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AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I GOT INTO SJCNY!!!!!!! I’M GOING TO COLLEGE. Brb I’m gonna go move my car and maybe cry happy tears a little bit.

Babes, I was just waitlisted at Michener for fiction!! ❤️❤️❤️

I just got accepted at Miami of Ohio (poetry)! My little ones and I just popped open the bottle of sparkling Welch's that has been sitting in the fridge door. I told them I got into an MFA and my d

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22 minutes ago, Ydrl said:

Thread for 2022 is up very very early: 

https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/129081-2022-applicants-forum/

 

Yeah, I just took that one down because it was sus as fuck (brand new 1 post account making an app thread?), given the problems we've been having. 

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3 minutes ago, dr. telkanuru said:

Yeah, I just took that one down because it was sus as fuck (brand new 1 post account making an app thread?), given the problems we've been having. 

Gotcha. It's a shame that everyone here has to worry about shit like this. I might pop in on next year's thread, but if I don't happen to see your posts in a sea of thousands of posts, I hope next year is easier for you. You've helped us out a lot, thank you.

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1 hour ago, Cristie said:

I have a feeling my age played against me with funding

... 

 Will you move over the summer to be sure to get a place? 

I thought I was the oldest (or second oldest maybe?) on here. 

I'm looking at apartments now to move down in July. Both of my kids will start college here in MO, so that makes it hard, but ASU offered me moving expenses to get moved out there, so that part's amazing

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27 minutes ago, cecsav said:

I thought I was the oldest (or second oldest maybe?) on here. 

I'm looking at apartments now to move down in July. Both of my kids will start college here in MO, so that makes it hard, but ASU offered me moving expenses to get moved out there, so that part's amazing

Well that shoots a hole in my theory. Hmm...I just don't know how they decide on who gets funding and who doesn't. Ranking maybe??? I won't lie...so jealous (but in a nice way)...that is really great for you. I'm watching those weird youtube driving around a town tours trying to figure out where I could/want to possibly live. I'm trying to look at it as one big writing adventure. I may need to just go for a weekend and wander around before I try to do it all remotely. No kids in college but I have a pre-teen. She can't get me out of the door fast enough lol. 

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2 hours ago, cecsav said:

I thought I was the oldest (or second oldest maybe?) on here. 

I'm looking at apartments now to move down in July. Both of my kids will start college here in MO, so that makes it hard, but ASU offered me moving expenses to get moved out there, so that part's amazing

Nope, I’m probably the oldest. Got two kids in college. Congrats on ASU. Sounds like a great program. We did a fam trip to AZ two summer’s ago (Sedona, Grand C.) and it rocked (bad pun attempt). 

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3 hours ago, Ydrl said:

Gotcha. It's a shame that everyone here has to worry about shit like this. I might pop in on next year's thread, but if I don't happen to see your posts in a sea of thousands of posts, I hope next year is easier for you. You've helped us out a lot, thank you.

Dang, Banquo’s ghost haunting the MFA 22 thread already? Oh well, I’ll be looking out for it probably and hope all goes well in NH. 

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I am confused! I applied a bit late this year for the MFA fiction concentration (just for five programs, got a denial from university of Houston and U of Florida). Got accepted into Columbia; I've been waitlisted by NYU (yet to hear back). I am not sure if NYU is done with their selection, already. Columbia is damn expensive, NYU is not cheap either. I am an international student so I am not sure if I would qualify for any federal funding. However, if the time spent in the academic setting were to help me to write and improve as a writer I would consider such an option. On the other hand, I feel, I should not take this offer and apply the next year; but would I match into any programs at all, next year? Any advice will be appreciated.

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4 hours ago, kbaskar2007 said:

I am confused! I applied a bit late this year for the MFA fiction concentration (just for five programs, got a denial from university of Houston and U of Florida). Got accepted into Columbia; I've been waitlisted by NYU (yet to hear back). I am not sure if NYU is done with their selection, already. Columbia is damn expensive, NYU is not cheap either. I am an international student so I am not sure if I would qualify for any federal funding. However, if the time spent in the academic setting were to help me to write and improve as a writer I would consider such an option. On the other hand, I feel, I should not take this offer and apply the next year; but would I match into any programs at all, next year? Any advice will be appreciated.

I am also considering taking a year off and applying next year. I applied too late. started in December and got one acceptance, which is Columbia. 

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Just now, Blackhole said:

I am also considering taking a year off and applying next year. I applied too late. started in December and got one acceptance, which is Columbia. 

maybe defer Columbia?

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Don’t take this as a “rain on your parade” type of response, but pretty much every article on MFAs out there says do not pay for the MFA. Especially now when there are more MFA programs than ever and more schools fully funding their students than ever. The only decent exceptions I’ve heard were one from someone who wanted to stay in the city where their partner worked and their kids went to school and another where the person was able to continue working (so that was a low res option, and definitely a good choice if you want the MFA, but want to hold onto your career while you get it).

As much as the troll sucks, I have seen it said in more reputable places from non-trolls that those well known professors at Columbia, as good as they might be, do have favorites (how could anyone not, I mean we all have favorite authors) and that your level of funding is at least a decent indication about how likely you are to be one of those favorites.

Unless you are wealthy enough where the cost will not limit your future options (and a load of debt will typically limit your future options), do not pay for an arts degree when you don’t need the degree to do what you enjoy doing. I believe the MFA will help you improve and will give you that sweet, sweet time to write, but you do need to consider the situation you’ll be in once you are on the other side. Will you be able to keep focusing on your work when you have a mountain of debt (likely forcing you to take a job for the money and not for the passion) and a degree that won’t guarantee you a career? Sorry, that sounds grim, but I just think it would be dreadful to go in, pay a lot, maybe even have a great MFA experience, but then be too consumed with financial worry afterwards to keep writing.

Please don’t take this as discouragement, I want everyone who wants to go to MFA programs to go, but I also don’t want people to come out the other side and end up bitter about it. Because that’s how you breed trolls.

 

TLDR: Only go to an MFA program if you are fully funded. Consider what your position will be like after the MFA if you have a load of debt. Do what is right for you, but be honest and realistic.

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The guy before was a troll because they were being rude and telling people they won't succeed and to give up hope, which I don't think is helpful. (I think most of us know that acceptance rates are low at most schools--between 0.5% and 3%, but that's no reason to give up hope if we believe we have submitted our best work, because every year people do get in and go.)

I'm just saying you should only go to an MFA program if you are fully funded or independently wealthy enough not to go into debilitating debt over tuition fees. (And by debilitating, I mean debt that makes you unable to write after you graduate or otherwise depressed or anxious.) This is advice I've picked up from reading soooo many articles on MFA programs and affording them.

Here's a couple MFA advice articles that might be helpful to clear things up further:

https://www.flavorwire.com/476264/27-writers-on-whether-or-not-to-get-your-mfa

https://www.tiffanyhawk.com/blog/should-i-get-an-mfa

 

And here's a list of some fully funded MFA programs:

https://readtheworkshop.com/resources/fully-funded-programs/

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I would say if Columbia is your dream, then apply. Some students do receive funding, but also spend some time thinking about whether it would still be worth it to you even if you don't receive funding and have to pay tuition prices while paying to live in NYC, one of the most expensive cities in the US. Whether it's a rip off is up to you and your personal financial situation and what you expect to get out of the program. Columbia has famous professors and it is right in the heart of the publishing world, but personally (especially as someone who isn't wild about NYC) I would definitely not be willing to pay to go when some students do receive funding and when there are other programs that are fully funded.

Here's a perspective piece on the price of attending Columbia from an international student:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/07/columbia-costs-mfa/593215/

And to respond to the whole open admission thing, while Columbia does have a significantly higher acceptance rate in comparison to other programs it is not open admission. From what I could find (I used collegelearners.com), in previous years the acceptance rate was around 40%, though this year was probably lower considering how many more people applied everywhere. I couldn't find any concrete information about what percentage of students receive funding or full funding, but if you put some work in and look through the financial aid and scholarship page(s) on the Columbia website you might be able to find that out.

Finally, I would suggest checking out the book MFA vs. NYC (I was able to check it out at my library, didn't even have to buy it) for some more perspectives on the MFA from professors and people who have actually gone to MFA programs unlike most of us here (who have done research, probably a lot, but don't have that sweet, sweet personal experience).

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The troll is mostly right about acceptance rates and the cost of an MFA not being worth it. If you have trust fund, go to Columbia learn poetry from Timothy Donnelly! If you're just a regular person, it's wiser to not go into a ton of debt and only apply to fully funded places (maybe 1 or 2 partially funded if you are desperate to get the degree and have a shot at full funding). Don't bury yourself in unmanageable debt. You have to be able to live to make your art. The job market for writers is not great, but most of us are all doing this because we care about making good art, not getting the highest paying job. This is not meant to discourage anyone. You should keep applying, keep working on your stuff, keep submitting to journals, etc. Just, you know, go to the place that is best suited for your situation. Don't be so consumed with getting the degree anywhere right away.

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Okay I'm going to pitch in my two cents here on this topic. (Not hating or directly responding to anyone, this is my perspective.)

The way I see it, if you're going through any type of grad program, you're going to be in debt for something. People say an MFA degree is fiscally irresponsible because the jobs you get out of it will not equalize out your loans or the debt you rack up while in the program. Well, I knew I wasn't going to be a millionaire when I declared my English and History double major in college and I knew to get anywhere in either field I would have to get a Masters, thus spending more money.

I also heard the same speech about going into debt with law school too because I wanted to be a Public Interest Lawyer. Everyone said "dear god please tell me you're going into literally anything else." People in Public Interest Law make one of the lowest amounts of money per year in the field...so everyone said I was royally screwed. I was damned if I wanted to go to law school and damned if I wanted to get an MFA. If I was in it for the money, I would have gone into Corporate Law instead.

With the MFA degree, fully funded programs are one of the only ways some students can afford to go, I understand that. Money isn't funny. But in the broader scheme of things, if you can. weigh your options and make the choice that's right for you, especially this year since most colleges and universities are struggling financially. It might be a higher price tag but maybe the program is worth it.

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3 minutes ago, lenagator1997 said:

Okay I'm going to pitch in my two cents here on this topic. (Not hating or directly responding to anyone, this is my perspective.)

The way I see it, if you're going through any type of grad program, you're going to be in debt for something. People say an MFA degree is fiscally irresponsible because the jobs you get out of it will not equalize out your loans or the debt you rack up while in the program. Well, I knew I wasn't going to be a millionaire when I declared my English and History double major in college and I knew to get anywhere in either field I would have to get a Masters, thus spending more money.

I also heard the same speech about going into debt with law school too because I wanted to be a Public Interest Lawyer. Everyone said "dear god please tell me you're going into literally anything else." People in Public Interest Law make one of the lowest amounts of money per year in the field...so everyone said I was royally screwed. I was damned if I wanted to go to law school and damned if I wanted to get an MFA. If I was in it for the money, I would have gone into Corporate Law instead.

With the MFA degree, fully funded programs are one of the only ways some students can afford to go, I understand that. Money isn't funny. But in the broader scheme of things, if you can. weigh your options and make the choice that's right for you, especially this year since most colleges and universities are struggling financially. It might be a higher price tag but maybe the program is worth it.

thank you :)

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Going into debt is a personal choice. 
I personally wouldn’t go into too much debt for the MFA.
I personally wouldn’t go into any debt for Columbia. They literally have billions of dollars. Plus, they pack so much into two years; you’d have more time to write at other programs, even non-funded ones.
 

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Lots of good points here. I would also add that the MFA can actually offer you some great professional skills, but mostly through extracurriculars or funded positions. Your /coursework/ won't usually get you a job, but volunteering for a lit mag or the program's events might (think graphic design, social media, PR, event planning, etc). I know several graduating students who are leveraging this type of experience to find jobs. However, these are often volunteer positions that require free time outside of class. If you're working retail through your MFA, you'll actually be missing out on professionalization opportunities.

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On 3/25/2021 at 7:56 AM, Ydrl said:

I did get a new email regarding being on the waitlist, but all it said was that someone from the program would be answering our questions in our private zoom meetings. So I'm gonna assume that my question regarding waitlist ranks/ pools vs ranked waitlists will not be answered until my Mar. 29th meeting.

Hi did you receive rejection letter from UMD?

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8 hours ago, ni2021 said:

Hi did you receive rejection letter from UMD?

Yes, I was rejected off the waitlist the day before I committed to New Hampshire

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Good morning/afternoon/evening to all,

Ydrl, any updates on the spreadsheet you're offering?  Feel free to send it via an attachment to a message on here.

I'd like to start narrowing down my actual list for next year as scientifically as possible, haha.

 

Thanks again!

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