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Costs and Funding

People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.

— James Baldwin, No Name in the Street

Financing a graduate education is an investment in your future. If you plan early and carefully, you can make your graduate education a reality.

Tuition

Tuition and fees vary according to factors such as an individual’s resident status, and whether they are enrolled full time or part time. Students in the MFA in Creative Writing program will take three courses (nine graduate credit hours) the first, second and fourth semesters. Semester three will consist of four courses (12 credit hours). For the most up-to-date information on legal residency, fees and tuition, go to the Treasurers Office website.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to look at financial aid website for programs that can help you finance your graduate school education. Students accepted into the MFA in creative writing program will be eligible to apply for funding through the Graduate School.

Graduate Assistantship (GA)

There are between four and eight assistantships that are awarded on the basis of a student’s creative writing portfolios, GPA, GRE scores and professor recommendations.Graduate assistantships are year-long positions that require students to work either 20 hours per week (at an annual stipend of $12,400) or 10 hours per week (at an annual stipend of $6,200).  Recipients of graduate assistantships must also be enrolled full time in the program (nine credit hours per semesters one, two and four, and 12 credit hours for semester three). 

MFA graduate assistants usually work in one of the following capacities:

  • editorial assistant on Crazyhorse
  • assistant to the MFA program director
  • research assistant to an individual professor
  • teaching assistant in a lower-level creative writing course
  • facilitator of the College of Charleston Visiting Writers Series

Applications for GA positions are solicited in April for the upcoming year. Incoming students interested in applying for one of these positions should submit their application materials by April 1 in order to be considered. Incoming students receiving graduate assistantships normally hold the position for two years. Students not selected as GAs their first year are welcome to apply for the position for their second year in the program. Graduate assistantships occasionally become available in other departments and offices on campus as well.

The Graduate Scholars Award (GSA)

The Graduate Scholars Award has been established to enhance the geographical diversity of applicants to the Graduate School. The maximum amount that can be awarded to individuals is $500 per semester, or a total of $1,000 in one academic year.

The South Carolina Graduate Award (SCGA)

To qualify for a competitive South Carolina Graduate Award, you must be a South Carolina resident who has high scholastic aptitude and is applying to the Graduate School. Contact the MFA program director for a letter of support. Individuals are eligible for the SCG award for one academic year. The maximum amount awarded to individuals is $2,500 per semester, or a total of $5,000 in one academic year.

It's possible to write about anything in the world, but the slightest story ought to contain the facts of money and blood in order to be interesting to adults.

— Grace Paley, Just As I Thought