more Financial Aid questions

some more financial aid questions to chew on while you’re enjoying the holidays…

 

Q: If I do not receive funding for my first year, will I be re-evaluated for my second year?

A: Yes, there is a separate application for second year funding, and all SIPA students are eligible to apply.  Candidates for second year funding must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4.  All second year funding is merit-based.

Q: How and when are second year funding decisions made?

A: Second year awards include some scholarships but consist mostly of assistantships, which are part-time jobs in which the student receives both a scholarship and a salary.  Recipients are chosen on the basis of their academic performance and professional credentials, and as is the case with any job search, networking helps, so get to know professors or departments for which you would like to work.  Students must apply for these awards during the spring semester of their first year (usually a deadline in late February), and appointments are made starting in April and continue for several months.

Q: Is funding available for dual degree students?

A: Yes, dual degree students, along with all other SIPA applicants are automatically considered for institutional aid (fellowships and scholarships).  For more details on how to apply for financial aid, click here.  Please note that SIPA funding can only be used while in residence at SIPA, and funding is specific to the year for which it is offered and cannot be deferred while the student is attending another school.

Q: How many SIPA students borrow student loans, and what is their average indebtedness?

A: Approximately 39% of SIPA’s Class of 2013 used educational loans as part of their financing strategy, with an average loan debt for two years of $73,000.

Q: Are there ways to get any of my student loan debt forgiven?

A:  If you establish a career in the public or non-profit sectors, you may qualify for forgiveness of any remaining balance on your eligible federal student loans by taking advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.  There is also loan forgiveness available for some teachers (click here for additional details on both programs).

 

If you have a question about financial aid at SIPA, please email us at:  sipa_finaid@columbia.edu.