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Columbia Admission Factors

Stairway9192Stairway9192 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited March 2010 in Columbia University
With typical Ivy applicant GPA, SATs, ECs, APs, recs, and good essays, how much do these following factors influence, specifically, Columbia's decisions?

-->Legacy (in my case, father went undergrad & grad, maternal grandfather went grad)
-->Participation in Columbia Science Honors Program
-->Race
-->Interview
Post edited by Stairway9192 on
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Replies to: Columbia Admission Factors

  • jazzyindyjazzyindy Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    A few extracurriculars falling under the same umbrella would give them an impression that you're actually committed to a specific area whether it be music,arts,sciences, etc.
  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek Registered User Posts: 1,679 Senior Member
    the sum is greater than its parts -
    each of those things are marginally helpful - by themselves they might help push you over the top. but when you add them with your good gpa, your sats, your ecs, etc (supposing its true). you end up having a compelling profile.

    that's how admissions works, no one "factor" influences admission. some factors are critical (you have to have the grades/smarts for them to believe you can do the work), but you can't even say grades ultimately lead to your admission by themselves.
  • limabeanslimabeans Registered User Posts: 4,753 Senior Member
    I was curious too. This from collegeboard:
    Admission Policies and Factors

    Admission requirements:
    Essay(s) required
    Required: SAT Reasoning Test or ACT
    If submitting ACT, the writing section is required
    Required: SAT Subject Tests
    Very important admission factors:
    Character/Personal Qualities
    Class Rank
    Application Essay
    Extracurricular Activities
    Recommendations
    Rigor of secondary school record
    Standardized Test Scores
    Academic GPA
    Important admission factors:
    Talent/Ability
    Considered:
    Alumni Relation
    Geographical Residence
    Interview
    Racial/Ethnic Status
    Volunteer Work
    Work Experience
    First generation college student

    A note about the college's admission requirements: School achievement record most important. Test scores, recommendations, essay, extracurricular activities also important.
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Registered User Posts: 4,529 Senior Member
    The Collegeboard list is BS because these things aren't independent. Character and personal qualities is important, but being a minority / first one in family to go to college / from an underrepresented state are "considered"? Those latter things factor into Columbia's evaluation of your personal qualities.
  • limabeanslimabeans Registered User Posts: 4,753 Senior Member
    ^^^it's just a starting point!

    and you're right, they can't politically say URM is most important factor, nor could they say they want a oboe player who'd like to studying cognitive psychology.
  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek Registered User Posts: 1,679 Senior Member
    lima - the collegeboard list is notoriously unreliable and frankly unempirical when it comes to their admissions section.

    ultimately - a list is incapable of explaining how adcoms make decisions. because they don't go down a list and make checkmarks.
  • shahdinshahdin - Posts: 2,178 Senior Member
    Rank isn't important if the school doesn't rank or doesn't disclose rank. Right?
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    Columbia leads the top universities in diversity. Race is important. An underrepresented minority from a strong high school, at the top of his or her class, with respectable SAT scores, has an advantage in admissions.

    Double legacy status, where both of one's parents are alumni of the College/SEAS is helpful.
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Registered User Posts: 2,491 Senior Member
    ^ I would argue that Columbia doesn't necessarily advantage minorities more than peer schools, because our application pool is likely more diverse, by virtue of being in new york. Assuming each college gets a heavier share of applicants from near by, i.e. the proportion of new york city applicants to Columbia is greater than the proportion of new york city applicants to MIT, and the proportion of cambridge/boston applicants to MIT is higher than the proportion of cambridge/boston applicants to Columbia. It is conceivable that Columbia applicant pool is more diverse.

    Admission Statistics | Columbia University Office of Undergraduate Admissions

    13% of the admitted class was African American, which is ~= national proportion, higher than most peer schools (which have ~10%) and significantly lower than the proportion of African Americans in NYC - ~25%

    Likewise 16% of the admitted class was Latino, which is higher than the national proportion (12%), higher than most peer schools (which have ~10-12%) and significantly lower than the proportion of Hispanics in NYC - ~27%

    Columbia definitely practices affirmative action, but you cannot say that minorities are more advantaged in columbia's admissions process (compared to peer schools), merely by looking at % of undergrad minorities.
  • CooksterCookster Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    When you say that it's good to have extracurriculars fall under the same umbrella, would you consider these as that?

    -Academic team
    -Math Honor Society
    -National Honor Society
    -Robotics team
    -Tutoring
    -Varsity Swimming
  • jazzyindyjazzyindy Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    @cookster

    not exactly. The activities you just listed flip flop all over the place. varsity swimming does not fall under the same umbrella as academic team, or math honor society. I was referring to activites that are specific to a certain area. heres an example: a person who has a passion for lets say swimming will have a majority of EC's related to swimming. he can be the varsity swimming captain, teach swimming, be a lifeguard, compete in swimming competitions, win awards etc.

    This specific passion for swimming will be more likely to impress the adcoms than just having activitiies that flip flop all over the place. They will know that you actually had an interest and were not just participating to make your resume look good.
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    "Columbia definitely practices affirmative action, but you cannot say that minorities are more advantaged in columbia's admissions process (compared to peer schools), merely by looking at % of undergrad minorities."

    Indeed--which was why I added the stipulations "from a strong high school, at the top of his or her class, with respectable SAT scores."
  • Stairway9192Stairway9192 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    What about legacy and participation in the Columbia Science Honors Program?!?!
  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek Registered User Posts: 1,679 Senior Member
    okay, so well check out columbia's faq. two good answers to your questions.

    Does Columbia give preference in the admission process to applicants whose parents attended Columbia?
    We are always pleased to receive applications from students whose family members have graduated from Columbia. When an applicant is extremely competitive and compares favorably with other similarly talented candidates, being the daughter or son of a Columbia University graduate (from any Columbia school or college) may be a slight advantage in the admission process. This advantage may especially apply for “legacy” candidates.

    Please note: applicants are considered to be “legacies” of Columbia only if they are the children of Columbia College or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science graduates.

    (operates to bump a student that is otherwise admissible - who might not be a sure admit, but admission is not guaranteed.)

    and:

    Are my chances for admission greater if I attend a summer program or program for high school students on the Columbia campus?
    Not necessarily. Although we recommend that all applicants spend some time on campus before applying, applicants who have attended a program on the Columbia campus are not given automatic preference in the admissions process.

    For more information on summer programs at Columbia, please visit the High School Programs Website.

    (key word in the second is automatic preference - in the end, someone who knows columbia over someone who does not, most likely is a better student to admit, further the SHP program is competitive and rigorous v. summer programs that are less so; so doing SHP is a way to prove that you can do the work academically, and maybe have support from the director or a faculty member will help - though just participating doesn't automatically help you.)
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Registered User Posts: 4,529 Senior Member
    Indeed--which was why I added the stipulations "from a strong high school, at the top of his or her class, with respectable SAT scores."

    You mean caveats. Stipulations are agreements.
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