Feb 27, 2006, 1:45 PM
Post #6 of 15
I'm writing in response to the question by coolshoes about funding in low-residency programs. I'm the co-director of the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte, and I've been looking at the Speakeasy MFA forums over the last few days as part of my research for a paper I'll present next week at the AWP conference.
As a few other posts have already noted, funding is more limited in low-residency programs. In part, as has been noted, that's because many low-residency students have jobs and careers to support them already--which, of course, is one reason why they opt for low-residency programs in the first place. At Queens, however, we made a specific choice not to offer a few fellowships to a few select students. That was a very deliberate philosophical choice on our part because we've worked to create a non-hierarchical program, in which everyone gets the same deal. That choice, along with others, was intended to help discourage competition among our students and to foster a stronger sense of community. In fact, fellowships at some programs can be something of a shell game: i.e., tuition is raised across the board so that fellowships--or discounted tuition--can then be offered to a select few and held out as an incentive to all applicants. It's a clever strategy, but, like some other common aspects of low-residency designs, not one we chose to pursue at Queens.
Good luck to all of you in your pursuit of MFAs (and more). If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I hope to see some of you at AWP.
The Charles A. Dana Professor of English
On-Campus Director of the Queens MFA Program