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Beginning to look at MFAs- couple of questions


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I'm a mature student from the UK and I've browsed Grad Cafe for years on and off, as I'd love to indulge in an MFA in Creative Writing.

Now, I know it's a completely different set up to the UK where funding is basically nil. The best I might be able to afford is an MA from the Open University, in a few years after some saving. Not a bad option, perfectly respectable. 

My dream, however, would be to attend an American or Canadian university but I have no great ambition to become a university lecturer so I'm looking for a course with minimal teaching responsibilities.  I'd happily work for the department or a journal to earn my keep as part of the funding package. Is that even possible? If so, can you point me in the direction of any grad schools like this? Thanks!

Edited by liebkuchen
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Hi liebkuchen. Yes, there are a number of programs that will fund you without teaching requirements. My MFA alma mater, George Mason, funds people a variety of ways. Some teach (GTAs), while others are GPAs -- graduate professional assistants. These people worked in a variety of positions, including: giving feedback on scholarship apps at the Office of Fellowships; social media/outreach for the department; reading and editing for our small press, Stillhouse; etc. Interestingly, working at our literary magazines was an extracurricular, but some programs offer funding for editorial positions at their lit mags.

In short, different programs will have a variety of funding options. Some will fund you with no work requirements, although these will tend to be the more competitive programs.

I would start by browsing this list of fully-funded programs: https://readtheworkshop.com/resources/fully-funded-programs/

You can also browse the Poets & Writers MFA database, which includes funding info for each program: https://www.pw.org/mfa

Note that George Mason isn't on the list of fully-funded programs, as they fund most but not all students. There are other strong programs that aren't fully-funded, and they may have more options for funding routes. They will also tend to be wayyy less competitive, so I highly recommend applying these programs in addition to the "big names." Note that if the program's website/Poets & Writers entry says something like "The program offers scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, and federal work-study positions" they will offer very little money. Scholarships at the Master's level are usually $1-3k per semester, which won't even cover tuition fully.

Hope that helps!

Edited by feralgrad
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