Archive for Paying for SIPA

Yellow Ribbon Program opens May 3

SIPA is pleased to announce the availability of the Yellow Ribbon Program Scholarship for the 2019/20 academic year.

SIPA is committed to honoring those who have served our country by being one of seventeen schools at Columbia University participating in this program. Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces play an integral part in the student life, academic endeavors, and intellectual accomplishments of the University — and especially at SIPA.

The application will be available here under “The Yellow Ribbon Program” on May 3 at 9am, Eastern Daylight Time. For more information, please email sipa_finaid@columbia.edu.

Pictured above is the Columbia SIPA Veterans Association at Admitted Students’ Day 2019. Learn more about CSVA here.

Learn more about Columbia University’s Veterans & Service Members options here.

Next Steps for Admitted Students, Fall 2019

First, another congratulations to you on being accepted to Columbia SIPA! I hope you celebrated this achievement – it was a competitive applicant pool – and are now ready to go over a few things that every newly-admitted student should know. Top takeaways for you:

  • Check the Welcome Portal – a lot. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll end up here yet. Honestly, the Welcome Portal has everything you need regarding next steps. If you don’t want to read two iterations of this information, I would recommend the Welcome Portal.
  • Submitting your official documents and transcripts. This probably applies to you and is a new policy for SIPA.
  • Check your Status Page to avoid delays in registering for classes at SIPA.
  • Money, deposits and financial aid.

Check the Welcome Portal, even if you’re not sure where you’ll end up yet.

The Welcome Portal has everything you need regarding next steps. Even if you’re still deciding where you’ll be for the next few years, the Welcome Portal provides information to help you make that decision: about accepting your offer, upcoming deadlines, student housing information, and special events and webinars, including Faculty Q&As and Financial Aid advice.

The Welcome Portal also breaks down the following information about official transcripts, test scores, and other items that require a few extra steps for you to ensure you can start your school year off with no delays.

(For conditional admitted students: Some applicants were admitted on the condition that they take additional quantative preparation courses, or to enroll in ALP courses for the summer/fall, prior to enrolling at SIPA. Your overall application and achievements are admirable, and we believe you’ll be better equipped for success at SIPA by completing this coursework. Please check the Welcome Portal of the specific requirements and deadlines for these conditions.)

Submit your Official Documents – This is really important!

When you review the Welcome Portal, you’ll see a section that outlines upcoming deadlines for the Application Checklist materials, also known as official documents. These are hard deadlines for the Admissions Office to receive your official documents, mainly transcripts and test scores.

I suggest you triple-check your Status Page to make sure all official Transcripts and Test Scores have been received by our office. If we don’t get these official documents by August 20, you will not be able to register for classes.

In the past few years, at least 90% of our accepted students did not submit all of their official documents to our office. This might be because you just haven’t submitted it because it wasn’t required until now. Another possibility is that items are sent to the wrong address or not delivered correctly, or for some reason the document submitted is not considered “official.” For example, even if you opened and scanned your official transcript from your college registrar, we cannot consider it “official” because it has technically been altered.

Check your Status Page

The last thing you want is a delay to starting off your school year, and that is easily avoided by checking in with the Status Page. This is where you’ll go to review your Application Checklist. Even though you’ve been accepted, there are a few items on the checklist that we need to finalize your academic record before August 2019. And if your record isn’t finalized, you won’t be able to register for classes during orientation. Don’t be that person!

Distinguishing if you’ve submitted your official vs unofficial documents can be confusing, so I’ll walk you through how to check this on your Status Page.

When you look at your Status Page, you see a green checkmark that indicates what we’ve received. Hover over this checkmark to see the pop-up text that will indicate if this item was “Received,” or we’ve only “Received Copy.”

An example of an official received item – hovering over the green checkmark shows a popup of Status: Received.

However, this applicant’s popup states “Status: Received Copy” next to their PTE Score Report. This means that their official test score has NOT been received by the Admissions office. (We’re sorry about this, we know it’s a hassle, but it’s a quirk of the system that we’re working with here.)

“How do I send in my official transcripts and test scores?”

All of this information is in the Welcome Portal (seriously, check it out if you haven’t already), but: Official transcripts and test scores must be on file by August 20, 2019. International students who won’t have conferred degrees until after the deadline should email us and we’ll make a note on their account.

There are extra requirements for students who attended Chinese institutions and students who attended a non-U.S. university. Specific instructions for all of this are, again, in the Welcome Portal.

A note on official test scores: If you truly know you sent us your official scores but we haven’t received them, there may be a workaround from re-ordering your test scores. Chances are your application name and email address are not recorded the same as the name and email address you registered to take the GRE/GMAT or TOEFL/IELTS/PTE with a few months ago. Thus, we couldn’t match the exam to your account because of the mismatch.

If that’s the case, contact the testing center and confirm your full name, date of birth and email address associated with your account. You’ll need to send us that information, along with the batch/cycle number and test registration number, for GRE and TOEFL scores; the appointment number and identification number for GMAT scores; or send us the official score report for IELTS/PTE scores.

Money, Deposits, and Financial Aid

Your enrollment deposit: You have until the date on your admission letter to accept your enrollment offer AND pay the $2,000.00 USD admission deposit. This deposit ultimately goes towards your tuition bill. While you don’t have to accept and pay the deposit at the same time, your deposit payment must be paid in full at once (so no partial payments). (UNIs will be generated within 1-2 weeks.)

Financial Aid and Fellowships: If you received a scholarship or fellowship, you will have received a separate notification letter about your funding along with your letter of admission. (Early-action candidates had to wait until now to learn about their funding status.)

All students, whether funded their first year or not, will be able to apply for second-year funding. Most of this funding is in the form of assistantships for second-year students who succeeded in their first year of studies. (You’ll learn more about these opportunities during the spring semester of your first year.)

We also encourage you to visit the Financial Aid page for more information about funding your education, which includes a database of external funding opportunities.

Tuition, Fees, and Billing: Columbia University releases an annual estimated cost of attendance, which you can view for the 2019-2020 year here. Your tuition bill will be generated closer to the start of the academic term. You also have the option to set up a payment plan or coordinate your payments with a third-party sponsor. For more information on that process, browse the Student Financial Services website. (Note: The Office of Admissions & Financial Aid is not involved in this process.)

Contact Us

If you need anything give us a call or send an email. If you’re an admitted student with specific financial aid or fellowship inquiries, please email them with a descriptive and informative subject line to sipa_finaid@columbia.edu. Admissions questions can continue to go to sipa_admission@columbia.edu or sipa_new@columbia.edu.

You should also follow us on Instagram @Columbia.SIPA to share your admissions story and connect with future classmates!

And once again, congratulations to our admitted students!

On financial aid, the JJWBGSP Scholarship, and student loan scams

To our Fall 2019 MIA, MPA and MPA-DP applicants: Thank you for your patience as the Admissions Committee reads your applications. Decisions will be released in mid-March (so, soon!), and you’ll receive an email telling you to check your Status Page.

We’ve already been receiving some questions about financial aid and wanted to give a few updates about that:

First, we’ll have a number of admitted students events, online and in-person, that will fully cover financial aid options at SIPA. A reminder that your financial aid information is confidential, and often the best way to get personal information tailored to you is by contacting our Office of Financial Aid at sipa_finaid@columbia.edu.

Second is a scholarship reminder: In case you didn’t mark your calendars last time we posted about it, the 2019 Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program application opens tomorrow, March 7th, and closes on April 11, 2019. Find the full information for the JJWBGSP Scholarship on their website.

Finally, if you have a phone number, there’s a good chance that you have recently received numerous calls from someone telling you that your student loans are eligible for reduced monthly payments and/or forgiveness. There are a number of ways that student loan borrowers may be able to reduce monthly payments and/or qualify for partial forgiveness of their loan, but please be aware that these phone calls are all scams.

An article in the morning Metro describes an example; a borrower learns about repayment options that provide some relief, but doesn’t realize that the $50 monthly fee she’s being charged to sign up and remain in that option is completely unnecessary. Student loan borrowers have many options for repayment, and thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, many can get part of their loans forgiven, but all of this can be arranged by working with their loan servicer – completely free of charge. The monthly payments themselves might be a big enough financial obligation; don’t add an extra fee for services that shouldn’t cost anything.

Again, any SIPA students with questions about student loan repayment can always meet with or contact (sipa_finaid@columbia.edu) a member of the Financial Aid Office staff for guidance; we also have information on repayment and PSLF here. We know that student loans can cause stress, but take the time to get all the facts.

The 2019 Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP) opens on March 7th

Mark your calendars for the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP), which will be taking applications from March 7 to April 11, 2019. A JJWBGSP scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance. Since 1987 this program has assisted more than 5,800 mid-career professionals from developing countries and Japan to complete graduate degrees in development-related fields.

This scholarship is “open to women and men from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master degree program in a development-related topic.” SIPA is one of the partner programs for this scholarship, and we encourage you to apply if you’re eligible:

  • Be a national of a World Bank member developing country;
  • Not hold dual citizenship of any developed country;
  • Be in good health;
  • Hold a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree earned at least 3 years prior to the Application Deadline date;
  • Have 3 years or more of recent development-related work experience after earning a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree;
  • Be employed in development-related work in a paid full- time position at the time of submitting the scholarship application. The only exception to this criterion is for developing country nationals from a country that will be on the updated list of Fragile and Conflict States provided to applicants in the Application Guidelines for each call for scholarships.
  • On or before the Scholarship Application Deadline date, be admitted unconditionally (except for funding) for the upcoming academic year to at least one of the JJ/WBGSP preferred university master’s programs located outside of the applicant’s country of citizenship and country of residence listed at the time the call for scholarship applications opens. The letter of admission must be uploaded before submitting your application.
  • Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment of the World Bank Group or a close relative of the aforementioned by blood or adoption with the term “close relative” defined as: Mother, Father, Sister, Half-sister, Brother, Half-brother, Son, Daughter, Aunt, Uncle, Niece, or Nephew.

Find full information for the JJWBGSP Scholarship on their website.

Don’t forget to review SIPA’s external funding database for other opportunities.

 

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship for 2019/2020

The Financial Aid team would like to announce an upcoming scholarship opportunity through the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s Academic Scholarship Program. This scholarship is aimed to help Jewish college and graduate students with their education costs, and assistance is available for those with financial need who are pursuing careers in the helping professions. These scholarships range from $1,000 to $8,000, and are renewable.

The deadline to apply for the 2019/2020 academic year is February 1, 2019. The full eligibility requirements are listed on their website below, which includes availability for an in-person interview between March 1 and April 20, 2019. If you qualify and would like to apply this scholarship, we encourage you to add the deadline to your calendar as soon as possible.

Find the full scholarship details and eligibility requirements on their website at JCFS.org/JVSscholarships.

As always, please check SIPA’s External Funding Database for other opportunities.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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