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Brown or Columbia - which has a better writing program?


reverielove
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Hello guys, I was just wondering ...

 

If you've been accepted into Brown and Columbia MFA program, and both schools are willing to provide some funding (what a dream come true *sigh*), which school would you choose?

 

Generally speaking, which school has a stronger writing program?

 

And what might be the strengths and weakness of each school?

 

I would like to know what other writers think.

 

Thank you so much!

 

:)

 

 

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Columbia has many advantages because it's in NYC; Brown, on the other hand seems to fund its students (do any Columbia students get complete tuition remissions and a stipend?) and has a smaller group that probably gets more individual attention.

If anyone is deciding between the two, it would be crazy to turn down a funded (as in you pay nothing and get a stipend) offer for an unfunded one, unless there are major mitigating circumstances.

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Did you get accepted to programs you didn't research?

 

 

hahaha, I wish I got into those programs.

 

I didn't. I didn't even apply. 

 

I am going to apply for next term and I am doing my research now.

 

I mean, I want to apply to dozens of schools but my budget is very low...

 

I am going to apply to either Brown or Columbia - just one.

 

So, I wanted some insight.  

Edited by reverielove
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Columbia has many advantages because it's in NYC; Brown, on the other hand seems to fund its students (do any Columbia students get complete tuition remissions and a stipend?) and has a smaller group that probably gets more individual attention.

If anyone is deciding between the two, it would be crazy to turn down a funded (as in you pay nothing and get a stipend) offer for an unfunded one, unless there are major mitigating circumstances.

 

 

thank you for your comment. And I think you are right. Brown guarantees funding. And the program is very small compared to Columbia, which I believe accepts about 17% of the applicants.

 

Maybe I should apply for Brown then. But then the chance of being accepted is so low... This is going to be a tough decision. I might just apply to Columbia and hope for funding. Oh well. 

 

Anyways, thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it. 

Edited by reverielove
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hahaha, I wish I got into those programs.

 

I didn't. I didn't even apply. 

 

I am going to apply for next term and I am doing my research now.

 

I mean, I want to apply to dozens of schools but my budget is very low...

 

I am going to apply to either Brown or Columbia - just one.

 

So, I wanted some insight.  

 

 

My mistake. 

 

I would definitely suggest Brown for a myriad of reasons. I was a hopeful this year and will likely re-apply next year!

 

I wish us both well ;-)

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My mistake. 

 

I would definitely suggest Brown for a myriad of reasons. I was a hopeful this year and will likely re-apply next year!

 

I wish us both well ;-)

 

Nah, I re-read what I wrote and realized how it sounded.

Sounded wrong and stupid hahaha.

 

Anyways, thank you and good luck with everything!

 

I wish you the best of luck :)

Edited by reverielove
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I have a friend at Columbia's MFA program. She likes it so far. Although, she told me she didn't get to choose her thesis advisor, which I found strange. Both have writers that I love on there.
 

But when making the decision, you should try to research a little about the writers you might end up working with, Also, NYC is expensive to live in and I don't think it would be as costly at Brown. But the advantage of NYC is that there's lots of readings and events that you can participate in the literary culture.

Although, being at a smaller school, you get to know your fellow students better and get more face-time with your faculty, which would be an advantage. 

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I have a friend at Columbia's MFA program. She likes it so far. Although, she told me she didn't get to choose her thesis advisor, which I found strange. Both have writers that I love on there.

 

But when making the decision, you should try to research a little about the writers you might end up working with, Also, NYC is expensive to live in and I don't think it would be as costly at Brown. But the advantage of NYC is that there's lots of readings and events that you can participate in the literary culture.

Although, being at a smaller school, you get to know your fellow students better and get more face-time with your faculty, which would be an advantage. 

 

Spearmo, thank you for your reply and insight!

 

And that's really strange that your friend didn't get to choose her thesis advisor. But anyways, she likes it there. That's what matters. 

 

And you are right. I need to research about the writers I might end up working with.

 

Both are great schools. They both have advantages and disadvantages. 

 

I will definitely look into the faculty members - their books and writing style. I will decide from there.  

 

Thank you so much! 

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"Better" is the wrong question to ask.  You want to think less about what's "better" and more about what's right for you.  I'd tell anyone who got a place at both schools to pick Brown, without hesitation, citing funding and fit. (If you get into Brown, it's probably the right place for you- less true of Columbia.)

 

However, that's not what you asked.  You asked about where you should spend your application dollars.  Given that you are applying to "dozens" of schools, it's kind of weird that you are balancing Columbia against Brown.  I have to assume that they are the two schools occupying the "Ivy League" slot in your MFA roster, because otherwise the schools have nothing in common.  Brown is fully funded. Columbia is the most expensive MFA you can get. Brown is incredibly selective.  Columbia is probably the least selective well-known MFA out there.  Brown is VERY experimental.  Columbia is more NYC-literary-commercial.

 

If you're a "Brown" kind of writer, then it's a dream school, and you should apply even though it is a crazy long shot.  If you can deal with Columbia's tuition, and you want to live in NYC and shoot for book deals, it's as close to a "safety school" as you can get with an MFA (caveat, there are no safety mfa schools).

 

Anyway, it seems right now like you have a lot of research ahead of you.  Luckily, you've got time.  I'd encourage you to start by articulating your own goals, work and situation.  The question you posted here is both too general and too specific to be helpful.  There's a lot of back reading to do, and fb groups to lurk on.  Also, look into fee waivers to save money at application time.  https://www.cic.net/students/freeapp/introduction

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