Lauren Grodstein is the author of five novels, including the New York Times bestseller A Friend of the Family and the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything. Her most recent novel, Our Short History, published in 2017, has been listed in Oprah’s Top 20 Books and Flavorwire’s Book of the Month. She directs the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden and lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and dog. Continue reading “Interview with Lauren Grodstein of Rutgers University”
The West Virginia University (Morgantown) has been added to our growing list of fully funded programs! “Our stipend is $15,650 with an additional $1000 for the first year (because we begin with a two-week pedagogy session),” saysProgram Director Mary Ann Samyn. Find out more about the school and see if it’s a good fit for you.
The University of South Florida (Tampa) joins our growing list of fully funded programs. “All University of South Florida MFA students receive three years of full funding (tuition remission, stipend of $13,084, and health insurance) and are eligible for university travel grants,” says Rita Ciresi, Director of Creative Writing.
Stay tuned for an interview with Rita Ciresi and find out what advice she has for applicants!
Hi All, University of Maryland at College Park is now part of the official list of fully funded MFA programs! Check out their funding, application requirements, and admissions to see whether it’s a good fit for you.
Hi All, Rutgers University at Camden is now part of the official list of fully funded MFA programs. For the first time this fall, Rutgers will be offering full funding for all students along with tuition remittance and healthcare. This is great news– the more fully funded programs, the better!
I’m in correspondence with a few additional schools to verify funding. More fully funded programs coming soon to Affording the MFA!
Thanks to all of you for your input on the stipend ranking. I’ve updated the list to include the average rental pricing for a 1BR in the city as well as a link to a more comprehensive cost of living website for each city. My intention is to give you a quick glance at how viable a stipend may be. And so I’ve also changed the ranking to better reflect how far the money goes. However, right below the updated version, you’ll find the list ordered from greatest to least stipend just in case you’d like to see it.
How the ranking works: The yearly cost of the apartment rental is deducted from the total annual stipend amount. In the case where there are differences in stipend amounts due to the degree held or work type assigned, the lower amount is used, and in the case where stipends differ between the first and second years, the first year stipend is used. But you’re welcome to calculate this better with more realistic numbers as they apply to you.
The last column in the stipend titled “Leftover Stipend” shows you how much you’d have after paying rent for the year. You might use this to help calculate how much more income you’d need or savings you’d use while in the program. In a perfect world, you’d be able to rely on the stipend completely…
A note on housing: It’s possible that the rental portion of your cost of living may be drastically lower if you rent a studio, share a place with a roommate, or choose to live outside the city center in a surrounding neighborhood. In the links, the 1BR rentals just outside the city center decrease by $50-450 per month. And it’s also possible that your cost of living will be higher if you need a larger space and/or are relocating a partner or child.
As a last word, if you find this stipend list or any part of the blog helpful, donate today and keep it running! It’s run on good will and love.
|Program||Stipend||City (click to see detailed cost of living)||Average rental price of 1BR in the city center||Leftover Stipend|
|Johns Hopkins University||$30,000||Baltimore, MD||$1,313||$14,244|
|WUSTL||$22,220||Saint Louis, MO||$912||$11,276|
|Cornell||$25,000 (Data from 2013)||Ithaca, NY||$1,258||$9,904|
|Purdue||$17,000||West Lafayette, IN||$630||$9,440|
|UT Austin||$27,500||Austin, TX||$1,517||$9,296|
|U of WI||$22,000||Madison, WI||$1,073||$9,124|
|U of OR||$18,000||Eugene, OR||$812||$8,256|
|LSU||$17,500||Baton Rouge, LA||$877||$6,976|
|Univ of WY||$14078 / $12078 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)||Laramie, WY||$600||$6,878|
|U of AZ||$14,808||Tucson, AZ||$674||$6,720|
|U of MI||$22,000 / $18,600 (Second year carries lower stipend)||Ann Arbor||$1,292||$6,496|
|U of FL||$15,800||Gainesville, FL||$788||$6,344|
|UNM||$14,792 (Data from 2014)||Albuquerque, NM||$753||$5,756|
|Syracuse||$14,535-19,916 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)||Syracuse, NY||$768||$5,319|
|Notre Dame||$12,500||Notre Dame, IN||$633||$4,904|
|U of AL||$13,500||Tuscaloosa, AL||$728||$4,764|
|VA Tech||$16,000||Blacksburg, VA||$950||$4,600|
|U of AR||$11,400 or $12,000 (Higher stipend given to candidates with MA)||Fayetteville, AR||$600||$4,200|
|UI at Urbana-Champaign||$13,086 / $21,493 (Second year carries higher stipend)||Champaign, IL||$767||$3,882|
|OSU||$16,000 or $21,800 (Teaching fellows receive larger stipdend)||Columbus, OH||$1,013||$3,844|
|Bowling Green||$10,500||Bowling Green, OH||$588||$3,444|
|U of MN||$17,500||Minneapolis, MN||$1,303||$1,864|
|U of MS||$11,500||Oxford, MS||$813||$1,744|
|Boise State||$10,450||Boise, ID||$820||$610|
|Oregon State||$10,555||Corvallis, OR||$850||$355|
|U of Houston||$15,000||Houston, TX||$1,291||-$492|
|U of IA||$9,262-18,816 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)||Iowa City, IA||$870||-$1,178|
|Brown||$11,850 / $23,700 (Additional $2K available for students in good standing for summer funding between first and second year)||Providence, RI||$1,253||-$3,186|
|U of Miami||$15,965||Miami, FL||$1,787||-$5,479|
|U of WA||$15,000||Seattle, WA||$1,806||-$6,672|
|Boston U||$12,800||Boston, MA||$2,423||-$16,276|
Ranking from largest amount to smallest
|Johns Hopkins University||$30,000|
|Cornell||$25,000 (Data from 2013)|
|U of WI||$22,000|
|U of OR||$18,000|
|Univ of WY||$14078 / $12078 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)|
|U of AZ||$14,808|
|U of MI||$22,000 / $18,600 (Second year carries lower stipend)|
|U of FL||$15,800|
|UNM||$14,792 (Data from 2014)|
|Syracuse||$14,535-19,916 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)|
|U of AL||$13,500|
|U of AR||$11,400 or $12,000 (Higher stipend given to candidates with MA)|
|UI at Urbana-Champaign||$13,086 / $21,493 (Second year carries higher stipend)|
|OSU||$16,000 or $21,800 (Teaching fellows receive larger stipdend)|
|U of MN||$17,500|
|U of MS||$11,500|
|U of Houston||$15,000|
|U of IA||$9,262-18,816 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)|
|Brown||$11,850 / $23,700 (Additional $2K available for students in good standing for summer funding between first and second year)|
|U of Miami||$15,965|
|U of WA||$15,000|
This month, I was interviewed by The Writer Mag about Affording the MFA and its offerings for its May/June issue. But it got me thinking about the minimum stipend, which was set at $9K in 2012 to include a broader listing of schools. Since 2012, more programs have cropped up, and stipends have increased, even if only slightly. This meager $9K stipend no longer seems livable by the average standard of living. What do you think the minimum stipend should be in order to be listed on Affording the MFA? Or should our list simply set a low stipend ($10K, which all the schools on the list now meet) so that a broader list can be accessed?
(This post originally included a table of stipends listed from greatest to least. The stipend has been revised with additional information.)