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OutWest

MFA programs in the USA with Excellent Funding (as of 2012)

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This is a list compiled by myself, with additions by the fine members of a couple 2012 MFA Forums, that will give next year's applicants a good idea as to what programs give the best funding. If you have any more additions, please feel free to add to! And, best of luck to all you futre MFA applicants. Much love from the 2012 crowd:

By Region, in no particular order:

West

- UCSD (full ride + teaching stipend)

- UC Irvine (I believe there is good funding here, but unsure of details)

- UCLA (both DMA and the regular arts program give up to 100+% funding with teaching)

- USC (many admits get full tuition funding)

- UCSB (full finding + excellent stipend and teaching)

- Stanford (full ride + excellent stipend and teaching)

- UC Berkeley (full ride tuition for instate peeps, out of staters pay difference)

- Mills (not always, but I have heard of 50+% funding here)

- UC Davis (50-70% funding)

- UOregon (full ride + teaching stipend)

- UW (full ride)

- ASU (Arizona State) (full ride) + (50% tuition + Merit Scholarsihps: for International Students)

Midwest

- UIowa (I believe there is full funding avail here)

- Indiana (full ride, I believe)

- UChicago (75% tuition funding + teaching stipend) - KEEP an eye on this program. They are dumping a TON of money into the arts here (esp. with their fabulous Logan Arts Center. A "hidden gem" of a program)

- UI-C (I have heard of good funding here)

- Northwestern (full ride + excellent stipend and teaching)

- SAIC (I hear of one full ride and one half ride per department)

- SIUC (Southern Illinois) (full ride + stipend)

- UMichigan (full ride, first year travel funding, free computer, + stipend)

- Ohio (both state and university) (full rides + stipend to both universities)

(I'm sure there are others in the M-W…)

South

- UGA (Georgia) (excellent funding)

- LSU (Louisiana) (excellent funding)

- UF (Florida) (full funding)

- UTex-Austin (50% or more funding, I have heard of)

- Georgia Tech (MS in Digital Media is a full ride)

East

- Alfred (full ride + stipend)

- RPI / iEAR (half the admits get full finding)

- Carnegie-Mellon (70+% funding)

- RISD (Pres. Scholarships range 40K, 20K and 10K, but most pay)

- Rutgers (heard of full funding)

- SUNY Buffalo (heard of good-to-full funding here)

- Tyler/Temple (sometimes they do offer full funding + stipend to some first year MFAs, but 2nd yr seems to get best funding)

- SFMA (has been known to dish out some decent money, but not all the time)

- Yale (if you are low income, along with your parents (regardless of your age, they ask for your parent's financials), you can qualify for excellent funding. If not, you will pay)

- MIT / ACT (I have heard of around 50% funding)

- Univ of Maryland (full ride + teaching stipend)

- VCU (70+% funding)

- Cornell (full ride + teaching stipend)

- MICA (25-50% tuition for some)

- Bard (heard of there being up to 50% funding)

- Montclair State (heard of excellent funding here)

- Keep an eye out for Dartmouth doing a production orientated "Digital Studies" Masters in the future, and if it is anything like their outstanding "Digital Musics", it'll be a full ride +)

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Note:

Just to clarify, Ohio State and Ohio University are TWO separate schools, and they both have excellent funding :)

And, it has been brought to my attention that sometimes VCU does not always give 70% funding, and I am going to add that it is safe to assume that just about ANY program is not going to guarantee the funding listed here, but that it is, for most schools, a very good possibility.

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That's a great list! Thanks for putting it together. Real quick I can think of a couple of well funded programs to add.

West:

UNLV (full rides and I think stipends)

Cal State San Bernardino (a friend went here and liked it, heard they offer full ride but don't know much about the school)

South:

USF (full rides)

FSU (friend got in here and she said they all get tuition waivers and stipends)

University of Miami (they offer some students tuition waivers and stipends but not all)

Tulane (full ride)

University of NO (I heard full ride, not sure for all or not)

East:

University of Delaware (offers full ride)

SUNY Stony Brook (tuition waiver and stipend to some. Should mention need to take GRE to get it)

University of Long Island (I heard a full ride is offered to some)

UConn (full rides available?)

I'm sure there are more out there!

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Thanks tyson2 for the additions! Keep adding 'em in as any of you find out info. on other programs.

That's a great list! Thanks for putting it together. Real quick I can think of a couple of well funded programs to add.

...

I'm sure there are more out there!

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Here's a repost of info from another Forum member on what they were getting from a few schools:

"Hi everyone, here's my choices instead of writing scholarship etc I've just basically put how much of a tuition reduction and how much extra I'd need for the rest (other fees living stipend) these are rough figures and just 1st year!

Calarts - 25% tuition reduction - approx $49K

SFAI - 50% tuition reduction - approx $37K

SVA - 5%ish Approx $55K

ASU - 75% ish Approx $20K

..."

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I'll also add that Washington University in St. Louis is fairly generous. I believe they offer a range of scholarships to different students, but here's what they offered me (Tuition there is $34K/year, 2-year program): merit scholarship + teaching assistantship for both years totaling $24K. Not too bad. Also, you can apply to the Olin Fellowship for women, which offers full tuition remission, and/or the Chancellor's Fellowship, which offers full tuition remission plus a huge stipend. They also have a generous fellowship for international students. I highly recommend applying to their program.

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@OutWest - great list! I'm sure future applicants will find that very helpful.

Just a minor edit - in the East section you mention "SFMA", but I think you probably meant "SMFA" - School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Also, I get the impression that they give out just under 1/3 funding to a lot of people, probably some get more than that, and two people are chosen to receive full tuition.

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Indeed, my bad...I did mean SMFA Boston. Dyslexic fingers.

Thanks for the addition of info!

@OutWest - great list! I'm sure future applicants will find that very helpful.

Just a minor edit - in the East section you mention "SFMA", but I think you probably meant "SMFA" - School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Also, I get the impression that they give out just under 1/3 funding to a lot of people, probably some get more than that, and two people are chosen to receive full tuition.

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UC Davis offered a TA which covers in-state tuition plus a stipend (stipend amounts make it a wash for paying out of state first yr)

UMD College Park offered a full ride plus stipend

Tyler offered a TA for two semesters which covered 1/2 tuition plus stipend (so it amounts to 25% tuition reduction)

UNC Chapel Hill would cover tuition with the TA

U South Florida was full tuition, fellowship first yr, TA stipend in 2nd and 3rd years

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Here's some info on Parsons from another post:

"For those who got accepted to Parsons. How much merit based scholarship did you receive?

Apparently it goes up to 65%

Last year someone got 75%

But of course that's like very few people get a lot - they tend to dole out a little bit of money to many people in that program, so some people might get like 20% or less - but most people get something, I think"

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FYI: Digital Media MS at Georgia Tech is not a guaranteed full ride. I'm actually deciding whether or not to do this program and basically they say that assistantships are NOT a given, it's up to you to find one before you start the program, and people with good tech skills (like programming) have a better chance of getting one.

Another to add to your list is the DANM program at UC Santa Cruz.

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...Another to add to your list is the DANM program at UC Santa Cruz.

BTW...UCSC DANM, as far as I have researched, and a couple of friends who applied and/or went there, does not have terrific funding. But, it does have some.

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This is a good question...I have heard that it is comparable to the other UC's such as UC Irvine and UCSB, which have excellent funding. I didn't see financials listed on the UCR website, but send them an email asking about funding/TAships, etc. and I'm sure they will fill you in.

Good luck!

Does anyone know if UC Riverside (west) provides funding?

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I don't know if this is still true, but after I got out of Yale in the early 1980s the new Dean of the School of Art explained in a newsletter that -- for each dollar of tuition billed out (before any money rolled in) -- the School rerouted thirty-nine cents toward internal, student-funded scholarships. I interpreted that as unwitting wealthy students acting as the overwhelming source of free aid money for poor students.

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The list is great. But I'm going to say it again, the list creator should use the edit button and separate out the Ohio line into:

The Ohio State University (OSU)

Ohio University (OU)

The way the list reads saying "state and university" is really pretty confusing to those not familiar with these two rival schools that kind of dislike each other because of the shared similarity of their names. The "THE" in the "The Ohio State University" name was added to emphasize that they are the original university of Ohio and not the "pretender." The are very different school. OSU is the largest university in the nation and tends to have lots more money (partly because of football) to fund students with. It is a "city" university. OU is much smaller and located in a small town where OU students are 1/2 of the whole population. A very different experience suited to different students needs and desires.

Also on the VCU line. While 70% funding might be achieved by some it likely is not the norm. I was accepted to VCU but with zero funding. The line should likely read 0-70% funding. It is a great school and I believe it should be considered by all prospective MFA students but it is not the same as schools where all accepted MFA's get some or total funding.

You may also consider adding Utah State University to the list. The funding levels are tight to non-existant, but the tuition costs are among the lowest in the nation and may be much cheaper than a high priced school with a less than 100% tuition award. It is considered one of the best buys in the US.

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This thread made me so incredibly happy!! I know a lot about the funding of the schools here on the West, but it was great to see what schools I should look into on the East.

To add; my friend just graduated with her MFA from Montclair. I talked to her a lot about the program and where it's heading, and it appears like it definitely is heading towards a more interdisplinary route--which is good for me as an artist. I was also SHOCKED to hear the artists that came through and gave talks and studio visits. (My friend had lunch with Vito Acconci...jealous) It was by no means on my radar, and it sounds like hell to live in Jersey for 2 years, but I think I'm going to attempt applying there.

Edit: Sorry, just wanted to add that my friend had to pay full 1st yr, but then 2nd she got a fellowship.

Edited by aethiryn

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awthiryn: Glad you are finding worth in this List! :)

Also, you should apply to UCLA New Genres, since you are going for big guns like CalArts and the like. They give full rides and it's such a tremendous program and worth the effort.

Good luck!

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Do you have any knowledge of likelihood of success on the strength of a portfolio rather than BFA? i'm looking to apply for MA or MFA but have a BA in sciences (i know, not good!) and a UK higher education qualification i doubt U.S. institutions would recognise (distinction in BTEC foundation diploma in art and design)? any advice welcome!! thanks!

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Do you have any knowledge of likelihood of success on the strength of a portfolio rather than BFA? i'm looking to apply for MA or MFA but have a BA in sciences (i know, not good!) and a UK higher education qualification i doubt U.S. institutions would recognise (distinction in BTEC foundation diploma in art and design)? any advice welcome!! thanks!

The portfolio is more important. The fact that your background is in science doesn't hurt (and in some cases might help you stand out). Some schools require you to have a BA in Art or a BFA but most programs will take applicants in any background, provided they have a good portfolio.

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