The Rejectionist has a little news flash for you: MFA programs may not help you get published.
Let me preface this by acknowledging the truth that Writing of True Genius can elevate any topic, no matter how dull or off-putting to the public's sensibilities. A 500-page novel about the sex lives of armadillos? Great!
Good, now that that's out of the way: You're not a genius.
Have you been Highly Educated in writing? That's wonderful. You've spent years thinking about what makes writing good, and practicing those skills, and caring, and god knows we need more of that. The slush pile blesses your heart.
However, what MFA programs tend to instill in writers is an appreciation for their fellow writers as sole audience, because through all that workshopping, your fellow writers are your sole audience.
Guess what? If you want to be published, writers are not your audience.
Now, this is not an argument for the dumbing-down of literature. I wholeheartedly do NOT want ANYONE to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I want you to appeal to average people, who need books as much as you do (and possibly more). Average people are not stupid, but they're less smart about literature than you are. And that's ok! And you should think it's ok, too.
Average people will happily read a Work of Fine Literature and be AMAZED and CHANGED by the experience, but they won't even pick the thing up if it's about the sex lives of armadillos, you know? (Or working-class alcoholic armadillos in snowstorms.)
If, however, it's tightly plotted and about something people can identify with, then you're on your way to moving the hearts and enlightening the minds of thousands. Your publisher loves you! Your readers love you! And your MFA program can barely recognize you, now that your head is completely out of your butt!