I think the reason so many people don't apply to grad school is because it's a ton of work. I've been looking into grad schools for several months, trying to decide which ones to apply for. Truth is, I should apply for 'em all and then sift through the ones who accept me. (Assuming any do.) I'm primarily interested in programs that are low-residency and may include a trip to Europe.
Here are some of my favorite low-residency European choices:
Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.
Requires five 10-day residencies (either in Kentucky or their overseas summer residency). Usually takes 2 and a 1/2 years.
Tuition: $540 per credit, which is about $4,300 a semester or $8,600 a year.
App fee is only $30.
For Fall sementer in Kentucky, deadline is July 1st.
For Spring and Summer semester: Prague/Berlin, deadline is Feb. 1st. Prague/Berlin dates are: July 11th - 23rd, 2014.
Pros: The residencies are within driving distance of my best friend. Except for the trip(s) to Europe.
Next summer's trip is to Prague and Berlin. HOW COOL IS THAT? My mom is half German and she would LOVE the idea of me visiting the land of our ancestors.
Plane tickets, housing costs of residency-weeks, and board can be charged to my student account, which means they can be paid for with student loans.
Cons: Five residencies is a lot. I'd prefer 3, or at least have the residencies closer if there are going to be 5.
Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Requires four 11-day residencies; two in Pittsburgh in January and two in Ireland in June, and a fifth for graduation.
Tuition: $874 per credit, which is close to $7,000 a semester, or $14,000 a year. I can borrow up to $20,000 a year. Presumably the left over $6,000 can be used to help pay for plane tickets and such.
I don't think there's an app. fee.
Cons: I'd have to study James Joyce's Ulysses. Not excited about that.
Plus, I'd like to visit 2 places in Europe if I'm going to have to be there anyway, not just Ireland.
Tuition is high in comparison.
Plane tickets aren't included, and I'll have to save up $1,200 for Ireland and $600 for PA each year.
Cedar Crest College in Europe (The school is in PA, but the residencies are all in Europe).
Requires three 15-day residencies in Europe; one every summer for 3 years. Residency location varies: Next summer it will be Barcelona, 2015 will be Vienna/Bratislava, and 2016 will be Ireland.
Tuition:$598 per credit and $2,500 fee per residency. This is about $9,600 a year + Residency fee...for a total of : = $12,100.
App. fee $50.
Application deadline for beginning in fall is July 29th.
Pros: This program's Pan-European experience is the sexiest I've seen. Plus, they are only once a year. I can save up for the trip if I have a whole year to do it. Room and partial board is included.
Cons: Plane tickets aren't included, and I'll have to save up $1200-1800 for the tickets depending on where I'm going and what city I fly out of.
VCFA in Vermont
Requires five 10-day residencies in either Vermont or (There is options to take a summer semester in Slovenia or a winter semester in Puerto Rico, though the website doesn't give a lot of information on them.)
Tuition: $9,500 per semester (this includes room and board at Vermont College, but there isn't a lot of info about the other residencies). Per year = almost $19,000.
App. fee $75.
App deadline for Dec./Jan. = September 1, 2013.
Pros: It's ranked top 5 of the low-residency MFA - CW programs by Atlantic Monthly.
Cons: By far the most expensive program I've seen, and leaves very little for plane tickets.
Some of my favorite state-side choices:
Seattle Pacific University
Requires five 10-day residencies; one in March in Washington state and one in July/August in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Tuition: $520 per credit, or $16,900 a year. This includes room and board.
App. fee: $50
App deadline for March residency = Oct. 1st.
Pros: It's close by, so the travel expenses will be much cheaper. I can get a ticket to Seattle for less than $300. I assume Santa Fe can't be much worse.
I love that the room and board is included too.
Cons: It's on the expensive side for being state-side. =/
Goddard College in Washington
Requires five 8-day residencies in 2 1/2 years; not sure what months.
Tuition: 11,800 per year, which includes room and board for residencies. Plane tickets to WA are approx. $300. So I'd need 2 of those a year.
App fee: Can't find it. Maybe it's free.
App dealine: Can't find either.
Pros: Close by. Cheap plane tickets. Fairly inexpensive tuition. First ever low-residency program. The school is on the Pacific coastline.
Cons: No European experience.
I don't know how I'm going to decide. It's like Sophie's Choice. I'm leaning toward Spalding, Cedar Crest, or Goddard.
What would you pick?