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Reviews 1004 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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!

6 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.

5 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
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.

3 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?

25 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.

5 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

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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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