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What is it like to go to Columbia as an Undergrad?

anonymous0512anonymous0512 5 replies4 threads New Member
I know Columbia is in a great location, has great academics, etc. But what is it like for undergrads specifically? I have heard that Columbia focuses more on research and graduate programs, has an underwhelming social scene, and lacks school spirit. Is this true? To what extent?

(Regardless, I will still apply, as it is one of my top schools, but I am trying to decide if I should apply early decision or not.)
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Replies to: What is it like to go to Columbia as an Undergrad?

  • mathstarftwmathstarftw 255 replies78 threads Member
    Graduate recently from Columbia. I honestly would not recommend you apply here, and many of my friends would agree. It's not that we dislike this school but rather we feel very ambivalent about it. There's a reason why it has by far the lowest alumni donation rate out of all the Ivies.
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  • EverAfterEverAfter 16 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I find the previous reply misleading. The question is about Columbia undergraduate life, and other threads suggest that "mathstar" was an undergrad at Cornell. If this is a graduate student's impression of Columbia, it's not what the OP was asking. I suspect the grad and undergrad experiences are quite different.
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  • monydadmonydad 8014 replies160 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    It's true that one's experience of a university as an undergraduate vs. as a graduate student can be quite different.
    Nevertheless, often the latter may still be able to make some valid observations about the former.
    I've seen cases where they were off base though.

    Here is a prior CC thread where some actual undergraduates discussed their perceptions of Columbia, so it is without that potential to be "misleading", per #2. A few years old, but not altogether ancient
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/columbia-university/1041703-4-years-later-reflections-of-a-columbia-college-senior.html


    edited September 2018
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  • mathstarftwmathstarftw 255 replies78 threads Member
    Indeed I went to Columbia for grad school. But I met a ton of undergrads during my time there and knew high school friends who went there. Never in my post did I say that I was speaking from my grad school experience only.
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