Decisions for Fall 2021 were recently released for Columbia SIPA, so by now you should know your SIPA admissions decision. I’m sure you went through a mix of emotions before and after checking your status page.

Whatever decision you received, here are some things that waitlisted candidates, and those who weren’t granted admission, should know going forward.

Reapplying to SIPA

I’m putting this at the top of the list, because you applied to SIPA for a reason, and our community is made of committed candidates, students, alum, faculty, and prospective students like you. If you didn’t get the admission decision you were hoping for and you believe that SIPA is the right place for you, we wholeheartedly encourage you to reapply to SIPA.

Being a reapplicant doesn’t count against you. Details on reapplying to SIPA are here, and my piece of admissions advice for reapplicants is to take a critical look at your application and compare it against What We Look For. Looking at your application, maybe you’ll notice that your work experience isn’t quite relevant to what you want to study at SIPA. Maybe you’ll notice that you have no evidence of your quantitative skills in your application. This will help you focus on what you can work to shore up before the next application opens, like requesting quantitatively-heavy projects at work or taking an macroeconomics or microeconomics course.

As a reapplicant, you will go by the same deadlines, fees and requirements as first-time applicants. A benefit is that you may reapply using the personal statement, reference letters, test scores and transcripts from this year’s application. As the essay questions change every year, you should submit new ones (and possibly new recommendation letters). When next year’s application goes live in mid-August, 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 your materials you want to reuse.

The Waitlist

Admissions at SIPA is competitive, and our waitlisted candidates showed promise. While seats are limited and went to more competitive candidates, some of you may move to the admitted students list over the next few months.

You should know that SIPA does not rank our waitlist. Since the waitlist is not ranked, and the entire admissions process is holistic and reactive to the applicants we receive, it will take some time for the waitlist decisions to come out. You should know that we look over the waitlist starting in May and will release final decisions for waitlisted candidates over the summer. If you’re an international student, you’ll still have time to apply for a visa – just make sure you don’t procrastinate the process once you’re admitted.

Please do not email to ask if your status has changed. We promise that we have not forgotten about you, we’re just unable to provide periodic updates on your standing. Please only contact us if you have a specific request about your waitlist application, like updating your application or removing it from consideration. We do not remove anyone from the waitlist unless they specifically request us to via email.

We do not accept additional materials or letters of continued interest. We also do not accept additional or updated materials from waitlisted candidates. As stated before you submit your application, once you submit, that’s it — no more updates can be made. Unless you were specifically requested by the Office of Admissions to submit something extraneous, we will not accept additional materials to your application.

Requesting Feedback

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we cannot offer individual feedback. However, we recommend you review What We Look For in applications, and common feedback suggestions for applicants.

“Can I appeal an admissions decision?”

No – all decisions are final. The Admissions Committee reviews each application thoroughly and with great care; as such, there is not an appeals process.

Thank Yous

Chances are that you talked to a lot of people during the application process. No matter the outcome, you should thank them all for their help. They invested time and effort into your future, and I’m sure they’re curious on how things turned out. Even if you weren’t admitted, this can lead to an opportunity for advice from someone with a different perspective, or suggestions on strengthening your application for next year.

Our Thanks to You

On behalf of the entire Admissions Committee, I want to thank you for your time and effort into applying. I know it is a stressful process and sometimes it can feel even more nerve-wracking by cementing your dreams and ambitions through the application. 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 decide not to reapply next year, please know that we hope you’ll continue to develop your academic and professional experience for whatever your future might hold.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your future endeavors.