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Reviews 1025 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Adequate university grants are extremely difficult for students to receive if they come from a middle-class family or have any kind of special circumstances. Financial aid advisors are unavailable and impossible to contact long-distance (a serious problem for parents and students who are away from campus - for example, during summer). Students are generally very unsatisfied with the financial aid office.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Subway Is Best Option – New York's MTA offers cheap public transportation and Columbia has their own subway stop for the local 1 Train located near the center of campus (116th/Broadway). For a fare of $2.25, a student can travel anywhere in Manhattan on the subway. MTA buses run frequently and usually on-time as well, for the same fare. Taxis are relatively expensive but very convenient and easy to catch.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Dodge Athletic Complex – Columbia's main gymnasium is quite nice, offering many classes, personal trainers, and well-functioning, available equipment for all work-out needs.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Good Options – Columbia has a nice variety of food offerings, but everything does get old after a while. I do think, however, that a lot of students here complain more than necessary... everything's pretty good. Can't say much about the meat, but they have a lot of vegetarian/vegan options.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: I received a good amount of financial aid once I filled out the necessary paperwork. The financial aid advisors are easy to get in contact with and the office usually has walk in hours all throughout the year. And the waiting period is not long at all.

4 College Junior

Local Area: Local Atmoshpere – The local atmosphere of New York City is great. There is always something going on and something to do no matter what kind of activity one is looking for. The area Columbia is located is safe, as a girl living off campus I have never felt endangered in any way.

4 College Junior

Academics: The academics here are very good. As a transfer student I can see the difference in quality of education at Columbia compared to my old school. All the professors want to teach here and are good at it. The workload is a little above average although there are many classes to chose from so it is not hard to find an interesting class where one might even enjoy doing the work

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Although there is greek life at Columbia it is not the center of Columbia's social life. There are parties but mostly freshman and sophmores go to them

1 person found this useful Report
1 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: Snobs, Snobs, Snobs – Columbia is a very isolating experience. The only friends I made transfered out. Mostly rich entitled snobs who look on down on everyone, especially GS students. Truly sickening.

8 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Party Scene: Go to NYU – If you want a more legit party, head downtown to the NYU paty scene or go to Brooklyn. Columbia has its raucous parties filled with Four Loko and sometimes even with hired bartenders in dorm rooms, but parties tend to be less crazy than expected at a university. Frat parties are fun freshman year, but the allure dies after that. Parties at Columbia are kind of how you'd expected Ivy League parties to be: conversation too often leans toward the intellectual or political, music is eh, and alcohol is the only thing keeping it going.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Diversity: Ridiculously Diverse – Columbia University is reputed to be the most diverse school in the Ivy League, and one of the most diverse in the country. Students come from a huge array of countries and usually every state is represented. Financial aid makes it possible for students from all financial backgrounds to attend, so diversity is only increased. I guess there is certainly an abundance of Asians that seems to dominate the scene at times, but be sure that the make-up of Columbia really does contain people from every walk of life, every race, every religion, and somehow we all manage to live in relative harmony.

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Not Worth It – With guaranteed housing at Columbia for all four years in a nice, relatively safe neighborhood of NYC, there is no reason to move off campus and risk paying way more to live in a way worse place. On-campus housing is readily available, relatively inexpensive, and has 24-hour support staff if anything breaks. While living off campus has the appeal of independance and getting a cat or something, it's just not worth it.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: Plenty of Change – The weather in NY is rough in the winter, but it's easy to dress accordingly. Th echange in seasons provides a new and different experience (and wardrobe) every few months. I like that.

3 College Freshman

Parking: There is no parking at Columbia. I would rate it a much lower grade, but really there is no need for a car. None at all.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Students Are Pretty Focused – Students are focused, so not a lot of extended careless partying. Just enough, not too much. No drugs outside of some weed.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: Very Politically Active – Has a reputation for politically active students, particularly on the left. Good for students interested engaging in activism.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Very Good – I loved my time in college. You have access to one of the best cities in the world, while still having the security of a campus. Very diverse, so you're sure to find a place somewhere.

4 Recent Alumnus

Technology: Computers were pretty widely available across campus, while printers were mostly located in the libraries. Having a personal computer is required, and it's probably best to have a laptop.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: You can get anywhere really easily-- subways, buses, taxis. Gotta take traffic into account though.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Everything Within a Few Blocks of Campus – There're a lot of restaurants located around Columbia University. Go uptown or downtown to find amazing food.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Okay-Looking but Really Interesting – I was personally expecting people here to be less aesthetically-pleasing. However, insofar as this is true, do not come to Columbia expecting a parade of supermodels. Do expect to have amazing conversations with anyone you meet, though.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshman Dorm Singles – Most of my friends who go to other schools are often shocked when I tell them I have a single. This is one of the best assets of Freshman Housing at Columbia. The dorms are also always social.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Sometimes Good, Sometimes Terrible – Whilst John Jay Dining Hall sometimes has nice things to offer, there's also days when it is rather bad. There is, however, always a nice variety of food.

4 College Freshman

Administration: Highly Tolerant About Underage Drinking and Drug Use – A ton of people smoke and have parties in their rooms all the time, and the school's pretty chill about it.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Greek Life: No Affect – They throw parties that aren't that great, and most people aren't really involved in it anyway.

2 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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