Is it worth to apply for an MFA to US based schools this year?

Mint_Street

New Member
I am 28 years old, and already a professional screenwriter in my home country. I always wanted to go to grad school in the States, but because of work and financial constraints, I couldn't make it. I am wondering if I am too old to apply now, because I'll be 29 by the time I go. The whole reason for wanting to go to grad school is to network with other filmmakers and try to find work opportunities there. I wonder, with the current political climate, my age, my already having been somewhat established in my home industry, is it worth it to even apply? For context I applied last year, got a bunch of interviews, and got waitlisted to Columbia. I feel dejected and I don't know where to start. All advice would be welcome! Thank you :)
 

dreismanx

New Member
This is such a mood. I'm in a similar position, with similar needs. But the opportunity cost of studying in the US is definitely nerve-racking thing. Tuition is already so prohibitive for US nationals, and of course it's worse when you factor in the exchange rates for international students.

To add to your query about it generally being worth the risk, I'd love to know what scholarship options are available for people like us, if any, that may help us see this route of career development as a practical probable option?
 

Leforbusier

Member
I'm 29 and am in my first year of grad school! I worked for 7 years as an architect and decided to switch careers. Also, 29 is still young - though, I have no perspective from the film industry. I can definitely tell small differences (as far as goals and other things) between me and my younger classmates, but otherwise I've seen no problems so far.

re: scholarships - I have a graduate assistantship which is helping significantly with tuition. If you are finding lack of scholarship opportunities, maybe it is worth pursuing an assistantship or work study to help curb costs.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member

Mint_Street

New Member
This is such a mood. I'm in a similar position, with similar needs. But the opportunity cost of studying in the US is definitely nerve-racking thing. Tuition is already so prohibitive for US nationals, and of course it's worse when you factor in the exchange rates for international students.

You said it! I am worried about generally fitting in as a POC, and tuition being prohibitive. Also to be honest getting waitlisted did a number on my motivation because now I can't think of how to make my application better, or figure out what was amiss the first time. UCLA isn't even taking in applicants this year, so I'm just trying to figure out the post Covid reality of the grad school situation.
 
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Asar

Artist
Supporter+
I am wondering if I am too old to apply now, because I'll be 29 by the time I go.

I'll be starting my MFA at USC next semester at 32. You're going to be fine. :)

In terms of should you apply/attend film school, I guess I'd ask if you've tried utilizing your work/experience to leverage opportunities in the industry in the States already? After all, you said your goal of going to film school would be to network and find work opportunities. I, in some ways, had that as my goal as well, but it is because I'm a veteran so I wouldn't have to pay an extreme amount for school. I also have zero professional experience. So going to film school was my way of stepping out of the military and landing softer into the film industry.

You're already experienced, perhaps you can leverage that into opportunities and skip the middle man? That's an option/something to think about.
 

schnagler

Member
I just applied and I'm 50, so if you think you're old ... :) For me it's a career shift, I've already been to grad school once before for literature and I've worked as a copywriter/creative director in the advertising world fo 20 years. Not sure if all that's a plus or minus on my application though. At my age, the independent film route seems best because I'd be the world's oldest intern going the studio route. HA
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Age is relative. Think of it as having more life experiences, which means more stories to pull from. David Seidler won an Oscar for The King's Speech when he was 73. James Ivory won an Oscar for Call Me By Your Name when he was 89. If they can do it, so can you. Just make sure to thank me when you give out your Oscar speech.
 

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