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Reviews 1208 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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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!

3 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
1 College Senior

Greek Life: Not So Great – Like most things at Columbia, the Greek life is lame.

1 College Senior

Athletics: Like most things at Columbia, athletics suck. The underground gym is a disgrace.

1 College Senior

Campus Quality: Dirty, Dangerous, Ugly – Columbia has a very tiny campus that boarders on a dangerous neighborhood. Most buildings are covered in soot, and just appear very dirty. The campus has hedges around everything which literally shout "keep off." The interior of buildings vary O.k. to disgusting. In all, the school is i poor shape. You would think an Ivy League University with this kind of endowment would do much better. This is why Columbia is the ugliest, dirtiest and most dangerous of all the Ivy League schools. Shameful.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: It's usually kind of crappy weather, but with a bit of luck global warming will help us out and it will slowly get warmer. This year we barely had a winter.

5 College Sophomore

Party Scene: There's a party on every block... like the frats, the bars, and the frats.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Technology: The computers in the schools are constantly being updated. The only problem is what has already been said: that it is often hard to find a work station during midterm/final week. The key, however, is that people don't utilize all of the computer labs in the school, so all you have to do is find a few that nobody uses. Printing is restricted to 100 sheets but you almost never end up using that much and network reliability on the campus is good most of the time.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The Accessibility of Cafeterias and Libraries – The cafeterias are all within a 5 minute walking distance from on-campus housing so it is really convenient. There is an abundance of beautiful and quiet libraries to study in, but during finals it may be a hassle finding a spot. However, if one goes early one can enjoy the tranquility of studying in one of our majestic libraries.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Suite mates smoke weed every other day, someone is always sleeping in the hallway, and my floor's lounge furniture is always gone. What is life?

19 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Not Great – Columbia's dining halls aren't that great. Ferris always has the same things with the exception of a few things changing daily. I like to think of going to John Jay Dining hall as a gamble because you never know what to expect. I always play it safe and just get pasta at Ferris. On the weekend, it's best to just go out and explore the restaurants in the city.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Just Right – There is a decent amount of good-looking people at Columbia... some very good-looking people. Lots of these types of people are pretty social and easy to meet, starting freshman year, at bars, frats, special event parties, and more casually, in class, around your dorm, at the library, or at the gym. If you want to be social, it is really easy to be social and meet lots of fun people who actually have both great looks and good personalities. There isn't a lot of dating here, mostly hooking up, but maybe dating comes a bit later. I love the social life here in comparison to other fratty, huge schools. I feel like I know so many of the people, have plenty more to meet, and I honestly love how adult it feels to go out to bars and nice parties almost every night of every weekend.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Be Smart and You'll Be Just Fine – For what Columbia has to deal with, being next to Harlem and in an incredibly populous city, Columbia does an excellent job of keeping its students safe. There is very little crime within the gates of the campus, but on the streets around campus, there are different sorts of robberies at night. Security is always, always on patrol and is easy to reach. Just always make sure to be with other people; simple good judgement is all you really need to protect yourself here, and being in New York helps to teach you to be careful about these things. Columbia provides very helpful safety talks at the beginning of each year, as well as personal safety talks in relation to violence and sexual violence, which I have never actually encountered.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Party Scene: Nightlife is great; we're in NYC! Parties are everywhere depending on who you know, and there are bars around here that don't card.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Parking: What A Joke – If you even thought about needing a car, you should be checked by a doctor. This is NYC!

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: A Must. Living on campus is a given, especially considering the school's locale in Manhattan. The dorms are fine, maybe a little small, but liveable. I had a very enjoyable experience here. Freshmen shouldn't be worried about housing because in all reality, they get some of the best halls on campus assigned to them. The lottery system can be a pain, but the LLC or other suite options are the best for upperclassmen. The social atmosphere of the school is amazing thanks to this on-campus housing rule: we're guaranteed all four years of housing here. Financial aid will also help you with housing if you need more help. The halls are the best and are conveniently located.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Transportation: Subway System and Cabs Rock – What's more convenient than the NYC subway system or hailing a cab? I wouldn't even laugh at someone who brings a car here; I would personally check them in to a mental hospital. No parking ever. You have everything you need just a subway swipe away.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Passionate Students and Lots of Clubs – You'll find all sorts of people here. Also, many students turn to clubs in order to fill any gaps in their social life, so Columbia students are generally very passionate about things. Basically, students are very diverse, so it's not like the population is homogenous. As far as fashion goes: this is not an Uggs and sweatpants college. We are laid-back but still, we wear real clothes.
The guy scene is tough from a woman's point of view; easily a large percentage of men are gay, while the straight ones are shared with Barnard women across the street. The girls are not bad either, and they are abundant.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: Heavy Workload, but Manageable – My major, along with some others, is affiliated with Barnard, the women's college across the street. However, this doesn't change anything; there are still men in the program and it's not inconvenient at all. The workload at Columbia is tough mainly due to the Core Curriculum, which I'm sure you've heard about. It's no cakewalk, and you will have a tough workload in order to meet the requirements for graduation.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Not for Everyone, but Perfect for Many! Obviously, this school is in the best city on Earth. If I could do it over again, I would pick to go to Columbia over and over, no lie. It has a great location; nestled between two parks in upper Manhattan. The students here are diverse, and don't fit that stereotype of the "Ivy-Leaguer". The financial aid here is amazing, as well. Columbia also has something for everyone; whatever you want to study, work, or play, they have it. Promise. It's also pretty small compared to the other ivies, and that contributes to the community feel and close-knittedness of the campus. I love it here, and while it's not for everybody, Columbia is a great choice for the independent student who loves the bustle of city life.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The Scene Is There but There's No Pressure – I am a firm believer that it is COMPLETELY possible on this campus to have a fantastic social life without partaking if that's not your thing. Also, before I came here I was worried about there being a lack of a party scene, but that's untrue. These substances are totally available if you seek them out. All the freshman dorms are dry, but that is entirely unenforced. There is no peer pressure here though, because many students are pretty straight-edge, but they still have fun! I'd say a large percentage of students do drink however. Also, there is a campus ambulance that will pick you up free of charge as many times as you need if you are sick from whatever, including alcohol. Lastly, the campus is pretty good about not ratting the students out if they are underage.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: There If That's Your Thing – People here definitely have the choice to either seek out sports and athletics or not. The scene here isn't like the colleges you see in movies; there's not really a push for going to games. That's not to say that we don't have amazing teams and games and fans though; the games are huge. I'm just saying that a lot of people choose to stay away from athletics. Also, I suppose it's worth mentioning that the football field is not on campus; it's a few miles uptown (but there's a free shuttle!) We also have an amazing fitness center though, very top-notch.

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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