Archive for Paying for SIPA

Upcoming Fellowship Opportunities, and Next Steps for Admits

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines. We’ve also included some next steps for admitted students regarding financial aid. For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Upcoming Scholarships

Islamic Scholarship Fund
Requirements: US citizens and permanent residents attending graduate school who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community.
Deadline: April 9, 2020

John R. Mott Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Graduate students native to the region of Calabria, Italy.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Peggy Howard Fellowship in Economics
Requirements: Wellesley alumnae continuing their study of economics.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Fund
Requirements: Egyptian nationals under the age of 35 who have a minimum of two years of work experience post-graduation and committed to returning to work in Egypt for two years after completing their degree program.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Savoy Orders Piggot Scholarship
Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have proven financial need, strong academic performance, and have a minimum GPA of 3.00 or its equivalent. For the International Studies Scholarship, enrollment at a university within reasonable proximity of the United Nations is also required because recipients will be required to attend and report on periodic NGO briefings at sessions relating to the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
Deadline: May 15, 2020

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship
Requirements: CHCI’s scholarship opportunities are afforded to Latino students in the United States who have a history of performing public service-oriented activities in their communities and who demonstrate a desire to continue their civic engagement in the future.
Deadline: May 22, 2020

R.D. Sethna Scholarship
Requirements: Loan scholarships to students who are citizens of India, regardless of community, caste or creed. Loan scholarships are granted to enable students to undertake scientific, technical, industrial or commercial studies in India and overseas on the condition that they are repayable with interest in terms of the agreement and other documents required to be entered into and executed by applicants and their guarantors. Only those applicants who have passed at least the Secondary School Certificate examination or other equivalent examination and who have secured not less than 50% of the total marks in the last examination given by them prior to the making of the applications are eligible to apply for a loan scholarship.
Deadline: May 31, 2020

Houtan Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Students from all origins – Iranian and non-Iranian – who have high academic performance and proven interest in promoting Iran’s great culture, heritage, language and civilization. The candidates for the award must demonstrate leadership ability and the desire to make a difference in the society where they reside.  Applicants should have a working knowledge of Parsi.
Deadline: June 1, 2020

For Admitted Domestic SIPA Applicants: Financial Aid To-Do List

All admitted applicants who were offered direct funding by SIPA were notified at the time of admission. In addition, all domestic admitted applicants who submitted a FAFSA have been notified of additional student loan and/or Work Study options, and that is an ongoing process as FAFSAs are received.

Your next steps will be emailed by the Office of Financial Aid. Please be aware the following action is required upon receipt of your full financial aid package by the financial aid team via email:

  • Accept any fellowship offered by SIPA – this should be done by the time you pay your enrollment deposit by May 1, and;
  • Accept or decline student loans and/or Work Study (if you have completed your FAFSA and notified by SIPA of loan/Work Study eligibility) – this can be done at any time, but if you want these financing options available at the start of the fall semester, you should do this by about July 1;
  • Loan borrowers must complete the one-time federal requirements Direct Loan master promissory note and entrance counseling
  • If you have been offered a Work Study job, you will be notified by the Work Study Office over the summer with instructions about finding an available job. Work Study jobs are University-wide, many students will not have a Work Study job at SIPA.

NOTE: If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and haven’t submitted a 2020/2021 FAFSA yet, you should do so as soon as possible so that we can provide you with information about loans and Work Study.  Columbia University’s school code number is 002707.

How to Choose a Graduate School

So now that you’ve submitted your graduate school applications, it’s time to start thinking seriously about choosing a school (after taking a much deserved break, of course). Most of you have applied to several schools, and all of the major schools of international affairs and public policy have so much to offer. How can you possibly decide? I certainly had a tough time with this decision two years ago so I’m going to discuss my decision making process in hopes of making this time just a bit easier for all of you!

  1. Determine your priorities

The first step is to determine your priorities. This is different for everyone, and there is truly no right answer. The specific course offerings, employment outcomes, financial aid opportunities, location, culture, class size, faculty, name recognition, and rankings are just some considerations that students may prioritize. Determine what is most important to you and prioritize those factors in your decision. It is often helpful to discuss these priorities with friends, family, or mentors.

  1. Compare courses and faculty

Of course, the majority of your time in graduate school will be spent in or preparing for courses so it’s vital that you are taking courses that both interest you and provide you with the skills you will need in your career. I found the best way to evaluate this was to create a full semester-by-semester course plan for each school I was considering. Using excel, I inputted each required course and the electives I wanted to take at each school. This provided me an easy way to compare each program in detail. I looked at the excel sheet and asked myself which program I would enjoy most while also developing the skills I would need in my career. In the end, the variety of electives and world-class faculty in international security, cybersecurity, and technology policy, the moderate amount of quantitative coursework, as well as the wide array of skills-based courses (and short courses) available at SIPA won me over.

  1. Location matters

Location has a huge impact on your access to employers, cost of living, and social life, but the most important factor is fit. You’ll be here for at least two years of your life, so you want to ensure you’re in a place that’s right for you. The best way to determine this is to visit the schools you’ve been admitted to. Explore the neighborhood, go out to eat, tour campus, and talk to current students about the quality of life. While I had been to NYC many times before and knew it was a place I wanted to live, attending SIPA’s Admitted Student’s Day assured me that Columbia and NYC would be a great fit for me. I can’t stress enough the importance of visiting campus, sitting in a class, and exploring the city.

  1. Cost

Finally, the least glamorous but still vitally important factor is cost. Research the cost of each school and then make a plan for how you will pay for graduate school. Review the SIPA Financial Aid page for information on costs and additional funding opportunities. You should also check out this blog post on Completing Your FAFSA and Budgeting by SIPA’s Associate Director of Financial Aid.

Choosing a graduate school is an intensely personal and difficult decision. While everyone’s decision making process is different, I found that going through the process I’ve described here enabled me to choose the program that was the best fit for me.

Upcoming scholarship opportunities for March – April 2020

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.

Walter S. Barr Fellowships
Requirements: Residents of Hampden County, MA or qualified former residents.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International Scholarships
Requirements: Full-time student with visual impairment.
Deadline: March 15, 2020 

Episcopal Church Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
Requirements: Lay and ordained members of the Episcopal Church or any member church of the Anglican Communion.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund
Requirements: Federal employees with the federal government for more than three years as of the scholarship application deadline, and some family members.
Deadline:  March 25, 2020 

National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
Requirements: Legally blind and pursuing a full-time course of study.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Swiss Benevolent Society of New York Scholarships
Requirements: Swiss-American students and their families.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Delta Gamma Fellowship
Requirements: Must be members of the sorority and selection is based on scholastic achievement, contributions to chosen field, and past/current Delta Gamma activities and leadership.
Deadline: April 1, 2020

Islamic Scholarship Fund
Requirements: U.S. citizens and permanent residents attending graduate school who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community.
Deadline: April 9, 2020 

John R. Mott Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Graduate students native to the region of Calabria, Italy.
Deadline: April 15, 2020 

Peggy Howard Fellowship in Economics
Requirements: Wellesley alumnae continuing their study of economics.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Fund
Requirements: Egyptian nationals under the age of 35 who have a minimum of two years of work experience post-graduation and committed to returning to work in Egypt for two years after completing their degree program.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Upcoming scholarship opportunities for February 2020

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.

Pi Gamma Mu Scholarship
Requirements: Pi Gamma Mu’s scholarships are intended for the first or second year of graduate work in the areas of sociology, anthropology, political science, history, economics, international relations, public administration, criminal justice, law, social work, psychology, and human/cultural geography.  Applicants must be members of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society.
Deadline: February 15, 2020

New York Grace LeGendre Endowment Fund, Inc.
Requirements:
A woman who is a United States citizen and a resident of New York State, have a bachelor’s degree, currently enrolled in graduate studies in an advanced graduate degree program at an accredited New York State college or university and have already completed at least one semester in that program.
Deadline: February 28, 2020

Pat Tillman Foundation
Requirements: Active and veteran servicemembers and their families by providing scholarships for tuition and fees, living expenses, and books.  The average award is $10,000.  Scholars demonstrate extraordinary academic and leadership potential, a track record of perseverance, and a deep desire to impact change in our country and communities through their studies in medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts.
Deadline: February 29, 2020

National Italian American Foundation
Requirements: Be a member of NIAF or have a parent, guardian or grandparent who is a member of NIAF, minimum GPA 3.5 and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Deadline: March 1, 2020

United Methodist Church Scholarships
Requirements: Active, full member of United Methodist Church for at least one-year, full-time student and 2.5 GPA or higher.
Deadline: March 5, 2020

Walter S. Barr Fellowships
Requirements: Residents of Hampden County, MA or qualified former residents.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International Scholarships
Requirements: Full-time student with visual impairment.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Episcopal Church Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
Requirements: Lay and ordained members of the Episcopal Church or any member church of the Anglican Communion.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund
Requirements: Federal employees with the federal government for more than three years as of the scholarship application deadline, and some family members.
Deadline: March 25, 2020

National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
Requirements: Legally blind and pursuing a full-time course of study.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Swiss Benevolent Society of New York Scholarships
Requirements: Swiss-American students and their families.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Four things you should know about the FAFSA

As graduate school deadlines continue to pass and come up, don’t forget to continue planning on how to finance your degree. For applicants applying to the upcoming fall term, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, don’t forget to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA.

  1. Submitting the FAFSA is free. You do not have to pay to complete the FAFSA, and any website or service offering to do it for you is a scam. You can also complete the FAFSA using the MyStudentAid App.
  2. If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and applying for a SIPA Scholarship, submit the FAFSA by the stated deadline on your admissions application. 
  3. To ensure we receive your information, designate Columbia University: School of International and Public Affairs as the recipient by using our school code number: 002707.
  4. You should not put your parents’ information when completing this FAFSA. In graduate school students are considered independent when filing the FAFSA application. The information you submit should be your own.

For Columbia SIPA, the FAFSA is required to determine eligibility for fellowships and federal aid. For graduate students, federal aid options come in the form of an Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Work Study, and Graduate PLUS Loan. You are not required to accept any federal loans offered.

We encourage students to create a financing plan that covers the duration of the program, and to reach out to our Financial Aid team if you want guidance.

"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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