It is possible to get all your tuition paid at Hunter College, and although that does happen from time to time, our advice would be to not hold your breath.
However we have two financial aid packages that are, in our opinion, even better.
Fiction and Non-Fiction
Every semester we select four or five students as Hertog Fellows. These individuals are then each paired with a celebrated writer to work ten hours a week as a research assistant. The students each get a check for $5,000, the benefits of which need no explanation.
Perhaps even more importantly, each student becomes deeply involved in the project of their mentor, gaining a deeper understanding of how research is used by fiction or non-fiction writers and finally, seeing the fruit of their own labors transformed in the published work.
Along the way, of course, each of these students forms a working relationship with a practicing writer who will have been selected by Hunter not only for their high level of achievement but their generosity of spirit.
In the Spring semester of 2008 our students are working with Francine Prose, Gary Shteyngart, Honor Moore, George Black and Nicole Krauss. Here's a full list of all the writers that Hunter MFA students have worked with, under the Hertog Fellowship.
Note: Hertog Fellowships are assigned after students have begun the course. There is no application form or other process by which prospective students can apply for these fellowships.
Every semester we grant either two or three MFA poetry students a poetry scholarship from the Norma Lubetsky Friedman Fund or other funds. If you get one of these scholarships, you will be paid between $2,000 (for in-state students) and $5,000 (for out-of-state students, to offset their higher tuition fees) to work ten hours a week for an established poet.
If you are a student poet, there are many established poets and editors who would value your help as much as you would value the $2,000--$5,000 a poetry scholarship will pay you to work with them. Research, organizing a poet's papers, editorial experience -- these are some of the many ways that our poetry students can enter into conversation with their distinguished mentors, and gain practical experience.
Under this poetry-scholarship program, Hunter poetry students have worked with poets such as Mary Karr, Phillip Levine, Jill Bialosky and Edward Hirsch. Here's a full list.
Note: These poetry scholarships are assigned after students have begun the course. If you're a prospective student, there's no need for you to apply separately. You will automatically be considered.
MFA students may apply to teach Introduction to Creative Writing
(ENGL300), in their second year, to Hunter undergrads. The number
of openings changes each year, depending on English Dept availability. Nevertheless, MFA students have been appointed to these positions
every year up to 2009 (in which six MFA students got the job), and those who are appointed are hired as adjunct
lecturers and are paid in line with the Hunter faculty pay scale. Some of
the MFA students who teach Intro to Creative Writing during their second
year, stay on with the English Department after they graduate to teach other
undergraduate courses, such as Expository Writing (ENGL100) and Introduction
to Literature (ENGL220).
Threepenny Review internships
Each Spring Semester, one MFA student interns as an editorial assistant at the literary journal The Threepenny Review, learning a variety of skills such as proofreading and evaluating manuscripts. Hunter pays a cool $5,000 to each intern.
This internship is part of a wider relationship between Hunter and The Threepenny Review, which also includes Threepenny staff and writers occasionally guest-speaking in Hunter MFA classes, upon request from MFA faculty.
Graywolf Press fiction internships
Periodically (funds permitting), one MFA student from any of our three genres interns in the fiction department at Graywolf Press, for 5-10 hours per week, and is paid $2,000 for doing so.
Loans, Grants, etc.
Besides the fellowships, scholarships and internships above, we also have a variety of grants, loans, and deferred-payment plans to lighten your load. We recognize the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal College Work Study. For more information visit Hunter College's main Financial Aid website.
And on top of these opportunities to get money, Hunter's tuition fees are about a third of comparable programs: around $5,735 per year for New York State residents and $10,505 per year for out-of-state residents.