To recap, I applied to two PhD programs and was accepted to one, Nebraska, but without funding. I decided to defer and work on my book for a year instead submerging myself in lit coursework. Good decision, but if an agent doesn't bite on my proposal, then I'll try to break in the old fashioned way: Get the University press to publish my dissertation. Then I have that gold star needed for my job and visiting writer apps.
Options. The way of the unknown writer is to try any and everything. So...I'm thinking I should cast a wider PhD net this time around, which means I have to decide about the GRE Subject test in the next few days. Do I really want to pay $130 (!) to not know the answers to a series of questions about fusty British fuckwits? Yet three programs on my list (USC, Knoxville, UGA) all require it. I don't believe for a red hot second that any creative writer faculty member cares about the score I get. FSU and UNL don't even require it. (Why I applied). That I would waste time studying isn't an issue.
But $130 is a lot of money for a student loan living poorling. And it's a scam. How can the GRE not be insanely profitable? You hire a few academics to write questions, rent a room and collect the cash. Furthermore, the test is outdated. It might as well be called The Thackeray Subject Test.
Complicating things further is that USC and Knoxville both accept about two students every return of Pluto. The chance of admission is very slim. Sigh.