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Columbia MSW - money making system?

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Columbia MSW - money making system?

Postby clairerufo » Thu, 04 May 2006 10:58:17 -0500

Hello,

I was recently admitted to the Columbia University School of Social Work. I would love to accept the offer because I think NYC is by far one of the best places to practice social work but unfortunately I will most likely have to decline because of financial reasons.

With tuition and living expenses combined, the total expense per year is approx 48K US. It is a two year masters program and therefore my debt would be close to 100K US!!! How on earth is this feasible? Well, it's not.

I contacted the admissions office after I was accepted because I wanted to know the acceptance rates. I was suspicious that Columbia admits far more students than one would expect. The misconception here in Canada is that Columbia (any program) is extremely hard to get into. I found that this was NOT the case. After the admission's office refused to give me the stats, I called the Dean of Student Enrollment. She notified me that the acceptance rate for Sept. 2005 was close to 70%!!! 900 students applied to the two year masters program and 600 were given offers! Of that 600, only 280 accepted. OVER HALF DECLINED - presumably because they cannot afford to go there.

As an international student, I do not qualify for financial aid. Please help me understand how on earth the university can charge almost as much for a social work degree as a law degree? I'm not graduating a corporate lawyer and social workers don't have the kind of salaries that would allow 100K US to be payed off in their lifetime.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
Claire
clairerufo
 

reply re MSW at NYU

Postby crawleyj » Thu, 04 May 2006 11:45:25 -0500

Hi Claire,

Well...there are number of issues within your message. First, however, congratulations on your acceptance. It certainly says a lot for your previous academic accomplishments.

here are a few points:

1) Columbia is one of the oldest and most established universities in the U.S. When you start looking at this level of school (i.e. the Ivy League), you are going to be paying a premium price.

2) All universities admit more than they can take because there are always students who decide not to come (our Grad school, including the MSW, does the same thing). Student apply to multiple universities and then choose from their acceptances based on any number of factors.

3) It is a misconception that as an international student, you MUST go to what might be perceived as a "top school" to get a good education. Our university is an example. we offer an MSW on our campus as well as one up in Sault Ste Marie in the northern part of our state (I am not sure where you are located or if you are familiar with Michigan), but my point is that at $23,500 a year we get plenty of applicants annually and at the program in the North, we eevn have Canadians who cross the border just for classes. we also offer a 1/2 tuition academic scholarship for those international students who are admitted with an A/B (3.5/4.0) from their four-year bachelors degree.
Jim Crawley
Director of University Partner Relations
ELS Language Centers
http://www.els.edu
crawleyj
International Advisor
 
Posts: 776
Joined: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 08:15:25 -0500

Postby clairerufo » Fri, 05 May 2006 12:47:50 -0500

Hi Jim,

Thanks very much for your response. I'll organize my thoughts in the same manner that you did.

1) I realize that with the Ivy League name, comes a very high price. But this is a social work program! Faculty members study poverty, homelessness, social inequality, etc. It seems so counter-intuitive to be charing ridiculous amounts for students who want to help people. Furthermore, if I were to engage in direct practice after graduation, there is no way I would make enough to pay this debt off anytime soon. I don't see how the Ivy League name justifies 100K US. Where does all of this money go to? Presumably, it funds the SW phd programs. I understand that phd students are more valuable to the faculty but I really don't think this is fair.

2) I understand that universities admit several students, factoring in the number that will decline. However, these numbers are alarmingly high. A 70% acceptance rate?! Do over 50% of the students in Michigan decline their offer to the MSW program?

3) Thanks for the information about your university. Does the cost include tuition and living expenses or just tuition? I will most likely accept the offer I've received from the University of Toronto because I do not want to put off my schooling for another year.

Thanks very much for your response. Any more thoughts?

Claire
clairerufo
 

reply re MSW at NYU

Postby crawleyj » Mon, 08 May 2006 08:17:36 -0500

All good points.

1) Most individual universities set their tuition rate, the only exceptions would be those states that have a "state university system", like Minnnesota and California, as an example, and those rates are set by the state legislature. Private universities do not receive state funding, so their rates are higher because tuition dollars are their primary operating source.

2) You have to understand how we calculate acceptance rates. First you have a number of applications...some will complete their application files, some will not. Quite a number will cancel their application due to financial reasons or because they realize that they might be denied and they do not want to get the denial letter. For those that COMPLETE their file, a decision is made. We come up with an acceptance rate out of those for whom a decision has been made.

3) Our overall cost of $23,500 includes full-time tuition for two semesters, an estimated cost for room and food, books, health insurance (which you probably already have - this woudl save you $800 annually),a nd I have included about $1,800 in personal expense mone in the total as well.

If you choose to find a place to live in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, you could cross the border to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan for classes and only pay about $7,000/year for tuition and books.
Jim Crawley
Director of University Partner Relations
ELS Language Centers
http://www.els.edu
crawleyj
International Advisor
 
Posts: 776
Joined: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 08:15:25 -0500

Re: Columbia MSW - money making system?

Postby MariViolet » Tue, 19 Mar 2013 05:04:56 -0500

Hi guys,

I am newbie to the discussion board.The information you shared in the post related to the social worker is really very nice and interesting. I was not aware about so many facts you shared here.

msw
MariViolet
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 05:00:59 -0500

Re: Columbia MSW - money making system?

Postby AimeeSA » Wed, 03 Dec 2014 02:05:50 -0500

Hi there. I see this post has been inactive for awhile but hopefully someone will see this and be able to help. I've applied for the MSW at Columbia for Fall 2015. The next step in the application process for me is a Skype interview and I'm wondering if anyone else has had this interview? If so, I would really love some advice/guidance on what the actual interview entailed? What type of questions etc. Thanks! :D
AimeeSA
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 01:54:59 -0500


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