Location
New York, NY
Undergrads
7,236
Tuition
$47,246
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 999 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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Niche User

Diversity: There are many diverse things going on from theatrical, to political, to religious, to musical events-anything. It's a great place.

Niche User

Diversity: I have met a lot of really amazing individuals who are so smart, unique, musical, athletic or funny-all the while being really normal, which is a huge plus! I was somewhat worried about the Ivy stereotype of super dweebs and ridiculously rich kids. Granted, there are a few of those, but everyone at Columbia is just really grounded and normal and fun! The City, well, what can be said? It's amazing! It is still, by far, the best place on earth, and sometimes, my friends and I literally stop and say, `My god, we live here!' There's just so much to see and do and be; it never ends!

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Diversity: The last time I checked, Columbia was something like third nationally with respect to foreign students. There are a lot of Jews like myself, and there also a lot of Asians. Columbia is very diverse, and it is all for the best!

Niche User

Diversity: It's very diverse, but we could use more diversity of character instead of ethnicity.

Niche User

Diversity: I think that Columbia is the most diverse school in the Ivy League, and it's apparent from the very first second you step on campus. The only thing about Columbia is that sometimes, people tend to get into cliques, but if you're open to making all sorts of friends, then it won't be a problem.

Niche User

Diversity: I feel like I have a very diverse group of friends, however, at the same time, I feel that many of the minority groups can be very cliquish. Though there are large numbers of minorities on campus, there is not always that much interaction between the different groups.

Niche User

Nightlife: Parties in the Columbia-owned apartments are different. Since there are no security guards in most of these buildings, the celebrations can get pretty wild.

Niche User

Nightlife: Most on-campus parties (frats, service groups) suck, you can't help but feel lame at them. The bar scene is a typical college bar scene, I guess, and where you fit in depends on your level of self respect and what you want to get out of drinking.

Niche User

Nightlife: Feeling like a dive? Go to the West End or the Heights. Want the downtown feel uptown? There is a bar or club on every block in the Village, and the bonus is you get to interact with NYU hotties. Go to Soho if you need a celebrity fix.

Niche User

Nightlife: There's something for everyone in New York. Columbia is not known for its party scene which is quite frankly pretty low-key. Venturing out into the city always promises a new adventure. There are great dives and bumping clubs in every neighborhood from Williamsburg and Brooklyn, to the Lower East Side and Chelsea. Winsomeness will get you a long way.

Niche User

Nightlife: The school-sponsored parties including barbecues and picnics are almost always fun, provided that they do not run out of food. Each college of Columbia has special events geared to their students such as casino nights, career dinners, and cocktail parties. Many students attend the school-run events and for the most part, they enjoy themselves.

Niche User

Nightlife: I did not go to many parties or bars. I am paying outrageous tutition here, so how can I waste my time like that?

Niche User

Nightlife: Some parties suck because there are a few kegs of cheap beer, but there is not even a bag of chips to share, so you have lots of hungry drunken students. Not a good combination. A word to the wise-have a snack before you go to a party unless you know that the host supplies grub for their guests.

Niche User

Greek Life: Don't come to Columbia expecting to go to big-time frat parties every night or anything like that. Most of the social life at Columbia is found outside of campus in the city.

Niche User

Greek Life: Frats and sororities are around campus, but they definitely don't dominate the social scene. The thing about the social life around campus is that, because we're in the biggest city in the world, people spend a lot of time exploring New York and less time around campus.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life at Columbia is pretty lame.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: The frats and sororities are jokes, as are their members. Who the hell pays to associate with a group of frat

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life is present but small at Columbia.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Fortunately, Greek life does not dominate the social scene. When we first got there, everyone thought it was pretty lame. I have no idea what the sororities are, except for Theta-supposedly, that's the one for all the hottest (and easiest) chicks on campus. But anyway, I think Greek life is lame. There are tons of frat parties and events, but it's definitely not the focus of social life. Come to think of it, I guess they do have some pretty cool events, like AmJam-it's just utter and total debauchery.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Believe it or not, I actually rushed a sorority first semester. Unfortunately, I didn't decide to go through with the pledging process. Greek life is not big at all on campus. There's really no presence.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: It's there if you want it, but it definitely does not overwhelm the social scene.

Niche User

Greek Life: It doesn't really dominate unless you want to. However, I think that there were record amounts of girls who rushed for sororities recently.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: There is a Greek row down one of the side streets with all the frat and sorority houses. I don't see how it could be that big, though; it is New York City.

Niche User

Greek Life: I am not too sure about Greek life, but if it's your bag, then go for it. I will probably rush second semester, once I get a feel for life on campus. But if I find that sorority life isn't for me, then I will continue to live in the dorms.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life definitely does not dominate, but it is around. Once in awhile, they have some great events. We are actually known for only having such a small percentage of our students in frats and sororities, but they are totally there and available for your enjoyment: pledging, free alcohol, and somewhat-cool dudes.

1 person found this useful Report
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Hometown
Austin, TX
Major
English and American Studies
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

Columbia has a unique culture and school spirit. The intense workload and level of academic rigor bring students together in a culture of cozy complaint. Columbians constantly whine about their amount of work, but they also find a way to come together and persevere, and friendships are formed in this shared struggle.

Columbia is not for the faint of heart or those who need their hand to be held every step of the way through their college career. If you need help and seek it out, you will find it. But no one is going to sit down and explain everything to you, and Columbia can be pretty intimidating for that reason. However, this means that students are given the opportunity from the get-go to be independent and to decide for themselves what their college experience will mean for them. Columbia provides amazing resources and can help you achieve just about anything, or will at the very least encourage you to pursue whatever it is you want. The academics are amazing, and the Core Curriculum gives students a shared knowledge of Western thought, which is hugely influential in the way students will approach academics, careers, and life in general. The Columbia experience is an incredible one, and any student lucky enough to get in should definitely take advantage of such a wonderful, rare opportunity!

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