As to Columba and Stanford, let us get serious. Columbia has better looking wall diplomas (no silly trees in its seal) and better school colors. It is also in a time zone synchronized to the economic and political power centers of the country. It is in a better and more compact area where pedestrians do not have to fear for their lives from incompetent bicyclists.
Also, this was settled in the 1934 Rose Bowl where Columbia beat Stanford 7-0 and then demonstrated its superior cognitive excellence by deemphasizing the sport into the future.
Putting this graduate nonsense aside, Stanford undergraduates are much better represented in academica, consulting, finance, law, and medicine than Columbia alums. Bain & Co. doesn't even recruit at Columbia LOL!!
Goldenboy, would you just go away and give this a rest? The UChicago thread has been closed, largely because of your obsessive, needlessly argumentative nonsense. That particular thread was specifically addressed to UChicago and Columbia students and alumni, and you just needlessly kept beating a dead horse until it became mush. You need, really, to grow up. I have politiely encouraged you to be positive and productive and go celebrate schools with which you have connections, ON THEIR OWN FORUMS!!! Your relentless denigration of Chicago and Columbia is disturbing and rather sad, as if you have nothing more animating your existence than an immature need to bash schools you have never attended and know nothing about, and largely in support of a school you didn't attend. The USNWR results stand. You lose. Get over it. You have made a COMPLETE FOOL of yourself now on three different forums, bashing schools to which you have no connections. Isn't it time for you to rethink how you spend your time on CC?
Look at the admit stats and rates. Columbia has higher test scores and lower admission rates than MIT and Stanford. It's more selective. It's not a "back up" as Desk 123 implies if it's harder to be admitted...
How many Valedictorians have applied Columbia through ED? I don't think there are many.
How many students rejected HYPMS and chose Colimbia? Not many.
Only about 12-13 students each year choose Columbia over Stanford. Although that doesn't tell us a cross-admit %, it does shed light on the relative scarcity of those at Columbia who can claim they got into Stanford and turned it down. (Conversely, there's a huge number of students at Stanford who can claim they turned down Columbia.
Stanford did not even think Columbia is a rival in the cross admission calculation.
Fwiw, my son was number 1 in his class at a high school ranked in Forbes top 20, was admitted to Harvard (didn't apply to Stanford), and chose Columbia. Just started as a freshman and loves it. At admitted students weekend, I sat next to a couple whose daughter had also been admitted to Harvard and chose Columbia. My guess is that the majority of Harvard-Columbia cross admits choose Harvard, but I have no doubt and, more importantly, my son has no doubt, that Columbia was the right choice for him.
I know a girl admitted by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and other ivies, but she ended up with UCLA because UCLA gave her full scholarship, she does not need to pay any. She did not qualify for any need based financial aid at other schools. Her family thinks she made a great decision because the family do not need to pay 200k tuition and she will not feel greater pressure at UCLA since the students at other colleges are much more competitive. So UCLA is a great fit for her.
Different students will make different choices. That does not mean UCLA is better than HYPMS.
desk, I'm not sure what your point is. I wasn't suggesting that Columbia is a "better" school than Harvard, any more than I would suggest that Harvard is a "better" school than Columbia. But I have no doubt that Columbia is a better school for my son than Harvard would have been. And it has nothing to do with money - Columbia, like Harvard, only gives money based on financial need.
Btw, UCLA is a great school too. I'm sure the girl you know who is going there will get a great education. I read a study a while back that showed that students who were admitted to Harvard but chose not to go there were every bit as successful on average as students who went to Harvard. I guess the implication being that the student is more important than the school in determining success. So you should choose the school that you think is right for you.
Desk123, all you have to do is look at admissions data to see your argument makes no sense. This is for the class of 2016.
Stanford SAT Math:
Below 600: 3%
Columbia SAT Math:
Below 600: 1%
Stanford SAT CR:
Below 600: 6%
Columbia SAT CR:
Below 600: 2%
Stanford SAT Writing:
Below 600: 6%
Columbia SAT Writing:
Below 600: 2%
Stanford % in top 10% of class:
Columbia % in top 10% of class:
Stanford admissions rate:
Columbia admissions rate
If your stats are good enough to get into Columbia, they are also good enough to get into Stanford. The reverse is not necessarily true.
How could Columbia be for students who are rejects of schools like Stanford as you imply, if the student body at Columbia is stronger than that of the schools from which they are supposedly rejected? How is that logical?
If you look at the data for the stop schools in USNews, Columbia overlaps much more with Yale, Princeton and Harvard than Stanford.
Stanford and Columbia could not be more different in terms of environment. East Coast/West Coast. Urban/Suburban. Weaker sports program/strong sports program. Compact campus/sprawling campus.
Of those students who are admitted to both, there could be a number of reasons to chose one over the other. However, based on pure data, you cannot argue that Stanford is more selective or that its student body is stronger than Columbia's.
How many valedictorians apply ED to Columbia? Plenty! How many reject one of HYPSM for Columbia? Plenty! And as Columbia becomes increasingly selective each year, it is more and more common.
One could argue that it takes more than numbers to get into a school like Stanford, and that Stanford appears willing to lower its standards in more cases to attract students from exceptional backgrounds, whereas Columbia appears willing to usher in hoards of high-scorers to puff itself up. It depends on how one interprets the data.
The PA scores reflect accurately Columbia's institutional standing in the U.S. as determined by its peers. One can hope that its strong showing in recent UNSWR, QS, and THE rankings will pull it back up to the highest rung, but to infer from Columbia's higher overall ranking that it is more prestigious than Stanford is to push things too far.
Peer Assessment Rankings US News & World Report 2012
1. Harvard University (4.9/5.0)
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4.9/5.0)
1. Princeton University (4.9/5.0)
1. Stanford University (4.9/5.0)
5. Yale University (4.8/5.0)
6. University of California-Berkeley (4.7/5.0)
7. California Institute of Technology (4.6/5.0)
7. Columbia University (4.6/5.0)
7. Cornell University (4.6/5.0)
7. Johns Hopkins University (4.6/5.0)
7. University of Chicago (4.6/5.0)
12. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (4.5/5.0)
12. University of Pennsylvania (4.5/5.0)
14. Brown University (4.4/5.0)
14. Duke University (4.4/5.0)
14. Northwestern University (4.4/5.0)
17. Dartmouth College (4.3/5.0)
17. University of Virginia (4.3/5.0)
Stanford appears willing to lower its standards in more cases to attract students from exceptional backgrounds.
This is bunk. Unless you mean that Stanford has lower scores because it fields such a larger number of highly competitive athletic teams.
On the PA score - this reflects senior administrators' perspectives on the totality of the university, heavily weighted towards graduate programs. Hence, the high rating for UCAL Berkeley and the lower score for Dartmouth. It's not an assessment of undergraduate programs.
As undergraduate programs, I would argue, as I would think most reasonable people, that Columbia and Stanford with Harvard, Princeton and Yale are equally prestigious. MIT and CalTech, for self-evident reasons, are in a league of their own.
Prestige of undergraduate programs is largely a function of four things, admissions selectivity, endowment per capita, the rigor of the curriculum and the success of alumni. While schools obviously vary on these different measures, above a certain threshhold they are all equal. That is why the rankings racket is so foolish. This is difficult to accept for those invested in the masturbatory game of one-ups-man-ship so popular on CC.
I agree with BalletGirl. Columbia and Stanford each have over 30,000 applicants. I'm sure they have no problem finding exceptionally talented students who are also high scorers etc.
Columbia is also a Division 1 school, and while it's athletics program is not as strong as Stanford's, the student athlete proportion of the population wouldn't be that much greater at Stanford to justify the lower data points on a relative basis to Columbia.
The peer assessment score is a completely subjective measure, so how can it be "accurate" or "inaccurate" when it is all based on opinion? Michigan ahead of Brown, Duke, Dartmouth, and Northwestern? Berkeley ahead of Columbia, Dartmouth and Brown? That seems to defy the opinion of many on this board. I'm not saying it's "wrong" or "right" because they are opinions, therefore they can't really be either. And even if this is the university "in its totality", why would Princeton rank a 4.9 when they do not have a law school, business school or medical school? Again, opinions.
My point is not that Columbia is more prestigious than Stanford or vice versa. My point was to make it clear that on the basis of admissions selectivity/data, based on recent facts, one cannot make the argument that Columbia is some sort of "back up" when in fact it is more difficult to be admitted to Columbia than Stanford.
Columbia's admissions stats are now right on top of those at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.
Again, this is not about prestige in my opinion. I just find it really interesting that Columbia has become so much more selective over the past 10-15 years. I think it speaks to the desirability of urban schools and the fact that Morningside Heights has gone from an urban war zone to one of the most pleasant neighborhoods in Manhattan.
It also shows that many people don't realize how much more selective Columbia has become relative to its peers as made evident by this thread.
Lastly, I can't imagine two schools that are more different than Columbia and Stanford. If someone is deciding between these two, I would think that after a visit to both, they would clearly lean one way or the other based on the very different environments these two amazing schools offer.