An affordable MFA program is one that doesn’t require you to go into any debt at all. Schools listed on this blog must meet 3 criteria:

  1. Full funding via stipend and tuition remission (minimum $9K stipend)
  2. Funding for ALL students, and not just some
  3. Healthcare provisions

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This resource was created by Robin Tung in October 2012 and last updated July 2017. The site is longer being actively updated as of July 2018, but I hope that the interviews and advice column continue to serve writers as a resource.

Depending on my project schedule, I am sometimes able to offer fiction manuscript and statement reviews. You’re welcome to contact me at www.robintung.com.


36 thoughts on “About”

  1. This is a wonderful blog!!! Thank you so much! So clear and necessary. I applied four years ago, was accepted to one place with not-great funding, and am reapplying this year.

  2. This blog is exactly what I’ve been looking for: simple and to the point. The P&W Top Fifty Rankings is cryptic and occasionally misleading. Many of the schools’ websites are often mind-numblingly difficult to navigate. But here we have all the information stated clearly and directly. THANK. YOU.

  3. Thanks Robin for creating this blog! I’m planning to apply for an MFA next fall and it’s extremely useful for me.

    I have a question that has been troubling me for a while and I hope it’s ok to ask it here. People I spoke to and the blogs that I read consistently say the same thing with regard to writing sample: “send in your best work!” But this is a bit tricky because I don’t really have the tools to evaluate my own writing. How do I know if it is good? More importantly, how do I know it is good enough for an MFA application? I will be grateful for any suggestions you might have. Thanks!

  4. Hi Hari, Thanks for your question. In order to ensure that writers are sending their best work, I recommend that writers read as much as they can, start on their manuscripts early, and find trustworthy writers to read their work. You can join a writing group, sign up for a writing workshop at a nearby university or nonprofit organization, or consider working a writer for a fee. You are also welcome to browse my list of services at http://www.robintung.com to see my services suit your needs.

  5. Thanks Robin! That’s really helpful. I’ve already started doing one or two of the things that your mentioned, so it feels nice to be on the right track! I will also check out your site!

  6. Hey there Robin! I’m a writer looking into applying this fall as well. Are there any fully funded MFA programs for creative nonfiction? Thanks for your help…this website is an amazing tool you’ve provided!


  7. Thanks for your question, David. This blog is focused solely on fiction and poetry. You might find The MFA Blog, and Poets and Writers helpful.

  8. Hi Robin, I used your blog when applying to schools and it was so helpful! I’m now an MFA fiction student at the University of New Mexico, and wanted to let you know that it fits all the criteria for a fully-funded program: tuition remission, health insurance, and ALL incoming students are given a TAship that lasts 3 years. (We’re in the process of updating the UNM website to include this information.) Because of some mishap, the program isn’t listed in this year’s Poets & Writers issue, so I feel like it would be great for UNM to be listed on sites like this — that is if you’re open to including it! Let me know if you need any more details about the funding situation. I can give you the emails of UNM faculty/administration to contact if you need any sort of verification. Thanks!!

  9. Hi Robin,
    This is a remarkable resource, thank you! As a foreigner with no experience of the US school system, I’ve spent many hours google-searching, ever more furrowed brow, dizzy. Consider me confused. Thankfully, not as confused with the help of your site.

  10. I’m doing my mfa search this summer and this website is everything to me right now. it’s really amazing and thank you for doing all this work.

    1. Hi, UVA is actually already listed on the site, and your interview is also included on the site!

    1. Thanks for your note. However, this blog only features schools that offer stipends to all incoming students.

  11. If I’m not mistaken, West Virginia funds all incoming MFA students now. I think they used to only fund some of them, but now I’ve heard they fund all. The website seems to be out of date. I believe they accept 2-4 per genre too.

    1. Hi Rue, Thanks for your note. Until the school responds to my email or updates the MFA website, I’m m not able to add the school the list. But if you do receive any concrete info from staff or faculty, feel free to pass it on!

  12. Great site, great work. Thank you.

    A clarification. All the schools you list offer full tuition remission/waiver. If that’s the case, then what is the purpose of listing the tuition costs – and even breaking them down into resident/non-resident – on each school’s designated page? Is that just for information? Or am I missing something obvious? It’s happened before. 😦

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Hi Il’ja, thanks for your question. I list the tuition because I think it can be helpful and encouraging to know what you are receiving in funding or how much the school is investing in you. It made me appreciate my education in a different way when I understood how much I was receiving on top of my stipend per year.

    1. That’s wonderful…and the answer I was hoping for. Your attitude, approach to the complicated business of MFA enrollment is so encouraging I had assumed that was what you were doing – showing us the full benefit (in terms of cost). But better to ask than to assume. Thanks again.

  14. Hi Robin,

    I am wondering what keeps the University of Arizona off of the list. I have seen that they claim to fund all students with tuition and a stipend, but maybe a lack of health insurance keeps them off this site. If you have any info on them it would be appreciated. Thanks and great site!

    1. Hi Tim, thanks for your note. I’m still waiting to hear back from them about a specific figure for financial support.

  15. Hi Robin, thank you so much for everything. I have a question, are there any exceptions for international students on all these conditions? I am finishing my undergrad in the U.S and I am planning to go on grad school here in the U.S… but I am an F1 student, are there any of these benefits listed here in these schools not applicable for Int students?
    Is it only for domestics?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rose, that’s a great question. From what I understand, international students receive the same benefits. There may be some added amounts to fees for international students that all students have to pay (matriculation, application, etc.). I’ve contacted a school about this and I would also encourage you to email a couple programs to get a sampling of answers.

  16. Hi Robin,
    First of all, a big hug and thanks for creating such a wonderful site. You made the job of so many people easier.
    Coming to my query now:

    I’m dreaming to apply for the coming year. However, since I am not from USA, are there some colleges/universities where the equivalent-funding-to-all scheme do not apply?
    I ask this because in some universities sites[for example Univ of Florida or Houston etc], I do not find any mention of International students or TOEFL etc in their pages to indicate that dreamers from faraway lands are welcome.
    What am I to assume then? Should I waste my resources to even apply for them?
    Kindly help me know if there are universities that I, being a foreigner should refrain from applying!!

  17. Hi Robin,
    This blog is so helpful, thank you so much for the time you put into it! Based on their website, the University of Maryland seems to be fully funded. Do you have any more information about this program? It’s been hard to track down details elsewhere!

  18. Hello Robin,

    I’ve been trying to find a contact form or an email address for a while, but I haven’t seen any on your site, so I hope you can read this.

    I was wondering if these fully funded programs apply to international students as well? Can I get fully funded at an American University if I’m a foreign student?

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Have a nice day and thanks for this great blog.


    1. Hi Sandra, I recommend contacting the program. I believe international students receive funding but have additional fees and processes.

  19. First of all, thanks for maintaining this wonderful resource! I’m writing today with a question.

    I recently saw that Northwestern University got a large donation to start a new joint MFA/MA program (here’s their website: http://www.english.northwestern.edu/graduate/mfa-ma-program/). I’m not sure I understand the point of a joint MFA/MA, but the program is supposed to be fully funded. The problem is they don’t seem to have any specifics on their website ($ amounts, insurance, etc.). Does anyone have any info on this program? I believe 2018-2019 will be their first year.

  20. Hi Robin,

    I just want to say that I have been checking out this blog for several months and it proves exceedingly useful. Thank you very much for all your help. I will be rummaging through more posts in the coming months. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you 🙏

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