Archive for waitlist

I didn’t get the admission decision I wanted. What do I do now?

This post was adapted from a previous version.

By now you’ve checked your email and have learned that we released Fall 2017 entry admissions decisions. When you did read your decision, I’m sure you went through a mix of emotions. Good or bad, there are some things our waitlisted candidates and those who weren’t granted admission should know going forward. So I’ve gone through our archives to see which questions were frequently asked last year and came up with a few things you should know now that decisions are live. (If you haven’t heard back yet, keep an eye on your inbox as we have a handful more that will trickle out over the next few days.)

The Waitlist
If you’ve been waitlisted that doesn’t mean your story has ended with SIPA. Your application showed a lot of promise, but in the end, there were more highly competitive candidates than we have seats for at SIPA. That can be tough to read, but the good news is some of you will move from the waitlist to the admitted students list. Just be patient with us as it takes some time. Our waitlist isn’t ranked so I can’t tell you the likelihood of you being admitted. However, I can tell you that we’ll reexamine the waitlist starting May 2, 2017, and we’ll release final decisions for waitlisted candidates by July 1, 2017. (If you’re an international student, you’ll still have time to apply for a visa if you don’t procrastinate the process once you’re admitted off the waitlist.)

If you want to keep us informed of your academic and professional pursuits, we will only review new test scores and transcripts. So if you’ve retaken the GRE/GMAT or TOEFL/IELTS or have taken additional quantitative coursework to support your application, feel free to send them along by April 30, 2017.  Just email us the documents, your name and application number to sipa_admission@sipa.columbia.edu with “Supplemental Waitlist Materials from Your Name” in the subject line.  I would also recommend you send us everything at once instead of in batches over several weeks.

And if you don’t want to be considered for admission to SIPA anymore, please send us an email at sipa_admission@sipa.columbia.edu with your name and application number.

Please keep in mind that we cannot provide periodic updates on your standing. Thus, you should only email us if you have a specific request regarding your waitlisted application (e.g., to update your application or remove it from consideration).

Appeal An Admissions Decision
The Admissions Committee reviews each application thoroughly and with great care. All decisions are final, and there isn’t an appeal process.

Requesting Application Feedback
If you tracked the blog when we were discussing Spring 2017 admission then you probably already know the answer. For those of you who don’t, I’m just going to link you to those same resources. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot offer individual feedback. I recommend you review our Evaluation Criteria and Requesting Feedback pages.

Reapply To SIPA
If you didn’t get the admission decision you were hoping for, you are welcome to reapply to SIPA. As a reapplicant, you must abide by the same deadlines, fees and requirements as first-time applicants. As a benefit, you may reapply using the personal statement, reference letters, test scores and transcripts from this year’s application. But I encourage you to at least submit new essays (and possibly recommendation letters) as the questions change every year. When next year’s application goes live in mid-August 2017, email us at sipa_admission@columbia.edu with “Reapplicant Request To Use Past Materials for Your Name” in the subject line and specify which of these materials you want to reuse. For details on reapplicant process, visit our Reapplication page.

Thank Your Recommenders
You’re either thinking “duh” or “oh yeah” with this step. It’s an obvious next step to take, but many applicants still forget to do this. And no matter the admissions decision, it’s a nice gesture to thank your recommenders one more time for their help. They took time out of their busy schedules to write you a letter, and I’m sure they’re curious to know how things turned out. And if you weren’t admitted, this could be your chance to hear some words or wisdom and ask them for suggestions on strengthening your application for next year.

Saying Goodbye
On behalf of the entire Admissions Committee, I want to thank you for your effort. We all got to know you through your application materials and it was an honor to read about your achievements and ambitions for the future. If you ultimately decide to decline your admissions offer, remove yourself from the waitlist or won’t reapply next year, please know that we hope you’ll continue to develop your academic and professional experience for whatever your future might hold. And I wholeheartedly wish you luck in your future endeavors.

 

I didn’t get the admission decision I wanted. What do I do now?

By now you’ve checked your email and have learned that we released Fall 2016 entry admissions decisions. When you did read your decision, I’m sure you went through a mix of emotions. Good or bad, there are some things our waitlisted candidates and those who weren’t granted admission should know going forward. So I’ve gone through our archives to see which questions were frequently asked last year, and came up with a few things you should know now that decisions are live. (If you haven’t heard back yet, keep an eye on your inbox as we have a handful more that will trickle out over the next few days.)

The Waitlist
If you’ve been waitlisted that doesn’t mean your story has ended with SIPA. Your application showed a lot of promise, but in the end there were more highly competitive candidate than we have seats for at SIPA. That can be tough to read, but the good news is some of you will move from the waitlist to the admitted students list. Just be patient with us as it takes some time. Our waitlist isn’t ranked so I can’t tell you the likelihood of you being admitted. However, I can tell you that we’ll reexamine the waitlist starting in mid-May 2016, and we’ll release final decisions for waitlisted candidates later in July 2016. (If you’re an international student, you’ll still have time to apply for a visa if you don’t procrastinate the process once you’re admitted from the waitlist.)

If you want to keep us informed of your academic and professional pursuits, we will only review new test scores and transcripts. So if you’ve retaken the GRE/GMAT or TOEFL/IELTS or have taken additional quantitative coursework to support your application, feel free to send them along by May 31, 2016.  Just email us the documents, your name and application number to sipa_admission@sipa.columbia.edu with “Supplemental Waitlist Materials from Your Name” in the subject line.  Please do not send us any unsolicited supplemental information such as updated essays, resumes, award announcements or supplemental reference letters.

And if you don’t want to be considered for admission to SIPA anymore, please send us an email at sipa_admission@sipa.columbia.edu with your name and application number.

Please keep in mind that we cannot provide periodic updates on your standing. Thus, you should only email us if you have a specific request regarding your waitlisted application (e.g., to update your application or remove it for consideration).

Reapply To SIPA
If you didn’t get the admission decision you were hoping for, you are welcome to reapply to SIPA. As a reapplicant, you must abide by the same deadlines, fees and requirements as first-time applicants. As a benefit, you may reapply using the personal statement, reference letters, test scores and transcripts from this year’s application. But I encourage you to at least submit new essays (and possibly recommendation letters) as the questions change every year. When next year’s application goes live in mid-August 2016, email us at sipa_admission@columbia.edu with “Reapplicant Request To Use Past Materials for Your Name” in the subject line and specify which of these materials you want to reuse. For details on reapplicant process, visit our Reapplication page.

Appeal An Admissions Decision
The Admissions Committee reviews each application thoroughly and with great care. All decisions are final, so there isn’t an appeal process.

Thank Your Recommenders
You’re either thinking “duh” or “oh yeah” with this step. It’s an obvious next step to take, but many applicants still forget to do this. And no matter the admissions decision, it’s a nice gesture to thank your recommenders one more time for their help. They took time out of their busy schedules to write you a letter, and I’m sure they’re curious to know how things turned out. And if you weren’t admitted, this could be your chance to hear some words or wisdom and ask them for suggestions on strengthening your application for next year.

Saying Goodbye
On behalf of the entire Admissions Committee I want to thank you for your effort. We all got to know you through your application materials and it was honor to read about your achievements and ambitions for the future. If you ultimately decide to decline your admissions offer, remove yourself from the waitlist or won’t reapply next year, please know that we hope you’ll continue to develop your academic and professional experience for whatever your future might hold. And I wholeheartedly wish you luck in your future endeavors.

What to do now that decisions are live

Hi everyone,

As you may already be aware, decisions rolled out Monday afternoon. While the majority of decisions have already gone out, we plan to release the remainder over the next few days. It hasn’t been easy issuing a mix of decisions to hundreds of qualified candidates, but the Admissions Committee has done a fantastic job nonetheless. While not all decision letters have brought happy news, I know you have questions about what to do next. Thus, I thought this would be a good time to recap what it all means; from waitlists to appeals, and everything in between.

Read More →

Something for Everyone

The purpose of this entry is to try to address all of the different groups of applicants that have applied for fall 2011 admission.  Even though the Admissions Committee is almost done reviewing files, our situation is actually much more complex than the singular act of reviewing files because we now have many groups with questions and needs.  So if you have been admitted, waitlisted, have not received a decision yet, or been denied admission this entry has something for you.

First let me start with those that have been admitted.  We have some wonderful opportunities that relatively few admitted applicants are responding to at this time.  For example, we would love to have admitted applicants join us for a Columbia University event in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 2nd.  There are events taking place in other locations as well and an RSVP is required for all of the events.  The RSVP deadline for the D.C. event is this Friday, March 25th. We also have a message board that is available and many admitted applicants have yet to register.

For information on all of our activities and instructions for logging in to the message board, be sure to visit the Welcome Page referenced in your admission letter.  Also note that the only thing that we send via postal mail to admitted applicants is an admission letter.  All other information will be communicated to applicants via email, this blog, and the Welcome Page.  Our financial aid representatives are working on packages each and every day and admitted applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to view their financial aid package on the Internet.

Second, there are some people that are still waiting for an admission decision.  At the end of last week we hit the 91% mark for released decisions and the Committee continues to work fervently to make final decisions on those files that remain.  As soon as the decisions are ready we will send an email encouraging applicants to log in and view their decision.

Third, those that have been placed on the waitlist can expect the first communication from our office in early April.  I am not saying we will be able to make any offers of admission in early April, however at a minimum we will provide an update on the process and timeline.

Finally, some of those that we were unable to offer admission to have been sending us emails asking for feedback on their application.  At present the Committee is still working on reviewing applications and once the process is complete we must still dedicate our energy to a variety of projects related to providing information for admitted applicants.  I have two pieces of advice for those seeking feedback.

First, we have a page set up for just this purpose.  It provides information on common reasons we are unable to offer admission to applicants.  You can find the feedback page here.  Second, applicants not offered admission to our program are welcome to send our office an email in June requesting feedback.  Over the summer a member of our staff can review the reader comments and provide some feedback.

Last, some have contacted us asking to unsubscribe them from this blog.  We cannot perform this action, instead action must be taken by the individual receiving the email updates.  It is simple to unsubscribe from emails generated by this blog, simply visit the bottom of any email message received from this blog and you will find a link entitled “unsubscribe now.”

Waitlist Information

The Admissions Committee spent several hours in meetings on Wednesday making decisions but very few decisions were sent out yesterday.  Once a decision is made, a series of steps must be completed to finalize things in our system.  We are in the “rolling” process where as we make decisions we will publish them.  As a reminder, we send an email notifying an applicant that the decision has been posted so there is no reason to log in to the system prior to receiving an email.

Those that have been admitted should still follow this blog for information, but you also have the Welcome Page and Admitted Student Message board as well.  For this entry I thought I would tackle the difficult situation some applicants find themselves in: on the waitlist.  I will do my best to shed some light upon how the waitlist process is handled by the Admissions Committee at SIPA.  I will start off by saying that the process of considering applicants placed on the waitlist can possibly best be described as “organic.”

What I mean by this is that the process of making waitlist offers does not follow a strict format or specific timeline.  Rather, it is a process that has a life of its own due to the fact that the availability of seats in the fall class once initial admission offers are sent out is dependent upon factors over which the Committee largely has no control.

To shed some light on the timeline, this year we have given admitted applicants until May 2nd to respond to their offer of admission.  Some admitted applicants will pay enrollment deposits right away, however past history shows that the vast majority wait until the very last minute.  Thus we will not have a clear picture of responses for quite a while.  Once the enrollment deposit deadline passes the picture becomes clearer, but the picture is subject to constant change over the summer.

In past years we have made offers of admission to select candidates on the waitlist as early as April and as late as August.  The reason I describe the process as organic is that we never know when a candidate who has paid a deposit will contact us and let us know that circumstances have changed in a way that will not allow them to enroll.

For example, international students sometimes face the unique challenge of trying to complete government paperwork for a visa.  This process does not always go smoothly and late in the summer we may be notified by a candidate that the paperwork will not be completed on time, thus opening a seat in the fall class.  We have no way to predict this, but with such a large number of international applicants it is not uncommon for this to happen.

For other applicants, something unexpected happens and they contact us to let us know they will not be able to enroll and will thus forfeit their seat.  The Admissions Committee obviously has no way of predicting such circumstances.

So part one of the waitlist story deals with uncertain circumstances and part two of the story is process.  When we are able to make an offer to candidates on the waitlist, how does the process work?

If you are on the waitlist you know that we ask you to fill out a form indicating your interest in remaining on the waitlist.  The link to the waitlist form that needs to be filled out can be found in the waitlist letter.  The vast majority return this form indicating that they do wish to remain on the waitlist, but just like circumstances with admitted applicants change, so do circumstances with waitlist candidates change.

After all admission decisions have been published, every few weeks the Admissions Committee will meet to evaluate fall enrollment.  After these meetings I will send out emails to those who have chosen to remain on the waitlist providing them with an update.  My first update email is likely to go out in early April.  I cannot promise a decision can be made by early April, however I will have an update (sent to those on the waitlist for email) as I know many schools require decisions by April 15th.

If spaces are available how are waitlist candidates chosen?  Again it is an organic process.  We do not have number rankings for the waitlist and the size of the waitlist changes over time as candidates notify us that they no longer wish to be considered.

When it comes time to consider candidates from the waitlist, files are read once again.  Although a “full read” might not be necessary, Committee members will review reader comment sheets.  As the reading is done, we get a feel for the overall landscape of those on the waitlist and make decisions.  We only review information submitted by the application deadline, we do not accept additional documents for waitlist consideration.

Candidates offered admission from the waitlist receive an email from our office indicating that the decision is available on the application Web site.  Those not offered admission remain on the waitlist and continue to get email updates.

I realize the process of waiting is not easy.  We will do our best to keep those on the waitlist updated, but as you can see, the process does not give us the ability to provide specific answers at specific times.  In summary, if you have chosen to remain on the waitlist we will contact you intermittently with updates, along with asking if you wish to remain on the waitlist.  The Committee will read files of those on the waitlist “as is” – meaning we will not accept additional documents or information for consideration.  Our first update will likely go out in early April.

Please also note that SIPA is unable to award fellowship funding to those admitted from the waitlist.  U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents can qualify for federal and possibly state based aid, but all SIPA funding is allocated in the first round of admission decisions.  I would advise both domestic and international students to review the financial aid information on our Web site so that if we are able to make an offer, you are prepared to complete the appropriate paperwork.

"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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