Archive for assistantship

Financial resources for (mostly) MPA-DP applicants

Part of the challenge with graduate school is finding ways to fund your education. Read More →

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.

 

Funding your education at SIPA – part 2

While a limited number of SIPA admits are offered direct funding (for year one), a higher percentage of SIPA students – typically half or more – are funded for their second year of study.  Currently, the average second year award is an assistantship that provides approximately half of tuition, and consists of both tuition credits (a scholarship) and salary for part-time employment at SIPA.  Some students with assistantships work in SIPA offices or as research assistants with academic departments, institutes or faculty; others are appointed as teaching assistants, and those TA positions pay more and also include a stipend payment at the start of each term for indirect expenses such as textbooks and living expenses.

Some first year students will receive a renewable scholarship, and if qualified may also receive an assistantship in addition to their scholarship in their second year of study.

The application deadline for second year awards is typically late February or early March, and the Office of Student Affairs will hold an information session prior to that, early in the spring semester, at which you will have the opportunity to learn more about available positions, eligibility criteria, and the selection process.

Graduate Assistant Positions

Our office was recently made aware of some graduate assistant positions available through the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  The deadline to apply for these positions is Friday, May 6th.  Details and contact information can be found by clicking here.

We have been receiving many great questions concerning expenses and financial aid and I will author a post on this topic soon.  I can say that as far as assistantships at SIPA, the positions are reserved for second-year students.

"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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