financial aid is always on top of mind

Each year we receive a few questions about financial aid  — and that’s understandable.  Graduate school is expensive.  Here are five of the most frequently asked questions regarding financial aid…  We’ll follow back with a few more next week.

Q: How do I apply for aid?

A: You apply for aid simply by submitting your application for admission.  All applicants for first-year admission to SIPA are automatically considered for institutional aid (fellowships and scholarships) regardless of nationality.  For more details, click here.

Q: How much does it cost to attend SIPA?

A: You will be able to find information on SIPA’s current cost of attendance here.  Costs are established on an annual basis, and the tuition rates for fall 2014 and spring 2015 are yet to be determined.  Estimates will be available in the spring.

Q: What types of financial aid are available at SIPA?

A: SIPA offers a range of fellowships, scholarships, assistantships, student loans and Work Study to qualified students.  Merit-based Fellowships and scholarships are offered to first and second year students, and second year students can also apply for a number of assistantships, which include both a scholarship and a salary.  Some SIPA students also borrow student loans or are employed on campus in Work Study positions.  Click here for more information.

Q: Can financial aid cover my living expenses?

A: Yes, educational loans may be used to cover living expenses as well as tuition.  Students can borrow up to their full cost of attendance.  Aid first goes toward covering direct costs (tuition and fees) and any excess funds are refunded to students to use for their living expenses.

Q: Is funding available for international students?

A: Yes.  SIPA scholarships, fellowships and assistantships, although competitive, are available to both domestic and international students.  Columbia University also maintains a list of private student loan lenders who will lend to international students; click here for more information.  There are also many international students at SIPA who receive funding from agencies in their home country.