Archive for Paying for SIPA

SIPA alumni on Forbes 30 Under 30; new Columbia Displaced Student Scholarship

The U.S. celebrated Thanksgiving last week, and wherever you are, I hope you were able to spend some time with loved ones and eat a good meal together. Now that we’re back, here’s a SIPA news roundup:

SIPA Alumni Featured on Forbes 30 Under 30

Forbes just released their 30 Under 30 list, which includes co-founders of education-tech startup Learnabi Rahel Tekola MPA ’18 and Niara Valerio MPA ’19! We are so excited that Rahel and Niara are being recognized for their amazing work, especially since we got to know them when they were program assistants at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid! They shared how they met as students at SIPA and started Learnabi in this blog post from February 2019.

Congratulations Rahel and Niara!

First University-Wide Scholarship Program for Displaced Students

The United Nations estimates that more than 70 million people are currently living as refugees or asylum-seekers, or have been internally displaced due to wars and natural calamity – the largest such population in human history. We’re proud that prospective SIPA students can apply for the world’s first university-wide scholarship for displaced students. Hear from Warda Sahtout MIA ’20 and other Columbia University in the City of New York students about the impact of this scholarship and learn more about applying at globalcenters.columbia.edu/CUSDS.

Warda Sahtout MIA ’20

Upcoming Scholarship Opportunities

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines.  For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Margaret McNamara Education Grants

Requirements: Applicants must be at least 25 years old at the time of the application deadline, a national of a country listed on the MMEG Country Eligibility list, enrolled for a full academic term after award and not related to a World Bank Group, IMF or Inter-American Development Bank.

Deadline: January 15, 2020

Boren Graduate Fellowships

Requirements: Applicants must be US citizens planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Deadline: January 29, 2020

Lint Center for National Security Scholarships

Requirements: Scholarships provided to Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding.

Deadline: January 31, 2020

Straus Historical Society Scholarship

Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens preparing for a career in public service.
Deadline: January 31, 2020

Finlandia Foundation National Scholarships

Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. or Finnish citizens with a minimum GPA 3.0.
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Scholarships

Requirements: Applicants must be members of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Zeta Phi Beta National Education Foundation Scholarship

Requirements: Applicants need not be members of Zeta Phi Beta. Eligibility criteria and award amounts vary, and some are available for international students.

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Upcoming scholarships and deadlines

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some upcoming application deadlines. For more external scholarship awards, visit our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

  • American Water Works Association Scholarships
    Requirements:
    Scholarships for students pursuing careers related to water supply and related fields
    Deadline: December 2, 2019
  • Margaret McNamara Education Grants
    Requirements:
    Applicants must be at least 25 years old at the time of the application deadline, a national of a country listed on the MMEG Country Eligibility list, enrolled for a full academic term after award and not related to a World Bank Group, IMF or Inter-American Development Bank.
    Deadline: January 15, 2020
  • Boren Graduate Fellowships
    Requirements:
    Applicants must be US citizens planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
    Deadline: January 29, 2020
  • Lint Center for National Security Scholarships
    Requirements:
    Scholarships provided to Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding.
    Deadline: January 31, 2020
  • Straus Historical Society Scholarship
    Requirements:
    Applicants must be US citizens preparing for a career in public service.
    Deadline: January 31, 2020

Upcoming deadlines for external scholarships, and graduate fairs

Scholarship Opportunities

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some upcoming application deadlines. For more external scholarship awards, visit our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

  • La Unidad Latina Foundation – Graduate students working on community programs which aid in the civic empowerment and educational improvement of the Latino community may apply.
    Deadline: October 18, 2019
  • Bush Foundation Fellowship – Applicants must be at least 24 years old at the time of the application deadline and lived for one continuous year immediately prior to the application deadline in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or one of the 23 Native nations that shares the same geographic area with these states.
    Deadline: October 24, 2019
  • Harvey Fellows Program – Applicants must be Christian graduate students who possess a unique vision to impact society through their fields and who are pursuing graduate studies at premier institutions (top five) in their disciplines in the United States or abroad.
    Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Soros Fellowships for New Americans Applicants must be immigrants or children of immigrants —who are poised to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic field.
    Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • American Association of University Women International Fellowship – Applicants must be women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the U.S. who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
    Deadline: November 15, 2019
  • Navajo Nation Scholarship – Navajo students attending graduate school may apply.
    Deadline: November 25, 2019

Admissions Graduate Fairs Opportunities

Admissions representatives (me, specifically!) will be at these upcoming graduate school fairs:

If you’re near the Columbia University campus, take advantage of our Class Visit opportunities this semester.

Check if we’ll be in a city near you anytime soon – our team is travelling globally to meet excellent candidates like you. If you can’t make it to see us in person, we’re holding virtual information sessions too:

I look forward to meeting y’all, whether it’s in-person or online.

Completing your FAFSA and Budgeting

Thanks to Cecilia Granda, Associate Director of Financial Aid, for this guest post. 

The idea of budgeting makes everyone cringe. Picture days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches followed by nights of staying at home staring at a spreadsheet wondering where all your money has gone. But take it from a lifelong New Yorker who has lived in the Upper West Side, Gramercy, Inwood, and the Bronx — by creating budgeting plans, I have been able to continue to call New York my home, raise a family, create an emergency fund, and enjoy the occasional Sunday brunch.

The FAFSA and federal student aid

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident applying to SIPA and would like to be considered for a scholarship, you must submit your FAFSA with your SIPA application. The FAFSA for 2020-21 is available as of October 1st, so you can complete it before you submit the SIPA application. The SIPA school code is 002707. Be sure to input your 2018 income information; do not include your parent’s information.

Once this is done, you will have at least put yourself in the running for any potential SIPA scholarship funding.  But don’t stop there.  Start researching external funding sources to determine if you are eligible.  Keep track of application deadlines and requirements so that you don’t miss opportunities.

Photo: FAFSA Facebook page

Budgeting

For me, budgeting is all about planning ahead, self-awareness, and adjusting habits in order to save small amounts of money that can add up fast to help me reach my goal. When budgeting, I like to prioritize needs versus wants. Everyone’s priorities are going to be different. For graduate students the top three needs are clear: food, shelter, and education.

The first step is an inventory check. How much money do you have? How much do you spend in one week or one month? Keep all your receipts and calculate how much you spent. Categorize your expenses between essential and discretionary; then priorities your expenses. If you are considering a graduate program, you can start early in transitioning your lifestyle from “working” to “grad student.”

Next, set your goals. Once you’ve determined how much you have and how much you are currently spending, decide how much you need to save. Become familiar with the tuition and fees associated with each program you’re considering. Consider how you will manage these costs and how much you need to save now in order to achieve your educational goals. You can start small by calculating how much you need to save on a weekly basis. It might be $50 a week, which becomes $200 a month, and turns into $2,400 a year. Once you find the right number, see if you can find ways to increase your weekly savings. One easy way to save, and a habit that you can bring to the big city, is shopping generic brands. Non-perishables like tissues, toilet paper, medicine, paper towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, cleaning products, detergents, shampoo, and soap are all great options. This small change in purchasing can save you hundreds of dollars.

Now you want to be sure your able to track and not touch your savings. Be honest with yourself. This is where self-awareness comes in handy. Can you set aside $50 each week? Do you need a budgeting app like Mint or Digit that will help you manage your money, track your spending, and force you to save? You might decide to give yourself an allowance for the week, only spend the amount in your wallet, and not use a credit card. Find a method that you can stick to and hold yourself accountable.

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. You most likely have friends who have similar financial goals. Make a pact! Agree to only go out to dinner once a week. This will help you transition to graduate school life. Many Seeples are very responsible about their finances. Some share a Costco membership so they can buy food in bulk and split the quantities (there’s a Costco in East Harlem). Others put together meal prep plans, share recipes, and organize pot lucks. One great thing about Seeples is they come from all over the world and have wonderful cuisine to share!

I hope this information is helpful and don’t fret if you aren’t able to do it all. Even the smallest change in habit or savings will help you prepare for your next step.

*Disclaimer: The applications identified in this article are based on personal recommendations, and SIPA is not receiving any form of compensation for mentioning them in this blog post.

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.

"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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