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Reviews 1056 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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
2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Not Really Necessary – I know a couple of people who live off campus but that's literally it...a couple of people out of the 6500+ undergrad that go to Columbia. It's way too much of a hassle to try and find an affordable apartment in NYC -- you might as well just go into housing with everyone else because chances are your friends will be living in your dorm too.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Technology: Mostly Crowded, Some Printers Are Less Reliable Than Others – A ton of people use the computers and printers on campus and at rush hour times there is a huge line for printers wherever you are.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Mostly Safe – There are always reports of stuents' iPhones being stolen but generally if you are careful, you are not in danger. I've walked home on the street at 4am and got home safely.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Computer Science – There are lot of experts in the field that teach here and most professors are very enthusiastic and willing to guide undergraduates. It's definitely a difficult program, though, and it's not for the faint of heart.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Athletics: Average and Lack of Enthusiasm – First of all, our football team is particularly awful. That is really the only important thing. The stadium is located on 218th street, so 100 blocks uptown, and is accessible via a bus or the subway. It's a huge ordeal to get there and makes pregaming all that much more trouble. The stadium is pretty nice, but our team is just a disaster.
It could be more fun if more students were into it, but in general, Columbia students are very apathetic about all sports (college and professional) so they don't really care much about the teams.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: basically unless you're recruited you probably aren't very into "sports."

atheletes are a clique unto themselves and really obnoxious, but if you are one i guess it's all fun and games

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Good for New York – There isn't much crime at Columbia, especially in the context of the rest of New York. There have been many reports of larceny on one particular block lately, but Public Safety officers have been discreetly stationed all day until 1 am, and security cameras have been installed as well. I feel pretty safe on campus; at the same time, it is up to students to look out for themselves as well.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Super Hip – Very interesting people personality-wise, lots of moneyed types, people all dress like New Yorkers

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Strong, Great Instructors – I'm currently majoring in Ethnic Studies with a Concentration in Economics. Economics in particular is a really strong department here, and both the Economics and Ethnic Studies departments has some of the best professors I have ever had at my time here.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Pretty Mediocre – People don't generally come to Columbia to watch or play sports. Fan support is poor at best, but occasionally there's a surge in school pride.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Cars Are Completely Unnecessary – The subway is right at 116th and broadway. Although Columbia doesn't subsidize the cost, it doesn't really matter as most kids don't use it that often. Buses connect you to other parts of the city.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Area: Lots to Do – The great thing about studying and living in New York is your access to everything. There are lots of cultural attractions, great restaurants, and places to shop. If one neighborhood doesn't interest you, another definitely will.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: In my experience, Columbia gives out amazing financial aid. This is largely due to the school's policy to remove student loans from aid packages, making Columbia's aid markedly different from NYU (and many other larger institutions). My aid package was fair and lined up with my FAFSA EFC. The distinction between "Work-Study" and "Casual Employment" is a little fuzzy, and it is harder to get an on-campus job if you have the latter as part of your package.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Technology: Not Ideal, but Does the Job – Wireless access is pretty good on campus. My main complaint would be the number of computers in dorms, but I guess there are enough computer labs on campus overall.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: One of the Top Universities – Columbia is known for its world-class academics and attracts world-renowned scholars in many fields. Additionally, Columbia has a distinct (though polarizing) Core Curriculum which all students must complete before graduation. This extensive Core, plus generally intense academic standards leads to a very heavy workload. Students take an average of 5 classes per semester (most universities recommend 4) and spend lots of time in libraries.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Morningside Heights Is a "Culinary Wasteland" – While the city as a whole has tons of great dining options, Morningside Heights has few. There are a few options, ranging from dingy diner to upscale trendy restaurants. However, most options are too expensive for a college student's budget. That said, there are a few hidden gems. Saji's is a hole-in-the-wall Japanese place with great prices and consistently delicious food. Milano Market also has delicious (though pricy) sandwiches.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: It's Okay – Classes never get cancelled even if all other schools around get days off. Weather is just surprising here with either really freezing winters or just warm and mild winters. You never know what to expect.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great Experience – I study Economics and German Literature and am very excited about my choice. While the German Literature major gives me the opportunity of analyzing different texts and see different views on life, the Economics major helps me be up to date with what is going on in the world. Working with great professors, who are known world wide for their work gives me an interesting perspective over the current situation, definitely constituting an advantage in the internship search.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Must Love Stress – Being a student at Columbia University means that you will be stressed. From the never ending amount of work to the always talked about need to find/have jobs and internships, Columbia students never take a break. However, that does not mean that we do not know how to have fun. The saying Work Hard Play Hard definitely applies. I mean, we do live in NYC. Columbia students are some of the most interesting, unique, and intelligent individuals you will ever meet.

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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