MFA Recruiters?

I received a call from Southern New Hampshire University today regarding their MFA program. Actually, I received six calls from SNHU today and not once did they leave a message. I’ve dealt with recruiters at working adult schools like University of Phoenix and Colorado Technical University, but I never expected it for an MFA program.

Their website says they accept twenty-five students a year. What am I to think when they have someone blowing up my phone? Add to this the fact that I need to come up with $500 to “secure” my spot once accepted. I’m not saying it is a bad school, I have no idea what they are like. I just find the methods a little bothersome and they make me more than a little suspicious.

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6 Responses to MFA Recruiters?

  1. Marahm says:

    The cost of the MFA has been my main detriment to getting one. Even the low-residency degree seems exorbitantly priced. If you ever hear that the concept of “free university” has infiltrated the MFA programs, let me know.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ve heard of several programs that offer funding, but they all seem to be full-residency. I’m just not prepared to uproot my life for two or three years. So far $20,000-$25,000 is the best I have found. I’m hoping a school will like my work enough to offer some kind of scholarship, I’ve heard that isn’t common for low-res.

      • Marahm says:

        As nice as it would be to do a formal MFA, one must address the fact that that many brilliant writers throughout history have never even heard of such a thing. With the availability of internet writing classes, critique groups, and access to the coaching of talented writers everywhere, one can effectively design one’s own MFA.

        Too bad it wouldn’t be recognized. In this country, the formality of the letters behind one’s name counts for something.

  2. Pingback: The Writerly Habit

  3. Hi Brandi:
    My name is Gregg Mazzola and I am the marketing director at Southern New Hampshire University.

    I saw your recent MFA Recuiters post and apologize for the bombardment of phone calls. We’re extremely proud of our MFA program but I completely understand to those unfamiliar with our program or institution, how this approach might leave you feeling a bit skeptical.

    We would love another opportunity to discuss how we might be a good fit and to answer additional questions. Feel free to call me directly at 603.314.1461 or email me at

    You can learn more about our program at Please let me know if we can help.



  4. Marahm says:

    With all due respect, I’d like to know why a low-residence MA program– in any discipline, not just writing– needs to cost $20,000. I don’t get it. Tuition alone, at SNHU is $6000 per semester, and that’s par for the course.

    When I began my BS degree, tuition for a full-time student was $225 per semester. Granted, that was in 1969, forty-one years ago, but the increase is approximately twenty-seven times. You could get twenty-seven semesters for today’s cost of one.

    I know, it’s not fair to compare. You could also get a big new house, back then, for the price of today’s new car.

    All of that doesn’t mean much, until we look at salaries. I daresay salaries, for any job, have not increased twenty-seven times, perhaps not even seven times. My own salary has increased barely three times since I graduated, and I am a medical professional.

    The point of all this is that we need some innovative thinking to give more people like Brandi (and me, in my retirement!) a chance to enrich themselves with an MFA. I don’t mean grants and loans, no, I mean real and profound decreases in basic costs.

    Then, prospective students will be making the phone calls, not recruiters. Recruiters will be out of job.

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