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Reviews 891 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Sophomore

Weather: Other Than Rain and the Cold, Campus Is Beautiful – Columbia's campus is what really made me want to go. The hot summers and cold winters of NYC is not the best, but it does do wonders to the landscape. Inside campus, it can be like a wonderland in winter and a scenic park in summer. The only draw back is the rain. Whenever it rains, it floods the streets so that everyone wears rain boots. Umbrellas and rain boots are a must.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Ivy League Professors Tend to Be Very Smart but Also Very Busy – Columbia is an amazing school academically. This comes without saying since it is one of the top 5 schools in the US. I came to Columbia because I thought the professors were great. However, getting famous professors who are at the forefront of their specialty comes with some drawbacks. They often have their own research and priorities that may interfere with how often they are around. Of course, this depends on what major you are. History professors for example, would contribute more to the class when they are doing their own research. Environmental Science professors on the other hand, may be flying out to do research and give talks at various times throughout the year.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: You Have Everything You Need – The gym can get a little packed at typical hours of the afternoon, but there are all of the weights, machines, and activities you need. There are many libraries on campus, and they have many computers, scanners and photo copy machines at your disposal. Columbia has great events like StressBusters, where students give your free massage and cookies so you can feel less stressed from the assignments and upcoming exams.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: All Right – Since people are moving around, you can finds a parking spot. But again, in the city it's difficult to find one for your car. Having a car isn't necessary in the city since there are buses and trains that can take you anywhere you want at a good price.

4 College Sophomore

Local Area: The campus has a nice scenery and outside there are farmer's markets, diverse restaurants, and the school's theater to take advantage of. Riverside Park is a great place to run and experience nature at its finest in New York City. Columbia has a nice balance of the city life and nature if you need it.

1 College Freshman

Parking: It's NYC – Really, you don't need a car. Student parking doesn't really exist in NYC. Public transit or just walking is the way to go!

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Pretty Great! Columbia is hands down one of the most diverse colleges in the country. I've met people who are rich and poor, young and old, of all sorts of religions and sexual orientations, and from nearly every continent (sorry, Antarctica). The only area that isn't quite as diverse as the others, I'd say, is political beliefs, as the school attracts a slightly more liberal crowd. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a solid group of conservatives, independents, etc. on campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Don't Mess up and You Wont Have Problems – you decide how much this impacts you. certain dorms are harder than others and second/third time offenders will suffer the consequences.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: Beautiful, but It's a Small Campus – columbia has a stunning campus. libraries are great. student center - is okay. there is always too little space on campus for student actitivies. and there is a sports center on campus, but the main one is 200 blocks away (ie subway trip away)

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Rain in Ny Sucks – buy boots, umbrella, rain coat. it will rain. it will be freezing. you will have to walk 10-15 minutes in such weather to get to class.

4 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Normal Usage, No Pressure – Like most schools people use drugs. But, if you don't want to, there is plenty of room for socializing and ignoring the scene.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Quality: Good but Not Great – The athletic center has a small track, basketball courts, weight rooms and a large gym for basketball, soccer, volleyball or any sport. However, the facility as a whole is a little too small and you will need to compete for space and workout machines.
The libraries are great and huge but their size is misleading. During exams, just study in your room and skip the 30 minute search for a seat in the library.
The campus is beautiful but Columbia cares too much about its grass. Consequently, you will not be able to play on the lawns often.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Good but Expensive – The dining around Columbia is diverse and delicious but will take a large bite out of your wallet.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Parking: Students can choose to take their chances on the street, but risk being towed or they can pay an obscene amount of money for a parking garage.

5 College Student

Transportation: The Subway Is the Best Way to Get Around – Public transportation is the best way to get around New York City. There is no necessary transportation to get around campus itself.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: History Phd - Really Supportive and Warm Department. I am going to be getting my degree in History. Columbia has one of the best departments for the study of History in the country.

All of Columbia's humanities departments offer various fellowship opportunities for both grad and undergrad students. Search for the various "institutes" at Columbia to find hidden caches of money to fund a trip to Europe, Asia or elsewhere to do research. Or, work under a faculty member to help them publish an article.

3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: As a student at Columbia there is little to none on campus transportation provided by the school That is because - it is simply not necessary. Everything on each campus is in walking distance. However, if you need to go visit a different campus you may take the shuttle bus.

If you want to go anywhere in NYC - there is always the subway and bus system right next to campus. It is easy to use and is the most common form of transportation utilized by students.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Party Scene: Venture Downtown – While it's tempting to rely on campus bars for your fun, venture downtown and enjoy what New York is truly known for.

1 College Junior

Academics: I was initially excited to attend Columbia because of its location and ostensible academic reputation. However, this tiny ugly little school which borders a very bad neighborhood in New York City has proven to be such a disappointment, I'm transferring out my senior year. I've had to many classes which are graded by T.A.'s that are completely unfamiliar with the material, to the point they actually look to students for the answers. Most of my classes exceed 100 students making the instructors completely inaccessible. Nobody gives a damn, especially the administration which is as corrupt as they get. Columbia is all about getting your money, and ripping you off with an inferior product. Worst of all, the campus is down right unsafe. Harassment seems to be the most common crime, but unless it is sexual harassment, the school will do absolutely nothing. As a student harassed by another student, I had to get a lawyer to resolve the issue, because the dean of Columbia College refused to follow his own rules as delineated in F.A.C.I.T.S., Columbia's policy guidebook given to all students. It is completely unacceptable that Columbia's unwillingness to do anything contributed to an atmosphere in which learning was impossible. This shameful excuse of a school is a national disgrace. You can obtain a far superior education at a fraction of the cost at your local community college. I can't wait to leave this dump!

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Growing Popularity – These reviews/percentages really need to be updated.

Greek Life at Columbia has seen an exponential increase in membership during the past few years. I'd say the numbers are now at about 20% for men in fraternities and 20-25% for girls in sororities. This year, with the class of 2015, each sorority got at least 65 new members.

3 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Walk / Subway – Most people do not own a car. People mostly walk or take a subway to campus. These are fast and efficient ways to get to campus and make car ownership unnecessary and parking struggle nonexistent.

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Scholarships: Not Equally Distributed – Financial Aid depends upon the college you attend at Columbia. It is definitely NOT distributed equally amongst the schools. A General Studies student pays far more to attend than a Columbia College student. This is because CC has a rule if you parents make under a certain amount, you get a free ride. Not so at GS. Financial services are also very slow to respond with scholarship, grant, and aid information. I had until Spring of 2012 before my Fall of 2011 awards were posted. Meanwhile, my record showed a hold on my account, preventing me from registering. This happened to hundreds of students. It was pure hell!

4 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Drug Safety: The administration turns their back to illegal drug and alcohol use even when reported. I know; I reported a CC student and nothing happened. In fact I was threatened if I filed a police report. However, if drugs are brought to the attention of the media, the school will act. In December of 2010, some students were busted for selling drugs by an NYPD sting. The story made the headlines in NYC. The school expelled the students, even though what they were doing was nothing compared to other students who were reported to the administration and campus security. Columbia is extremely hypocritical.

3 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Transportation: Public Subway – A very disgusting subway (the 1 line) filled with rats, homeless people, and beggars is adjacent to the main gate. The subway station on the west side of the campus (A,C,D,B) is in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood. People have been mugged walking through the projects getting there at night. Taxis are available, but are very expensive.

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Parking: Terrible parking situation. No Columbia lots, but there are garages which can run $50-75 dollars per day. HORRIBLE. Columbia offers no parking of its own.

1 person 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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