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dampka

Playwriting MFAs

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Hi all, FIRST OFF, congrats on everyone who's accepted at wonderful places. And for everyone still waiting I hope the waiting ends SOON!

Wondering if some of ya'll might give me some input. Currently accepted at both The New School and University of Arkansas. New School offer is unofficial--I emailed them to inquire about my status because I got the offer at Arkansas, so if you're still waiting on New School, don't freak out! 

New School is: awesome because it's in NYC. Also very expensive because it's in NYC. About 75,000 in loans (probably) and that's if I find a way to make money and pay for my living expenses by working a whole bunch in the summer. Are the connections and network of NYC worth that money? I'm not sure...I love Lucy Thurber though. I also grew up in a rural area under similar circumstances as Lucy and I feel like having a mentor that understands that could be really life changing

Arkansas: No tuition, plus living stipend. More freedom to do what I want (I also write non-fiction). I'd graduate without any loans, might even be able to pay down a bit of my existing $10,000 of undergrad loans while I'm there. I also love the program head there (John Walch). But it's in Arkansas. And I worry about not making those NYC connects that will help me get productions in the future. I would have to hustle those connections on my own by making trips back and forth to NYC. Sounds doable but also not as efficient as going to New School.

oh god what do I doooooooo. How do other people feel about taking out loans? 

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@faro555 That's so exciting, congratulations! What an amazing spot to be in.

At Columbia, will you have to be working through the year as well to make ends meet? Having to possibly take on jobs will ultimately just take away from your time to write.

In the end, what is your goal? To end your three years having known key players you can connect with in the future? Or to be able to graduate with 6 new plays you've been able to spend time on, also focusing on your non-fiction work, and not have a financial burden?

Did you chat with current students at both programs? Did you fit in more with one school or the other? Did you talk about your worries with any of the students there? If not, can the schools connect you to current students, so you can ask them about this?

I would personally lean towards the funded program, and try to get those folks to help you apply to festivals throughout the year -- to potentially still make those connections.
But this is SUCH A HARD CALL. Good luck, let us know what you decide! Either way, congratulations!!

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@faro555Congrats on both New School and University of Arkansas! 

And thanks for saying not to panic about New School. The first question I have is: what is the deadline you have to let both schools know if you're in or out? How much time do you have to deliberate? 

The second: Is the financial aid package for New School is finalized yet? Can you push for a bit more with the School of Drama or whomever does financial aid? In my case, my FAFSA is wildly inaccurate because I went from a high salary gig to a lower salary gig, so I've been advised by veterans to reach out to Financial Services at each school to explain my actual situation. There may be a similar thing to do for you. 

Edited by brillantina

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@faro555 Realizing I said Columbia instead of New School -- Columbia was on my mind because I was thinking "at least the debt is way less than Columbia!" People graduate there with like 150k of debt. So there's that...

Edited by captbaka

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@captbaka @brillantina Thank you both for your thoughts! Yes, I would have to work a side job while at New School, and a LOT in the summers. Arkansas I would have to TA, but that would be good experience for future jobs. Suchhh a hard decision. I have NOT gotten a finalized financial aid package from the New School. I think it's best to wait until I see exactly what it is, and then maybe I can negotiate more. AHHH! Thanks ya'll. It's alll almosssst over.

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Just thought I’d let y’all know — Friend in Seattle got offered Brown — don’t know how many spots there are, but she’s accepting one of the spots.

Good luck to everyone still waiting!!

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Heads up: At FilmSchool.org some folks mention that they got the acceptance call from NYU. It totally might be just TV and film portfolio applicants, but I thought you would all want to know.

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hi all! just got notice that I'm waitlisted at Brooklyn. curious if anyone else has heard anything?? as an fyi, there was no interview, at least not for me...

hope everyone's waits aren't too painful and congrats to those who have gotten good news!

Edited by kevinmalone

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Got into Brooklyn and New School (along with @faro555, yay!). Waiting to hear about financial aid from both programs before making a choice, but am thrilled. There are so many things I truly love about both, so it won’t be an easy one.

Still haven’t heard from NYU & Rutgers, and don’t expect to hear from Hunter anytime soon since their deadline was so late. 

Had a great interview with Columbia yesterday and would love it if they blew me out of the water in terms of financial aid, but historically that seems unlikely...

Edited by brillantina

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@brillantina Congrats about Brooklyn and New School!!! Both of their programs are amazing! And also congrats on your fantastic interview with Columbia! 

@Coffee&Flowers Oh God that makes me nervous about NYU...hopefully playwriting acceptances are going out later since interviews seem to be happening later?

@kevinmalone Congrats on being waitlisted at Brooklyn! I haven't heard anything from them, so I'm assuming I've been rejected:/

 

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@brillantina- congrats on your acceptances! That’s amazing!!

@RoryGilmore- so sorry! Didn’t mean to make you nervous! Since you said that your interviewer was going to be away for a while- I would imagine that it’s possible that this round doesn’t pertain to playwriting. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you (somewhat losing hope on being called in for an interview at this point, though).

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Got an offer from Columbia today! Super excited but also very anxious to find out about financial aid 😬 I can deal with a little bit of soul-crushing debt, but there is a limit to how much I’m willing to permanently sabotage my financial health at 23 (even for Lynn Nottage).

Hunter’s the only program I’ve yet to hear from so I gave them a call to see what’s up. They’re hoping to make offers “in early April” so there’s at least another week or two of waiting ahead. Not sure who’s reading the applications if they haven’t found a new Director yet?

Edited by grlldchz

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59 minutes ago, kevinmalone said:

@grlldchz congrats!! that's awesome news!

also thanks for calling Hunter....did you get a sense from from that they'd hiring a new director before they send out offers? or did they not speak to that?

They didn’t say anything about that. I was kind of hoping they’d elaborate but since they didn’t I’m guessing they don’t know or they aren’t able to say yet...I didn’t push it. 🤷‍♀️

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Congrats @grlldchz that’s really great, and thanks for sharing your info for Hunter. Seems like a lot of us are still pretty on edge. I’m wondering whether they’ll even conduct interviews this year? Looks like they’re running out of time with that deadline. 

Also, I just looked at the film school forum again and I’m surprised to see that NYU is throwing an accepted student lunch before they’ve even contacted all the people they’ve interviewed about their status? I get that there’s still waitlist possibilities, it just seems a little cold to start planning a party without letting the rest of the applicants know where they stand.  

But to everyone who has gotten good news from anywhere, congrats! 

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I really hope so! I love the program and am already based in NYC so it’s pretty ideal except for the cost. Until I get a financial aid offer I can’t say for sure.

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