Graduate schools: estimating aid?


I've applied to 2 grad schools this year and am almost done with the third application to Columbia GSAPP for MSAAD. The scholarship section in most of these apps is asking for a list of financial resources to basically explain how you're going to pay the cost of attendance, it asks for:

Savings from summer employment
Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts
Academic year employment (net pay)
Contribution from others [Source(s)]
Contribution from others [Source(s)]
Loans from parents
Loans from others [Source(s)]
Loans from others [Source(s)]
Government Assistance
Outside scholarship
Other receipts Source(s)
Other receipts Source(s)
Real Estate

My problem is, I simply don't know how to estimate all this! All I know is the amount that I have in savings (a fraction of the cost), and the fact that I can't expect any support from my unemployed parents. The rest is impossible to estimate, because you can never tell how much aid government is going to give you, and how much of it you'll have to accept as a loan. I am going to look for outside scholarships but haven't found any yet, so this is also unknown.

So, those who've applied to schools this year, how did you guys estimate this? is it safe to leave fields blank or write UNKNOWN in them?

thanks in advance for advise!

Jan 12, 13 1:43 pm
When I filled out my application I just put 0 as the amount contributed by parents and everywhere else that it applied.
Jan 12, 13 5:40 pm

Well you need to check online for any demo application fillled sample available or you can check the experts blog who write about the Graduate schools. 

Jan 14, 13 1:59 am

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