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Reviews 1025 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Great Options, Tasty Food – There are many places to eat in the area, both on and off campus, and the University makes an effort to accommodate those with all types of dietary restrictions and allergies. The food in the dining halls is tasty, and the restaurants in the area are fantastic. So much variety!

5 College Student

Local Area: There is a lot to do like go to Madison Square Garden

3 College Freshman

Administration: Not Too Strict – quite easy to be written up in the dorms but not too sreious. CAVAing is quite common and very annoying and you have to go to counselling afterwards but dont get in trouble the first time. you just have to go and see an advisor

1 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: The financial aid department is truly a nightmare. Scholarship monies that were supposed to be credited to accounts due to adjustments in course credits never materialized. Resultantly, holds were placed on student accounts, disallowing students to register for classes. The issue took over one year to resolve. Moreover, students were forced to pay late registration fees o $150 because of Columbia's error. Students at The School of General Studies DO NOT have the same access to financial aid as those of Columbia College, even though their need is greater. It's time to merge the two schools two stop this systemic financial discrimination directed a segment of the student population. Shameful indeed.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: Rain and Snow. What is unfortunate is that we will never get a snow day because Columbia is So efficient at clearing all of the walkways. Rain is extremely irritating to walk through.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Crime's Been Creeping Around – Last semester we had quite a few attempted robberies of students one street away from my dorm. Luckily, Columbia's public safety team has been working harder to patrol the area constantly.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: Public transportations is very convenient and cheap. Subway and buses are very practical and, if ever in need, taxis are everywhere.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: New York City – The possibilities in NYC are endless. Whether interested in museum visits, Broadway shows, concerts or shopping, there is much to do. Even though NYC can seem overwhelming, there are actually many students and it is an easy city to navigate. The area around Columbia University is very student-friendly. A plus is that with your university ID, there are tons of attractions you can get in free of charge.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: No one really drinks at columbia. If you go to the bars you can see people smashed here and there...but everyone is usually studying on the weekends or needs to study the next day so too many people monitor their intake.

3 College Freshman

Local Area: The atmosphere sucks, but you can easily hop on the subway to head downtown. A lot of people feel boxed in on campus and don't usually take the effort to head downtown. I agree, and would have liked it if columbia felt more homey.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Party Scene: Of course, the nightlife in NYC is amazing... and you can go with a few people downtown and have an awesome time but you really don't get a sense of community at Columbia. The same exact few people go to a bar called Mels on Columbia campus every single thursday friday and saturday night. It gets really, really, REALLY, boring after a while and there is no change in pace. The frats and sororities are very exclusive so when they actually do throw a party, which never happens, it is usually at the only bar people go to so everyone's night is ruined because they can't get into the bar. Everyone is off doing their own thing and the students really are not inviting.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Technology: It Works – There are computer labs in every main academic building and in several of the living buildings. The labs are quite busy so it takes a while to find an available computer but it isn't uncontrollable. Each student is given a quota of 100 pages of black and white printing a week and most printing can be done on both sides of a a page. As for internet access, wifi is in several buildings across campus but is not available in most dorm buildings. An ethernet cord is needed for access to internet in dorm rooms.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Undergraduate Lab Work – This summer, I got an internship at the National Institutes of Health, which was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a researcher. I am planning to work in a biochemistry lab on campus. The laboratory jobs are pretty accessible to undergraduate students, and you can even get credits towards your major by working.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great Department Resources – The academic advisers really help you out-- especially if you start talking to them early on in your college career. I'm also pre-med, which is really great and helpful at Columbia. There are TONS of speaker events on campus, and TONS of opportunities on campus and in the city!

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Only If You Want It – The drug scene is there if you want it. However, it is perfectly easy to avoid it. Alcohol is pretty visible on campus, but definitely a lot less than at most schools. I wouldn't say there's pressure to drink or do drugs. You have better things to do. After all, you have the entire of city of New York to explore!

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Easy to Get in, Lots of Requirements to Complete – No special application process, really. You just have to take the intro to the major course by the end of sophomore year and, once declared, meet with an adviser to plan out your courses. However, to complete the major requires a lot of careful planning in order to meet specific departmental distributions.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Amazingly Diverse Community – When most people think of an Ivy League school like Columbia, they probably imagine a bunch of rich white kids who got in on legacy connections. While that population definitely exists, the majority of the school's population is amazingly diverse. People from literally all over the world come to study at Columbia, as demonstrated by the various unidentifiable languages one hears while walking across campus. This is also reflective of New York City as a whole, which is just as famously diverse.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Stressful Lottery, Varied Options, Cheaper Than Off-Campus – Living on-campus is great in that it's vastly cheaper than any other off-campus living option. The dorms themselves vary from amazing studio apartments overlooking the Hudson to cramped, tiny doubles. Private bathrooms are rare and most of the best housing options go to upperclassmen (though there are many great freshman options and Columbia gives you the rare opportunity to live in a single as a freshman). Most dorms are within a reasonable distance from campus (15 minute walk max) and many display the historic architecture of Columbia and the city. The housing lottery is a bit complex and very stressful if you don't get a stellar number. Kitchen facilities are mediocre in most dorms. Best option: Watt studio singles. Worst option: McBain Double (mostly sophomore dorm).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Transportation: The Subway Is Awesome – Since everything is so close, walking is the best option. The Subway helps to transport students all around New York City. Cabs are also a last minute option.

3 College Student

Guys & Girls: Lots of Bookworms – Since everyone at Columbia is so intelligent and have their own opinions, it does pose some conflicts. However, for the most part everyone is repsectful, kind and personable. There are a lot of bookworms though.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Diversity: At Columbia University, diversity is huge. In one class you could have twenty different races alone. It's great to be able to meet people of such different backgrounds.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greeks Are Here... but No One Really Notices/Cares – Unless they're hunting for a party. But then again, the parties in East Campus are usually better than the frat parties.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: We recruit plenty of people, but clearly our sports aren't what attract people to this school... I hear that our fencing team isn't too shabby though, along with our basketball teams.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Morningside Heights – We've got a lot of good options right in Mo-Hi. For example, Artopolis has amazing crepes for under ten dollars, which if you split with a friend (they are enormous), is a pretty good deal. Crumbs recently opened if you need a cupcake fix, there's a Pinkberry, Chipotle, and 5 Guys if you crave fast-food and fro-yo. Head to Tom's for a delicious Broadway Shake and to Koronet's for a big slice of cheap pizza. There are numerous ethnic choices as well, try Massawa for a unique Ethiopian/Eritrean dining experience, as well as the Mill for tasty Korean options. Then again, there is always Westside Market with delicious and tasty salads and sandwiches. Prices are great if you know what to get and where to go.

2 College Junior

Greek Life: Summary of the Frats – Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) -- Quite diverse, but chill in general. they know how to have a good time.

Phi Iota Alpha -- Mostly Hispanic. Nice guys.

Sigma Nu -- swimmers, and increasingly, fencers. Pretty cool guys in general.

Sigma Chi -- mostly Jewish. Join if you are Jewish. You will fit in and make cool friends. Some non-Jewish members are in the frat, though.

Lambda Phi Epsilon -- mostly a gay frat. Many crossovers from the LGBTQ community. Very tight-knit. Many Asians who are rather effeminate. They know each other well in all aspects. Join if you are gay and Asian.

Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) -- pretty cool guys. Had some problems with daterape/roofiesing people a couple years ago. Girls, be careful at their parties.

6 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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