Super Anxious about AFI application


New Member
I'm extremely anxious about my application to AFI. I've already sent it awhile ago, but I feel like I am at a huge disadvantage. I'm definitely an...unconventional applicant.

My age is 22, and I'm from the East Coast. I have been writing all my life (since age 3), and used to have about 9 books published from the time I was 17 to the time I was 21. I didn't make any money, because I'd set them as free all the time, and I'm not sure of how many people read them. I probably got maybe 20,000 downloads in all.

I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA in '14 from a private school. However, my mental health was suffering at the time and my parents have consistently refused to let me have any college education that is not a program of their choice at the community college across the street from my house. I have Asperger's and my parents seem to think I am incapable of even leaving the front door by myself, which is not true.

I have a few college credits, 2 from AP history classes in high school, a couple I took online, and I plan on taking a film class and English at the CC this winter, but the school itself doesn't offer anything in my field that I could even major in.

When I applied, I selected "certificate of completion" because I don't have a Bachelor's degree. I was told on the phone that it is okay not to have one but that people who don't get the COC instead of an MFA. I was also told that if accepted I might be able to take out a loan or get aid without my parents' signature or approval because it is considered a graduate program. I do get SSI right now in MA for my Asperger's and in CA the amount is twice as much and I could get subsidized housing in LA for 30% of that income.

I haven't applied to AFI before--but was accepted to two mid-level screenwriting programs 5 years ago with my very first script. I'm probably on script 4 or 5 now since then, and I do feel like my writing sample is strong, and that my voice has matured quite a bit. I've written just about everything under the sun, but screenplays, and particularly teleplays, are by far my strong suit. I did select screenwriting as my program of choice for Fall 2018.

Honestly, is not having a previous bachelor's degree a huge disadvantage despite the claims on AFI's site? If I did get to go, and completed the coursework, then did the time for a BFA somewhere else once I'm 24 (the legal age where I won't have to claim my parents' income/assets), would the school be able to somehow change my status from a certificate to an MFA if the work had already been completed?


New Member

When I did the campus tour, there was a high school grad with a similar question. I believe if you have experience to back it up, the certificate would be fine. However, I doubt they will change your certificate to an MFA after the fact. You will find a better answer directly through the admissions office. Best of luck!

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