Location
New York, NY
Undergrads
7,236
Tuition
$47,246
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1009 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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Campus Strictness: They leave you alone unless you're obvious.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They give you a warning if you get into huge trouble. Resident assistants (RAs) are usually pretty cool. You just need to be discreet about breaking the rules.

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Campus Strictness: There's this group called CAVA in case of emergencies. They came to your room and rush you to the hospital if there is any kind of dangerous drug or alcohol situation. Columbia is a pretty wet campus, I'd say. But, as long as you drink discreetly, there should be no problems.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: I haven't had a problem. Many smoke pot on campus right in the open.

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Campus Strictness: Mostly RAs and building people deal with stuff like drugs and drinking. When there is a huge problem, campus police will get called. No one is too strict; you get away with a lot.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: The first week I was on campus, I literally sat out on the quad and smoked weed with friends. I also threw a keg party in my suite, although kegs aren't allowed in the dorms. I wouldn't be worried at all, especially once you get your fake ID, which you should get as soon as you get into the city.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: I don't think that the police handle much of the things related to drugs and drinking. Your RAs look after you, but I'm not into that stuff. If those things bother you, you can report it to your RA or someone higher and try to get the problem resolved.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: No one cares too much about drinking or anything. You can generally smoke pot in peace. If you want to do ecstasy, then you'll probably be at a club, and no one will know. If you want to do coke, like many rich kids, then you are an idiot!

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Niche User

Athletics: Unfortunately sports of any kind do not play a major role in undergraduate life unless you are a participant.

Niche User

Athletics: It's embarrassing, but they try so hard.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Athletics: Many people are surprised to learn that Columbia even has football, basketball, baseball, and soccer teams. They are there for those who enjoy watching and competing in collegiate sports, but not many people attend these events. This is due in part to the fact that the fields and stadiums are nowhere near campus, and the activities are not widely publicized.

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Niche User

Athletics: There are many athletic opportunities at Columbia, but they are usually not as popular as they are at other schools.

Niche User

Athletics: We have sports at Columbia?

Niche User

Athletics: Nobody cares about sports, and I sometimes wish people did because then the teams might do a little better. Columbia varsity sports are usually a joke. IM sports are little better; rugby is popular.

Niche User

Transportation: The subway is your friend, and you will quickly learn how to maneuver and transfer like a pro. Cabs are also abundant and inexpensive if you are going with other people. There is also the trusty old bus.

Niche User

Transportation: The subway and bus lines take some getting used to, especially for people who love the independence associated with having access to a car, but they are simple to use. Public transportation in New York is cheap, and it takes you within a block or two of where you want to go at any time. The only problem is that Murphy's Law often comes into play when waiting for a subway. When you are running late, so is the train. When you have all the time in the world, the train is there to greet you. This makes planing meeting times a bit difficult. You need to give yourself a 15-minute time cushion to get anywhere because you never know if the trains will be on time. Cabs are a good alternative for those who hate to wait for the subway. If you have a few people with you, splitting a cab ride downtown is not a great expense.

Niche User

Transportation: The bus or a subway will take you wherever you need to go. The greatest thing about it is that they run all night long, too.

Niche User

Transportation: The subways can take you anywhere you want to go in the whole city, and the ratio of taxis to people is incredible. I never have a problem getting a cab anywhere!

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Transportation: Public transportation in New York is the best in the country. I love it. It's safe, everyone uses it, and it's really efficient. The city does a great job with this.

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Transportation: The subway is great; it is so fast, and you can get anywhere. However, I hate the ride up on the 9 train which is always too crowded when coming uptown, especially in the morning. I feel like a sardine who is put in a can that is already overflowing. The bus is ridiculously slow; it has a rate about 1/2 hour for every three blocks. I remember, once, I was on the bus, and these men were conversing in Spanish and saying `that's where we are? We have not really moved at all in about an hour?' I thought to myself that I could have walked faster than the bus and already have gotten home and had my dinner.

Niche User

Transportation: The subway system is very convenient and simple to use. It runs for 24 hours a day. Within a few days, you will be a master. Cabs are also all around at all times. New York City takes the prize in this category, my friend!

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: Living in Manhattan is expensive! I would recommend living on campus or getting an apartment in another borough, like Brooklyn or Queens. But if you aren't familiar with the city, live on campus.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: Not only is it very expensive to live in Manhattan, but in order to find affordable housing off campus, you're going to have to resign yourself to some distant corner of the city. Off-campus housing is rarely worth it because a long commute in the city everyday on your way to class will kill you.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: I'm from Manhattan-20 blocks away from campus-and I still chose to live on campus. Rent in New York City is super-expensive, so if you're hoping to move off campus in an affordable place, it's going to be way uptown.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: You can definitely sublet an apartment off campus. However, mostly everyone lives on campus, as you're guaranteed housing for four years. A couple of my friends are renting apartments over the summer at decent prices.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Hometown
Austin, TX
Major
English and American Studies
Grad Year
2014
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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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