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Has Anybody Made a Final Decision?
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Apr 16, 2008, 12:55 PM

Post #626 of 793 (12363 views)
Final decision: Minnesota (poetry) [In reply to] Can't Post

I made it official just a short while ago - I'm headed to Minnesota for poetry, with a tuition waiver and TAship for 3 years. Very, very excited about the program and the cultural life in the Twin Cities!

This means I've turned down a spot at Montana (and I was apparently "next in line" for funding, so hopefully this means someone else will be getting good news) and a waitlist spot at NYU.

Can't believe it's over - time to celebrate! Best of luck to everyone still waiting to hear and/or decide!


Apr 16, 2008, 1:40 PM

Post #627 of 793 (12311 views)
Final Answer [In reply to] Can't Post

I have officially accepted Boston University, opening up a funded spot at U Oregon. Also opened up a spot at UC Riverside last week and took my name off the waitlist at University of Washington a week or so ago.

Off to the East Coast! Good luck everyone.


Apr 16, 2008, 3:24 PM

Post #628 of 793 (12215 views)
Re: [schmeeter] Final decision [In reply to] Can't Post


I feel your pain. I was in the #1 spot on the waitlist for Brown's fiction program and just found out that the top 5 candidates have accepted. So, what to do, right?

Just wanted to let you know that there is someone else out there who is in your shoes...


Apr 16, 2008, 5:46 PM

Post #629 of 793 (12108 views)
Re: [schmeeter] Final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

"Teaching is a good financial fall back."

Maybe on the secondary level, but I'm not sure about the college level. University teaching jobs are getting harder and harder to land even with an MFA and publication(s).

Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 16, 2008, 5:59 PM

Post #630 of 793 (12088 views)
Re: [LaurenS] Final decision [In reply to] Can't Post

With minor publications (journals but no book from a major press), you can earn up to $4000, I've heard, per course. I never got more than $2000, but I've heard rumors from other parts of the country.

Full-time teaching jobs with an MFA and minor publications are vanishingly rare.

The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.


Apr 16, 2008, 10:05 PM

Post #631 of 793 (11971 views)
Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, I'm trying to make a decision and thought maybe I could get some feedback from this board. I was accepted into one program (Mills) and was only offered a little bit of funding so would have to take out loans over $20K. Grad school was a last minute decision for me so I didn't realize there were so many programs that offered full-funding. Plus Mills is in SF, a very expensive city. But still, I was up for going and there was an opening for the same position I have with my company so I could at least work.

Then, I was offered a promotion with my company that would take me up pay grade, plus more responsibility and the possibility of working from home. I figure, no matter what, I'm going to have to depend on this job during and after school. I've one of those "working professionals" that was going back to finally focus on my writing. Should I focus on the career that I have now or the one I want? Should I go into debt, when I'm almost completely out of it now?
Go to workshops or just keep working on my own? Maybe the answer is obvious but I'm curious if there is anyone else there in a similar situation to me. I'd love to hear what you think if so.


Apr 16, 2008, 10:54 PM

Post #632 of 793 (11935 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wowsers.... this sounds like it's between you and your own heart. Decide, then come here, tell us what you've chosen, and we'll assure you you've made the correct decision.

Seriously, though. If you plan on writing and working this job before and after the MFA, have you considered the low-res option?

six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Apr 16, 2008, 10:55 PM)


Apr 16, 2008, 10:56 PM

Post #633 of 793 (11930 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post


I'm in a similar situation. I work and am getting my MFA at the same time. I love having that financial anchor! I'm a lot more tired than my classmates, though.

I think if you can handle the promotion and work from home, as well as get your MFA, then you're having the best of both worlds. It's just a time-management issue. If you're working, $8k isn't too much debt for an MFA. If you're under 60, then concentrate on the future jobwise. Don't throw away a good job in this economy, but don't think a few casual workshops will make a big difference in your writing. Get the best education you can.

Hope this helps!



Apr 16, 2008, 11:14 PM

Post #634 of 793 (11917 views)
Re: [ellen362] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Ellen and Junior Maas. Yes, I do want to give my writing it's due time because making this decision came after a long long time. But I am in my 30s and upon hearing about how bad the job market is, makes me feel nervous about not taking advantage of the opportunities given to me. I work for a great company with good benefits and as much as I'd like to think I'll publish out of grad school and make enough money so I don't have to worry, I know that's a pretty, pretty dream.

Maybe the low-res option is the way to go. I guess a part of me is nervous if I give up this acceptance at Mills, no one will ever accept me again. :)

Thanks for your advice. This was helpful.


Apr 17, 2008, 12:53 AM

Post #635 of 793 (11871 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Chelbee,
Maybe you can have the best of both worlds. Have you considered accepting Mills, moving to SF, and taking the job there that's in line with what you have now? It sounds like you like your company, and they would probably understand your situation, especially since they're willing to accommodate a relocation. I don't think that they'd begrudge you a promotion in the future because of it. In fact, they might really appreciate that you don't want to bite off more than you can chew right now. If they value you enough to offer you a promotion (considering that they know that an MFA could be in the works), they probably want to keep you around for a while.

It's also probably in the best interest of your relationship with your job. It would be a shame to regret passing up a great opportunity and having it undermine your satisfaction with your current career.


Apr 17, 2008, 4:06 AM

Post #636 of 793 (11832 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

You do know Mills is in Oakland, not San Francisco, right? Although they are close together, they are two different cities with distinctly different personalities (both great, in my opinion). You can live in SF and commute to Oakland, but it's a hassle to get to the Mills campus without a car (and a hassle to own a car in SF). It's doable by public transport, just difficult and slow. It's probably cheaper to live in Oakland and commute to SF for work on the train. Tons of people make the transbay commute that way. That said, the Bay Area is worth it and Mills is a great school.

hanna elise

Apr 17, 2008, 5:10 AM

Post #637 of 793 (11827 views)
Re: [ersatz] Final Answer [In reply to] Can't Post

I will be attending U of Oregon for fiction (I think because of you, Ersatz. So funny! You're my hero!)

I'm turning down Maryland and American, and I took my name off the wait for Vanderbilt.

e-mail user

Apr 17, 2008, 9:16 AM

Post #638 of 793 (11787 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am in a pretty similar situation and I am going to go the low-res route, while I work. It will be busy but I have no kids at this moment and I am really dedicated to not going into debt. You should look into low-res options. You could apply now for admittance into winter residencies. There are some really good programs out there.



Apr 17, 2008, 9:50 AM

Post #639 of 793 (11762 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Chelbeewrites, I'm also in a similar situation. I work-full time in a pretty stable job with really good benefits. I started it almost 3 years ago, and for awhile, I was frustrated with it. I thought of the MFA as a way to transition to something else for a couple of years. But I've grown to really like my job and feel less overwhelmed by it--I have a lot of responsibility, but it lets me work in my non-writing field (visual arts) and also sort of feeds my writing work, in a way. I realized I was fortunate to have a good job in a shaky economy, and at least for now, I feel like it would be smarter for me to stick with the job.

I am starting a low-res program this summer, and I know I'm going to be exhausted and wiped out a lot. But focusing on my writing over the past couple of years has actually helped me to feel happier with my job and life in general, so this was a good option for me. I hope you're able to figure out what works best for you--maybe think about low-res, and I can't imagine that Mills is the only school in the whole world that would ever accept you!


Apr 17, 2008, 10:17 AM

Post #640 of 793 (11741 views)
Final Decision! [In reply to] Can't Post

I accepted Sarah Lawrence's offer today. Who thought putting a letter in a mailbox could feel so good! I was blown away by my campus visit yesterday. It met every expectation I had and more. It's a great feeling to know that I'm going someplace that is such a perfect fit for me. To anyone who hasn't made a decision and still has some time, and to people getting ready to go through the application process for 09, I would absolutely recommend a campus visit and sitting in on a class, if possible. It gave me a sense of the culture and energy of the program and students, and I feel 100% certain that I couldn't wind up anyplace more perfect for me. Last month I visited Emerson in Boston and realized that it was not a good fit for me at all. I never imagined that I'd have two such strong reactions to programs through visiting. I also got to meet a lot of other accepted/incoming students so I have an idea of who else will be there next year. To any of those people reading this, it was great meeting you.

Any other SLC people out there? I wish it was September now!


Apr 17, 2008, 11:00 AM

Post #641 of 793 (11708 views)
Re: [esined] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm also worried about the debt. I keep reading on these boards about how you "shouldn't go into debt for an MFA" so that worries me too. I was willing to take on a bit but $20K for one year... that's a bit steep considering I'll be debt free in one year.

I have an interview in SF next week for the other position so I think I'll take advantage of the trip to go see Mills and make my decision then. I'm also going to look into some low-res programs. That sounds like it might be a good way to go.

I appreciate the advice.


Apr 17, 2008, 12:24 PM

Post #642 of 793 (11650 views)
Re: [hanna elise] Final Answer [In reply to] Can't Post

yay hanna! oregon is the best state in the country. please eat some pie at Sweet Life Bakery for me - it's the best!


Apr 17, 2008, 2:44 PM

Post #643 of 793 (11540 views)
Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I have accepted an offer at Notre Dame (POETRY).

I am so tired of these boards. I can find something else to obsess over now. Congratulations to everyone who has accepted an offer and also to to those who have the persistence and courage to have navigated this long process.

Ryan Downey


Apr 17, 2008, 4:55 PM

Post #644 of 793 (11435 views)
Re: [rdowney] Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post


I talked to ND today and, somehow, I have magically advanced from having eight people waiting ahead of me to being the next in line (for fiction). I guess they are still waiting on a few people to make decisions.

I had already come to terms with the fact that I'd be re-applying next year, but suddenly there's possibility again. I'm still pretty ready for this all to be over, though.


Apr 17, 2008, 6:49 PM

Post #645 of 793 (11339 views)
Re: [ejdifili] Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been pulling for you. I hope you get in.

Good luck!


Apr 17, 2008, 7:11 PM

Post #646 of 793 (11317 views)
SFSU [In reply to] Can't Post

I just turned down a spot at SFSU for poetry. They were offering me a Provost Scholarship which includes in-state tuition, so hopefully someone else gets some financial aid. I wish SFSU offered TAships (maybe they do and I just didn't receive one?) Good luck everyone.


Apr 17, 2008, 7:26 PM

Post #647 of 793 (11304 views)
Pacific! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just accepted at Pacific this afternoon, so a spot at Antioch will be opening up. Hopefully someone who has been waiting will get in. Got my rejection from Bennington about 20 minutes after I accepted, which is quite amusing.


Apr 17, 2008, 7:47 PM

Post #648 of 793 (11288 views)
Re: [chelbeewrites] Advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Why not just wait a year and apply to funded programs? There are a lot of them out there. It seems like if you have to be working full time to support yourself during the MFA, it's going to be difficult to have much energy left over for writing, which to me at least, undermines one of the main reasons for attending an MFA program in the first place--that is, to give yourself time and space to write. If you're stressed about money and demands on your time, it seems like it would be hard to enjoy the experience and get as much out of it as you might want. At least, I know that I would have that problem.
Good luck with your decision...


Apr 17, 2008, 8:38 PM

Post #649 of 793 (11252 views)
Re: [ejdifili] Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Good luck, Emily! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.


Apr 18, 2008, 12:10 AM

Post #650 of 793 (11155 views)
Re: [emily] Notre Dame [In reply to] Can't Post

Emily, I'm pulling for you, too! That's awesome about ND...I hope a spot opens up for you!

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