Client Case Study: International Reapplicant Accepted to Columbia SIPA with a Low GPA

Client: Juan

We worked with our client Juan to help him overcome a low GPA, low test score, and being a reapplicant to successfully apply to Columbia SIPA. He’ll be attending Columbia SIPA with a large scholarship from the Panamanian government that covers nearly his entire tuition.

Service: Application Accelerator®

Join Date: June 2018 | End Date: May 1, 2019


  • Latin-American
  • First-Generation
  • Reapplicant

Application Stats

College: Earlham College

Major: Economics

GPA: 2.77

GMAT Score: 530

Work Experience: Economist at Panama’s Ministry of Economy and Finance


  • Columbia SIPA MPA


  • Total scholarship aid: received a large scholarship from the Panamanian government that covered most of tuition


Columbia SIPA MPA

Notable Quotes

“I was really struck by the profiles of the consultants who work with you …. It got me motivated to look into the entire process with your team.”

“I absolutely advise anyone who wants to work with The Art of Applying to reach out as early in your application process because you need time to improve any test you have, to take supplemental courses, to reach out to recommenders …and apply for scholarships. The Art of Applying provides an amazing platform for you to apply to assistantships and scholarships but you need a lot of time to do that.”

The application is more than just a number because if you get a perfect score, my understanding is that if the other elements of your applications are not balanced, your chances of being admitted are very dim; they are minimal. I would suggest you have to work on every single component of your application.”

The Art of Applying has a really good calendar that you follow through the entire process and I think it really helped me plan everything I needed to do.”

“One of the things I saw on the website…was the diversity of the people working with you. That included people of color, that included minorities like I am, from Latin-America, that included a lot of women, and that also included first generation US consultants going to grad school themselves. That felt really close to home because none of my parents speak English first of all, and second of all, no one in my immediate family has ever studied in the US.”

“Even though I went to an undergrad institution in Indiana, navigating the grad school application is a whole different process…. I thought, How different can it be to apply to a grad school than an undergrad school?, and I was really wrong. So I’m glad I found you guys!”

“I expected my Breakthrough Call  to be more about The Art of Applying and about what you offered but instead it was about finding my own path.

I believe The Art of Applying does an incredible job helping us tell our stories about our professional life and our personal life and weave them together in a way that makes a coherent application package”

Test preparation resources really helped me prepare for the GRE test-taking.”

“I had a family loss when I was in the middle of my application process, and I received a lot of positive support from The Art of Applying, I actually received flowers at my house and that felt really personal… I felt like this was not just a client-business relationship but people who actually cared about my entire application process.”

“I would say to my fellow Latin Americans that working with The Art of Applying, you will feel like you’re working with someone that understands your background. If you have never had a family member study in the US…and none of your family speaks English, The Art of Applying provided a platform for you to navigate those vacancies in your application process, and at the same time they provide a platform to get support.”

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