Columbia GS Spring 2022 Early Action/Regular Decision Thread

Hi guys, I feel like I am late to the party, but I wanted to share my story anyways. I wish I could have applied to GS earlier but it is only recently (over the past few weeks) that I finally set my mind on going back to college. I only discovered GS like a week ago and I am balls deep into the application process hoping to finish before Nov. 1 deadline.

So here is my story: I was born in China. My family was very poor during my childhood and my education was dismal. When financial situation improved, I went to an international middle school in China. I learned English from scratch and mastered the language within a matter of one year. By the time I was high school age, I took my studies to America. Graduated from an elite boarding school in the south with 3.87 unweighted and 4.23 weighted GPA and a bunch of AP.

I got into a really selective business program at USC (World Bachelor in Business for those who are interested) where I would basically spend the first three years of my college career in USC, Hong Kong, and Milan respectively. I would graduate with three business degrees from the three schools after finishing my senior year at whichever college I preferred.

This is where it gets interesting. After I finished freshman year and just before I was about to go to HK. I learned about the mass civil protests happening in HK. I also witnessed the horrendous police brutality that totally shook me to my core. It changed my mind about going to Hong Kong and I decided to stay at USC. But at this point my mind was no longer on academics and all that I cared about was doing whatever I could to advocate for freedom and human rights in China against the tyrannical Communist regime. I started doing volunteer work for a respected non-profit to the point where I withdrew from USC to do full-time volunteer work. During the 1.5 years I left USC (withdrew Spring 2020 semester), I travelled across the country and organized quite a few public-awareness rally to advocate for freedom and human rights in China. I event got a 180k annual grant from the non-profit to help them set up a local chapter of the non-profit in LA. I was able to set up the LA chapter of the non-profit and grow it to include more than 150 volunteers. Also, while doing all of this it became obvious to me that I could no longer return to China so I subsequently filed fo political-asylum here in the US.

Recently I developed an interest in law and legal studies and I really feel like it would allow me to make a greater difference, which is why I am applying to GS hoping to major in Economics-Political Science and then go to law school.

Stats: 3.87 unweighted HS GPA, 4.23 Weighted with bunch of AP ranging in 4s and 5s.

3.672 GPA at USC, and 3.766 Major GPA (counting only classes that count towards my major)

33 ACT taken three years ago, but I am a little worried because my optional ACT writing score is only 8.

Given my experiences and stats, do I realistically have a shot at GS? I am also very concerned bc I am applying nearing the end of the application cycle. Also 3.672 GPA at USC appears low for GS… Guys I know this is a bit wordy but I would truly appreciate some outside perspectives! Thank you so much!

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It is expired, could you resend it please?

It’s not active. I think it’ll heat up when decisions are done. Anyways, I think you’re a really strong applicant. Your USC GPA is a bit low at 3.7 when average is around 3.9; however, your story is really interesting. If you can explain it, you’ll be good. Still, you should apply nonetheless. Best of luck!

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Hey! It’s nice to meet you.

With your background and stats, you should feel confident about your application. I also applied with a 3.77 GPA. They did ask me further questions to prove that I can excel academically at Columbia, so most likely they will ask you as well. But one thing that I have noticed about Columbia GS is that they won’t reject a student for not being perfect. Around 20 students from my community college are accepted to Columbia each semester (38 got in last semester!!). Some students didn’t have perfect GPAs (like me), some had no extracurriculars, some had poor essay writing skills, etc. There is really no way to determine what they are looking for exactly in an applicant. I think that they care a lot about the story that you tell, so just be completely honest and forthcoming with your essay and you will be fine.

Best of luck to you too, thanks so much for the kind words!

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Nice to meet you too, thank you so much for the reply. If you don’t mind me asking, did they ask you to an interview where they asked you further questions or is it via email?

Thanks a lot!

They asked me via email, but they asked others for an interview.

Hey! So I ended up getting accepted on October 1st. from my own experience, it’s a good sign that’s on your portal— I had the same thing and got accepted a week later

I have my application ready, I am just unsure whether to submit it for Spring or Fall 2022. Do you think that they’ll still be test optional for the Fall app cycle?

Just submit and defer if accepted. It will cost you $500 but it will be applied to your tuition if I’m not mistaken.

Outstanding life story. You are a natural fit for GS, based on your experience. Your story is exactly what the GS essay is about – life’s big moments, twist and turns, ebb and flow of your life. You’ve made the mark. The world needs justice. Humanity is imperfect but however long it takes, MLK said the moral arch always bends toward justice. See you at GS.

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Great story! I also found out very late about GS and applied on the last day of the deadline for Fall 2021 (this was also after they extended the deadline). Got accepted, but had to defer to Spring 2022 due to circumstantial and personal reasons.

Your experience looks great, so don’t worry too much about your GPA. Tell your story and nail that essay. GS will ask you further questions if they need. Hope to see you soon in New York!

Heard back today and got accepted! check your portal if you applied around a month ago or so.

Congratulations. Did you get an email notification to check your portal?

Congrats! May I ask exact date you apply?

Yeah I did, pretty much instantly because I checked 5 minutes before the email and there was nothing there. And thank you :slight_smile:

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28 or 29 Sept.

Cool! Then they response you very fast! Do you mind to share your Stat?

Sure, 1 year at a 4-year university, 4.0 and 34 ACT. high school was like 3.8? or 3.7 but strong upward trend, 4.0 junior and senior year.

Does anyone know how long i have to accept the offer?