Funding your education at SIPA – part 1

The students who plan ahead for the costs of a SIPA education are the ones who are best prepared.  A SIPA education is not inexpensive, but there are fellowship or scholarship opportunities, as well as financing strategies, that can make it affordable and manageable.

Once you have been admitted, SIPA will provide you with an estimate of what you will spend on tuition, fees, textbooks and typical living expenses to help you get started in your financial planning, along with information about the aid for which you qualify.  Budgeting your resources is the first step in planning how to manage the costs of your SIPA program.  Remember that New York is an expensive city to live in, but there are on-campus residence options, and Columbia is located in a thriving and bustling residential neighborhood.  Many students live within walking distance of the campus.

In preparing your financing strategy, look at all options, including resources you currently have available.  Examine financial resources you have on hand in salary, savings or assistance from your family in addition to the types of fellowships, scholarships and loans available from SIPA, government sources or private external agencies.  Many SIPA students create a strategy employing three or four of these components.

First Year Fellowship and Scholarship Awards

SIPA scholarship and fellowship awards are competitive and offered to approximately 10 to 15 percent of first year students.  All admitted students are automatically considered, no additional application is required.  These merit-based awards are based entirely on your academic achievement and professional credentials; financial need is not a factor.  SIPA scholarships range in value from $3000 per year up to full tuition; most fall approximately midway in between.  If you are a US citizen/permanent resident, you may submit a FAFSA for student loans, but the FAFSA is not reviewed nor required for fellowship/scholarship determination.

SIPA scholarship and fellowship awards are available to both domestic and international students.

SIPA has arrangements with some external agencies, such as the Rangel, Pickering, Fulbright and other foundations, where we will match part of the award a student receives from that entity.  Please advise us if you have such funding (from these or similar sources) as soon as you are aware of the award so we can consider you for matching funds.

External Awards

While searching for funding from outside foundations and organizations comes with no guarantees, such funding is only a possibility if you take the time to search for it.  The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external scholarships and fellowships that we recommend students visit often.  These funding opportunities may be available to all students, first or second year, domestic or international, and may be based on any combination of academic achievement, professional credentials, areas of interest and experience, financial need, or demographic criteria.  SIPA students receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding through outside sources of their own finding every year, and it is not too early to begin your search for these resources.

You may also want to visit the following sites:

www.fastweb.com

www.scholarships.com

www.graduatescholarships.org

www.gradview.com