We both came to the consensus that if I'm not good enough to get into any of the top programs, maybe I shouldn't be going for my MFA in the first place. I want the best training I can get, so why not go for the best?
From the 50, I've narrowed down my choices based on location, program offerings, and the provision of full funding (I already owe a hefty sum from my undergraduate and graduate degree... no more loans for me!). All of the deadlines are between December 1st to January 15th, some require the GRE, and all require three letters of recommendations. I have to put together a Statement of Purpose, a Personal Statement, and a 30- to 50-page manuscript.
There's a lot to do! And I still have to narrow down the ones I've picked out of the Top 50 list. Here are the ones I'm considering at the moment:
- University of Texas in Austin
- University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
- University of Virginia in Charlottesville
- Arizona State University in Tempe
- University of Oregon in Eugene
- University of Minnesota in Minneapolis
- Brown University in Providence
- Syracuse University in New York
- Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
- Indiana University in Bloomington
- Vanderbilt University in Nashville
- Washington University in St. Louis
That's 12 universities, and I don't want to apply to more than five or six (although I read somewhere that if I can afford it I should apply to eight to 12). I also am sort of interested in Johns Hopkins University. The top five are the ones that have peaked my interested the most. But they are also some of the most selective programs. I wish I had a guide to help me navigate through all this. Anyone want to offer any insight or advice?
I'm also struggling with who to approach about writing recommendations for me. I've been very private about my writing--especially on the creative end--and so there is very few "professional" people who can speak to my writing style and ability.
I will not let this process daunt me.