Columbia or MIT PLEASE help!

<p>Columbia (college) vs MIT?? Got off the waitlist at MIT and need to make a decision by the 28th! Going for business or pre-med; not entirely sure so internships are definitely a plus</p>

<p>I'm guessing NYC would have infinitely more internship opportunities year-round compared to Cambridge.</p>

<p>Yeah stick with CC. MIT is weak with premed (not weak per se, it just doesn't have enough). MIT is good for BUSINESS (read; not necessarily finance) at the graduate level (Sloan).</p>

<p>MIT has great internships and probably a stronger rep. than does Columbia. Very different cultures though, so I'd pick based on that. My good friend is going to MIT and decided between that and Columbia. Ultimately, he liked the culture better at MIT. I'd talk to students at both and professors.</p>

<p>Is Columbia much better for finance than MIT (you can major in Sloan as an undergrad i think) and do alot of Columbians get into good medical schools as seniors? It seems like alot at MIT didn't go directly to med school but did well applying later.</p>

<p>@nike what is the different culture at each of the schools?</p>

<p>for pre-med it's definitely Columbia, MIT has a lower rate of placement into med school and grade inflation is higher at Columbia college.</p>

<p>for "business" it's difficult to know what you mean, noone really works in "business" and yet everyone does. If you mean finance, then Columbia and MIT are about even at placing on wall street.</p>

<p>In terms of environments I would pick Columbia hands down (and I was an engineer), I chose not to apply to MIT because I did not want to be around kids as intense or nerdy. Perhaps that suits you, but I think the differences in fit are huge and you should choose based on that.</p>

<p>First off MIT doesn't even have its own med school (its coshared with harvard and the program only selects very elite type of students; the route is just too difficult). Columbia is known for its medicine world wide. For premeds, MIT is not so good because grades happen to be the number one concern for med school, and MIT can considerably lower your gpa or maybe just wear you out if you are smart enough to handle the curriculum. Columbia would be a whole lot caring for your situation because premed track is a norm there. You'll meet kids with the same interests in CC and get to know a whole lot about the med school stuff earlier than if you were to decide MIT. If you transfer for MIT, you might just end up choosing BME instead, so if you want to be an engineer go there but I wouldn't recommend it if you're doing premed. A lot of students get picked over the MIT premeds because they have a higher gpa (this statement is supported by a med school graduate who attended MIT for undergrad). So yea! You are in a great position for getting accepted in these two schools. So just do a little research on your own too to see where you wanna go. =)</p>

<p>Business or Pre- med Columbia wins either way. Business because of NYC and pre-med because MIT will kill your GPA.</p>

<p>good luck on your decision, i think folks hit it in the end it is about fit.</p>

<p>unfortunately being let in off the waitlist means that you don't have the same amount of time as you've had to 'warm-up' to the idea of MIT as the right fit as you might have with columbia.</p>

<p>so i suppose from a more simple perspective: unless MIT is and you know in your heart your dream school, don't feel obliged to go. you've found a home already and supposing you actually like columbia, it is going to be a very good home for you.</p>

<p>i wont nor can i really speak to MIT culture. but columbia is pretty collegial, i'd say it is intellectual and certainly rigorous, but doesn't take itself too seriously. it is also a bit more 'new york' in the sense that you learn often conversations and networking are the best ways to get things done in school. i loved the mix of being laid back and intense because it meant that you could find time and space to just relax, but you didn't get caught in that stupor too long so you got to see and experience a lot as well.</p>

<p>well, at columbia, there is nyc so a lot of action takes place off campus. the campus security is also pretty rigorous from what i hear. basically, you're going to have to get a fake to party. </p>

<p>at mit, much more of the stuff goes on on-campus and the student body is nerdier and more quirky.</p>

<p>
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well, at columbia, there is nyc so a lot of action takes place off campus. the campus security is also pretty rigorous from what i hear. basically, you're going to have to get a fake to party

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<p>patently false, I partied every year of college without a fake (had a really $hitty fake junior year and only turned 21 senior year). Make friend who throw dorm parties, join clubs which through parties, go to frats, make upperclassmen friends who have suites and throw parties there, use your $hitty fake to get into the lenient bars near campus (campo, lions den). There are so many ways, and so many opportunities to party on and very close to campus. Just because NYC is close doesn't mean people opt to go downtown for parties because: </p>

<p>a) it takes more time to go downtown
b) it tends to be more expensive
c) all your friends are partying it up on campus</p>

<p>These were three strong and independent reasons which kept me and almost all my friends firmly on campus for our social lives. While there is a small minority of students who regularly goes clubbing in the city, they are fringe groups and by no means the norm. This stereotype applies to NYU where students are nearer to the happening places, richer and have less of a campus scene to fall back on.</p>

<p>are there alot of science majors in the college (not including engineering)? do alot of seniors get into top medical schools?</p>

<p>also, i've heard from a few kids at columbia that there is sort of a sense of falseness among the students as people put on acts and try to be "cooler" or fit in to the city stereotype; has anyone else noticed this? are columbians like new yorkers in the sense that they're too busy/sophisticated to have time for people besides their very close friends?</p>

<p>yeah, columbia sends kids to top med schools. a lot of kids choose to stay in nyc because of obvious reasons (it is the greatest place on earth) - so columbia physicians and surgeons, nyu, mt. sinai, albert einstein. but from there a lot of folks go to harvard med (i think third highest number of students go to hms after columbia and mt. sinai), yale, out to the west coast to ucsf. placement is strong, and schools know columbia well. plus you have incredible research opportunities that just makes your resume pop.</p>

<p>sci majors there are a lot of them across many departments, though i'd say most premeds will go the humanities/social science scene just to have some intellectual relief and not just be a sci major. but in general the harder the science the fewer the majors - down to like 20 majors in physics. but majors like env sci or e3b are becoming increasingly popular, and columbia has fantastic resources for this.</p>

<p>i think you need to realize that columbia is one of the hardest schools to stereotype because of the raw diversity - both in terms of ethnic, but also in terms of just who and how people socialize. so rarely is there a 'myth' out there that is accurate about columbia students.</p>

<p>i will say a few notes: columbia students are certainly more aware than most of the goings on of city life, of events, and the like. there is certainly to some degree of new york-ness - i notice that the way i speak, dress, my lack of patience is very much a result of where i went to school, and what is considered normal behavior. though i don't know if i'd characterize it as being too sophisticated/busy to care about folks.</p>

<p>in fact, the wonderful thing about columbia and about new york is the fact that students are probably even more aware of their multiple identities such that they navigate (and code-switch dependingly) on a daily basis. you can go to a movie premiere at the Ziegfeld, eat tacos in red hook and dance bhangra at SOBs all the time realizing that you can carry on these multiple interests simultaneously. everyone does this to an extent, but the multiplicity that you see at columbia is pretty awesome, it makes it hard to ever put someone in a box. certainly there are some folks that 'think they are cool,' but in a funny way columbia's community is very self-critical, if you think yourself cooler than others people will call you out on it. if you can't back up your pseudo-intellectual diatribe on the quality of this falls' fashion show, then people wont take you seriously.</p>

<p>in the end, i think you might need to consider the depth to the new york experience, your question here implies a lot, particularly about what it is like to be a new yorker (very dangerous to make such an implication). i have tons of friends in new york, and always make time for new folks that may be visiting or need someone to show them around. not everyone is precisely like me, in fact i'd say i have friends that are far more friendly than i am, and some that might need a bit more prodding to get out of their comfort zone. but we are a pretty social bunch.</p>

<p>Thanks for everyone's responses! @ admissionsgeek do you have specific numbers for the number of students who attend columbia, mt. sinai, harvard, yale etc</p>

<p>hmmm, off the top of my head, no, nor is there a public place where i believe this is listed, it is just what i gathered from talking to the folks in the office. columbia was by far the most, like with 30 or something, and there were high teens going to hms. and from what i have heard the trend is pretty much the same now.</p>

<p>you'd probably only get it from talking to the office of pre-professional advising. but in the end the important thing to know and that which has been repeated here above - columbia places very well, along with HYPS it is one of the few that lodge in the high 80s in terms of placement, with most kids getting into their top school. as has been mentioned before, MIT is not always the most logical place (though not bad) for folks with a strict premed interest.</p>

<p>Hey, I was actually just on CollegeConfidential to search up Columbia classes selection, but after seeing this thread, I thought I'd offer my opinions/insights. I think it's good to find a place you're most comfortable in, rather than just base your college decision on which school can help you place better... so I hope this helps. </p>

<p>When I received decisions back a few months ago, I was accepted into Columbia, MIT, Swarthmore, and Princeton, among others; waitlisted at Harvard, UPenn. Financial aid was important to me and unforch, Princeton financial aid sucked (I was actually pretty surprised); that was crossed off my list pretty early on in the game. I am also a prospective pre-med, but at the same time, I want to spend my college years exploring different subjects and classes (I applied undecided). I went on the admit weekends (free food and lots of love from colleges, so why not). My thoughts: </p>

<p>MIT-- Best. Parties. Ever. Mainly because of the huge frat scene there; I didn't know it was that big and was pleasantly surprised. Cambridge is beautiful and it's the perfect college town. Classes at MIT were superb, but the professors were a bit detached. There are so many very active different clubs at MIT and the resources MIT offers to its students are amazing. During my visit, my host (a first year) heard back from a very prestigious lab that they were willing to hire her for the summer, and for the school year. This was only possible through the UROP program at MIT; she's only a freshmen. A couple graduates from my school, now current MIT-ers, also have amazing opportunities; some are working at the CERN physics lab in Switzerland on a grant, and working at Amazon this summer (as a rising junior). MIT can provide you with unparalleled opportunities. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that MIT produces a great deal of Rhodes/Marshall/etc Scholars (more than Columbia, in fact); and that there are a LOT of premed students (the pre-med orientation workshop was insaneee). The fact that every building and major was represented by a number was also very endearing. HOWEVER. imo, and I emphasize, IN MY OPINION, MIT needed more normal people; though I met a lot of people at MIT who were sociable, outgoing and friendly, there were also a great deal of people who were... slightly awkward and uncomfortable to be around. But then again, there aren't many schools that have liquid nitrogen parties, dungeon and dragons hunting, poker parties, bubble wrap popping events. The work intensity there was super high, and a bit too stressful for my tastes. My host shared a room with three people; they were always working and it was a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. At MIT, time management is a priority; there are so many opportunities, but at the same time, so much work. Talking with the teachers and students there, the workload at MIT is no joke; if you go, be prepared to be pushed for the next 4 years. The people there, awkward, sociable or weird, are terribly smart and talented individuals. The sheer brainpower that exists at this school is humbling. They truly all deserve to go to such a prestigious institution and the things they've accomplished are unbelievable (ps. the pranks are superb). There was also a lot of overlap between MIT/Harvard/Stanford/Columbia (seas). Didn't meet so many specs who were deciding btwn MIT/Yale or MIT/Princeton. BBQs, frat house breakfasts/lunches/dinners, and going to the student center are big sources of food here. Many physics/math/science majors. Everyone was so smart; I did not think I would do so well in terms of ranking and gpa and stuff.. </p>

<p>Swarthmore: I know you're not considering this school, but when I visited, I loved this school. I just felt so comfortable there, and it's something not many people understood. </p>

<p>Columbia: There's a certain NYC feel here, besides the fact that it's in NYC. I'm a NYC native, but I feel like most people at Columbia could have easily been NYC natives; the people there are urbane, very independent, and rather liberal in beliefs (at least from the people I met during admitweek). The people there were super smart, and often opinionated, but the place definitely has a different feel that MIT. Kinda like a downplayed ivy-league elitist atmosphere combined with a desire to change the world through reform. Sorry that was super hard to understand, I bet, but the people here are very humble. The administration seemed kinda bureaucratic (at least that's what my host told me) and super aloft and there seems to a lack of community here. A lot of the dinners, and social events were catered and nicely placed fruits, bread, etc were the staple food here (VERY VERY different from the student run BBQs at MIT). There were also a great diversity of interests, but a great deal of polisci/econ majors. A lot of the specs were deciding between Stanford/Princeton/liberal arts colleges. </p>

<p>I ultimately chose Columbia. For the ridiculously generous financial aid they offered me, the opportunities ever present in NYC, and for the opportunity to go to school in such a great city. I also thought that at MIT, I would be probably be pigeon-holed into going into the sciences, but at Columbia, there is a chance to explore different majors and concentrations. I think in the end, the opportunities and academics of these institutions are all kinda the same, and the caliber of the students are also pretty similar, however, only Columbia can offer you NYC while providing you with an oasis: a beautiful campus to study, learn and grow. </p>

<p>Sorry that was super long. Best of luck! Hopefully I'll get to go to school with you! I'm in CC.</p>

<p>I am transferring in this Fall...just got accepted. So how is it now after one year?</p>

<p>I am transferring in for the fall. Will be there in August for orientation. Am coming from one year at Vassar and am worried about the adjustment. I was close to several people at Vassar and want to find a group of kids to hang with.....Is it best to join sorority or frat...clubs (which ones) or just loiter in the dorms. Which dorms do you recommend? In general, there's a little anxiety about meeting a whole new group of people as a sophomore.
Thoughts?</p>

<p>MIT all the way</p>