es four: To answer your question: If you have had a good first semester(as close to a 4.0 as possible), and have had really good life/work experience(This is KEY for GS!), then you should definitely apply for admission as soon as you can afford / want to attend. GS in particular is forgiving for poor HS performance so long as you have "proven yourself" with strong college performance(even if for just a semester), and life experiences(working at Morgan Stanley should be a huge plus here).
Also, is there any reason why you can't reapply? Time constraints?
mikesown- Thank you for the insight, I appreciate it. I hope my work for A.G. Edwards and Morgan Stanley is sufficient work experience. I was by far the youngest of my class and office, but I guess I don't really know what I'm up against. Is working for Morgan Stanley impressive enough to overlook my poor High School performance? I also have sat on two non-profit boards, so I have some "extra" leadership experience. Learning about the GS program is surprising for me, but from what I have learned since High School I'm shocked more schools don't offer a program like this. I think non-traditional students have a MUCH different perspective, and add a really interesting dynamic to classrooms.
As far as constraints on WHEN I apply/reapply, I don't really know. How often can I apply to Columbia GS? Each quarter? If I am not admitted, do I have to wait before reapplying? If that is the case, I would rather wait until I have a sufficient record to prove my capabilities. I'll also be applying to UC Berkeley, Northwestern, Claremont McKenna and a few others in the Fall of 2009. I assumed it would be easiest to just apply to all of them at once.
I would apply to Columbia GS for admission this Fall of 2008, but my Spring 2008 grades will be finalized before the applications are due.... I get my grades a month or so after the deadline.
As far as money, I do not have much, so I will be financing the majority of my education. I would like to get started at a different school ASAP. I love school and am very enthusiastic to get started at a more focused institution.
es four: I don't believe there's any restriction on the number of times you can apply. Also, even if your grades come out a month after GS's deadline, you can still send them; the decision takes a bit of time to come out(longer than 4 weeks), so as long as you send them a note about when grades come out, and they should be forgiving. Since you bearly missed the Early Action deadline for Fall GS admission(March 1), you can apply for Regular Decision on June 1 for Fall admission. Alternatively, you can apply by April 1 for Summer admission.
One thing you should be aware of is that GS provides almost no aid. GS is a cash cow for Columbia, simply put. So, expect to pay full-fare, and be surprised if you get significant aid.
Well to be fair, financial aid funds at CC/SEAS and (and at many other colleges) is derived from tuition, endowed funds, and annual giving, solicited directly by the school for those purposes. GS just doesn't have the money in its account yet, and will have to focus on developing a donor base of its own eventually.
If rejected from GS or any of the undergraduate divisions, you have to wait three years before reapplying.
GS actually does provide fairly decent financial aid, given its limited resources. If you do well enough, you'll qualify for a pretty good amount of aid (and win named scholarships and be invited to join honor societies, etc), only increasing with the amount of time you spend at the school. Basically, GS is interested in maintaining its strongest students and uses whatever limited funds it has to make sure that they stay so that - hopefully - they give back to the school as graduates. That's really the only way GS is ever going to eventually raise the funds necessary to offer that much more aid down the road.
As for the recent announcement concerning CC/SEAS, GS should be glad it got anything at all (a 17% annual increase coming from unearmarked funds). Most students, including those on the GSSC, don't understand how endowments work. Suppose of the $8 billion in Columbia's wallet, $6 billion is specifically earmarked for CC/SEAS aid. None of that can go to GS students, just like it can't trickle down to GSAPP, GSAS, Law, Business, etc. A drawn out fix would include greater reaching out, but GS doesn't have a Dean in that position right now. Rather than an impersonal financer, we have a full-time professor. A quick fix would require reaching out to successful grads that reached their professional positions because of a life-changing Columbia expeirence given by GS. Unfortunately, the school is still fairly new for this (in comparison to CC/SEAS). This will likely change in time.
None of this is to buy into the unsubstantiated claim that GS is a "cash cow" for the university. After spending enough time there, I really don't think it is at all. It serves a purpose for an extremely diverse group of students that would perform better in a mover independent setting than CC/SEAS allows while establishing their own lives outside of the classroom. The cash cow argument applies more to a non-degree granting division like continuing education department allowing unrestricted access to the course catalog for individual purposes. Most people that make this claim are fairly ignorant to the purpose of the school.
Last edited by WindowShopping; 03-15-2008 at 04:02 PM.
Are your re-application figures current? I called GS admissions, and the woman informed me you could apply the semester following denial. She also made it seem like there is no limit to the number of times you apply.
Applicants may not simultaneously apply to the School of General
Studies and to any other undergraduate division of Columbia
University (Columbia College or the Fu Foundation School of
Engineering and Applied Science), nor are applicants eligible to apply
to the School of General Studies if in the last three years they applied to
any of these divisions and were not accepted. Applicants are admitted to
the School of General Studies as matriculated degree candidates.
Students may enroll either full- or part-time and may change their
status from semester to semester.
You must wait three years before reapplying to any of the three undergraduate divisions if rejected. I was informed of this when I met with the admissions director a few years back before applying.
Perhaps there are individual exceptions to the rule, but for clarification purposes, I'd speak with an admissions officer or the directer of admissions before going by what someone that picks up the phone in the office has to say.