Financial Aid Support for MFA Graduate Students
Financial Aid Support for Graduate Students in the
Helen Zell Writers' Program
In the first year, all MFA students accepted into the program are offered a full tuition waiver and a stipend of $16,000, either through a fellowship or a combination of a gradership and a fellowship, as well as $6,000 in summer funding. The total first year package equals $22,000. Applicants will also be considered, where appropriate, for Rackham Merit Fellowships, which offer, together with English Department funding, a stipend and summer-funding package equalling $22,000, as well as health insurance. Second year support includes a complete tuition waiver, stipend (currently for 2012-2013 $18,234), and health care benefits through a Graduate Student Instructorship teaching an undergraduate creative writing or introductory composition course. Additionally, several fellowships and prizes are awarded each year to MFA students. Specific opportunities are described below.
Supplemental Funding Opportunities:
Civitas Fellowships are awarded to a small number of MFA students after an application process. Participating graduate students will be expected to work an average of 10 hours a week for 30 weeks for InsideOut Detroit (travel time and preparation time included). The work may include team-teaching creative writing classes in the Detroit Public Schools, helping the writers at InsideOut with their classroom work in the Detroit schools, helping the administrators at InsideOut prepare annual literary magazines and readings by the students in Detroit, and helping with the production of the literary magazines in the Detroit schools. Civitas Fellowships are the result of efforts made by InsideOut Detroit, the MFA Program in Creative Writing, the Office of the Provost, and the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
Students with a summer internship in education, arts administration, or publishing may apply for supplemental funding between the first and second years of the program. In the past, MFA students have interned at FSG, Small Press Distribution, 826michigan, Another Chicago Magazine, The Poetry Foundation, Time Asia, Canarium Books, Tupelo Press, Copper Canyon Press, Mid-Atlantic Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other organizations.
Thesis Research/Travel Grant
MFA students can apply for a Thesis Grant to help support travel necessary to complete research for their thesis. There are two times during the academic year when students may apply for the Thesis Grant, October (to be used over the winter break or spring break), and March (to be used over the summer break after the first year in the program).
Vermont Studio Center
We have established two summer fellowship opportunities for one month at the Vermont Studio Center for poets between the first and second years of the MFA program.
The Hopwood Awards
Each year Hopwood Awards are given in several categories, including novel, drama, screenplay, nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry. Go to the Hopwood Program homepage to learn more about the Hopwood Awards, donor Avery Hopwood, and the Hopwood Program's annual lectures and guest readers.
The Meijer Postgraduate Award
Established through the generosity of Hendrik Meijer and the Meijer Corporation, this fellowship is intended to support the work of a promising writer who is completing graduate study in the Helen Zell Writers' Program.
The Zell Postgraduate Awards
These fellowships are intended to support the work of promising writers who are completing graduate study in the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Zell Postgraduate Fellows are expected to reside in the Ann Arbor area during the academic year following graduation and to continue to contribute to the MFA community.
The Henfield Prize in Fiction
The $10,000 Henfield Prize in Fiction, supported by an endowment given by the Henfield Foundation, is to be awarded to a continuing or graduating student in the Helen Zell Writers' Program. The contest will be judged by a writer of national prominence who does not teach in the program.
The Farrar Memorial Playwriting Grant
Although we do not offer a concentration in playwriting, thanks to the generosity of the Wilma L. Farrar estate, the program is often able to offer funding to a student or students who are working on playwriting and stagecraft in addition to their specific genre.
The Frederick Busch Prize in Fiction
Established to commemorate the work and teaching of Frederick Busch, who passed away while serving as the Zell Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2006, this $2000 prize is intended to support the work of a promising fiction writer in the midst of graduate study in the Helen Zell Writers' Program. The entries will be judged by local judges who do not teach in the program.
The Tyson Award in Fiction
The contest for the $2000 Tyson Award in Fiction is open to all continuing graduate students in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. The contest will be judged by a faculty member in the Department of English who does not teach in the Helen Zell Writers' Program.
Every MFA student is guaranteed up to $350 toward conference travel while they are enrolled students. Many students choose to use these funds to help pay for a trip to the annual AWP conference.
MFA students are eligible to receive up to $50 in the first year and up to $100 in the second year to reimburse them for the costs of sending work to publications and contests.