Financial Support

Starting in the Fall 2024, graduate assistantship stipends range from $14,000 up to $22,000 a year (plus tuition waiver).

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) is the creative writing program’s primary source of funding for its full-time students. All GTAs include a full tuition waiver plus 9-12 month annual stipend. The current average GA yearly stipend is $14,000 but some select GTA positions - those that coordinate VCU's national literary awards (Cabell fellow, Levis coordinator, Blackbird lead associate editor) - have higher annual stipends of up to $22,000. Assistantships not only offer teaching opportunities in writing and rhetoric coursework, but also undergraduate creative writing classes as well.

Presently, all full-time students are funded. Due to the competitive nature of the process, VCU cannot offer such assistantships to part-time applicants.

MFA applicants who are applying for full-time enrollment and wish to be considered for a possible graduate assistantship must also submit a separate graduate assistantship application as part of the online application process. Visit our Application page for instructions on submitting the graduate assistantship application.

If you are applying for a graduate assistantship or any other type of financial aid, you should still complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it in a timely manner to Federal Student Aid Programs.

Travel Funding

We offer travel stipends for MFA students for summer writing conferences and study abroad travel, as well as yearly travel funding and registration waivers for students attending the annual AWP conference.

Additional Assistantships

For continuing MFA students, we offer the Cabell First Novelist Fellowship and the Levis Reading Prize Coordinator.

Cabell First Novelist Fellowship

Each year, one third-year MFA fiction student is awarded the Cabell First Novelist fellowship which comes with a full tuition waiver and a 12-month stipend of $22,000. Named after the famed Richmond author James Branch Cabell, the Cabell fellowship provides year-long assistance in the administration of the competition and in making the arrangements for the award ceremony each November. For information on the award and past winners, visit the Cabell First Novelist Award website.

Levis Prize Coordinator

The MFA program designates one continuing nine-month GA to be the Levis Reading Prize coordinator. This position is responsible for the administration of the university’s national competition and in making the arrangements for the Levis Reading Prize ceremony each September. For more information on the prize and past winners, visit our Levis Reading Prize page.