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Reviews 1050 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Weather: It's usually warm in August and September and the last couple weeks of school in May, however it gets pretty chilly during fall and terribly cold during the winter months, so it's generally cold throughout the two semesters. But you couldn't expect it to be any different because it's the usual New York weather.

1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: At least in the law school, and this isn't fairly uncommon, scholarships are hard to come by. You either get them when you are admitted or you don't get them at all. There are also very few of them to begin with.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: In terms of simply walking on campus, you will run into more students of Asian or Caucasian ethnicity/race than students of other nationalities/races. However, if we're looking at the numbers, Columbia accepts a very considerable amount of students from various backgrounds. For my entering first-year class (Class of 2016), 14% are African-American, 15% are Latino, and 29% are Asian/Asian-American. Also, there is a strong international presence with 19% of my class being students from other countries. You could say the undergraduate student body is a majority-minority; only 34% of students from my class are Caucasian (obtained from

As for economic background, the distribution of students from upper, middle, and lower classes is a little lopsided (there are more students from upper and middle classes). Nonetheless, half of the student body (in Columbia College and School for Engineering and Applied Sciences) are on financial aid.

In terms of political beliefs or sexual orientation, Columbians are known for their liberal side on any debate and there is a noticeable community of homosexuals who blend in and form a natural part of the Columbia community (I say that because I think it's important to know there isn't a stigma attached to that status and that it's perceived as a normal and accepted lifestyle in this community). Moreover, there is a nice mix of students interested in various majors and concentrations.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: If you're in extreme need, Columbia will cover almost all of your financial needs. But if you're like me, you're a kid from a middle class family whose parents' assets aren't all liquid but will nonetheless be taken into consideration by Financial Aid and may count against you. Surprisingly, however, Columbia offered me a FinAid package that covers about half of the total cost of attendance.

Although I still have to take out student loans and pursue some outside scholarships, I am generally happy with my FinAid situation and just having the opportunity to attend this school in the first place.

One last piece of advice would be to stay on top of your Financial Aid application and in good communication with your Financial Aid Officer. You will likely have to email back and forth and even send additional information before your package is finalized and ready for you to see, so be prepared and check your email often.

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Athletics: Words can't describe the amount of vitriol students have for Columbia athletics. Personally, I find it tasteless; as much as Columbia students like to express their tolerance for all walks of life, they're unrelentingly critical of those who find a passion in sports.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Administration: Columbia security is oftentimes cited as more helpful and prompt at answering distress calls than the NYPD. From what I've heard and experienced, Columbia is quite fair when it comes to academic and social security. Caught cheating? You're out. But campus security is definitely functional without being overbearing.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: What makes Columbia unique is that, regardless of the fact that you're in the middle of hustle-bustle NYC, Columbia has managed to secure a defined campus that allows people to either escape or enter sprawling city-life easily. This way, students are able to have a consolidated "college space" without sacrificing the NYC vibe, culture, and opportunity.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The facilities in Columbia span quite a range. Columbia is one of the oldest universities in the country, and we're known for some of the moe aesthetically pleasing campuses. On the flip side...many of the buildings are old, and in the heart of Morningside Heights, space is worth it's weight in gold. Several new buildings have been coming up recently along with dorms being internally renovated, so there is always room for improvement.

4 College Senior

Weather: The weather is fine. It is genuine NYC weather; cold in the winter, hot in the summer.

4 College Senior

Technology: There is always an available computer. But, for the most part, I stick to my laptop.

4 College Senior

Campus Food: Love the quality of the food. It is way better than at my old college.

5 College Junior

Campus Quality: The facilities are absolutely glorious. Such an amazing campus.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Coming from Queens College, it is hard to get more diverse. Meeting the variety of international students, though, gives you an entirely new view of the world

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: New York City opens up a world of opportunity. You just need to know where to look.

5 College Student

Scholarships: The financial aid office is wonderful. They do everything they can to help you get the aid that you need to enroll in school

5 College Senior

Local Area: It's New York - greatest city on earth. What's not to like?

3 College Freshman

Weather: Rains too often and gets cold too quickly. Expect reliable warm weather to end in October and to never come back. You may get three days in a row of good weather in Spring, but it doesn't last longer than that.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: The people are from all over so you can always find some interesting perspectives on things. However, Columbia is a very liberal university, so it's fairly homogeneous when it comes to political values.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: There is a good variety of food and because you have three different cafeterias to choose from (Hewitt, John Jay, and Ferris) along with several caf├ęs and a late-night eatery (JJ's), so when you get bored with one cafeteria, you can always move on.

4 College Junior

Administration: One has to follow the rules of the university and the housing office, or else one can risk receiving sanctions, getting on probation, or being thrown out of housing. But most students should have no problem with following the rules. Partying is allowed with reasonable limits. Illicit drug use and underage drinking are not allowed.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Drug Safety: Many students are clean and sober throughout their campus stay. While drinking is common, there are also many students who do not drink at all, or who do not drink much or often, and one isn't pressured to drink. Alcohol is often accessible to the underage, but many underage students will have the sense not to drink regardless.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Athletics: Columbia tends to be stronger in non-traditional sports, and has some very talented athletes in the various sports programs. There is a healthy attendance at traditional sporting events, such as football and basketball, and a healthy degree of team spirit, but students in general tend to be more focused on school, career, and other extracurricular activities than sports.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Transportation: The public transportation system in New York City is one of the most efficient in the U.S. You can get to any place in the city within 30 minutes, with options for local and express routes to your destination. Columbia, in particular, has public safety cars that provide transportation for students during certain night hours.

4 College Junior

Majors: Columbia has a wide range of majors and programs and the university has an extensive and prestigious network of colleagues, professionals, alumni, faculty/staff, and students. Anything you want to do, you can do at Columbia. The career center is excellent in helping you find and prepare for rewarding work opportunities.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Parking: New York City is definitely not a place that welcomes car owners. There is absolutely no need to have a car in the city. If you do decide to have a car, expect to pay a second rent just to park and maintain the car.

2 people found this useful Report

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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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