The Funding

Paying for School

We are proud to fully fund a number of students through teaching assistantships in composition. These assistantships are awarded for the full two years of study and include full tuition waivers as well as a stipend (roughly $9000-10,000 annually). A few students who receive TA-ships are given the opportunity to teach creative writing in their second year.

We also offer four students full-funding and stipends in their second year through our unique professional practicum opportunities. These opportunities include gaining valuable experience as Managing Editor for both Willow Springs, and Willow Springs BooksStudent Director of Writers’ in the Community, or Assistant Coordinator for our annual literary festival GetLit! Many other funding opportunities are also available doing technical writing, advising, Writers’ Center work, and more through other departments at Eastern.

Good to Know

The GSA tuition waiver does not cover a varying amount of mandatory student fees per quarter. Students with a GSA who have tuition waivers should expect to pay about this much each quarter in required EWU fees. For more information, please visit the EWU Student Financial Services Mandatory Fees page or call EWU Financial Services at 509.359.6200.

Teaching Assistantships

The university provides our program with some (between 7-10 annually) teaching assistantships to award to incoming students. MFA candidates awarded TA-ships teach composition (or sometimes creative writing in their second year only), primarily from the main EWU campus located in Cheney. These TA appointments grant recipients a full tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend, and involve the teaching of one composition course per term (classes are capped at 25 students). The university offers a one-week training session for incoming teaching assistants and year-long support from faculty and second-year mentors. The duration of a TA-ship is two academic years, but in the second year the award covers resident tuition only, except in the cases of international students. For this reason, it is important that new teaching assistants take specific steps (under the helpful guidance of our office staff) to establish Washington State residency before the start of classes their first fall, in order to qualify as 12-month residents by their second fall quarter.

To be considered for an assistantship, applicants must complete a Graduate Service Appointment (GSA) Application and have a complete MFA application file before February 19 (postmark deadline) for the following academic year. Applicants for teaching assistantships must write an additional brief letter in which they describe their interest in and prior experience with classroom teaching. Teaching assistantships are awarded before April 15 for the following year. No applicant can be considered for a teaching assistantship until all required material has been received. Note: Our program no longer requires GRE scores.

For more information on the teaching in the Composition Program, incoming students can connect with the Composition Program Coordinator, Kerri Boyd at

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Additional Aid Available to Second-Year MFA Students

Usually reserved for students in their second year of study, four non-teaching Graduate Service Appointments (GSAs) are available within the Creative Writing department, one for each of our professional practicum opportunities. The specific GSA positions are: Managing Editor, Willow Springs; Managing Editor, Willow Springs Books; Program Assistant, Get Lit! Programs; and Student Director, Writers in the Community. These appointments grant the recipient a full tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend. Applications for the majority of the GSAs are taken in the spring of the year preceding the start of the position, and all first-year MFA students with experience in the relevant practicum may apply. Applications for Managing Editor, Willow Springs are taken a full year in advance, so that the person hired can train by serving first as Assistant Managing Editor. Many students who held management positions in our practica have gone on work for presses such as The Gettysburg Review, Milkweed Editions, and more.

The university also offers a number (3-4 annually) of GSA positions in other departments doing technical writing, advising work, and working in the Writers’ Center. These positions also come with a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend.

The MFA program sometimes receives, on an unpredictable basis and usually in late spring, funds it may award to exceptional students for use the following academic year. These small scholarships involve no application procedure, but are awarded based on faculty nomination and vote.

The university also offers funding for travel to both national and international conferences based on availability.

We are excited to announce that as of summer 2016 we will be offering two first-year students per year (prose writers only at this time), scholarships to attend the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Employment & Other Opportunities for EWU Students

Handshake, the online career management system for EWU students and alumni, allows its members to search hundreds of available jobs, and to submit and track applications directly online. Jobs range from hourly to full-time, and include both on- and off-campus positions, offered by both university and private industry employers.

With a simple directed search, our MFA students can find a number of tutoring, teaching, publishing, advertising, and technical writing opportunities in and around Spokane at any time during the calendar year. Students who have further expertise in other industries — such as computer programming or health sciences — will find even more opportunities.

Eastern Washington University participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) program, in which applicants from WICHE member states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific territories) can be awarded a tuition reduction (to the resident rate) for their first year of graduate study in another member state.

All applicants to the MFA program are automatically considered for a WICHE waiver if they reside in one of the relevant states or territories, so no formal application is necessary. Because the tuition reduction applies only to the first year of graduate study, it is imperative that recipients of a WICHE waiver take formal steps to establish Washington state residency well before the start of classes their first fall.

Applicants from outside the state of Washington are automatically considered for a Non-Resident Tuition Scholarship (NRTS), which reduces their first-year’s tuition by several thousand dollars, to 150% of the in-state rate. Again, because the tuition reduction applies only to the first year, NRTS recipients must take formal steps to establish Washington state residency well before the start of classes their first fall.

In addition, because the MFA at EWU is such an integral a part of the arts scene in Spokane, local employers in the arts and culture services (including our favorite independent bookstore, Auntie’s) occasionally solicit our program directly for graduate students who might be interested in job openings.

The first step toward being be considered for financial aid is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Questions about financial aid can be directed to the financial aid office, or by reviewing the information provided on the financial aid website. Many EWU scholarship listings can be found at the scholarships web page.