At the end of a busy day, dancing by the Seine in Paris

Financial Aid/Tuition

a top-10 low residency MFA program

Poets & Writers, year after year after year

Tuition, Fees, and Other Costs

The Spalding low residency MFA program is a 65-hour degree. The four core semesters include a 3-credit-hour residency session and a 12-credit-hour independent study session. A 5-credit-hour capstone residency, or “graduation residency,” completes the course of study. For fall 2014 through summer 2015, tuition for the program is $550 per credit hour. A tuition increase of 4-5 percent is expected each fall.

For Louisville residencies, students are responsible for the cost of travel, housing, and some meals, although many residency meals are included. The cost for housing ranges from $450 to $900 for nine nights at the Brown Hotel, a four-star historic hotel where faculty and most students stay. Parking in the hotel garage costs $10 a day.

Depending on availability, lower-cost housing at the University dormitory may be available (around $300 for nine nights). Overnight parking is available on campus at no cost. Students may opt to make their own accommodation arrangements.

For summer residencies, students are responsible for the cost of travel, housing, and meals. The estimated range is $3,900-4,900, but costs vary depending on the location.

The cost of books is difficult to determine because each student’s reading list is individually created, but an estimate is $200-$250. If packets are exchanged with the mentor via postal mail, postage might range from $150 to $200.

Student Loans

Graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens may use federal student loans to help finance their studies.

Federal student loans for graduate school are available to most U. S. citizens unless they have defaulted on previous student loans or have reached the lifetime limit. (See for a discussion of the limits.) Students in the Spalding low residency MFA program are considered full-time graduate students, which means they are usually eligible to borrow up to about $20,500 per year. See a list of Financial Aid FAQs here.

Even before being accepted to the MFA Program, students interested in student loans may fill out the federal form, which is located at Spalding’s code is 001960.

While applicants seeking federal student loans are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA during the application process, Spalding’s Financial Aid Office cannot provide financial aid package information until the applicant has been accepted into the program. Once accepted, students may contact the Financial Aid Specialist at (502) 873-4333 or (800) 896-8941, ext. 4333.

No grants or fellowships are available through Spalding University.

Scholarship Funds

In 2013, the Spalding low residency MFA program awarded 59 scholarships totaling $45,985 from the following funds:

  • MFA in Writing Scholarship Fund for Minorities: These scholarships for new students are usually in the amount of $500-1,000 and are based on merit, then on need. (Minority is defined as person of color.)
  • MFA in Writing Scholarship Fund: From this fund, several scholarships in the range of $500-$750 are given to new students based on merit, then on need.
  • MFA Alumni Endowed Scholarship. New students are given scholarships based on need from this fund.
  • J. Terry Price Scholarship. Each year, a new student in fiction is awarded a scholarship from this fund based on need.
  • Audrey Wasson and Carol Leseure Endowed Scholarship in Poetry. Beginning in Fall 2015, each year, a new student in poetry is awarded a scholarship from this fund based on need.
  • Diana M. Raab Scholarship in Creative Nonfiction: In 2013, a creative nonfiction student was awarded a $250 scholarship, which can be renewed each semester as long as the student returns the following semester and remains in good standing in the Program. In general, this scholarship is awarded every two years to a new student.
  • Eileen Spinelli Writing for Children Scholarship. Each semester, a new student in writing for children and young adults is awarded a scholarship of $250 based on need.
  • Kentucky Teachers Scholarship.  New for 2013: The MFA Program now offers special Kentucky Teachers Scholarships for Kentucky teachers of any subject and at any level, K through university. Teachers who study creative writing have unique skills and insights to share with students and a special zest for promoting both creative and critical thinking. To apply for the Kentucky Teachers Scholarship, applicants, who are new students and teach in Kentucky, email Program Director Sena Jeter Naslund at describing their need and stating the desire to be considered for the scholarship for Kentucky teachers. Please put “Kentucky Teacher Scholarship Request” in the subject line.
  • Bob Keith Travel Scholarship. Each summer, a new student is awarded a scholarship of about $500-$1,000 from this scholarship fund.

How to Apply for a Scholarship

New students who have been accepted into the MFA in Writing Program may apply for a scholarship by emailing Program Director Sena Jeter Naslund at describing their need and stating the desire to be considered for a scholarship. Please type “Scholarship Request” in the subject line. The deadline for application is April 1 for the spring or summer semester and October 1 for the fall semester.

How to Donate to a Scholarship Fund

The scholarships listed here are made possible by generous donations of alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the Spalding low residency MFA program. Anyone interested in making a donation to a scholarship fund or in setting up a special named scholarship should contact Bert Griffin, Director of Advancement and Philanthropy, at or visit

Graduate Assistantships

For second-, third-, and fourth-semester students, graduate assistantships are available that result in tuition remission from about $600 to $1,800 per semester. Assistantships are competitive and are awarded for one semester only, though a student may re-apply for assistantships in subsequent semesters. In 2013, the program awarded 26 assistantships totaling about $31,000. The amount of the assistantship depends on its nature and the number of hours a student is able to commit to the assistantship. For example, an assistantship for a student who works 5 hours a week during the semester is $1,200. Assistantships may involve working on social media for the MFA program, handling administrative duties in the MFA office, or serving as a student editor for The Louisville Review, a national literary magazine. Other types of assistantships may be available as well. Students do not have to live in Louisville to apply for graduate assistantships. The deadline to apply for an assistantship for the fall semester is August 28; the deadline to apply for a spring or summer assistantship is February 28.

Apply Now to the MFA Program