I guess Columbia doesn't care about me...? :/

<p>I sent Columbia an email inquiry about three weeks ago with prospective student questions. They haven't responded.</p>

<p>Should I do anything? Or just wait and hope they actually answer...?</p>

<p>Who did you email?</p>

<p>the office of undergrad admissions, since it's the only email I could find.</p>

<p><a href="mailto:ugrad-ask@columbia.edu">ugrad-ask@columbia.edu</a></p>

<p>there was a confirmation email when I sent it but no actual response.</p>

<p>a) you're not the only one to send a question so you could be backlogged.
b) its summer and the staff may be on holiday so they could be slow to reply.
c) like anything online it could be prone to error, suppose someone tried to answer it, but the response never went through and they were unaware of the error.</p>

<p>so it isn't a bad idea just to check in again, do a reply from your original email so they can see you had previously messaged. more than likely they will feel bad they hadn't gotten back to you and it was certainly not intentional.</p>

<p>but having at times been a student answering the email, i know a lot of the questions just end up being things we would link to the frequently asked questions (have you checked those out?). and plus the reason a forum like this exists is so that you can ask your questions and hopefully get a response.</p>

<p>what were your questions, perhaps us folk on here can help answer them for you.</p>

<p>also you could try calling and speak with somebody...you could even get the email for the admissions officers for your region.</p>

<p>but as admissionsgeek said...try us :)</p>

<p>thanks admissionsgeek and lizzy, you guys are always really helpful
I'm aware of the possible issues with e-mailing them, and I do want to point out that the thread title was indeed a hyperbole.</p>

<p>The questions I asked were mostly relevant to things I wanted to know about Columbia, because I knew they would link to the FAQ and they probably wouldn't be too happy with me wasting their time. </p>

<p>I will share the questions with you guys and I hope you will be able to help me, but I must confess I mostly emailed the admissions office so that I could speak to an admissions officer and show interest ( although I'm not too sure an admissions officer even reads these). I truly am in love with Columbia and need every edge I can get to be admitted considering my SAT scores are only good, not great (compared to the ED applicant pool) and my GPA/ class rank/ ECs all took big hits my sophomore year due to rough family issues.</p>

<p>I'll put up the e-mail in the next post.</p>

<p>Here it is:
To the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Columbia University:</p>

<p>I will start off by saying that I am completely in love with Columbia and that it is definitely my first choice school as I can hardly picture myself attending any other institution. I love the atmosphere of the campus and what the university has to offer. I am currently a rising high school Junior and have some questions about the admissions process and Columbia in general. </p>

<p>If I apply early decision, will my chances of acceptance be significantly improved?
I have heard many things about applying early decision. I have been told it would demonstrate my interest in Columbia and I would be more likely to be accepted. However when I visited Columbia I spoke with a tour guide about this and he said not to apply early because it is much more competitive and I would very likely be rejected. I have also been told that the early applicant pool statistics that show higher admission rates are actually ridiculously inflated because of recruited athletes, legacies, etc. Does this hold any truth at Columbia?</p>

<p>How can I contact an alumnus in my area?
I was unable to find anything on the website about contacting an alumnus through e-mail so that I could discuss some aspects of Columbia with them. I live in Massachusetts if that helps. </p>

<p>*Is it difficult to double major at Columbia? *
Currently I am planning on double majoring in biochemistry and foreign language. Would it be difficult to accommodate the needs of a student who is double majoring? Especially in two extremely different fields such as the ones aforementioned?</p>

<p>How easy would it be to arrange a semester (or year) abroad?
Although in the distant future, I would like to study abroad in either Japan, China, or Spain. If I did choose to double major in biochemistry and foreign language, would studying abroad cause issues with completing my majors? Although it is very beneficial to study abroad for a foreign language, I have noticed it is very rare to see study abroad programs that are very science-friendly especially in the countries that I would like to study in. Would this be very difficult to arrange? </p>

<p>Thank you so much for your time.


<p>Any help or advice?</p>

<p>If you get a response, could you PM their response to the first question? Thanks</p>

<p>1) If I apply early decision, will my chances of acceptance be significantly improved?</p>

<p>This is why asking us is usually better for this question. The official stance by Columbia is that the student they admit early would be admitted regular, that they do not believe there is a significant disparity between the two. In reality, I think that the numbers don't lie - it is far more advantageous to apply early not just because the percentage is higher, but just think about it in terms of the size of the pool. In a smaller pool it is easier to stand out, you are not necessarily being compared to folks that are crazy out there. Also there is the fact that applying ED means you have pretty much put out your love and preference for Columbia. So whereas I wouldn't use the word significantly - I would say your chances of being admitted are slightly higher.</p>

<p>2) How can I contact an alumnus in my area?</p>

<p>Columbia most likely will be wary of answering this question just because it involves releasing some personal information of people. Also there is going to be some worry regarding 'fatigue' for alumni, if Columbia provided access for every prospective applicant this would be a mess of a thing, so they would probably respectfully say they cannot help. They may also (as I originally did) mistake your request as a desire to maybe get interviewed beforehand, something Columbia expressly states they would not arrange. Honestly the best way is to reach out to folks you know around you maybe someone you've heard of that went to Columbia.</p>

<p>If that doesn't sound like a great idea - I will provide the following link to the New England Alumni Club (Columbia</a> University - Columbia University Club of New England). It is full of ugrad and grad alumni, so just be clear in your message. You may or may not get a response.</p>

<p>3) Is it difficult to double major at Columbia? </p>

<p>It depends. It depends on your major, it depends on the next question if you want to study abroad. It depends on whether you want to have more electives and freedom to take random things, or if you want to strictly seek out two concrete areas of study to follow. Also, how willing are you to take more than the 5 classes per semester average.</p>

<p>I doubled in a humanities and a social science field, I think I've mentioned that I also dabbled in potentially filling out other majors, and took tons of electives; even the humanities major I ended up doing was more a consequence of taking enough classes than a straight out design. I didn't study abroad, and I think if I had, I probably wouldn't have been able to double major. Statistically only about 1/3 of students will do a double major, a major and a concentration, or multiple concentrations (concentrations are enough to graduate with at Columbia). So whereas clearly in numbers it is done, it is not the choice of a majority of students.</p>

<p>In general Columbia often repeats the refrain that courses in the arts and sciences (columbia college) will be 1/3 core, 1/3 major, 1/3 electives, approximately. Some core classes can count toward your major (the peripheral core like science, for language and global cultures), which make things easier to complete. But then a lot of students will do things like a pre-medical concentration - so they take the pre-med classes and then take only a handful of courses in history or english and that's enough to graduate. Other students will do large majors like econ-math that make it difficult to do another major on top of their large combined major.</p>

<p>4) How easy would it be to arrange a semester (or year) abroad?</p>

<p>As I mentioned before, I don't know if I could've double majored if I had studied abroad for a year let alone a semester. But that was my experience, I dabbled a lot early in college, toyed with econ, political science, philosophy, neuroscience and other fields before ending up in my final double major. If you go in knowing exactly what you want to do, and have to do, perhaps using your summers to complement your study as well, it is extremely possible. I will note, however, that through Columbia support I went to research abroad for two summers, so I did get that experience. And I liked being on campus so much I don't know if I would've wanted to lose out on a semester.</p>

<p>As for setting it up, it is pretty easy, you just talk to your advisor and the Office of Global Programs to figure out the program(s) you want to apply for, and you can be admitted to multiple ones.</p>

<p>So for example - Columbia has intensive summer programs in China if you choose Chinese that would be fun to do. Or you could stay on campus and do research in biochem and get to know professors better (the head of the chem dep't has openly said during this summer science session I once helped out at that they are very willing to help students complete things as soon as possible, and if a student has research experience they will sometimes try and help see if that can bump them past some coursework, super flexible folks).</p>


<p>In general it sounds like you are very ambitious, want to do a lot of things, and I think if you apply and are admitted to Columbia, you will find a lot of students with the same hopes. I think in the end though just make sure you're flexible enough in case any of the above interests don't pan out. If you start taking biochem and realize you hate it. When I read such specific interests and desires I get a bit hesitant - on the one hand it means you're a better applicant because Columbia likes folks who have really thought about and developed interests in things; on the other hand I think it makes it harder to adapt and be okay with change. So just make sure you're prepared to have a good time and learn in case you can't double major and study abroad.</p>

<p>thanks admissionsgeek, I commend you for your helpfulness. Hopefully I'll shine through in my application and the adcom will select me for class of 2016 :D</p>

<p>I just hope they can understand my sophomore year circumstances because I feel like that's the only thing that's really hurting me significantly... :|</p>

<p>Am I the only one to find that email almost sickeningly ingratiating? Just ask your questions.</p>

<p>^I really don't care. Generally I'm an extremely polite person, and I don't want to come off as rude when sending an email to the admissions office of my #1 pick. Two people will be likely to have different perceptions of rude anyways. It's not like I can go and retrieve it and write another.</p>

<p>finally got an e-mail back, admissions geek was right</p>

<p>they were all links to unhelpful FAQ pages and they did think I was requesting an interview</p>


<p>don't be bothered, as i pointed out your questions were not really good for them to give you the kind of behind the scenes view. what you wanted was for someone to take some time to really think this answer out, but with hundreds of emails a day, and the fact that let's suppose they said something wrong (the liability that might have) you weren't going to get what you wanted. for the most part unless you're an admitted student most schools will keep things pretty official, columbia obviously included.</p>

<p>so i hope my answers helped, and perhaps you might get someone else to take a stab at some of your questions on here.</p>


<p>(212) 854-1754</p>

<p>Ask if you can speak with Megan. She's an admissions officer and she'd be glad to spend a few minutes answering your questions.</p>