As many of you already know I plan to attend Chester College of New England in New Hampshire this fall. I began the application process last fall and was accepted into their creative writing program with a scholarship that would cover a large portion of my tuition.
I did not grow up with money and do not have a family that can support me financially with my education so that scholarship was a true blessing. Without it I would not be able to afford a private education.
My girlfriend and I traveled down to New Hampshire a few weeks ago to see the campus. We met a few of the professors and some students, both former and current. We explored the campus, a perfect and picturesque collection of farmhouses that have been converted into classrooms and art labs. We also began hunting for rental property further south. Everything seemed to finally be falling into place.
Yesterday we heard some devastating news. Chester College is suffering some severe financial issues and is attempting to raise money in order to keep the campus open. The website has more information about what is going on there. There is a benefit this weekend to help raise money for the school which will feature readings from a few authors, including Steve Almond.
I am quite nervous right now. I believe in the strength behind this school and its message. I believe that this school will not only further my education, but also my career as a writer. However, in today's economic world financial issues are not uncommon in small liberal arts colleges and this is not an isolated case. This school only matriculates around 200 students at a time. That environment is exactly what I want in a school, but in today's world trying to run a school that way is costly and not always successful.
I am hoping and praying that the school is able to raise what money they need this week. I am still planning on going there in the fall and, in the meantime, checking on my backup school and ensuring my paperwork is clear with them just in case. Unfortunately, they don't offer a creative writing program and my major would have to change to English with a focus in writing. We shall see what happens, I suppose...