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Hollins University

How this student rated the school
Research QualityF Research AvailabilityF
Research FundingD+ Graduate PoliticsF
Errand RunnersF Degree CompletionA
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]F Sufficient PayF
CompetitivenessF Education QualityF
Faculty AccessibilityF Useful ResearchF
ExtracurricularsF Success-UnderstandingF
Surrounding CityF Social Life/EnvironmentF
"Individual" treatmentF FriendlinessF
SafetyB Campus BeautyF
Campus MaintenanceF University Resource/spendingF
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Broken Spirit, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Arrogant, Condescending, Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Lowest Rating
Research Quality
Highest Rating
Degree Completion
He cares more about Campus Beauty than the average student.
Date: Dec 31 1969
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
This school is located in a backwater no one in her right mind should have to go to. The creative writing faculty found their jobs at a time when tenured positions were a dime a dozen and anyone with an MFA and a short story or two in a decent rag could land such a coveted position. As such, most of them are not great writers; mediocre at best. The students in my program were better writers than the teachers (which never bodes well). Despite their lack of true ability, the professors, who have all been there since time immemorial, act as though they are above everyone else; once accepted to the school it becomes clear that there is no real community and no real mentoring going on. Doors—and minds—are closed. The faculty, who basically struck me as a group of has-beens and never-weres (or rather, one has-been and the rest never-weres, with real authors thrown in the mix occasionally as visiting writers), are very good at spotting talent, and that is how the program has made its reputation. Statistically speaking at least some of their talented students will be published and then they can claim them. There is a lot of in-fighting about funding, as some students are fully funded and some are not; interestingly, the fully funded students are often the older, non-traditional students, and not part of the far-too-young crowd of wide-eyed ingenues who seek to write like Amy Hempel and Rick Moody. Despite the seemingly open nature of a multigenre program, this is still an MFA mill like any other, seeking to churn out writers of technical proficiency and glib one-note superficiality. Real issues will be greeted with uncomfortable silence and exclusion here; if you have anything to say about the major issues of our time, expect to be treated like the bad grandchild who dropped the matriarch's china. And that treatment will continue; you will find yourself excluded by teachers and students alike. These are the real literary gatekeepers, mediocre wonders who write inconsequential stories about middle-class angst in the modern world, as long as it has a funny voice and serves up a huge heaping helping of privilege with each wry authorial "observation." If you are white and are into cultural appropriation that is always looked well upon here; if you are a minority expect to be treated as a mascot. You should be feminist, but more in word than in deed in the graduate department. Don't explore your anger, it'll only make the young ones uncomfortable. Ignore the hypocrisy and you'll be fine. NOT recommended for anyone over the age of 25, for anyone with real convictions in any direction other than a tame party-line feminism and a knee-jerk unexplored liberalism, or for anyone with something to say that isn't hopelessly out of touch with the 99.99 percent of humanity who aren't creative writers. Not recommended for anyone looking for true mentoring or a literary community either. If you want to watch a strange social experiment—sheltered, privileged youth who think knowing how to say something equals having something to say brushing up against journeymen and damaged hardened souls who do have something to say but need to be coaxed into their voices in a safe space (which this program is not)—by all means come to Hollins! And enjoy whilst you're here the utter lack of anything to do in Roanoke. Remember to take pictures of the leaves turning in fall, it's not quite as agonzing as watching paint dry but nearly. This place drove me near insane. Highly recommended for nonconformists who want to get pushed to the brink! And for sheltered mid-West and East Coast kids who don't mind a lack of challenge. (Just a brief disclaimer: a lot of this will depend on your class. But class groups won't change the profs, though. Steer clear).
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