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I recently got the great news that I am selected for the MSAUD 2013 program at Columbia. Now the financial question will decide if I can do it or not....
I have few questions that previous, current or even future student can maybe answer to.
Financial Aid/ Loans
As I am French, I am try to find a way to afford the program and if anyone has some infos about this that would be super helpful:
- financial aid for international students (requirements, dates, amounts...)
- loan for international student (private company, through school, requirements...)
- financial help from home country
Work on campus:
This would be a great way to pay for living and studying expenses. If anyone did it before, I would like to know:
- how manageable this is while studying?
- how many hours per week? how much do you get paid?
- what kind of job can you expect to find?
Also, does anyone know if it's possible to wait a year to do the program? I know some other schools do it and that let's time to figure it out the money situation...
Thanks for the help ;)
I think there are some previous posts that talk a bit about your concerns/questions, Marina. I went to the open house last Fall and one of the things I remember them mentioning (I think) in regards to MSAUD international students is that it is hard to find scholarships from GSAPP solely because the program is just a year long; however, I may be wrong. In regards to loans and work-study options, I would call the financial aid office. They all have been really helpful and my award package was quickly settled after a few phone conversations with them. Lastly, from my understanding, it is really hard to defer admission.
Either way, I was also accepted to the MSAUD program and have already committed. Maybe I'll see you there in June.
Juan, thanks for your post!
I have been reading the previous conversations mentioning this topic, but didn't find enough responses. I am planning on coming to the open house early April, but as I am in France right now I am trying to win as much time as possible. The clock is running and all this admin and financial process takes time and hold my decision on being able or not to do this program.
I am getting in touch with the school, and deferral is not possible, for this program at least.
Congrats to be part of the program, hoping to be there in June too ;)
@juanguzm... how were you able to negotiate your award package over the phone? was this after the "acceptance offer deadline"? or after the fafsa financial aid package? what did you ask?
@sensation. . .oh no, sorry if my response wasn't clear. I did not "negotiate" anything with Financial Aid. I just did not want to rely on private loans. So, after talking to them on the phone several times, they explained to me another option that I wasn't aware of which is the Graduate PLUS Loan for U.S. citizens//residents. Basically, this loan is covering the rest of my tuition costs + living expenses after scholarships and unsubsidized loans rather than having to take out private loans. If you didn't know of this option, just call them and they'll send you the necessary form via email. Then, after submitting the form (which I did almost immediately) call them again until they do the credit check and other logistics and then they will quickly add the loan into your award package. I was extremely worried about my credit because I am graduating in May from my undergrad and barely have a credit at all, but my loan was still approved. I am, though, going into a lot of debt, but hopefully it will be worth it at the end. Does that make sense?
Basically, my point in the comment above was that calling them multiple times is probably the best option to get all your stuff figured out rather than just waiting for responses via email or other forms of communication.
Are you definitely coming to the program in June? If you are worried about costs and don't mind going into debt, I would highly recommend looking at the graduate plus loan before looking at private loans. Hope this makes sense/helps.
@juanguzm... Thanks for the quick response. I will be finishing my undergrad in May also. I will definitely start at Columbia in May, but I'm worried because I haven't received my financial aid package. However, columbia did offer me a nice tuition scholarship with my acceptance letter. I just need to figure out how to pay for housing. I'll definitely looking into that Graduate PLUS loan. Thank you so much!
I forgot to ask.. besides loans, did Columbia also offer you grants along with a scholarship?
@sensation, calling them is your best bet. I called them multiple times within a 3 day period and this past Monday I had my financial aid package. Maybe annoying them did it for me, but now I don't have to stress over it.
By the way, I got a nice scholarship too and make sure whoever you speak with knows this because it can mess up how much money they give you since it is all done according to the estimated cost of attendance. After the scholarship + loans, I will be able to live relatively okay the entire year.
What school/program are you coming from, by the way? I am a Landscape Architecture student and I feel like there may not be many LAs in the program...but I may also be wrong. See you in a few weeks...I think I get a two week "summer," ha...which will be spent moving and settling in.
@sentation, no grants, which are you referring to? All I was awarded was a work-study option which I declined because it barely paid anything, the scholarship, unsubsidized loan, and the graduate plus loan.
@juanguzm.. I'll call them tomorrow and again on Monday. Hopefully, by the end of next week I'll get my financial aid package and see if I should work part-time or not. Do you think you will be able to work part-time? I'm worried. However, I feel that the estimated cost is a bit overexaggerated, especially if you already have medical insurance.
I'm coming from USC B.Arch... I just came back from NYC for spring break [my summer] ahaha. Hopefully, we will have some social life during school :-/
Now I need to know if I got on campus housing or not... that's all I applied for :-/ I really don't want to live off campus.
@sensation, i just spent my spring break in new york too last week which was my snowy and cold summer, i guess, haha. the firm i interned for this past summer is offering me part-time work, but from what i have heard from several people, it is nearly impossible to make time for work outside the program because of how intense it is. we'll see...either way, i'm really excited about the program and living in ny for more than three months.
Did either one you attend the open house yesterday? If so, how was it? Details?
Hi Marina. Congrats on your acceptance. I think I can answer your 'work on campus' questions.
There are many opportunities to do work/study on campus. For instance, UD offers part-time work/study through the Earth Institute or Urban Design Lab. In the summer, it'll be difficult to work as the transition to GSAPP is new.
In fall I was the TA for the studio while also working at the OPS (output shop/laser lab). Its managable as a full-time student, but wouldn't recommend it. I would focus on school as it is only a year and the program is demanding.
For Spring, I was a TA outside of GSAPP and with the Graduate School of Arts, meaning, there are plenty of opportunities, you just need to know where to know when you're here.