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MFA Tuition & Fees

Tuition, Travel & Other Costs

The Spalding MFA program is the most affordable top-tier low-residency MFA in Writing program. Our students and our diverse, prize-winning faculty stay in a historic, four-star hotel for about the same price other programs charge for a dorm room. We’re located in Louisville, a city that consistently shows up on top destination lists for its arts, dining, parks, and historic neighborhoods.

The MFA degree is a substantial 65 credit hours at a cost of $560 per credit hour.

 Semester Credit Hours Tuition
 Semester 1 (residency + independent study) 15 $8,400
 Semester 2 (residency + independent study) 15 $8,400
 Semester 3 (residency + independent study) 15 $8,400
 Semester 4 (residency + independent study) 15 $8,400
 Capstone residency 5 $2,800
 Total 65 $36,400

Our average annual increase over the past 5 years has been 3.23 percent, below the national average. There was no tuition increase for 2017-18.

Spalding does not charge a registration fee, residency fee, or graduation fee.

Travel costs


Students cover travel to Louisville, housing, breakfasts, and some dinners. Housing ranges from $500 (double) to $999 (single) for nine nights at the historic, four-star Brown Hotel. The program provides three dinners and a stipend toward lunch. Nearby restaurant options abound.

Hotel garage parking costs $11 a day. Parking on campus is free.


For residencies abroad, Spalding arranges a travel package that includes hotel, classrooms, ground transportation, opening and closing meals, cultural tours, and more. Students cover the travel package, their own air travel, and most meals. Travel package and airfare may total roughly $4,000-$5,000, depending on location. Students budget as they’re comfortable for meals and spending money.

Additional costs

Students read 8 to 10 books each semester. Costs vary, perhaps $150-$200. And mentors may opt to work by postal mail instead of electronically, so students may need to budget for postage and paper.

Federal Student Loans

Tuition, housing, and other expenses may be covered by federal student loans.

Federal loans for graduate school are available to most U. S. citizens and eligible non-citizens unless they have defaulted on previous student loans or have reached the lifetime limit (see Students in the Spalding low residency MFA program are full-time graduate students and are usually eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year.

Learn more about how to apply for federal aid.


MFA scholarships for incoming students typically range from $500 to $2,000. In 2016, we awarded 38 scholarships totaling $40,640.

Graduate Assistantships

For second-, third-, and fourth-semester students, assistantships are available for tuition remission of about $600-$1,800 per semester. Assistantships may involve working on social media, assisting in the MFA office, or serving as student editor for The Louisville Review. Students can complete most assistantships from home.

In 2016, we awarded 30 assistantships totaling $31,040.