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MFA Scholarships & Financial Aid

The Writing Seminars offer scholarships to the emerging voices we want to support and read. Awards are made through a combination of merit and need; there is no additional application process. Major funding includes: The Donald Hall Poetry Scholarship (a full scholarship); the PEN/Emerging Voices Fellowship ($10,000), and various others. In addition, we offer the Residential Teaching Fellowship, which provides full tuition remission for one term, plus housing and board.

All Bennington MFA students who demonstrate need as determined by the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program receive financial aid. 

Alumni Fund Scholarships

Each term we award scholarships at varying levels to writers whose work and whose voices we want to support. These awards are made, in part, thanks to generous funding from our alumni. Scholarships are made on the basis of merit, as identified by our faculty admissions committee, and need aross all genres. There is no application process.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund Scholarship

The DEI Fund Scholarships were created in 2013 to raise funds to increase access to the Writing Seminars for applicants whose voices and vision have been traditionally underrepresented. Bennington is committed to attracting the most talented writers from all walks of life. Scholarships are awarded based on merit, as identified by our faculty admissions committee, and need across all genres. There is no application process.

Residential Teaching Fellowship 

The Residential Teaching Fellowship is a full-immersion teaching fellowship is open to enrolled Bennington Writing Seminars MFA students in their second, third, and fourth terms. One fellow will be selected each term through an internal application and interview process. The Residential Teaching Fellow works for a full term in an undergraduate classroom where they assist a Bennington College literature faculty member. The selected Fellow gains experience in arts administration or editorial work while continuing their regular coursework for the term. 

Students are mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working (in addition to the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned at BWS.) Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, enrollment in one class offered on campus, and experience in arts administration or editorial work with The Robert Frost Stone House Museum, Bennington Review, and Poetry@Bennington.

Financial Aid

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program. Student loans are the primary source of financial aid available to graduate students, and the best source of loans is the Federal Direct Loan Program. These loans are available through the Department of Education. Graduate students, if eligible, may borrow up to $20,500 in federal unsubsidized loans per academic year. Repayment begins six months after you cease to be enrolled or take a leave of absence. Students generally have up to ten years to repay their accumulated loans; however, there are minimum monthly repayments. Once your FAFSA has been processed and your eligibility determined, the Financial Aid Office will send you an award letter.

If you wish to accept the student loans you have been offered, you will need to complete an MFA Federal Direct Loan Response form (found on the financial aid web page under forms) and complete the Master Promissory Note and the Entrance Loan Counseling (both may be found at You will use your FAFSA ID to sign in to the webpage. Your loan will be applied to your tuition bill when you have completed all the steps to accept it.

Questions about funding your Bennington education, take a look at our resources page and then contact Bennington's Financial Aid office at: