Admission Decisions Category #2: Admitted

This is the second of three posts targeting the topic admissions decisions.  Decisions have not started to be released yet – this series is meant to provide an understanding of what you will see when decisions are released.  The first post covered the waitlist category and this post covers the admitted category.  The admitted category does have some different groupings.

The first and largest category in the admitted group is standard admission.  Due to our limited fellowship budget for first-year students, most admission offers to SIPA do not include first-year funding.  Most of our funding is reserved for second-year students.  It is very difficult to select recipients for first-year awards and those that receive an admission offer without funding should not take this as an indication that the Committee was not extremely impressed with your background, experience, and potential.

Approximately 15% of admitted candidates will receive funding to help pay for costs during their first-year of study.  Awards vary in amount and specifics will be included in the admission letter.  All first-year students, whether receiving funding or not, can apply for a second-year award.  Applications for second year funding are submitted in the spring semester.  A first-semester GPA of 3.4 or higher is required to apply for second-year funding.

One common question we get from admitted candidates that do not receive funding is, “If someone is offered an award but decides not to attend SIPA, can I be considered for the money that is ‘freed up’ when they decline their funding offer?”

While I can understand what might lead one to a conclusion like this, the Admissions Committee knows that not everyone we offer funding to will choose to accept our offer.  We thus spend about twice the amount of money we have in our budget, meaning it is not as simple as offering funding to another candidate if one candidate chooses not to attend.  It is thus incredibly rare for us to be able to make a funding offer to a candidate that is not initially chosen to receive an award in the first year of study.

Admitted candidates will have until May 2nd to pay a $1,000 deposit to secure a space in the fall 2011 class.  A variety of resources will be made available to admitted candidates including a Welcome Page, Admitted Student Day (April 12th), an Internet based message board, and a summer math tutorial.

One final note is that we do have one category of “conditional” admission.  Some admitted applicants that do not speak English as a native language will be required to attend an intensive English language class in the summer on the Columbia campus prior to enrolling in the fall.  If this program is required, information will be included in the admission letter.

One more entry on admissions decisions to go . . . and no, admissions decisions have not started to go out yet.