Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Birth at Columbia University?

DearspyDearspy Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
How should one go about when trying to incorporate the fact that they were born at the school and used as a graduate student study subject as a child (at the school)? Should I even include it at all? I am an African American that currently lives in the South (just felt like mentioning that)

Replies to: Birth at Columbia University?

  • DearspyDearspy Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    For the essay of course. I am only a Junior so I have some time.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,893 Senior Member
    I think it would be interesting to point out that you were involved in a university-based research project at Columbia when you were young. Do you know any of the details such as what department the researchers were in and what the study was about? I assume you were born in a hospital associated with the university - that might be less exciting to discuss.
  • DearspyDearspy Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I assume it was in the Psychology department in the field of activity development in new born(infants), but that's something I will definitely confirm. While I'm not sure if it was an associated hospital, I know my mother started going through labor during her stats class, and my birth certificate contains the word Columbia on it so I just assumed.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    I presume you have the grades/GPA to be competitive, else you wouldn't be posting. But as an URM and a legacy, your app will get read. Adding your story - if you write it well - may really help you stand out as a memorable applicant.

    I would think the best place to incorporate it would be in the "Why Columbia" essay. You have always known you would be coming home blah blah blah

  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    Don't focus on it. It's straw grasping IMHO. Maybe use it as a throw away line -- but you've got to 100% realize that it's only serendipity and says NOTHING about your qualifications.
  • dowzerwdowzerw Registered User Posts: 2,474 Senior Member
    It makes you interesting and memorable. Perhaps dont focus on it but certainly mention it in the context of always having been connected.
  • HRSMomHRSMom Registered User Posts: 4,632 Senior Member
    I was born to study at Columbia. Literally. In 1999, while my X was a grad student...so, when choosing a place to begin by own studies...
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,049 Senior Member
    The way @HRSMom wrote it ....i believe that would do great!
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 5,650 Senior Member
    Just remember that while it may make you application memorable it does not demonstrate your suitability for Columbia, and that's the main purpose of the essay. You can start you essay by mentioning it but I would segue pretty quickly into an essay that shows your qualifications or fit for study at Columbia.
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,049 Senior Member
    @Sue22, I hear you and I sometimes believe that can work. But to cite one example (my older kid), she wrote about adopting a cat from the Humane Society and got into colleges from Tufts to UChicago....in general, the tougher schools have a whole series of essay questions and i think this one could be light & memorable.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,284 Senior Member
    ^^agree that best advice is to try to make it amusing, funny if you're a funny person. It reminds me of the Harvard ADCOM who said 'entertain me.' You can make your essay about a journey beginning and possibly ending at Columbia and "everything in between." I'd try to come up with an ironic funny line if you can about starting your life at Columbia. Now you can say when you open that envelope on March 30, next year, you hope again, it will be about starting your college life at Columbia. Give it some thought, but it could be a great essay if framed in a positive manner.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,306 Senior Member
    You can mention that your parent was on the "2 for 1" plan so you're already an alum.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 5,650 Senior Member
    @SouthernHope, I agree, and I didn't mean to suggest that the entire essay couldn't be about the birth connection to Columbia, but just that like with any other essay topic there needs to be a subtext that shows why the school should want this student. It could be the student's sense of humor, work ethic, desire to study specific topics taught well at the university, or something altogether different. The "I was born at Columbia" factoid in and of itself is a cute introduction but it won't be enough to make the student attractive to the college any more than "My name is Columbia", "I come from Columbia" or "My ancestor was in Columbia's first graduating class" would.

    Essays can ostensibly be about anything. I was once at a meeting where a DOA said that the best essays she'd read recently were one about body hair and another about the student's kitchen table. No one would ever suggest these as essay topics but clearly the students did something original with them.

    I'd also say that humor in an essay is great but only if you're genuinely funny. There's nothing more painful than an essay that's meant to be funny but isn't.
This discussion has been closed.