Tuition, Fees & Financial Aid
TUITION & FEES
Tuition: $475 per credit hour
Graduation Fee: $150
Audit Fee per Residency Course: $400 (two courses per residency for a total of $800)
Enrollment Deposit (non-refundable, but applied to first semester’s tuition and/or fees):
Summer Residency Fees (on campus):
BOARD (includes all meals during residency) $250
ROOM (students stay in a residence hall with suite bathrooms) $250 for single
Graduate tuition is billed per credit hour. The MFA program requires 12 credit hours per residency and semester: $5700. There are four full semesters and residencies, plus a fifth residency for thesis-presentation; for this fifth residency, students pay tuition for only one credit hour, plus room and board.
TOTAL PROGRAM COSTS: $26,729*
[$475 x 49 credit hours; $768 x 3 winter residencies at Blackwater, $500 x 2 summer residencies on campus, $150 graduation fee]
*Costs vary according to room and board choices; this estimated total is based on three winter residencies at the average cost for shared-room lodging and two summer residencies; note that books and travel to residencies are not included in this breakdown, nor is cross-genre study or Ireland Residency.
Students are billed for a residency and semester approximately one month in advance of the residency; a student account balance must be paid (or a payment plan initiated by the student) before the residency in order for a student to participate in the residency and semester. If on a payment plan, a student must schedule payments so that the outstanding balance is paid by November 15 in fall and April 15 in spring so there will be no holds for registration for the subsequent term.
Tuition and fees are subject to changes and are likely to increase modestly each year; any changes will promptly appear on this page, and students will be informed.
MFA students are now eligible to apply for the limited number of graduate assistant (GA) positions available on campus. Assistantship details:
–Each GA position is a 2-year commitment and requires an application process that is separate from your application for the MFA program (MFA application details here). You’ll find the current list of vacant GA positions (labeled “Graduate Assistant”) here—keep in mind these are generally posted each February and filled quickly (mainly during the spring).
–You may apply for both the program and the GA position at the same time but will be considered for the GA position only after you are accepted into the program.
–Assistantship compensation is very modest, but it is the right fit for a student who is willing to move to campus and who is prepared for humble living while focusing on MFA study. Compensation includes room and board on or near campus in GA housing, a stipend ranging from $3200 to $3600 (depending on the position) per 10 months of employment Aug-May, and a full tuition waiver (except for the minimal costs incurred for final residency; these costs are detailed at the bottom of this page; GA housing will not run through the final residency since appointments end in May). Applicants should be aware that the tuition benefit, stipend, and room and board are all considered taxable income (the one exemption is room and board for housing staff GA positions). Applicants should be aware that taxation of the stipend (which is divided into 20 payments over the 10 month work period) literally means about $50 a paycheck take-home; obviously, the greater benefits are room/board and the tuition waiver.
–The optional extra semester for secondary genre concentration could potentially still be covered by the tuition waiver for MFA students who wish to pursue cross-genre study, but it would mean a 2.5 year GA appointment and would thus need to be negotiated with the GA supervisor.
–In general, GA positions begin each August and thus, typically, only summer-starts for MFA are eligible; however, in the event that a GA position is vacated mid-year, winter-start MFA students may apply (it’s always worth checking the listings).
–Regarding housing during June and July between first and second year of appointment: sometimes housing is available throughout the summer, but it depends on college housing needs, so this would be a conversation with the GA supervisor; a meal plan, though, is not available during those summer months.
–The GA position is contingent on the GA securing adequate time off during the MFA program’s winter residency and would likely require a conversation between the Graduate Assistant, MFA Director, and the GA supervisor, before a hire is finalized. (July residency is not an issue since that is not an on-duty month.)
–Further details can be provided by HR and by the specific GA supervisor identified in the job listing (at the link above).
Limited, modest scholarships are available. Awards (generally in the amount of $1000-$2000) are based on both merit and financial need. There is no separate application process for scholarships; applicants with financial need may contact the MFA Director about funding availability. In honor of Okey Napier, a beloved MFA student that we lost in summer 2018, we have established a Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Fund; our goal is to endow this fund to guarantee its sustainability, so once we reach our funding goal, we will establish an application process for this award.
To be eligible for financial aid in the form of loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) application and be fully admitted as a matriculated student in the MFA program. The FASFA application is available here. You are required to secure a Personal Identification Number (PIN). WVWC’s School Code is 003830-00. For aid eligibility, students will also need to complete Entrance Counseling for Graduate Students and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for an unsubsidized student loan; directions available here.
Interest-free loan deferrals are also available for graduate students. Additionally, many employers provide full or partial tuition reimbursement to their employees who participate in job-relevant graduate study. (If you are a public school teacher, check with your county superintendent about funding for continuing education.)
For financial aid purposes, students are considered full-time when enrolled in six or more graduate credit hours per semester or session. Fourth Semester—or Thesis Semester—students should be aware that they will be enrolled in the 1-hour course (ENGL 655) when they return for their Fifth (Final) Residency, paying for 1 credit-hour plus room and board (if staying on campus). 1 hour of credit does not, however, qualify Fifth Residency students for financial aid, so these students will have two options for paying for the Fifth Residency session:
–plan to pay for the Fifth Residency session out of pocket. Approximate cost: $1125 [$475 for tuition for one credit hour, $500 for room and board (depending on selections), and the $150 graduation fee].
–refuse approximately $1125 of financial aid (loan) refund at the start of the thesis semester, leaving enough in one’s student account to cover the charges to be incurred during the Fifth Residency.
For further information, contact the WVWC Financial Aid Office at 304-473-8080.
Leader Photo © Doug Van Gundy