Pay me to do what i'd be doing anyway.
March 5, 2010 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Help me get people to give me money to get my MFA.

I'm 25, mostly a painter, and graduated with two art degrees (metalsmithing and painting), one of which will likely be relavent to my MFA studies (the painting). I got them from UNT, a rising second-tier art school in Texas.

It's the very beginning of the hearing-back-from-grad-schools stage, and I've gotten in to a very exclusive school in Ireland, and a provisional acceptance to a larger, but top ten school in the US. So, I've been led to be more optimistic about my chances of getting into other schools that I considered to be long shots. This means expensive. >40k/year in most cases.

Now, here's the real question: What grants, endowments, etc. can I apply for? What about ones specifically for American international students?

The main thing that can more objectively set me apart is that I write much better than the average art student both academically and in general, so if that can be specifically leveraged, than all the better. Also, I'm American Indian. Financially, I'll have some income as a student, but not much and for tax/FAFSA purposes I'm even more broke than I really am.

I know I'll have missed some (most?) of the deadlines for fall 2010, but I'd like to hear about those for next semester/year.

Also, are there means of funding I've missed?

Summary: I'm a poor American Indian painter apparently with a somewhat outstanding portfolio who can write well and might go overseas for school. Who wants to pay me to go to a top flight school?

Aaand bonus question: Assuming I get into a couple or a few top schools, how best to pit them against each other to get the best package?
posted by cmoj to Education (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
my experience with mfas (in writing which may be a different fish-kettle) is that if they arent paying you to go there, they dont particularly want you. the top schools fund most of their students tuition and give them teaching positions and stipends. with people who dont get this treatment, its essentially like a rejected application. this varies by discipline and even by school, so ask some current grad students at the school you're applying to.

that said, you should certainly look for outside funding as well. the best people to ask about this is the office at UNT that handles getting students into grad school and getting them jobs, either the alumni or the career services department.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM on March 5, 2010

If you do study abroad, how about applying to be a Fulbright Scholar? It looks like Ireland is a participating country.
posted by MS_gal at 1:00 PM on March 5, 2010

There is also the Mitchell Scholarship for study in Ireland.
posted by MS_gal at 1:05 PM on March 5, 2010

You're right, Potomac I'll be getting some kind of package from these schools, but as far as I understand there's not a whole lot of money for visual arts students right now (or in general) and I should still expect to pay real money. I don't really know how it works in Ireland, though. That I have to ask the school about.

I'll go ask the Student Services people some questions Monday, and fill out MS_gal's applications as soon as their websites start working.

This is what I'm looking for!
posted by cmoj at 1:24 PM on March 5, 2010

The Javits fellowship is really nice. Funds up to three years in MFA programs (back when I was in grad school, anyway).
posted by ajliberto at 1:56 PM on March 5, 2010

The Foundation Center has free online courses that teach you how to find money for education. They're an awesome resource for funding options.
posted by geryon at 2:00 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding what Potomac says. I was accepted to 4 of the 5 schools I applied to, the last being my top choice. However, they didn't offer me a scholarship to get me to go there. So, I am at a state school that doesn't really have the reputation of, say, RISD or The Art Institute of Chicago, but they are paying me to go to school and am on a full scholarship. Consider the reputation of your accepted schools; is it worth it to go into massive amounts of debt for an art degree just for the name? Or is it worth it to go to a "smaller" (read: financially able) school with a lesser known reputation?

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it is something to consider. YMMV.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 3:55 PM on March 5, 2010

Have you already checked with your tribe's education offices to see if they offer any grad school funding for promising young Native Americans such as yourself?
posted by bluedaisy at 8:18 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

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