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Princeton vs. Columbia

ruhmakhruhmakh 1 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
I am going to be a senior soon and I’m unsure whether I want to apply to restrictive early action to Princeton or early decision to Columbia. I love Columbia’s environment in the big city, but I also like Princeton’s focus on undergrads. I’m having trouble figuring out of environment or prestige is more important. I want to major in political science and later go to law school, so what would be the better college for someone like me?
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Replies to: Princeton vs. Columbia

  • skieuropeskieurope 37959 replies6570 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 44,529 Super Moderator
    what would be the better college for someone like me?
    The one that accepts you.

    If you need to compare FA offers, SCEA to Princeton. Columbia's ED acceptance rate is higher than Princeton's SCEA acceptance rate, but it may even out when recruited athletes, legacies, etc are backed out. Columbia's Core is more restrictive than Princeton's gen ed requirements, but some people like the Core. Princeton requires a thesis, while Columbia does not.
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  • anxious ladybuganxious ladybug 26 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Columbia has a much better Law school (ranked 5), compared to Princeton whose rank I couldn't find. (Princeton's political science is ranked three but Columbia's close behind ranked 7).

    I think that Columbia would be a better choice for you. It is still very prestigious and although Princeton may be ranked number one overall Columbia sounds better your specific major. Also, you seem to really like the environment. Apply to both to keep your choices open but I suggest applying to Columbia early decision.
    Best of luck! :)

    Sources for ranking-

    https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
    https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/political-science-rankings
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  • skieuropeskieurope 37959 replies6570 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 44,529 Super Moderator
    edited June 22
    Columbia has a much better Law school (ranked 5), compared to Princeton whose rank I couldn't find. (Princeton's political science is ranked three but Columbia's close behind ranked 7).
    Grad school / professional school rankings have no bearing on undergraduate education, IMO. Regardless, the grad rankings are close enough to be statistically insignificant.

    And Princeton has no law school.
    edited June 22
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  • merc81merc81 10017 replies148 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,165 Senior Member
    edited June 22
    I’m having trouble figuring out [if] environment or prestige is more important.

    With respect to prestige, you haven't defined the order. Which of these schools do you regard as more prestigious?
    edited June 22
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  • ruhmakhruhmakh 1 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I often hear that Princeton is more prestigious.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1819 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,889 Senior Member
    "Columbia has a much better Law school (ranked 5), compared to Princeton whose rank I couldn't find."

    Of course you "couldn't find" Princeton's law school ranking since Princeton doesn't have one. Princeton also doesn't have the rest of the popular triumvirate schools, Business and Medical.
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  • merc81merc81 10017 replies148 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,165 Senior Member
    I think the choice, based on your core stated criteria, should be between the school in the ultimate urban environment (Columbia) and the school with the greater emphasis on undergraduates (Princeton). With sincere reflection, the right decision should become clear to you.

    For play, you can search "Top Lawyer Producer Schools – Infographic."
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  • happy1happy1 22501 replies2200 discussionsVerified Member Posts: 24,701 Senior Member
    edited June 22
    Both schools should be prestigious enough for anyone. Pick the one that is the best fit for you. Consider things like location curriculum etc.
    edited June 22
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  • DefensorDefensor 332 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 340 Member
    Based on the limited information you provided, Columbia ED would be the best choice for you.
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  • prodesseprodesse 1329 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,399 Senior Member
    Look at class sizes and availability of classes (meaning, is it hard to get into the classes you want). Know that prestige and ranking are useful only very broadly but the difference between #2 and #5, for example, is meaningless. For IR, you should also consider Georgetown University.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3361 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,409 Senior Member
    Both schools are a fine choice for pre-law. Have you visited both? Princeton is a sleepy little town, and Columbia is right in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world. They couldn't be more different in terms of vibe. Pick wherever you think you'd be happiest for the next 4 years. Getting into either is a great accomplishment.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3319 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,331 Senior Member
    Even the most stellar applicants non-hooked are usually rejected from those universities. Just apply to the one you like more.
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