Tuition & Fees [ORIGINAL]

Tuition, Travel & Other Costs

The Spalding MFA program is the most affordable of the top-tier low-residency MFA in Writing programs. Our MAW and Graduate Certificate courses also offer excellent graduate education on an economical model. Spalding does not charge a registration fee, residency fee, or graduation fee

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. Our location in Louisville—a city that consistently shows up on top destination lists for its arts, dining, parks, and historic neighborhoods—allows us to provide rich field trips and attend arts events as part of our curriculum.

Master of Fine Arts in Writing Tuition 2021-2022
Semester Credit Hours Tuition
Semester 1 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Semester 2 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Semester 3 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Semester 4 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Capstone residency 5 $3,025
Total 65 $39,325

The MFA degree is a substantial 65 credit hours at a cost of $605 per credit hour. Students in the Graduate Certificate or MAW program can opt to matriculate into the MFA program and complete both programs for about the same price as the MFA degree alone.

Our tuition increase for 2020-2021 was 2.56 percent. Over the past six years, our average annual increase has been 3.13 percent, which is below the national average.

Master of Arts in Writing Tuition 2021-2022
Semester Credit Hours Tuition
Semester 1 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Semester 2 (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Capstone residency 5 $3,025
Total 35 $21,175
Graduate Certificate in Writing Tuition 2021-2022
Semester Credit Hours Tuition
Semester (residency + independent study) 15 $9,075
Total 15 $9,075

Travel costs


Students cover travel to Louisville, housing, and most meals. All faculty and most out-of-town (and some in-town) students stay at the historic, four-star Brown Hotel, which also serves as our off-campus event site and social hub. The cost ranges from about $600 (double) to $1,225 (single) for nine nights at the Brown. The School provides a few group meals; for other dining, nearby restaurant options abound.

Hotel garage parking costs $12 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 $4,500-$5,500, 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.

Federal Student Loans

For all programs in the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing, 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, MAW, and Graduate Certificate programs 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.


Scholarships for incoming students typically range from $500 to $2,000. In 2020, we awarded $83,500 in scholarships.

Additional $2,500 scholarships are now available, benefiting new creative writing students who demonstrate need by filling out the FAFSA, made possible through a generous $50,000 gift from the Renau Foundation.

Graduate Assistantships

For students in their second or later semester, assistantships are available for tuition remission of about $600-$1,800 per semester. Assistantships may involve working on the social media team, assisting the School of Writing staff, or serving as student editor for our literary magazine. Students can complete most assistantships from home.

For 2020 we awarded $20,000 in graduate assistantships.