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Reviews 1025 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There Could Be Better in NYC – Factoring in that Columbia is in the city, relative to the rest of Manhattan, the food in Morningside is at best mediocre. Absolut Bagels is good as well as Artopolis, Mill Korean, and the Chipotle nearby, but in general, good food is all found downtown near NYU.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: You'd Actually Pick Dartmouth Over This? Other schools just seem so boring now that I've been here for 6 months, and this coming from someone who was nearly content to go to a tiny New England liberal arts school. That said, just come confident and ready to do things you might not expect to do, and you'll have an amazing time!

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Administration: No Issues – No issues. RAs keep people from doing stupid things. The War on Fun seems pretty much done with.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Safest Urban Campus – Safest urban campus I believe, or at least that's what we're told. There have been 2 or 3 minor incidents this year, and the university responded by stepping up security in areas that were lightly covered. Never felt unsafe.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshmen Have It Nice – Freshmen get the best deal when it comes to student housing. They are guaranteed to live right on campus and have the option of trying to get a single. Most freshmen dorms are pretty social, if not on the floor itself then between floors and buildings. Sophomore housing is known to be the worst, rats live in a lot of the sophomore dorms which can be far from campus and there often isn't AC. Upperclassmen also have really great options and, while they don't live directly on campus, can end up in spacious two-person rooms with private bathrooms and kitchens. However, being guaranteed housing all four years, no matter what you get stuck with, is pretty nice.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Drug Safety: No Pressure – Plenty of my friends don't drink or do drugs, and they never feel pressured to. If you want something you can find it, but if you want to stay clear that's perfectly viable too.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Party Scene: Great Times Await – You have the whole of New York City at your fingertips. If you're willing to search, you'll be able to find a club that's 18+. Parties on-campus are great, too (and the big bonus is that there is no age restriction). Nonetheless, you'll always have something to do on Friday and Saturday evenings.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: Need to Park on Streets – Obviously you have to park on New York streets so it's usually busy and crowded, but at least getting dropped off during orientation you can drive on College Walk

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: Diverse and Tolerant – It could always stand to be more diverse and get a broader range of students, but compared to most schools (and certainly compared to where I'm from) it has a great diversity of ethnicity/race (especially internationally), a decent one economically, a decent one politically (lots of liberal people but as a left-wing person I still feel reluctant to say anything forceful about politics), and outstanding sexual orientation-wise. Almost everyone I've encountered is at the very least tolerant and somewhat open-minded, as much as you need to have a pretty comfortable community.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Technology: Fine If You're Not in a Hurry – Computer labs in most dorms and buildings; very accessible. Printers often broken down, computers load incredibly slowly, so if you're sitting down to work it's fine but if you're in a rush then you need to use printatcu.com or such

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: There is no doubt that the four years I spend here will be well worth it, in terms of the academic challenges, my personal and social growth, my NYC experiences, and the amazing people I meet here. As an engineer, my major requirements and classes are generally demanding, and the same is true of my peers in the college. However, if you enjoy a challenge and are passionate about what you study, the hard work is worth it. Professors are top-notch. As a freshman undergrad, I have the opportunity to take physics under the instruction of a CERN particle physicist, work in a research lab with nationally recognized professors, and attend events featuring world leaders. The Columbia experience is one that I will truly remember for the years to come.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: There are a few notably well-dressed individuals on campus who fit the typical "fashionable New Yorker" look. For the most part, everyone has their own style. In terms of personalities, the average Columbian is what I'd like to call a "character". You can find pretty much any type from Cthulhu worshipping sci-fi nerds to passionate Socialists to drag queen divas. Nearly everyone I've met here is uniquely interesting if you take the time to get to know them. When it comes to relationships, hook-ups occasionally happen and some friends are able to maintain long distance relationships, so it's really up to each person.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: Columbia University is a rigorous institution with numerous opportunities for intellectual, social, personal and professional growth. The combination of an Ivy League education and its location in the greatest metropolis on the east coast make for a truly fantastic college experience. Everything from your interaction with Columbia peers to events hosting world-renowned leaders will make your four years here very special.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Administration: E for Ease – Columbia recognizes that their students are growing adults, and allow students to be independent and free with their choices. The school is very fair in making sure each student is safe from situations they might not be able to handle themselves.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Beautifully Diverse – In New York you can see it all and be it all! There is no order of looks, fashion, or attitude, just a collage of unique individuals.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Satisfaction When Hungry – The places around campus are reasonable, if you're hungry and need to eat you will be satisfied!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Faculty is Great – So far, my experience has been very positive. The professors are the best part of the school, though some can be extremely arrogant. The negative side to the education is the cost. Tuition is far too expensive for my family.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Actually, the head of the financial aid department had a two hour phone session with me to figure out exactly the loan amount I needed.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: All Four Seasons – Personally, I love seasons, so the Northern climate with relatively hot summers and cold winters is fine for me. Campus is easy to navigate in general, and a little rain or snow doesn't change that. On the main campus, most of the walkways are brick, so if the weather isn't good, leave the heels at home, but otherwise, it's fine. The only real difficulty would be for anyone with a physical disability, because the wheelchair ramps and pathways aren't the best for navigation. I think Columbia should do a better job making campus more accessible to those with physical limitations, but it honestly isn't the worst, as there are ramps and elevators and campus is salted after snow in a very timely fashion.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: It's definitely there, and Columbia has several online resources to help you find it, but affording it is another story. Unless you're willing to make the trek from Washington Heights, the cheapest apartment you'll find is over $1500 a month, including sublets in Harlem. This isn't really Columbia's fault, just the fact that New York real estate is exorbitantly priced. The Upper West Side isn't even an option for most college students, and Harlem is quickly undergoing gentrification, making affordable housing a problem. However, since housing is guaranteed all 4 years, it's not really that bad for most students. On the subject of parking - what a joke. Nobody in college in New York City has a car.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Couldn't See Myself Anywhere Else! I love Columbia. Don't get me wrong, its no cake walk and if you had asked me freshman year, I would've probably told you I was contemplating transferring, but boy does this school grow on you. While it is often times stressful nights staying up that unites the student body, there is something so rewarding about surmounting all of the challenges that Columbia throws at you academically and that New York adds on socially. The city can be overwhelming, but in the best way possible. There are too many shows to see, too many stores full of beautiful clothing, too many good restaurants where you'll find the best food in the world, and I find myself wondering how I got so lucky to be somewhere so rich with opportunities and resources. Work is rough, but play can make up for it if you step out of your bubble and comfort zone and into New York City.

3 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Living off campus in New York City is obviously very expensive, so most student prefer to stay on campus for the duration of their time at Columbia.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Administration: RA Madness – My RA last year was crazy. She had a zero tolerance policy. Our floor was always quiet and clean. This year, my RA is the sweetest person ever, but our floor is a mess. The guys across the hall from us are always smoking, drinking, and playing loud music (at all hours in the day). I can't figure out the Housing screening process for RAs.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Jock for Life! Columbia Athletics is truly a family on campus. If you get the chance to be a part of this program, you will not regret it. The training staff is helpful and pretty readily available. The athletics programs are all rapidly growing along with the fan support.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: "The But" – Butler Library is the quintessential Columbia icon. Also crowded during stressful academic periods, "The But" is open 24 hours and has a cafe for your caffeine needs. Also, Butler is host to Orgo Night which is always particularly fun.

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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