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Columbia or Swarthmore Early Decision (very hard to decide)

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Replies to: Columbia or Swarthmore Early Decision (very hard to decide)

  • thebeefthebeef Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    well 'not to sound rude', but figuring out which one you like more is probably more important. just coming from a current CU student i find it very hard to think that anyone could love swarthmore the 'equally' as here. it's a really unique place, definitely made for a certain type of a person more so than others. swarthmore is, in certain respects, a diametric opposite of columbia. have you visited? don't base your decision of where to apply so heavily on where you think you might get in (esp. based on arbitrary percentage predictions by random people). apply to a school that fits.

    as for if you'll get in or not, i'm sure you wouldnt have too much trouble. at this level, it's really more about subjective things than a bunch of high scores and ECs.
  • golfer3golfer3 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Yeah, I agree. Sorry about being a little vague so hear is why I like both schools almost equally. (in no particular order)
    Columbia
    1. not near my house (I need a change of scenery LOL)
    2. Core Curriculum (I have no clue what I want to major in)
    3. class size
    4. NY (internships)
    5. emphasis on diversity (I am an URM, but its because of a medical issue so I can't go into detail, but its the topic of my essay)
    6. emphasis on the social sciences
    7. diversity of ideas.

    Swarthmore:
    1. away from home
    2. near philly (internships)
    3. safe area
    4. international emphasis
    5. campus size.
    I like Columbia slightly more because its in NY.
    Thanks!
  • thebeefthebeef Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    i would say that columbia has about as much of an 'international emphasis' as you can get. 1) the student body here is super diverse. 2) the other day i got to see the pm of nepal speak, and i barely missed kofi annan. and then we had a uighur dissident currently being wanted by the chinese govt come give a lecture. that and the huge student body means tons of clubs and multicultural going-ons basically every single day. i'm even going to the north korean awareness club meeting this sunday just for fun. all the stuff i just mentioned is the tip of the iceberg, i was just taking random events that i can remember from the last few days. also, our school of intl and public affairs (at the grad level, admittedly) is ranked something like #1 or #2 in the nation. so im pretty sure if you're into international stuff, cu would be great.

    also, cu is safe. nyc was recently voted safest big city in the us or something. it really is ok, and yes, even harlem. as long as you use common sense you'll be fine here.

    anyway, best of luck with your decision, just wanted to put in my 2 cents
  • golfer3golfer3 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Thanks, and yeah I agree. I just forgot to list that one. (the international aspect), But could u please give me some idea of what my chances r of getting in?
    Thanks!
  • golfer3golfer3 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Im about 95% sure im doing ED at Columbia now but I would like to just get an idea of whether I should expect a congrats come december or a sorry but we can't admit you come deceember.
  • thebeefthebeef Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    k how bout 50%. but my estimate means nothing. seriously. chance threads.. don't worry so much. if you're 95% sure you're doing ED just give it your all. you have the stats, just like 1000s of applicants, but will you be the right kind of person for here? that's the question.
  • monstor344monstor344 Registered User Posts: 2,502 Senior Member
    APPLY EARLY TO SWARTHMORE! You are a shoe in there
    Swarthmore Test Scores:
    SAT Critical Reading: 680 - 760
    SAT Math: 670 - 760
    SAT Writing: 660 - 760
    ACT Composite: 28 - 33

    Columbia Test Scores:
    SAT Critical Reading: 680 - 770
    SAT Math: 680 - 780
    SAT Writing: 690 - 770
    ACT Composite: 29 - 34

    The two are almost the same selectivity-wise.
  • pbrpbr Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    ^I don't disagree with your data from an "apples-to-apples" standpoint, although I have no idea where you got it; I assume you took the data from the same source, for the same year. According to the Columbia website, however, one should note that the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-34; according to the email to parents describing the class, the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-35. It helps when citing data to attribute the source.
  • golfer3golfer3 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. So the consensus I have been getting from people I know is that I am one of those candidates that is close but just not quite there for Early Decision acceptance and this is most likely due to my lack of strong awards, and somewhat low test scores. So my question is, I am taking Math 2 next week and if I was to score near 800 on that test, and later in November take the SAT and score 2200+ could I get in Regular Decision (this is assuming I will be deferred). How much of a chance do deferred students have. I am also doing a bunch of aca. competitions in february.
    thanks!
  • monstor344monstor344 Registered User Posts: 2,502 Senior Member
    ^I don't disagree with your data from an "apples-to-apples" standpoint, although I have no idea where you got it; I assume you took the data from the same source, for the same year. According to the Columbia website, however, one should note that the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-34; according to the email to parents describing the class, the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-35. It helps when citing data to attribute the source.
    I quoted each from collegeboard's website.
  • pbrpbr Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    ^That data must be a couple of years old. Last year's ACT data for the middle 50% of admitted students at Columbia (class of 2012) was 31-35.
  • golfer3golfer3 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    I don't know if this will make a difference but I have not taken any honors or AP Foreign language. I took 4 years, but they were all regular classes. Everything has else been mainly honors/AP.
  • Smart GuySmart Guy Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    kwu wrote:
    Columbia practices affirmative action flagrantly, and the "Why Columbia?" carries less substantial weight if written fairly convincingly.

    Where are you getting this from? Personal experience...
  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek Registered User Posts: 1,679 Senior Member
    kwu presumes that because columbia desires to be the most diverse it must be most willing to accept students of color regardless of their qualifications.

    i know that isn't true, but to spin it a bit - perhaps this means that more talented minority students apply to columbia than their peers because it has that reputation of supporting students from diverse backgrounds. and further - in 20-30 years when the country is minority majority country, i imagine a school like columbia might have a lot of its alumni in leadership positions as we begin to actually and not limitedly diversify our leadership in every respect.
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    There are fewer minorities who have both an exceptional academic record and high standardized testing scores, relative to the upper middle class white population, say.

    If every top university wants its class to be at least 10 percent African-American, 10 percent Hispanic, schools further down the ladder will have to settle.

    It is convenient that the OP is a Mexican-American with both stellar grades and strong test scores.

    I'm not making the claim that he will certainly be admitted, but his chances are higher than those of a vast majority of applicants to Columbia.

    And, since he likes Columbia so much, and he's damned intent on applying Early Decision to a school, why keep asking questions?
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