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SIPA Early Application Thread

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2 hours ago, lackey said:

SIPA emailed me today to ask me about something in my app. Hopefully that's an acceptance kind of indication lol. 

That's exciting! Hopefully, haha. Was it to clear up something logistical?

I died a little when I got that "Happy New Year" email from them a couple days ago.

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13 hours ago, yellina122 said:

That's exciting! Hopefully, haha. Was it to clear up something logistical?

I died a little when I got that "Happy New Year" email from them a couple days ago.

haha me too. 

Someone involved in admissions of the PEPM program told me their internal deadline was december 15th (for all programs). Based on that, I supposed that results would be published this week. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part...

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18 minutes ago, ung said:

haha me too. 

Someone involved in admissions of the PEPM program told me their internal deadline was december 15th (for all programs). Based on that, I supposed that results would be published this week. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part...

They are pretty cagey on Twitter. It's always "sometime before the new year" (for MIA though, no idea about PEPM). I hope they didn't have a surge in apps like Harris did. I have my fingers crossed for today, but that may be overly optimistic.

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10 minutes ago, lackey said:

They are pretty cagey on Twitter. It's always "sometime before the new year" (for MIA though, no idea about PEPM). I hope they didn't have a surge in apps like Harris did. I have my fingers crossed for today, but that may be overly optimistic.

Oh god. That "before the New Year" kills me. Really hoping it happens this week so we can all relax for awhile before decision season really begins!

Is the "Don't forget to check your Application Checklist for any missing materials" thing at the top of the Status pg new? I think it might be, but I'm also slowly going insane at this point so it's entirely possible I'm wrong. 

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4 minutes ago, yellina122 said:

Oh god. That "before the New Year" kills me. Really hoping it happens this week so we can all relax for awhile before decision season really begins!

Is the "Don't forget to check your Application Checklist for any missing materials" thing at the top of the Status pg new? I think it might be, but I'm also slowly going insane at this point so it's entirely possible I'm wrong. 

Yup, it's there. I'm going crazy, too. The rush you get from that first acceptance is HUGE, and I haven't really received any results, LOL.

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1 hour ago, ung said:

I am in too! :D:D

 

It doesnt say anything about funding. I just didnt get any or they post it later? Thank you!

Hey there! I also did not have a letter on funding. I suspect that outside of the lucky few who were offered fellowships/scholarships up front, we'll have to wait to hear once they release the rest of the admissions decisions in March.

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46 minutes ago, yellina122 said:

Hey there! I also did not have a letter on funding. I suspect that outside of the lucky few who were offered fellowships/scholarships up front, we'll have to wait to hear once they release the rest of the admissions decisions in March.

Thank goodness. I am fine being in the running, especially after being terrified by the total cost. :o

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My video essay question was something like "how has the volatile international climate impacted you?" I would definitely recommend practicing and recording yourself ahead of time so that you're familiar with the experience. It was a little unnerving for me to respond so quickly on video.

To add to everyone else's good news: I'm in at SIPA for MIA with $90K funding (still can't believe it!)

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Thanks, @aaprabhakar!

I'm an international student, went to a top 20 US university. High GPA and relevant honors thesis, GRE 165V 163Q. 6 years private sector experience in the US doing big data analytics and product management. Volunteer experience with refugees. I hope to leverage big data analytics and ICT for forced displacement issues.

Feel free to message me if you have additional questions!

Edited by jxw

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Congratulations everyone! I recently graduated from SIPA in December and will be starting work in February. Feel free to AMA about SIPA.

Edited by StyLeD

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Hi. I think I will put my questions in points:

1. How is the academic atmosphere. How good are the classes and how hectic is the schedule?

2. Living costs. Do you get student accommodation given by the university or is it very limited. How much should you pay for a couple room nearby?

3. How much does a international student loan with a good co-signer cost?

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15 hours ago, StyLeD said:

Congratulations everyone! I recently graduated from SIPA in December and will be starting work in February. Feel free to AMA about SIPA.

Hey, thanks for offering to answer some questions!

First, would you say there's time to keep a modest part-time job while balancing classes and study time? Do you know anyone who did? I have the opportunity to continue my current job part-time and remotely, but I'm not sure what to expect with the first semesters.

What's the vibe amongst classmates? Is there a sense of camaraderie, where folks make an effort to spend time together in and out of the classroom? I imagine this can be somewhat subjective, but I'm curious whether you felt like most or many folks connected with other students, or were there mainly for the academics and the degree.

When it comes to time out of the classroom- are most folks doing research? Interning? Joining clubs? Some variation? 

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On 12/31/2017 at 1:50 AM, Prester John said:

Hi. I think I will put my questions in points:

1. How is the academic atmosphere. How good are the classes and how hectic is the schedule?

2. Living costs. Do you get student accommodation given by the university or is it very limited. How much should you pay for a couple room nearby?

3. How much does a international student loan with a good co-signer cost?

Hope this helps: 

1. As a general policy, SIPA grades on a curve. This means that it's incredibly difficult to get an A or a C. Most people fall in the B to B+ range. If you want an A, you'll have to try really, really hard. If you want to fail, you'll have to try really, really hard as well. Classes vary widely. The core classes are extremely useful. The professors who teach those courses have taught them for many, many years. The schedule is as hectic as you want it to be, depending on what grade you want. Courses are usually held M-Th, with most classes on Tuesday/Wednesday. Friday is sort of a "rest day", but that just means review sessions, group work, recitations, etc. are all held that day. 

2. First-year students can opt-in on student housing, but student housing is year-round...so if you're planning on interning elsewhere, you'll likely have to forgo student housing or sublease it. Pricing options are between ~900 and ~2000, so lots of diversity. Check out the I-House if you want a really diverse living experience. Living in NYC is stupidly expensive, I paid $1100 to live in a room the size of a large walk-in closet (I could stretch my arms wide and almost touch both sides of the room) with 3 other people. This was on 116th. I moved to The Arbor afterwards - I lived in a luxury apartment with 2 other people for $1300/month, BUT it was in the Bronx. A shuttle was provided both ways, but the commute was ~25 minutes. I had a friend who moved with his boyfriend to New Jersey, paying $2200 together. However, there's a toll booth that charges $10 or so for the car - that drives up the budget. It's something to consider though. 

3. Not sure about int'l student loan, sorry. I'm domestic. 

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12 hours ago, yellina122 said:

Hey, thanks for offering to answer some questions!

First, would you say there's time to keep a modest part-time job while balancing classes and study time? Do you know anyone who did? I have the opportunity to continue my current job part-time and remotely, but I'm not sure what to expect with the first semesters.

What's the vibe amongst classmates? Is there a sense of camaraderie, where folks make an effort to spend time together in and out of the classroom? I imagine this can be somewhat subjective, but I'm curious whether you felt like most or many folks connected with other students, or were there mainly for the academics and the degree.

When it comes to time out of the classroom- are most folks doing research? Interning? Joining clubs? Some variation? 

Glad to give back! 

1. Part-time jobs: Yes. I worked two part-time jobs, actually, as a graphic designer for a NYC-based nonprofit and a program assistant for one of SIPA's centers. I worked a total of ~20 hours and spent ~10 hours on student clubs and such. So it's definitely doable for the first three semesters - during your capstone semester, the capstone class will take up a huge chunk of time, so budget for that. BUT if you want to aim for a 3.8+ and you're not a naturally gifted student, it'll be a bit hard since, as I mentioned in my previous comment, SIPA grades on a curve and it's quite difficult to get an A half-assedly. 

2. Vibe: There's a TON of student clubs at SIPA, some of them are functional (UN, M&E, etc.) and others are regional (Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, etc.). There's also a pretty active student government and concentration-specific events (for EPD, Human Rights, IFEP, etc.) However, it's a little intimidating to cross-mingle - Latin American students tend to revert to their native tongues during class breaks, and the Chinese/Japanese/Korean students do the same. You'll learn a lot about why and how other people are at/got into SIPA, though. Many students are government-sponsored and thus care less grades. Very diverse, so it depends. 

3. Time out of class: Again, it depends - most people are not doing research (as in statistics-heavy research methodology). A lot of people are working to pay off school, lots of after-class parties and social gatherings, many people intern - especially at the UN, and lots of people join clubs as well. Most people do at least two of the four things I mentioned. Whatever you want/plan to do, you're guaranteed to find someone else doing something similar. In my second year, a lot of people were looking for jobs together as well. It was a great way to stay motivated and chat about exit opportunities. 

Let me know if you'd like further clarification. 

 

Edited by StyLeD

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29 minutes ago, Prester John said:

Thanks for the very detailed reply. So, how much does the entire course cost you? And how difficult is it to get a TA/RA during the course?

Sure thing - that's a great question! The program tuition page on SIPA's website is quite accurate. $160-$170k over two years sounds about right. I had a $15,000/year SIPA scholarship, a $20,000 external scholarship, and a $10,000 program assistantship to offset some of the costs. Still, I'm graduating with a low six-figures in debt, which is scary but manageable. 

The number that they like to throw out - something like most students get an assistantship in their 2nd year - is pretty disingenuous. They include people that get funding for only one semester (like me), as well as people that get only partial funding (something like $5,000 only). Then they exclude people who don't even apply, which is how they got to their very nice number. 

In my experience, the only way to get a TA position is to take the professor's course that first year and get an A. Core courses like Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Quantitative Analysis, Accounting will have the most TA positions available, but you'd have to get an A, and A's are only given out to the top 10%~ or so of the class. It's for the most part a meritocracy - the TAs clearly deserved the grade they got, and they're very good at the subject they got hired for. Though they do a little affirmative action when selecting TAs; every major course will always have at least 1 Chinese TA due to the huge number of Chinese students at SIPA. 

I would say the median amount you can "expect" to get (assuming you try really hard to get funding the second year) is $7,500-$10,000. Don't expect the $20,000 TA-ships unless you're a goddess/god at economics, accounting, statistical modeling, etc or unless you take a first-semester course offered yearly, do well in it, and the professor likes you.

 

Edited by StyLeD

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That’s very clear. Thanks again. I am a career civil servant who wants to go back to India after graduation. So, Finance is a major area of concern. 

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