Columbia vs Duke

<p>This topic has been made before, yet has not addressed enough issues. Assuming one may gain admittance into both prestigious colleges and that both city life and suburban life are admirable, what advantages would each college yield?</p>

<p>I for one have toured both colleges and could not come to a conclusion. Columbia offers far more opportunities during your college experience, but also is rather expensive even if you get a generous loan. Duke on the other hand may not offer as many opportunities, but does seem like more of a friendly, fun-loving, and enjoyable place to be. What do you think?</p>

<p>(I will be posting this topic in both forums as to get more varied replies)</p>

<p>Why do you think Columbia offers far more opportunities than Duke? This couldn't be farther from the truth. I (along with my friends I have here) turned down Columbia for Duke and couldn't be happier. Feel free to PM me about this if you'd like.</p>

<p>Here's what I said once about why I chose Duke:</p>

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<p>People at Duke love Duke, and I didn't get that feeling when I was at Columbia. My friends there notice that too.</p>

<p>As far as opportunities go, Duke > Columbia, especially when factoring things such as proximity of graduate/professional schools, DukeEngage, Global Studies, research opportunities, class sizes, campus beauty, RTP, social experience, FLUNCH (<a href="http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/osaf/flunch%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/osaf/flunch&lt;/a&gt;), FOCUS (<a href="http://trinity.duke.edu/focus-program%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://trinity.duke.edu/focus-program&lt;/a&gt;), athletics, the Duke community feeling/pride, the alumni network (for example: <a href="http://www.dukealumni.com/olc/pub/DUKE/cm_clubs/club_57.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.dukealumni.com/olc/pub/DUKE/cm_clubs/club_57.html&lt;/a&gt;), a vibrant diversity, and so much more.</p>

<p>I chose Duke over Columbia for similar reasons as eatsalot. It's really a personal decision, but to me it was a no brainer. Duke just felt like a sense of community with great school spirit a lot of class unity. It offers a more "traditional" college experience with a sprawling beautiful campus and tons of activities. Columbia is completely different. For some, living in NYC is awesome, but for me, it was a turnoff - not because I don't like NYC, but because it seemed like everybody went off on their own and it'd be much easier to get lost in the shuffle. It seemed like there was no school spirit at all. This perhaps has some to do with the huge gap in athletics between Duke and Columbia, but I found UPenn for example to have TONS more pride in the institution than Columbia. But maybe that's just me. Frankly, you're so busy during college (and poor) that I don't think I'd even have time or money to explore NYC to its fullest. I wanted to experience all the great things college is about (athletics, on-campus activities, parties) and feel connected to my classmates. I didn't want to feel like a commuter in what is undoubtedly a world-class institution. Again, others may have a VERY different opinion and love to explore NYC. But that just wasn't my gut feeling when I was a senior in high school. Also, I'll admit, Manhattan intimidated me a bit (although it doesn't anymore). You really should ask yourself if you want a more campus-focused traditional college experience with big-time athletics and school pride/class unity, or a more individualistic world-class institution that encourages you to explore one of the greatest cities in the world on your own at perhaps the expense of a sense of community. They're both great schools, but VERY different feels. (FWIW, I found NYU even worse than Columbia for a the "commuter-school" feel. At least, Columbia has a campus as opposed to some random buildings on a random street in Manhattan).</p>

<p>Thanks for the fruitful replies, though, you are commenting on issues that I don't quite fully understand. I don't mind city life or suburban life.
@ eatsalot - I'd like to offer a rebuttal. Everything you mentioned about Duke is valid, though Columbia offers a lot more. First of all, it's in the city. Everything you need is within a good distance, including all sorts of opportunities. In addition, Columbia has a dedicated office to getting their student body jobs, internships, and various other opportunities. I didn't see that while touring Duke.</p>

<p>@ bluedog - Same thing as I said above. And also, you mentioned you don't have time to explore. To that I say, that applies to both schools and both areas.</p>

<p>I'd like to hear what you both have to say :)
Thanks</p>

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including all sorts of opportunities

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<p>dodomoney, you just rebutted by repeating what you previously said.</p>

<p>the "opportunities" you are eluding to at Columbia ARE present at Duke, if by opportunities you mean the ability to find internships, visit artsy events, and witness world renown speakers. people tend to overemphasize the options present by living in new york as an undergrad. yea, you could go and spend an afternoon interning at goldman, seeing a play on broadway, or seeing a world class lecturer. yet at in durham you can find internships at edward jones, see a play at the carolina theater, or witness world leaders talk on campus. the only difference i can think of is witnessing pro teams like the yankees, but why bother when you can watch your own school play!</p>

<p>i think there is this illusion that the world just opens itself up to columbia, that as a 19 year old everyone will just lie down for you to do whatever you want. in reality, the kids at Columbia do almost the exact same things are Duke students, just without a campus.</p>

<p>Source: friend who goes to Columbia, visiting, and experiencing a year at Duke</p>

<p>@andy_college09
You make a valid point, but if you would permit me, I'd like to point something out. (I will provide evidence of every point I make should the need arise) Columbia has had a history of having more prestigious speakers, much more prestigious art events [excluding that festival, the name slips my mind, in Durham], and much simpler access to great internship opportunities. You do mention that internship opportunities are just as affluent in Duke, though I can't see how Duke would have a greater range and diversity of opportunities as compared to Columbia, which is situated in New York City. I'm not denying the efficacy of internships in Durham, I'm simply pointing out that they are in greater abundance and diversity in the city. Also, to backtrack a little, Columbia offers a 'free-pass' to many museums.</p>

<p>I'm not questioning your knowledge, simply providing my knowledge for you to rebuttal ;)</p>

<p>I think it's obvious from the way Dodomoney is posting that he/she likes Columbia more, so I don't see the point of this thread. You ask for opinions, yet every time someone posts one, you try to refute it in favor of Columbia. Even so, you're getting far ahead of yourself since I'm assuming you aren't even a HS senior yet. It is a mighty big assumption for anybody to start choosing between two schools like Duke and Columbia before even applying/being admitted.</p>

<p>yea whats the point of this thread do you already like columbia or what?</p>

<p>You've made quite a leap of faith in your analysis of the intentions of both my responses and this topic, Arzachel. What is the purpose of interacting with people if you expect a simple answer? The purpose of the forum is interaction and interrogation, for lack of a better word. The reason I argue in favor of Columbia isn't because I favor it over duke but because those are the connections that I've made myself and came here to have dethroned.</p>

<p>lol .</p>

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@ bluedog - Same thing as I said above. And also, you mentioned you don't have time to explore. To that I say, that applies to both schools and both areas.

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<p>Oh, I 100% agree that it applies to both. My point is simply that the New York >>>> Durham advantage is abated by the fact that you spend most of your time on campus, so it doesn't really matter where you are. Obviously, everybody's experience is different, but by and large, activities/classes/research/parties/athletics/social events revolve around campus life. For me, having a beautiful, exciting, and vibrant campus affects your daily life and happiness to a much greater extent than the city the college is situated. But, again, mileage varies by person...I just know personally if I went to Columbia, I'd probably go to museums and restaurants every once in a while, but the vast majority of my time I'd spend on campus. I mean, at least in off campus in Durham all college students can get into the bars/clubs (just don't get a wristband if not 21), while in NYC you can't even get in generally. Obviously, the offerings in Durham from that standpoint pale in comparison to NYC, but as an 18-year old student, I honestly don't think it makes much of a difference. I place much greater importance on campus life, athletics and school pride than being able to spend tons of money in a cosmopolitan city. Everybody has to decide what's important to him or herself, though. In any event, 25% of Duke grads go on to NYC, so you can actually enjoy it when you have an income. :)</p>

<p>Bluedog, I must say your responses are very informative. I only have more inquiry, if you may answer it. Would it be fair to say that life at Columbia prepares you for life after college much better? That would be evident in exactly what you said; life on Duke is great, but isn't the idea to work from the ground up rather than start high up and then 'downgrade'. Duke has a great campus and is a 'nice place to be' (Lets assume this). Wouldn't life after Duke be much harder for a graduate than a graduate from Columbia who didn't get the leisure of having a suburban and affluent campus. I also hear that Columbia is much more competitive than Duke in terms of student relations. And also, lets face it, your dorm in Columbia will be the best apartment you'll have in NYC for a long time, if ever. So, is it fair to say that?</p>

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Bluedog, I must say your responses are very informative. I only have more inquiry, if you may answer it. Would it be fair to say that life at Columbia prepares you for life after college much better?

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<p>No, not at all. This is much more dependent on the individual than the school, but you'd be prepared for life equally as well graduating from Duke or Columbia, by and large. If you mean that you think big city life will better prepare you, there's still plenty of opportunities to do that while a Duke student. 50% of Duke students study abroad; I went to London. Tons of people get summer internships in NYC and DC, etc. There's even a financial markets program that Duke runs in NYC for a semester. Duke</a> Study Abroad : Duke in NY - Financial Markets </p>

<p>Certainly, being a student in NYC you are in a big city far more, but I don't think that in itself "prepares you for life after college much better." I do think there is a little truth to the fact of going out of your comfort zone in college is a good thing. (For example, I personally wouldn't want to go to a state college that all of my friends are going to and room with my best friend from high school, but others think that sounds like a great idea.) For some people, being in a big city IS their comfort zone though, so it's a personal decision. </p>

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That would be evident in exactly what you said; life on Duke is great, but isn't the idea to work from the ground up rather than start high up and then 'downgrade'. Duke has a great campus and is a 'nice place to be' (Lets assume this). Wouldn't life after Duke be much harder for a graduate than a graduate from Columbia who didn't get the leisure of having a suburban and affluent campus. I also hear that Columbia is much more competitive than Duke in terms of student relations. And also, lets face it, your dorm in Columbia will be the best apartment you'll have in NYC for a long time, if ever. So, is it fair to say that?

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<p>Yes, your dorm at Columbia will be the best apartment you'll have in a long time in NYC from a location/amenities standpoint, no disputing that. You contradict yourself here, though. You say "life on Duke is great, but isn't the idea to work from the ground up" and then you say "Columbia will be the best apartment you'll have in NYC for a long time, if ever." Hence, you argue that it's better to be at the bottom of the totem pole in college, but then later say you're at the top at Columbia. So which is it? </p>

<p>Frankly, I think you're overstating the differences here. At BOTH institutions you'll be offered a tremendous number of opportunities with highly motivated peers and faculty members. You'll have world-class research and libraries at your disposal, and it's what you make of it. Duke life isn't any more "leisure" since it's a "suburban and affluent campus." The surrounding area of Columbia is a TON more wealthy than the surrounding area of Duke, by the way. Although, I guess you could say it has more leisure since there are actually fields/quads/courts to play frisbee, football, tennis, and basketball! And you can study peacefully in the beautiful and quiet Duke gardens on 55 acres...Unlike Columbia with its huge by Manhattan-standards 25 foot x 25 foot plot of grass in front of the library (at least, that's my estimate; I think they told me it's the second biggest plot of grass in Manhattan next to Central Park, ha!). If you're an outdoorsy/sports type, Columbia would be a terrible place, in my opinion. Duke has miles of bike trails in the Duke forest, sports fields etc. </p>

<p>I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Columbia; it just provides a different experience and each individual has to decide what's important to him or her. But I'd say at both of these colleges you'll be challenged intellectually, while still having tons of opportunities at your disposal. So neither is complete leisure or a struggle. They probably are similar. With regards to your comment that Columbia is "much more competitive than Duke in terms of student relations," is that a positive or negative? Personally, I don't even know if that's true as I've never taken a course at Columbia. But I want classmates who challenge me to strive for my best, but aren't hyper competitive and are helpful and collaborative. That's exactly the atmosphere I found at Duke. Based on stereotypes/traditional opinion, Columbia is probably more competitive/stimulating on the humanities side while Duke is moreso on the science/pre-med side. But I'd venture to say the difference in negligible.</p>

<p>Really, when considering these two amazing institutions, you MUST decide on fit and where you think you will be happiest. They are both amazing, will offer you a plethora of opportunities and prepare you for whatever your next endeavor in life will be, but in very different atmospheres. You have to simply go with your gut.</p>

<p>^ I totally agree. You can't ask someone else to tell you which school is better for you. You know yourself, and have to make tht judgement based on your own preferences fpr a college experience.</p>

<p>Are you planning on doing an internship during the school year? That's a little to hectic to do at such competitive schools, most kids do it during the summer. I know of people still interning in NY as duke students, like seriously, with internships, it reall doens't matter that its maybe 3 blocks away unless you really are doing one through the school year. think logically</p>

<p>Have you thought about the Core? to some, that makes or breaks a decision. Internships at any respected school will be availible so that isnt really much of a factor.</p>