Alan Llobet 0

TC is deceiving students about its scholarship program

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Teachers College at Columbia University is deliberately deceiving their Social-Organizational Psychology masters pupils about their scholarship program. They lure students in with the promise of renewal and dump them after the first year. Though stated that the scholarships are only good for one year, they strongly imply that these scholarships can be renewed based on merit. The problem is that no second-year students have had their scholarships renewed this year. Nor last year. Nor anyone in the last decade. Even those with 4.0 GPAs. If a perfect GPA is not enough to get your scholarship renewed, then what is needed? If you have no chance of getting your scholarship renewed, then why do they say you'll be considered for a renewal? TC's vagueness about these requirements helps ensure that they don't have to answer to anyone when second-year students' scholarships are declined. As a result, students enter the program with a certain budget in mind and later find out that no matter how well they do, the second year will cost exorbitantly more. The scholarship web site reads: “You will need to submit a new scholarship application if you would like to be considered for funding in future award years.” This strongly implies that there will be some sort of consideration for a scholarship for the second year. Yet, year after year, no one qualifies. An investigation into how scholarships are awarded uncovered that the distribution of the Teachers College Institutional Scholarships comes from two sources: The Teachers College itself and the specific program that one enrolls in (Social-Organizational Psychology in this case). Both distribute the funds to a different target market. The Teachers College offers scholarships to prospective first-year students in hopes of enticing them to join the college. They do not allocate scholarships to second-year students. That responsibility shifts to the program. In other words, TC gives out points to first years, and expects the programs, based on their own evaluation of merit and need, to distribute scholarship points to second year students. Though Teachers College promises that the programs consider scholarships for second-year Masters students, the Social-Org. Psych program uses all of their allotment on Ph.D. students. First-year students anticipating to have their scholarship renewed because they performed well are struck with a harsh reality, even though their need level (one of the factors for consideration) has actually worsened. They will typically finish their first year in more debt than ever before, especially living in an expensive city like New York. As a result, first year students enter the program with certain expectations about the scholarship system and their ability to afford an education at Teachers College. Many times they passed on other more cost-effective educational opportunities based on the financial package they thought they were receiving. The extra burden placed on students can amount to over $15,000. Students who relied on the scholarship to afford their education must now reassess if they can return and finish their degree, or drop out half way and waste the money already invested. We demand that the school be more transparent with how scholarship funds are distributed to prospective students. Tell students the scholarship is only for one year and beyond that there is no opportunity for funding. We demand that the school honor it's promise to existing students and seriously consider second-year masters students for scholarships. We demand transparency. A petition has been created. Please join us in our efforts and sign the petition! Only together can we make a big enough noise to be heard. Please contact Alan Llobet (, or reply to this message if you would like to be a part of a meaningful change. Warm Wishes, Alan

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