Hey all! Brianne from SIPA Admissions here. wave emojiwave emoji

I’m sure by now you have checked your email and have learned that decisions for Fall 2022 were recently released for Columbia SIPA. I imagine you went through a mix of emotions before, during, and after checking your admissions status page. We have been receiving a lot of questions from students who are waitlisted, and from those who did not receive admission. The most popular question being, “What can I do now?” Hopefully, this blog can be a resource for you and what next steps to take going forward.

Reapplying to SIPA:

You applied to SIPA for a reason – whether that be our community, students, location, faculty, alumni, we have many prospective students who are just like you and have been in your same situation. If you did not receive the decision you were hoping for, we welcome and encourage you to reapply to SIPA for a following application cycle.

It’s important to know that being a reapplicant does not count against you. I strongly recommend taking another honest look at your application and compare it against the What We Look For page. This will help you focus on what you can prepare for the upcoming application cycle. Think about your application holistically – would you benefit from taking a calculus course? Pursuing another internship in your related field? Asking for a quant-heavy project at your current job? Keep an open mind to the other ways you can boost your application.

As a reapplicant, you will still go by the same deadlines, fees, and requirements as first-time applicant. A benefit is that you may reapply using the personal statement, reference letters, test scores and transcripts from this year’s application. Our essay questions change every year so you should submit new ones based on the topic. I also recommend taking another look at your recommendation letters; perhaps you want to submit a new one based on the work you do between now and the next application cycle. When our 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

Admission at SIPA is very competitive. If you have been waitlisted, this does not mean your story has ended at SIPA. Your application showed a lot of promise, but in the end, there were more highly competitive candidates than we have seats at SIPA. I know that can be tough to read, but there can still be good news out there. Here are some items I want you to know:

  • 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.  This means we cannot tell you the likelihood of being admitted. However, 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

We cannot offer individual feedback on applications due to the volume of applications we received. I recommend you review the What We Look For in applications, and application feedback suggestions.

“Can I appeal an admission decision?”

Probably one of our most frequently asked questions. Unfortunately, no – all decisions are final. Our Admissions Committee reviews each application holistically and with great care so, there is not an appeals process.

Thank Your People

You may be thinking “duh” or “of course” with this suggestion. It seems like an obvious step to take, but some applicants still forget to do this. You probably talked to a lot of people during the application process and no matter the admission decision, you should still thank them for all your help. Whether they wrote a letter of recommendation, provided a project for you to lead at work, taught you a quant course, or inspired you to submit the application, don’t forget about all the people who helped make this possible. If you were not admitted, this could be a good opportunity to ask for advice or words of wisdom for strengthening your application for the next year.

Our Thanks to You

On behalf of the entire Admissions Committee, I want to thank you for the time and effort into applying to SIPA. It was our honor to get to know you during the admission process and read about your achievements and ambitions for the future. I know how nerve-wracking and stressful this process can be; you should be extremely proud of the work you have done so far and what is still out there for your 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 wholeheartedly wish you luck in your future endeavors.