Monday, May 18, 2015

M.F.A. Exodus

Inside Higher Ed
May 18th, 2015

Seven students, making up the entire first-year class in the visual arts master of fine arts program at the University of Southern California, issued an open letter saying that they were quitting.
While students drop out of graduate and professional programs all the time, and the program is a small one, losing an entire class of students is unusual -- and attracted immediate attention.
The students say that since they enrolled, in the fall of 2014, the program has changed in ways that have led valued faculty members to leave, that have reduced the value of the financial aid packages they have received, and that have left them questioning the commitment of the university to the program. They say that they would have graduated -- and now leave without a degree -- with debt that they believe they were promised they would not need, and without some of the teaching experience they expected to pick up. And they say that the good financial packages for which the program had been known were a big part of the original attraction to USC.

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