Archive for welcome page

what does it all mean?

It’s Spring break at SIPA so students are out — some are working on their Capstone projects while others are recharging somewhere around the world.  Decisions went out this week — We have received quiet a few emails and calls about what it all means…

So we thought it might be helpful to provide a little insight…

If you have been admitted… CONGRATULATIONS!  We hope you choose to come to SIPA and join our diverse community.  There are several events coming up in the next few weeks to provide a little exposure to SIPA — check them out in the Welcome page, which was referenced in your admission letter.  You may participate in as many as you wish (at least physically since some may require you to be in two places at the same time); an RSVP is required for all of the events.  Information will be communicated through the Welcome page, email or on this blog. 

If you were one of the few who was put on the wait list… there’s still hope.  However, we will not begin reviewing the wait listed candidates until April (at the earliest).  If SIPA is one of your top choices and you can wait to hear, let us know.  If you are risk-averse and decide to enroll elsewhere, please let us know so we may remove you from consideration.   Other than informing us of your intentions, there is nothing else you need to do  — but wait.

If you were not offered admission to SIPA this year, we are happy to provide some feedback on your application.  However, at present time the focus of the Committee is to complete our final application review and provide information for our admitted candidates.  You are welcome to send our office an email in June requesting feedback.  On our website, we have put together some common reasons we are unable to offer admission to applicants, that may be a good place to start.  Unfortunately, there is no appeal process — the Admissions Committee reads each application thoroughly and considers all applicants seriously.


A Few Reminders

I am happy to say that we are down to the 1% mark in terms of applications that we need to finalize decisions on.  If you are in this last group that has yet to receive an email from us welcoming you to view your decision, this is the week.

I also wanted to provide a few reminders for recently admitted candidates.  First, we hope you will make use of an internet based message board to interact with one another and with admitted candidates.  The log in information for the message board is on the Welcome Page referenced in your admission letter.

Next, there is an event admitted students are welcome to attend in Washington, D.C. this weekend.  The original deadline to RSVP was March 25th but we have been offered an extension.  If you have been admitted and wish to attend this event, please visit the Welcome Page as soon as possible for details on how to RSVP.

Finally, Admitted Student Day April 12th and registration information is also on the Welcome Page.  If you can make it we would love to see you.  For those unable to make it resources are provided on the Welcome Page.

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.”

Fall 2011 Admission Time Line and Welcome Page

The Admissions Committee continues to read/review at a fast and furious pace but we are happy to be nearing the end of the review process.  No decisions went out on Monday but our hope is to start publishing more today.  As always, check here for updates, however we cannot tell individuals when their decision will be ready to view.

I do want to provide those who have been admitted with a few reminders and give insight to those still waiting of what lies ahead in the future if you do receive an offer of admission.

First, please note that if admitted to SIPA you will be given a link to a Welcome Page in your admission letter.  The Welcome Page contains very important information regarding a variety of topics.  We have already received a large number of emails from admitted applicants with questions that are clearly answered on the Welcome Page.  We want admitted students to receive answers to questions as quickly as possible and reviewing the Welcome Page will most likely answer many questions admitted applicants might have.

For example, many applicants have emailed asking if they can interact with a current student.  The answer is yes and we make this easy by offering an internet message board that allows admitted applicants to interact with one another and with current students.   SIPA students will be on spring break from March 14th to 18th so traffic will likely be slow this week, however the board is live and waiting for admitted applicants to take advantage of.  How do you log in?  Details on are the Welcome Page.

Second, SIPA will host an Admitted Student Day on Tuesday, April 12th.  Admitted Student Day will take place on the Columbia Campus and it will be a full day event.  Professor Jeff Sachs will be giving a special talk during the lunch portion of Admitted Student Day.  How do you register?  Registration information is on the Welcome Page.  If you cannot attend, there are some resources available for those unable to attend . . . you guessed it, on the Welcome Page.

Third, May 2nd is the date by which admitted students must pay a deposit confirming enrollment for fall 2011.  The typical day is May 1st, but since May 1st falls on a Sunday we moved the response date to the next business day, Monday.

Fourth, a series of communications will be sent to admitted applicants and these messages will come from the address.  Please ensure that your email client is set to receive messages from this account.  Faculty, current students, administrators, and alumni will all be included in the communication chain.

Fifth, if you are admitted you will need to ensure that official academic transcripts and official test reports are in our office no later than June 15th.  We will work with admitted applicants to determine if official copies of these documents were already provided to us during the application process.  What address should you send them too?  The address is listed on the Welcome Page.

Last, unfortunately applicants placed on the waitlist are unable to participate in admission related activities until an admission offer is made.  More details regarding the waitlist will be published on this blog in the future.  We will begin to “work” the waitlist in April and this process will often continue into the summer.

Thank you for your attention . . . now back to Committee meetings . . .

Welcome Page Reminder

This is a reminder for admitted students to thoroughly review our Welcome Page for important information regarding enrollment.  Information on how to access the Welcome Page is included in the online admission letter.  We have been fielding questions in our email in box such as:

  • When does Orientation start?
  • Who can I contact about housing?
  • Is it possible for me to interact with other admitted applicants?
  • Can you help me with processing my visa?
  • When will I get my student ID?

My staff and I are experts is some matters, but other matters we leave to experts who are in charge of different departments and processes.  I hope that applicants can quickly find contact information and help on the Welcome Page, but if you have a question that you feel is not covered there please let us know and we will try to help you the best we are able.

"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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