SIPA Continuing Student Scholarship Accountability Poll

By Jacob Sprang, Conor Mcguire, and Alexandra Feldhausen

Concerned SIPA students and The Morningside Post seek to create greater transparency around the Continuing Student Scholarship, which was established last year to stem the funding gap created through PA and TA wage cuts.

*NOTE: Jacob and Conor did not have access to identifying student information. No student identifiers including emails, names, or anything similar were recorded or retained.

Earlier this semester, we launched a survey to ask SIPA students whether they applied, received, and were award a SIPA Continuing Student Scholarship (CSS). We felt this was important due to a lack of reporting provided by the financial aid department, and we saw a need to create accountability mechanisms for future SIPA students. In total, 58 students responded to the survey, with the following responses:

  • 24 applied, received an award and reported the award amount

  • 2 applied, received an award but did not report the award amount

  • 29 applied and did not receive an award

  • 3 did not apply for a CSS

In the graph below, we've summarized the responses. However, understanding the payouts is not enough. As policy students, we have a responsibility to ensure that there is transparency in SIPA's decisions, not only for ourselves but also for future SIPA students. We hope that this exercise can contribute to a greater movement for transparency and accountability of SIPA's administrative decisions. 


Finally, we think that, in addition to collecting data, it's important to gather testimonies. The changes to the PA/TA payment schedule and the Continuing Student Scholarships have affected many of us at SIPA. To document these effects, we are collecting personal stories. How many of you have ever felt personally victimized by Financial Aid. Please email me at jls2347@columbia.edu if you have and would like that experience to be documented for future SIPA classes. 

Thank you,
Ali, Jake and Conor

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