: rejected
oregon: rejected
syracuse: rejected
ut-austin: rejected

good luck to everyone still making decisions. it's been a doozy of a year, to say the least.


blarring


Mar 26, 2008, 6:29 PM

Post #393 of 793 (6762 views)
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Re: [cellularsoup] final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations on your UMass acceptance and TAship, cellularsoup!!!

I wish you all the best.



B. Lynn Arrington
"A Southerner talks music." --Mark Twain



Zash
Zachary Ash

Mar 26, 2008, 9:59 PM

Post #394 of 793 (6659 views)
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Re: [cellularsoup] final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll see you in Amherst, Cellularsoup! I'm in the fiction program.


cellularsoup


Mar 26, 2008, 10:02 PM

Post #395 of 793 (6652 views)
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Re: [Zash] final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

sweet! and congrats.


dunnkc


Mar 26, 2008, 10:50 PM

Post #396 of 793 (6606 views)
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Re: [Rambler] Final Tally - Off to Oregon... [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, my tally, for fiction.

In:
Warren Wilson (90% sure I'm attending)
San Diego State University

Out:
UT-Michener
Texas State
U of Iowa
Johns Hopkins

Still no official word:
Houston
UC-Irvine


paperplanes


Mar 27, 2008, 9:46 AM

Post #397 of 793 (6478 views)
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Indiana? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone made any final decisions about Indiana?


ovni1013


Mar 27, 2008, 3:02 PM

Post #398 of 793 (6320 views)
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SLC vs. Emerson? Fiction [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi All,
I'm new to this message board. It was probably good that I held out as long as I did--it would have fed my frenzy. So I'm deciding between SLC and Emerson. Anybody have any insight on either program? I'll be visiting them both over the next two weeks, but it will still be tough.


hftls


Mar 27, 2008, 3:09 PM

Post #399 of 793 (6307 views)
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Almost there... [In reply to] Can't Post

Deciding between Iowa (partial funding/originally #1 choice) and NYU (full + stipend) for poetry... I'm trying to find out more information about the latter. Thoughts? In less than a week, there will be a spot in either program and a spot on JHU's waitlist opening up...


lostinthought


Mar 27, 2008, 3:17 PM

Post #400 of 793 (6293 views)
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Re: [ovni1013] SLC vs. Emerson? Fiction [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely would go with SLC. The program is smaller and more individualized attention, you actually get one-on-one time with professors, and you get NYC! Just my lousy 2 cents.


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 27, 2008, 3:19 PM

Post #401 of 793 (6324 views)
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Re: [ovni1013] SLC vs. Emerson? Fiction [In reply to] Can't Post

What genre? I have some information about SLC. When are you visiting, and what type of info are you looking for?


theotherlily


Mar 27, 2008, 3:36 PM

Post #402 of 793 (6292 views)
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Re: [HSP] Almost there... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love NYC, but I have found other programs (not poetry) at NYU to be kind of a mill. I think it's probably important to figure out the "real cost" of NYU vs. Iowa. Given the cost-of-living differential, there might not be as big a difference between the programs as you think.


ovni1013


Mar 27, 2008, 3:39 PM

Post #403 of 793 (6288 views)
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Re: [pensive] SLC vs. Emerson? Fiction [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks lostinthought! I think that I'm leaning that way.

pensive: I'm a fiction writer, some short stories, but my focus is on the novel. I think that I understand the differences in the program structure, but do you have any thoughts on the kinds of students that are at each program? It seems like they would draw different types of applicants. This probably contributes to how each program works as a community (wow, that sounds cheesy).


reality writes


Mar 27, 2008, 3:46 PM

Post #404 of 793 (6274 views)
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Re: [ovni1013] SLC vs. Emerson? Fiction [In reply to] Can't Post

from a friend of mine who graduated from SLC's MFA in poetry, I know that they are all about diversity (age, demographic, aesthetic) and there is a strong community among students (going to bars after class, attending outside events together). I can't speak for any other NY school, though!

I'm in at SLC too by the way, for poetry, and still trying to make my decision about leaving the South and moving up there. I'm probably buying my plane ticket tonight to go visit in mid April. You can PM me, too.


hftls


Mar 27, 2008, 4:12 PM

Post #405 of 793 (6226 views)
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Re: [theotherlily] Almost there... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the advice! I did a Craigslist search on NYC apartments for fun--found it wasn't so fun...from a wallet's perspective. Iowa City on the other hand...


jsw


Mar 27, 2008, 4:31 PM

Post #406 of 793 (6137 views)
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Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

What do folks think about a choice between Houston and Ohio State University in fiction?

Here's my take so far . . . please feel free to weigh in and set me straight if need be:

Ranking--does it really matter much for future teaching prospects? Houston seems to be much more highly ranked.

Funding--OSU wins at, as a TAship may not be guaranteed during the first year at Houston

Cross-genre study--I'd love to study fiction primarily, but really want to experiment with nonfiction. Houston doesn't
offer nonfiction, while OSU seems to encourage that kind of cross-genre work.

Community spirit--?? I've had great interactions with both directors. OSU has been consistently described as having amazing faculty and a great sense of community. Does anyone have stories to share from either program?

Credit hours--Houston seems to lean toward literature study over workshopping, OSU seems a little more weighed toward the workshop. Is that accurate?

Location--for me Houston would win, but I've never been to Columbus.

I'd love to have feedback on this!


jerseycavalier


Mar 27, 2008, 4:34 PM

Post #407 of 793 (6132 views)
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Re: [jsw] Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

Where did you learn that about TAships at UH? Is that for everyone? I was under the impression that the position is mine if I accept.


theotherlily


Mar 27, 2008, 4:36 PM

Post #408 of 793 (6186 views)
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Re: [HSP] Almost there... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah- I don't know exactly how to do this, but you'll probably want to get a total cost of living estimate for x months in both of the cities- including food, the car you might need in Iowa, etc etc. (NYU should perhaps give you such a thing.) That way, you can add everything up, and get a nice yearly number for what you'd pay extra for your #1 program. If it's $5k, maybe that's worth it to you. If it's $20k, maybe not. But in your situation I would really want that number.

Maths! Even CW MFAS can't escape!


southridge


Mar 27, 2008, 4:56 PM

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Re: [jsw] Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

Houston...hotter than the belly of hell, if the belly of hell registered 98% humidity all through the summer. Great city, though. Lived there briefly and find myself missing the place. Lot of music. Very diverse. Great food. Ninfa's has the best Mexican I've ever had. It makes me want to jump in the car and drive 20 hours to get it. Really good icehouse bars...I recommend the Alabama Icehouse, if you make it there. It's an open air, neighborhood joint with dogs and kids running in and out of the place. The city is kind of screwed up -- sprawling, some bad patches here and there, kind of a center of oil money and decadence -- but it would be a great place to write about. Donald Barthelme! Padgett Powell went to UH, I believe. Edisto & Edisto Revisited are madcap novels. There's a good Cy Twombly museum, and Cy is the boss.

Columbus...um...I think you better visit the place before you make that call. No offense to OSU people.


Pastoral


Mar 27, 2008, 4:59 PM

Post #410 of 793 (6097 views)
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Re: [jsw] Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

Is OSU a three year program? I know it's up and coming and hear pretty good things about the area. I'd suggest visiting before you make a final decision.


Amyr738


Mar 27, 2008, 5:27 PM

Post #411 of 793 (6060 views)
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Re: [Pastoral] Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

Houston does have a nonfiction program. Since I (along with several other concerned nonfiction applicants) haven't heard anything from them at all, it just seems like it doesn't exist. Though, I'm sure it's there somewhere.


lauraeve


Mar 27, 2008, 5:27 PM

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Re: [jsw] Houston or OSU? [In reply to] Can't Post

A few things...

Houston does actually have its own creative non-fiction program (part of the MFA, though not heavily publicized on its website -- you really have to look for it), & both Mark Doty & Nick Flynn are seasoned memoir-writers. I'm sure there are others on faculty as well; evidently, they are in the process of hiring a new non-fiction professor to add to the mix. That said, I don't know how much genre-mixing there is, but the non-fiction is there if you want it.

Also, TAships at Houston, according to Kastely, are offered to 2nd years if you apply, but 1st years are discouraged (according to him), seeing as it's already a pretty difficult work-load. Evidently, the only financial guarantee a 1st year at Houston has is the $5000 fellowship he or she comes in with.

I'm in the airport, on my way to visit OSU; perhaps there will be impressions of Columbus to come... :)


Blanca78


Mar 27, 2008, 5:41 PM

Post #413 of 793 (6042 views)
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OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post

Similarly, can anyone weigh in on Washington U in St. Louis vs. Ohio State (for fiction)? I am leaning toward OSU, but that's mostly based on location, not program--although overall the OSU people have seemed way more together and enthusiastic about contacting me, answering questions, etc. Not to disparage Washington, it just seems like a smaller program. I don't know much about Washington's reputation.


eoc


Mar 27, 2008, 5:54 PM

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sarah lawrence or the new school? [In reply to] Can't Post

i'm tempted by a small scholarship from the new school for next year, plus location. but for some reason i feel so drawn to the creative approach and overall emphasis on writing in all disciplines at sarah lawrence. any thoughts on one program versus the other?


ejdifili
Emily

Mar 27, 2008, 5:59 PM

Post #415 of 793 (6016 views)
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Re: [Blanca78] OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Similarly, can anyone weigh in on Washington U in St. Louis vs. Ohio State (for fiction)? I am leaning toward OSU, but that's mostly based on location, not program--although overall the OSU people have seemed way more together and enthusiastic about contacting me, answering questions, etc. Not to disparage Washington, it just seems like a smaller program. I don't know much about Washington's reputation.


I attended Wash U as an undergrad and was an English major / Writing minor. Marshall Klimasewiski is awesome. He is a very caring and helpful instructor, as well as a great person.

You'd have to check Seth's blog, but I've always has the impression that Wash U's MFA is ranked pretty highly. Personally, I had never heard of OSU until following the Speakeasy (no offense to its fans or those who plan to attend there).

Of course, I was rejected from Wash U's MFA program, but I still would recommend the school. I was there for 6 years between completing my BA and my MA in Spanish lit.

As for location... I guess it depends on what you are looking for. I don't know anything about Columbus, so I can't compare it to St. Louis. A while back, I posted some information on the thread, "Local Life . . . Does the Food Suck?" regardng StL and the area surrounding Wash U.

Feel free to PM me if you have questions.


(This post was edited by ejdifili on Mar 27, 2008, 6:01 PM)


abardaglio


Mar 27, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #416 of 793 (5988 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post

In Seth's 2008 overall PW readers ranking, Wash U comes in at 19 and OSU at 21. In the fiction only rankings, Wash U is ranked at 31, and OSU is ranked at 21 again. To be fair, in the Kealey scale OSU is still in the "bubbling under" category and Wash U is ranked # 11.


keliz308


Mar 27, 2008, 6:28 PM

Post #417 of 793 (6091 views)
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Re: [pensive] Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, pensive!


LauraJean1


Mar 27, 2008, 6:49 PM

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Re: [keliz308] Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a post in the Columbia forum from aiyamei (page 9) that contributed to my decision. I also appreciated the the one-on-one interaction I'm already having with the professor who called me from Columbia, and the location is better for me (would rather bike/walk/subway than have a car). Also, Columbia has a bigger program and offers interaction within the School of the Arts rather than with only an English department.

Lastly, I look forward to the number of academic classes that one takes at Columbia in addition to workshops.

I applied to SLC because of Melvin Jules Bukiet, but he is also a Columbia alum.

Anywho, that's what helped me. Good luck with your decision!


keliz308


Mar 27, 2008, 7:06 PM

Post #419 of 793 (6046 views)
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Re: [LauraJean1] Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for your response! Good luck! And maybe I will see you at Columbia!


Dinosaur


Mar 27, 2008, 7:16 PM

Post #420 of 793 (6026 views)
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Final Tally [In reply to] Can't Post

My final tally (for poetry):

U Virginia: Accepted
UC Irvine: Accepted
Vanderbilt: Accepted

Wash U St. Louis: Rejected
U Mass Amherst: Rejected
Johns Hopkins: Rejected
U Mich: Rejected
U Washington: Rejected
Iowa: Rejected

Want to know something funny? Every school in the "Accepted" group received an early, 1-page (barely), 4-paragraph personal statement that clearly stated my goals and interests. The "Rejected" group all received what I thought was my better personal statement -- two long, poetic, flowing pages of my influences and my aesthetic and blah blah blah. All schools received the same portfolio and reccs. Kind of funny.

Any thoughts on what to decide between the three up there?


paperplanes


Mar 27, 2008, 7:36 PM

Post #421 of 793 (5935 views)
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Re: [abardaglio] OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post

It's worth clarifying that the 19 and 21 positions on the overall list really have only a one point difference: WashU (9) and OSU (8). Additionally, WashU's fiction-only ranking (31) is a loss of 12, while OSU's fiction-only ranking (21) is a loss of 0. The Atlantic Monthly also listed OSU as one of five up-and-coming programs.


abardaglio


Mar 27, 2008, 7:49 PM

Post #422 of 793 (6280 views)
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Re: [paperplanes] OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post

True, thanks for that. My bias is OSU anyway, so you helped support the point I wasn't making terribly well.


manin


Mar 27, 2008, 11:12 PM

Post #423 of 793 (6199 views)
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**WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

Your input requested:

Should I attend:


Vanderbilt (full tuition, health insurance + $6000 stipend both years)

NYU (75% tuition funded first year, second year TAship)

Houston (TAship both years + $5000 fellowship)

UVA (tuition + small stipend, TAship 2nd year)

Michigan (full tuition plus $16,000 stipend, health insurance both years)


This is for POETRY, though I'm interested in fiction as well.

I know I should give you a ton of personal background to better influence your suggestions, but just go on your own biases and make your case based on whatever criteria you want. Do please tell me what that criteria is though.

In advance: I appreciate everyone who is willing to take the time to offer their opinions. Thanks very much!

Best,
M.


sicofelephants


e-mail user

Mar 27, 2008, 11:22 PM

Post #424 of 793 (6185 views)
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Re: [manin] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

I vote for Houston.

The city kicks some serious ass many times over.

The program, from what I can tell seems to be really helpful if you want to go into teaching (I do). The students I've talked to are extremely friendly and helpful and amazingly good at their craft.

And Nick Flynn. Period the end. You'd probably do good to talk to some students there, but it was my all-around dream school. It had everything I wanted in a program and then some. And if nothing else, you'll never freeze in the winter. Hooray sub-tropical climate! I don't know what popular belief is outside of Texas, but Houston also has a great writing community, so if you're just into improving your writing and not teaching, it's still a great place to be. You'll have culture coming out of your ass after a few months in H-town.


EastCoastPoet


Mar 28, 2008, 12:01 AM

Post #425 of 793 (6157 views)
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Re: [manin] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that really a question? Especially for Poetry? It's Michigan, hands down! NYU or UVA would be my #2, probably UVA, but way behind Michigan. The money is a big factor, of course, but Michigan's program is outrageously good. Michigan, easy...


kevin82


Mar 28, 2008, 12:11 AM

Post #426 of 793 (6745 views)
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Re: [Dinosaur] Final Tally [In reply to] Can't Post

Come to Virginia. We're awesome.


symmetrical


Mar 28, 2008, 1:05 AM

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Re: [manin] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed... Michigan, then a distant second for UVA. Especially since I already live in Wisconsin, and moving to Houston sounds more like a punishment than a reward.


GDClark
George David Clark
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Mar 28, 2008, 8:50 AM

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Re: [symmetrical] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got to disagree with the "hands down Michigan" poster. I'm biased of course, a current UVA poet, but I don't know that there's a program in the country that is demonstrably stronger than ours. In terms of funding Michigan's got us beat, but we get plenty to live on (I saved enough from the fellowship my first year for an engagement ring without having to get a second job), and, beyond that, going whereever the most money is seems a little silly, or at the very least anti-poetic. In the faculty arena Linda Gregerson and Thylias Moss are fine poets, but next to Charles Wright, Rita Dove, and Greg Orr you've got to give the edge to UVA. As for location, I don't know of a more scenic town than Charlottesville (right in the heart of the Shenandoahs, a couple hours from the beach, not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer). I hear that Ann Arbor, on the other hand, gets a bit chilly.

I didn't apply to Michigan simply because of the location, but I did get into a couple programs that offered me better funding (slightly). UVA was still the easy choice.


GDClark
George David Clark
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Mar 28, 2008, 8:56 AM

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Re: [GDClark] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

One other item worth noting as you compare programs. At UVA you are not a "TA" in your second year. You get your own Introductory Poetry Workshop where you design the syllabus, you pick the texts, etc. A much nicer gig than your average written comp duty.


Raignn



Mar 28, 2008, 9:25 AM

Post #430 of 793 (6477 views)
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Re: [manin] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd have to say UVA would absolutely be my first choice out of that list. As the poster above me said (and clearly as a current student they have more knowledge) UVA is a poets dream! Then a tie between NYU (I mean it's NYU! Look at who they have! Where they are! And they are offering you money!!) and Houston (I don't know a ton about it, but I just hear good things in general).


spamela


Mar 28, 2008, 9:40 AM

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Re: [Blanca78] OSU vs Washington U [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm probably going to draw ire from the St. Louisians on the board (and I mean you no harm, I swear), but I've been visiting relatives in St. Louis my whole life and I lived there for a little over a year and absolutely hated it. But I'm going to qualify that by saying that I was coming from Boston and I was probably spoiled by my former surroundings.

But here's why I disliked it: I had a hard time finding young, cultural activities. It's a driving (not walking) city and the drivers are terrible. The residential neighborhoods are almost all segregated. The Loop, which is ostensibly the "college" part of town, was pretty underdeveloped, the stores and restaurants pretty crappy. There was one awesome Ethiopian place, but not much beyond that. The one thing I loved about the city was Forest Park which is free and has a good art museum and one of the country's nicest zoos. I spent a lot of time at the zoo. Seriously.

St. Louis downtown is a bombed-out mess and doesn't really exist (or didn't in 1998--perhaps it's undergone a revival) except for the football stadium. Much of the rest of the city is bad urban sprawl. The area near the Arch actually is extremely dangerous. Of a group of my friends, I was the only one of us NOT to be mugged in a span of three years of St. Louis living (and I think it's because I moved away after a year and the rest of them stayed).

The "nice" parts of St. Louis (like the "nice" parts of Kansas City--i.e. Country Club place) are super bougie and not welcoming to student types. Though there are some great colleges in STL, it's just not a college city at all.

I found the students at Wash U to be snobby and privileged and THIS was in comparison to my classmates at Wellesley College. So you can imagine.

I'm sure there are great restaurants and parts of the city that are probably lovely, but after living there for a year, I still couldn't find them. And admittedly, I became discouraged and stopped looking at some point.

I bet it's a fine city to settle into with a family and a career, but if you're only going to be there for two years as a graduate student, I don't recommend it.


(This post was edited by spamela on Mar 28, 2008, 9:42 AM)


lapwing


Mar 28, 2008, 10:28 AM

Post #432 of 793 (6426 views)
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Re: [manin] **WHERE??** [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd echo the UVA boosters. You take only eight courses total, which must leave a lot of time to write. Traffic is annoyingly heavy in certain areas, but otherwise Charlottesville is a great town with just a bit more depth in terms of restaurants, bars, music, recreation, the arts, etc., than Ann Arbor. And, considering that you're interested in fiction as well, you might be able to take a workshop with Beattie, Casey, Eisenberg, or Tilghman -- not too shabby. In any case, congrats: you have some good options, to say the least :)