First off, everyone should check out Poets & Writers, as they provide a number of articles, forums and other helpful tools. Several of the articles we'll be discussing on Thursday come from their archive. Also, The Practical Writer is actually a production of Poets & Writers; you can find many other Practical Writer articles on their website for free.
The MFA Guide: How to Decide Where to Apply, by Tom Kealey, Poets & Writers. Nov/Dec 2006.
The Lowdown on Low-Residency Programs, by Erika Dreifus, Poets & Writers. March/April 2005.
Reading How You're Read: The Art of Evaluating Criticism, by Ann Pancake, May/June 2007
Also, here's some other links to articles ("The Best of the Best" in The Atlantic; "Confessions of an MFA Application Reader" in Poets and Writers) and a blog (MFA Weblog). Poets & Writers also provides a MFA Toolkit for researching and applying to graduate programs. We'll talk about what "best" might mean, as well as the nuts and bolts of MFA applications.