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I myself will be applying to MFA programs for the 2013-14 academic year. But I also expect to go into academia, preferably at the university level, so graduate and post-graduate work is kind of a must for me (unless something else comes along in the interim).
But if you’re not planning to teach, well… If you think you’ll benefit from it, you might want to at least apply to some programs. And then if you get a big enough offer from the university and wouldn’t have to take out a lot of loans, go for it. But if you live in a city like Boston or Chicago or London or Austin (or many other cities), you could look for local workshop groups. I’ve found that getting feedback from friends and strangers alike is immensely helpful. If I don’t get into grad school next year, I’ll probably be in Austin for the next year and look for workshop groups there.
Ultimately, it comes down to writing writing submitting writing writing writing submitting… you get the idea. If you’re lucky and you’ve got the money or you get a great offer from a university, I would say go for it. It can only help your writing, ultimately. But I’m also a total dork and love school.
If you don’t, though, I would encourage looking into finding a job at some kind of publishing house or literary magazine, especially an editing position. I have found editing forty or more stories a semester to be incredibly helpful, both as writer and editor.
Hope this is helpful. Best of luck!