Chance me Columbia ED, Asian Female

**A Hey all! I applied ED to Columbia and I was wondering what my December 15 is going to look like lol. Everything here is what I submitted and I have interviewed already.

Demographics: South Asian female from NYC public school

Intended Majors: Computer Science

Hooks: first-gen? (My dad got a Bachelors in my home country, but many don’t count it in the US. So I’m not sure if I’m first gen)

SAT: 1490 (690 R | 800 M)

GPA: My school does not do GPAs nor Rankings. My school’s estimate is 4.0 on Naviance.

Coursework: School only offers 4 APs so I took 1 last year (not sending AP Bio score) and 2 this year (AP Calculus AB and AP Physics). I’m also dual-enrolled at two CUNYs (colleges in my city).

Awards: My school gives only community service awards and I just don’t have many outside

  • A state-based award I won with a $10k scholarship.
  • RIT Computing Medal Award (idk if that’s worth anything)
  • Community Service Honors (it seems insignificant but I got this award for an extracurricular I really enjoy doing, and I talk about the ec in my essays).

Extracurriculars: Note: all of my extracurriculars were either self-founded or I had to email a ■■■■ ton of people. I, unfortunately, didn’t have connections :frowning:

  • Founder of a coding program (11th, 12th) I founded a free coding program during quarantine last year to teach underrepresented students in my community how to code. I ended up partnering with a youth development non-profit and I currently teach at an elementary school.
  • NYU Research Assistant (11th, 12th) I assisted a professor and his undergraduates for this research project related to computer graphics, programming, and audio.
  • Technology Intern at JPMC (11th) Surreal experience. I got to code stuff and I (accidentally) worked with the global teams in India and London.
  • Founder and co-president of my school’s coding club (10th, 11th, 12th) My school is very humanities-based so there aren’t many people interested in computer science. I created this club to find that small community and we just do random stuff like code games or compete in hackathons.
  • Etsy Business (All four years) I’ve always been into entrepreneurship (and making money lol) so I made a jewelry business. I’ve made 1000 sales from 10th-11th. This EC is more like a hobby.
  • Girls Who Code (All four years) I’ve been part of Girls Who Code through their classes in 9th grade on the Columbia campus, their summer immersion program where we partnered with Bank of America, and my school had a GWC club until some boy’s mom tried to sue.
  • Treasurer for Robotics Club (11th, 12th) My friend started this club late junior year so we haven’t done much yet. We just started building robots for an upcoming competition, and I help with outreach and finances.
  • weaker ECs included in my activities section: Research Program at a city college, wrote a few times for my friend’s blog about women empowerment and volunteering at a tutoring center.


personal statement: 6-7/10 - It’s about how I got into computer science through my dad who taught himself how to code. I don’t know if it’s generic but I wish it was better. But it’s pretty solid.

supplements: 9/10 - I put every bone and muscle into my Columbia supplements. They were easier for me to write, and really specific to the school and NYC (since that’s where I grew up).

LORs - Strong recommendation from my 10th and 11th-grade math teacher (her recommendations have got me into every program I applied in 10th and 11th, and she knows me well). Strong rec from my counselor. Decent rec from my AP Bio teacher since I only knew her through virtual learning.

Interview: My interview went pretty well. We went 30 minutes over, which I think is a good sign. He also said he wished we could keep talking because I was interesting. Not sure how much of an impact it would make in the admissions process.

I want to go to a school with a strong Engineering program, so with these stats, what would y’all recommend?

Is your GPA a 4.0 unweighted or weighted? Can you estimate your class rank? If you’re in the top 1-2% that will help. Even for schools that don’t formally rank, they can usually figure out where you stand in the class. If you’re outside of the top 10% then I think its a longshot.

If your parents received a degree from another country, that does not count as first gen unfortunately. The Columbia interviews are done by alumni, but they have little influence over final decisions.

The 1490 SAT score is a little on the low side. But you have a strong math score, so this might offset the lower verbal. It looks like you applied to SEAS instead of CC. At SEAS they tend to be a bit more focused on the raw stats.

Have a plan in place for ED2 and RD.

No. You are not first gen. And honestly, it’s a little offensive to real first-gen applicants to suggest you are.

You seem like the kind of person who seeks out ways in which to be offended.

By the way:,family%20member’s%20level%20of%20education.&text=Many%20colleges%20and%20universities%20are,international%20universities%20as%20first-gen.

“Many colleges and universities are beginning to consider students with parents who attended international universities as first-gen.”


Looks like Columbia college and engineering school would consider OP to be first in family to attend college:

For our program, “first-generation college student” is identified as a student whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not received a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or completed a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree later in life.