There is a long, long section in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Poets & Writers that focuses on MFA programs for creative writing.
In an article entitled “The Mature MFA Going Back to School as an Older Student” written by Shannon Reed, she mentions Michael Meyer (China 1995-97), author of The Last Days of Old Beijing (2008), and writes that “Everyone I interviewed for this article emphasized that it’s especially important for older students to be clear about their intentions.” She then quotes Michael, “In your personal statement, tell us who you are and why you want to earn an MFA . . .. Wanting a fresh start after a terrible breakup is not a compelling reason. Join the Peace Corps instead.”
[Com’on, Mike, you know better than that. If you went to Manchuria or Walli Jalla, Senegal, you could write a novel about that lost love, publish it, and be ahead of all those MFA students scribbling away back on campus.]