Archive for early action

Why I applied ‘Early Action’

I applied Early Action to SIPA, where decisions are non-binding, in November 2017 to start in Fall 2018. I applied early because, quite simply, I wanted an early decision. More than that, I applied early action because my graduate school journey started way back in 2016. I started thinking about going to grad school in early 2016, and it took me a while to decide this is what I really wanted.

Applying Early Action was the best decision for me because…

It gave me a deadline and…

SIPA’s Early Action deadline is in early November (for Fall 2020, it is November 1, 2019!), which was the earliest of all the schools I applied to. I used this deadline as an ‘early EARLY action’ in my planning and figured if I worked towards SIPA’s deadline, I would be prepared for all other schools’ deadlines. It was helpful for me because I worked backwards from the deadline to fulfill the application checklist. The checklist is also quite similar for the other schools I applied to, with the difference being the essays. This helped me gather everything I needed pretty early on, which was a huge burden off because you’re working through that checklist. Working on the essays for SIPA’s deadline also helped me articulate clearly why I wanted to go back to school and what I hoped to accomplish. This made it a lot easier to write the other essays too.

I heard back super early…

Applying early action means you get a non-binding early decision! I heard back from SIPA right after Christmas, which was a nice way to usher in the New Year. The admission e-letter plays Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” (turn that volume up!) and has falling confetti. It was basically just perfect. (That added touch made me so happy like you can’t even imagine.) (Sad story but the SIPA decision email actually went to my spam so I actually saw it two days after it was sent, but that doesn’t matter. So worth it.) And it adds to the holiday festivity. Given that you hear back around 8 weeks after you apply, and because it’s around the holiday season, I was definitely preoccupied so I didn’t have any anxiety or stress while waiting to hear back. So apply early action because no stress, no mess!

Which means I could plan the next 8 months…

Hearing back by the New Year also gave me time to plan the next 8 months leading up to SIPA. It gave me space to plan time for family, holidays, boring admin like banks and visas, and more crucially, when to leave my job. I didn’t feel stressed that I had a hundred things to do before moving, and I had time to troubleshoot problems. SIPA requires that you provide official documents once you are accepted. While some institutions have this all figured out and you only need to click a button, others have a more complicated process that requires many emails, calls and mailing paper transcripts (and things can get lost in the mail – trust me on this), for you to complete this and get the verified documents check. Lastly, I received a conditional offer for SIPA, which meant that I needed to spend some time improving on my quantitative skills (read: I had to take economics classes). Again, the 8 months gave me time to plan ahead on how to meet this requirement. But conversely, if I had not been accepted, I would have had time to apply to other/more schools, reapply or figure out an alternative.

And gave me a sense of security. 

Once I heard back from SIPA, I felt relieved. I felt strangely secure that at least someone wanted me. This gave me the confidence to apply to my remaining schools because maybe they would want me to? Probably not but maybe. This security also meant that yes, I was going to graduate school and got me very excited!

Was Early Action the right choice?

Applying to grad school made me very nervous, anxious and scared because I felt all my hopes and dreams were on the line. Applying Early Action was absolutely the best decision for me. I felt hugely relieved once I applied because it was out of my control by then. Because I’m a planner and I liked having the extra time to figure out a game plan, the early decision helped. That said, there are people who applied at the very last minute, so I think it boils down to personality and your comfort with uncertainty.

So, what you are waiting for? Apply Early Action!

The Fall 2020 Early Action Deadline is November 1, 2019.

Here’s what SIPA means by ‘early action’

The early action or early decision deadline means different things depending on the institution and level of study. Some programs require a binding commitment to the program of admission (and withdrawal of applications at other institutions upon admission), while others just give you an admission decision sooner without a binding commitment. At SIPA, we use the terms interchangeably, and I’m pleased to share we’re part of the flexible camp. So if you’re admitted to SIPA as an early-action candidate, then it means your decision is non-binding. (Yay for you!)

When is the early-action deadline? Well, it’s coming up pretty soon: November 2, 2016 11:59 p.m. EST. To be eligible for this deadline, all of your application materials must be submitted on time. There are a couple of advantages to meeting this deadline:

  1. You apply early, so you get a decision early: typically by the first week of January. (Type A personalities unite!)
  2. If you’ve applied for an outside fellowship, like the PPIA or another program, you typically need to tell the granting organization that you’ve been admitted to graduate school earlier in the year than when most admissions applicants are due. Thus, that’s where Advantage No. 1 comes into play.
  3. You’re still eligible for SIPA’s merit-based scholarships/fellowships. In rare circumstances you’ll hear about your fellowship decision at the time of admission, but most students have to wait until after the final Fall application deadline. So most of you will hear about your fellowship consideration in early March when the remainder of admissions decisions are released.

There you have it; in a nutshell that is what we mean by “early action.” If you have any questions about this process, as always give us a call at 212-854-62126 or email at sipa_admission@columbia.edu. For specific questions regarding fellowships and/or financial aid, email our financial aid department at sipa_finaid@columbia.edu.

Application Deadlines and Office hours

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  There was a flurry of activity as candidates put together their applications for the November 1 Early Action deadline.  Early Action decisions will be released before the new year.  Hope to share some good cheers to a number of them in time for the holidays.

If you did not get your application in this weekend, you still have time to submit your application for fall consideration.  Candidates submitting a completed application by our next application deadline, January 5, will also be considered for a SIPA merit scholarship.  The majority of fall applications received are generally submitted by this date.  However, if you need more time, you can submit your application by February 5 — applications received after January 5 will not be considered for a SIPA scholarship with their admission.

As you plan your visits to experience a SIPA class, meet with students, or speak with an Admissions representative, make sure you don’t plan to be here on school closed days — tomorrow being one of them.  Columbia University will be closed on Tuesday, November 4 in honor of Election Day.  We’ll also be closed later in the month in observance of Thanksgiving (November 27 and 28).

 

SIPA 2015 APPLICATION IS NOW AVAILABLE

The anticipation is over.  The 2015 SIPA MIA/MPA application is now available online.  If you are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 academic year, please create an account and get started.  Select an email address you use regularly and a password that you will remember.

There are two entry points to our 2-year MIA/MPA program — Spring and Fall.  Please select the appropriate term you wish to begin your program of study.  Spring applicants should submit their application by October 15; spring applications are reviewed on a rolling basis which means the earlier you submit your application, the earlier you will hear back from us.

If fall is a more ideal time for you to begin your studies,  you should submit your application and all supporting documents no later than February 5, 2015.  There are two additional (and equally important) application deadlines to take note.  If you like to plan early, we offer, for the first time, an EARLY ACTION option.  If you submit a completed application by November 1, 2014, the Admissions Committee will review and render a decision before the new year.  An early decision is only offered to those who meet the November 1 deadline.  Applications submitted after November 1 will not receive a decision before March 14.  And if you wish to be considered for a SIPA merit scholarship, you must submit your application by January 5, 2015.  Admitted students who are selected to receive a SIPA fellowship will be notified in March of their award.

Looking forward to “meeting” you.

>> 2015 SIPA Application<<

 

"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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