Posted in Program Info

Program Stipends

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.

Updated ranking

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
UVA $20,000 Charlottesville, VA $1,036 $7,568
Vanderbilt $24,000 Nashville, TN $1,391 $7,308
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
IU $15,750 Bloomington, IN $751 $6,738
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
ASU $15,000 Tempe, AZ $904 $4,152
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
UCI $20,050 Irvine, CA $1,829 -$1,898
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

Program Stipend
Johns Hopkins University $30,000
WUSTL $22,220
Cornell $25,000 (Data from 2013)
Purdue $17,000
UT Austin $27,500
U of WI $22,000
U of OR $18,000
UVA $20,000
Vanderbilt $24,000
LSU $17,500
Univ of WY $14078 / $12078 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)
IU $15,750
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)
Notre Dame $12,500
U of AL $13,500
VA Tech $16,000
U of AR $11,400 or $12,000 (Higher stipend given to candidates with MA)
ASU $15,000
UI at Urbana-Champaign $13,086 / $21,493 (Second year carries higher stipend)
OSU $16,000 or $21,800 (Teaching fellows receive larger stipdend)
Bowling Green $10,500
U of MN $17,500
U of MS $11,500
Boise State $10,450
Oregon State $10,555
U of Houston $15,000
U of IA $9,262-18,816 (Funding dependent on teaching or research position and work load)
UCI $20,050
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
Boston U $12,800

 

Posted in Program Info, You & Me

A New Minimum Standard?

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.)

 

Posted in You & Me

Revisions (and the feedback you need)

Many of you submitted your first round of applications yesterday. Fantastic work and congratulations! For the past few months, you’ve been writing and revising, wrangling recommenders, and tracking transcripts and GRE score reports. But now that the first submissions are in, I’m sure that there is a sense of completion and possibly curiosity (or worry) about your manuscript.

If you’d like some feedback on your writing to address the questions that may be surfacing now, I’d be happy to work with you by providing holistic feedback (450-600 words) addressing your stories, novel excerpt, or essays as a whole. The feedback will tell you whether the heart of the piece is clear, and whether all elements–such as characterization, use of language, structure, pacing–of the narrative work cohesively. I’ll also lay out concrete steps to improving the work for revision. Overall, it’s a calm, organized, and concise way to making your writing better. For more details about creative writing feedback, you can visit my site.

Posted in Deadlines & Reminders

Final Weeks Before Deadlines

For most of you, application deadlines are fast approaching as we enter the last half of November. While this tends to be a stressful time with holidays, visitors, travel plans, wrapping up other work, and so on, create a space for yourself to work on this particular project. Like anything you care about, you’ll have to carve out that time and protect it.

With 2-8 weeks remaining, here is what you need to do:

  1. Create a schedule for working on you manuscript. Determine how much time you need to finish it, and then schedule it into your final weeks. In interviews with faculty at various MFA programs, it’s been clear that the manuscript– the quality of the work and its embodiment of your interests and voice– is the most important aspect of an application. (See how I help writers with manuscripts here.)
  2. Write an amazing personal statement. “I like to get to know a candidate’s life and personality in the letter of intent, but I would recommend against being too confessional,” said Jennifer S. Davis in our 2015 interview. This is a place to really speak for yourself and the trick is in mastering language, tone, and content to create a balance of openness and professionalism. (See how I work with writers on the statement here.)
  3. Get all of your GRE score reports squared away (if you have to take it). According to the GRE website, “Score reports will be sent to your designated institutions approximately 5 business days after your order is placed. For the four recipients you choose at the test centre: Your official scores will be available in your My GRE Account and sent to your score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date.” If you didn’t do well on it, you can retake the test every 21 days.
  4. Remind or thank your recommenders.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the online application system. Register so that you have a log-in, and then keep track of all of your usernames and passwords.

Best of luck!

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Danielle Dutton of Washington University at St. Louis

danielle-dutton
Photo credit Sarah Shatz

Danielle Dutton’s fiction has appeared in magazines such as Harper’sBOMBFence, and Noon. She is the author of Attempts at a Life,  SPRAW L, and the novel Margaret the First. In 2010, she founded the small press Dorothy, a publishing project. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis

 

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