Columbia University in the City of New York Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Zach

great school

Duo

Columbia University in the City of New York offers countless opportunities for students of all backgrounds. The diversity of the campus is its initial draw; afterwards, you find that many of your peers may share the same interests as you. There are countless opportunities both on campus and around the city that caters to almost everything, from finance to scientific research to interior design. Columbia University is known not only for its groundbreaking research (it has more Nobel laureates than any other university in America), but also for the strength of its undergraduate program, defined by the well-known Core Curriculum that exposes students to a wide range of studies meant to widen the student's academic horizon.

Wenjun

1. The atmosphere here is great. You'll be influenced by students around you and really push yourself. 2. Some of the equipment is a little old although we have to pay a lot for it. 3. The location is great and everything is convenient. Lots of events and opportunities. 4. The school system runs great. You can learn almost everything on the website.

Xueyan

When I was a child in China, I knew Columbia is one of the best schol all over the world. I studied hard and got a chance to study here. The campus is large and I like the campus squirrels. Most of my part time is spent in the Butler Library. I enjoy time there. Everyone around you work hard, it is a real place for you to study. Most of the students are crazy workaholics.

Nathan

I am incredibly pleased with my experience at CU. The campus is incredible, and the location within the city presents such an amazing opportunity. Yes the work is hard, and there's a lot of it, but the diverse and vibrant study body always surges together to overcome adversity. There is never a dull moment, always so much going on, and activities/groups/people for everyone. Literally everyone; every single type of person. School pride could be better, as sports do not have a huge campus presence. There are some space issues that come with being in the most crowded city on Earth, as well. But overall the campus is cozy yet spacious, the student body is diverse and talented, yet accessible and welcoming, and the school itself presents innumerable opportunities for challenge and growth.

Anthony

Although I'm sure every student says this about their college, I can say without a doubt that the Columbia experience is unlike any other. The most obvious reason for this is the location of campus: New York City, one of the great cultural capitals of the world. With that said, it is important to understand that you must make an effort to take advantage of the city; the city experience will not simply come to you. I know of students who go almost entire semesters without ever leaving Morningside Heights (sometimes referred to as "Boringside Heights" by Columbians). In a city like New York with its multitude of experiences and a thousand worlds for the choosing, this is simply a shame. A large reason for this "Morningside bubble" is the fact that the University's academic demands are rigorous and leave little time for free exploration of this great city. There is another side to that, however, because you will be hard-pressed to find a more rewarding intellectual experience anywhere else. Most of your professors are at the top of their respective fields, and you are surrounded by brilliant students who add to your understanding in ways that you couldn't have anticipated. I am currently taking Kenneth Jackson's "History of the City of New York" class. This is a perfect example of what makes Columbia unique. Professor Jackson is a highly-renowned historian whose knowledge of the city is second to none. Additionally, all students who take the class participate in out-of-class activities that are designed to increase appreciation for this great city. The major downsides in my experience have mostly been administration-related. As a student on financial aid, my experience with this department has been nothing short of excruciating. Every year, the financial aid department demands forms that have already been turned in, have lost other forms, and have generally been unhelpful throughout the whole process. Additionally, with last year's infamous drug bust the administration has cracked down on Greek life, though interest in fraternities and sororities has never been higher to my knowledge. In general, I just get the sense that the administration is incompetent in virtually everything they do, which I know was not the case for my sister, who went to Yale. Finally, if you're looking for a school with a thriving sports culture, avoid Columbia like the plague. We are simply a joke when it comes to sports. Other than crew and perhaps one or two other low-profile teams, no one has any school spirit and almost no one goes to any games other than Homecoming. This plays into what I believe is a larger flaw with the school; a lack of community.

f

I love going to school at Columbia. To keep it simple, I'll list my favorite (and not so favorite) things about it: favorites: -it's in the city! we really do take advantage of the opportunities here -it is its own campus! you couldn't walk by Columbia and not notice. we have our own college town in morningside heights -morningside heights is the best. so college-y, so homey -it's big but not too big. i wanted to escape my tiny high school, but not feel lost in a huge institution. columbia has been the perfect balance. i take massive lectures and small seminars. -it's so diverse. there is no Columbia "type." everyone is different, interesting, unique -the core curriculum. i am getting a real, classical education. it's priceless. -the resources. it's Columbia! can't beat it. alumni network, NYC opportunities, etc. -the reputation. the best country in the nation. not-so-favorites: -it's not the warmest. Columbia is NOT a "cold" place, but you really do need to look our for yourself. nobody is holding your hand. i like this and dislike it. -the bureaucratic administration has a lot of "red tape" -not so much school spirit, attendance at athletic games -not good cafeteria food (but we live in NYC with the best food in the world!)

Shruti

This is a big city - not at all a college town - but in New York, everything is here. If you need to get away, a train to New Jersey is not at all expensive. Administration is typical of what to be expected. School size is just right - there are giant lecture classes as well as small seminars. The library is very popular.

Matthew

Columbia provides one of the best college experiences in the nation, and that begins with New York City. I simply cannot comprehend spending my four years in another place. When you combine the greatest city in the world with one of the best universities in the world, you simply cannot go wrong. A great example of this is Kenneth Jackson's "History of the City of New York" class. Not only are you studying with a world-renowned scholar of New York, but you are also going into the city, as you are required to go on eight field trips with your professor! The same thing goes for other classes, such as Masterpieces of Western Music, where you are required to go to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. These opportunities do not exist at any other top quality institution. All that being said, there clearly are some negative aspects of the school. First, the administration (including the advising deans) are not helpful or intelligent. You pretty much have to figure out your own way through the Core and your major. Also, the university is not focused on generating school pride for its undergraduates. Our sports teams are terrible, and hardly anyone turns out for games. One thing that actually generates some fun on campus is Greek life, but after the recent Columbia drug bust, the university has cracked down on that aspect of the school. Being a member of the Greek community, it has been hard to deal with this, but we continue to carry on. One experience that I love every year though is tree-lighting. At the beginning of December on College Walk (the walking street that runs through the middle of campus), all of the trees are wrapped in white holiday lights, and are lit every evening. When they are lit for the first time, the entire school comes out to watch, and a number of a cappella groups sing holiday classics and the student councils pass out hot chocolate. It's wonderful to see the entire school come together before finals and break.

Simon

Columbia is my home, plainly put. I really can't think of anywhere else that I feel as comfortable as I do when I walk through the gates and back across Low Plaza by Alma Mater... it's an indescribable feeling. We have it all - amazing research opportunities, a tight-knit campus community, New York City and all its glamour right in our back yard. It's the first and only place I've really ever thought, "I can do anything."

Jesse

I believe my friend put it best when she said Columbia is a political, intellectual institution. Ideas and principles and names like the ones the façade of Butler Library (Homer, Ovid, Cervantes, ect.) are the things that knit you and your 1,500 starry-eyed peers together in your four years here. It's not a normal undergraduate community in any sense of the word; no one is going to hold your hand. But keep in mind, because you're in NY, you are going to be handed a thousand opportunities here you couldn't anywhere else.

Phillip

Being at Columbia is overall, awesome. You have to work really hard, but you'll have plenty of good times. In my first year I experienced the Amhadinejad protest and got on national TV briefly talking to Geraldo when Fox came to visit, spoke to Natalie Portman, and got to speak to and hear John Legend live. I find myself flipping throughout the year between "this is so great" and "I can't stand all this work", but the overall experience is positive. For instance, I'm spending this summer up in New York City working for a professor who is paying for my housing. Like any college experience you'll have your good and bad though. Not being too much into the party scene I had a difficult time meeting people in the beginning, but managed just fine in the end. The academics are, of course, rigorous, but I found that through help rooms and office hours the resources are definitely there to help you if you take advantage of them. But when the year is finished, you won't find yourself thinking about all the work, but that time your and your friends sneaked onto the roofs of several buildings or explored the tunnels, the crazy day that Amhadinejad came to visit full of crazy protesters, people dancing (yes, dancing), singing and laughing, debating socio-politics till five in the morning, and the simple times just sitting around and talking with some great new friends.

sam

the core: a lot of hit or miss classes taught largely by grad students, some great and some awful. i hated many of these classes, but in the end, i'm really glad that i went through some kind of core-like program (more on that later). the campus: 97% of students (or something like that) in the undergrad programs live on campus all 4 years. campus is beautiful, walled off from the city, and pretty far from any really 'cool' parts of town. there is less campus social life than anywhere else i've been (i've visited friends at a lot of other similarly expensive colleges). the social world near campus is basically about 5 bars that accept fake ID with varying levels of skepticism...it can be weird and alienating as an 18 year old to know that you are supposed to get a fake or make your own fun. i went to a lot of concerts at the beginning, which was great but didn't contribute at all to feeling like i knew people in school.

Alex

The best thing about Columbia is opportunity. From Nobel-prize winning and world reknowned professors to award winning institutions (not just for the Grad students), a once-in-a-lifetime experience is common place here. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I would change at Columbia, especially some of their policies (both academic and social) which are excessive and only serve to make a student's life harder. The school size, just speaking for the undergraduate schools of Columbia College and SEAS, is just right. Its large enough to get lost in the crowd and meet new people all the time, but its small enough to create a strong community where you know or know of a lot of people (especially within classes). Its also the perfect size for our campus, which probably couldn't hold any more and would feel empty if it held any less. The campus is also gorgeous and well planned with buildings close together and almost all available in one section cut out of the grid-locked streets of Manhattan. I get many different reactions when I tell people I go to Columbia. The most popuar is the "Ooooh" response, where people seem to automatically think negatively about me and assume I'm pretentious. There's also the "Wow" response, where people are genuinely impressed and think positively of me. Another common one is a simple "Okay" response, which can be a toss up between indifferent and thinking I mean Columbia college in Chicago or University of Colombia in South America or have never heard of it. I tend to spend most of my time in the dorms, its where I sleep, where I cook, where my friends are, and where I study, which is basically all I have time for. I try to get out into THE BEST COLLEGE TOWN, the lovely city of New York on Manhattan, as much as possible, which is always fun and exciting. I've lived here for more than two years now and I still amazed that I live here, right on Broadway, and can hop a subway anytime I want to go explore the best city in the world. When I think of school pride, I tend to think of sports. Unfortunately, Columbia students, except for the athletes themselves, don't care about sports here. There are three reasonable explanations for this: (1) Our sports teams aren't considered very good among students, even though a handful of them are the best in the League, (2) They have too much else to worry about and don't have time or interest in going to a sporting event or joining athletics themselves, and (3) Many students resent the athletes who were recruited to come here because they feel Columbia has lowered their standards for them, which is rediculous because the athletes perform just as well academically as non athletes. I wish more people went to football games and basketball games and made it a big deal, but its the fault of the students for not caring and the administration for not doing enough to advertise or make them care about their school. Other than pride for sports teams, students feel great pride for the school itself, but probably only for its esteemed stature. Columbia is jam packed with news-making controversy every year. My freshmen year the big event was the Minute Men protest which made Bill O'Reilly officially hate us. My sophomore year brought one of the current most hated men in the world to speak on campus, Irani President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If Bill O'Reilly was thinking of giving Columbia another chance, this even definitely sealed his hatred for us. This event was history making and important to everyone in the world. I am extremely glad I was here to experience and was able to sit on a packed South Lawn with every other student and watch the "discussion" from a giant screen TV, I will absolutely never forget it. Ahmadinejad was definitely not the first controversial speaker Columbia as had and certainly won't be the last. I can't wait to see what boils up during my junior year!

Brooke

Columbia is the Ivy with it all: big city life and a great education. Because of the city, it is not the place for someone who wants a strong sense of school pride. In your first years, it may be more difficult to explore the city, but there is plenty of time for that- and it's always there. Because almost all freshman are in two dorms on campus, you see at least twenty faces you know on any given day walking around campus. Also, the dining plan ensures that you always have a dining hall full of people from your class to eat with. If you want nothing to do with anything political, then Columbia is not for you. Whether it be the arrival of the President of Iran or a student-staged hunger strike in protest of Columbia's expansion into Harlem, we are always stirring up political controversy. Though the first semester can be difficult (adjusting to college life and life in the Big Apple can be pretty unsettling, though awesome), Columbia is an amazing school.

Anna

Columbia is in New York City. It's what nobody says on the application, but what everybody's thinking - if you come here, you have to love the city! I love our campus (only school in Manhattan that has one), but if a super-campus feel is important to you, pick another school. Columbia likes to call NYC the extension of our small campus. Columbia doesn't have the name recognition of Harvard/Yale/Princeton and I like that - it definitely helps keep you grounded that not everybody knows Columbia. We've had, and continue to have, our fair share of controversies. Last fall Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to speak on campus as part of our annual World Leaders Forum. A lot of people were really angry (mainly Fox news and people unaffiliated with the university) and it really spurred a lot of activism on campus. In retrospect I think people are glad it happened because it definitely created a community feeling and showed that students are still capable of caring about things.

Catherine

I love Columbia, but the administration is awful. As I mentioned, I spent my freshman year at Duke, where things ran smoothly, from housing to Flex/meal plans to financial aide and registration. At Columbia everything is a huge hassle and when you have a problem the people you deal with to fix it have not, in my experience, been helpful or pleasant, which seems to be a common complaint amongst students. On the whole though, going to school in New York is amazing, the housing is great, and the campus is beautiful and well-maintained.

Shelby

Columbia is an absolutely top-tier institution with solid faculty, resources, and students. It is one of the most popular Ivies, and there's more to its appeal than New York City (honestly, if people just came for that, they could go to NYU). I've found that the University caters to a specific type of student: one who is fairly independent and will chart his own academic course. There's very little hand-holding after orientation, although advisers are fairly prompt about setting up meetings, and prospective students should know that this is not a communal liberal arts college. That being said, Columbia does have a self-contained, vibrant community for a mid-sized university.

Sarah

I love Columbia and think it offers a college experience like no other university or college in the U.S.; that said, I realize that it's not for everyone. Here's what you should know before applying. The campus is beautiful and safe (lots of police), but it's not a traditional campus in the vein of Yale's or Princeton's. Architecturally, most buildings have a beautiful Beaux Arts look (there are a few post-60s eyesores, as at any school), and I think Columbia's campus is more majestic than most. However, it won't offer total seclusion from the city (nor should it), and you definitely have to like urban environments to appreciate it. The dorms range from okay to pretty good (nothing too amazing, but the upperclass suites are nice), the libraries are outstanding, and the adjacent neighborhood has an academic feel that renders it a little quieter than downtown. (There are a lot of fun bars and restaurants right by campus that are perfect for college students.) All these factors make Columbia a wonderful hybrid of a more traditional campus and a stimulating urban environment. I'd say it's in the middle of a continuum that has Princeton on one end and NYU on the other.

Nicholas

Big school. Bigger than I'm used to. And there's a swim test. It seems like there's always something going on at Columbia, which I appreciate. No matter what you're into, there's an event, club, or party available. This could be largely due to the fact that Columbia has such a diverse student body (at least that's what I'm told), and that everyone is so ambitious. The thing that I'm most conscious of is that I'm completely on my own here. Getting anything done--whether it's homework, schedule planning, a trip to the nurse--requires personal effort. The advisors here generally do not help you, if you need an answer you need to hound them. People told me before I came here that no one was going to hold my hand, but at times it feels less like freedom and more like neglect.

Toby

Columbia is best when you are not there and not dealing with it. It is best when you are interviewing for a job, networking with someone, hitting on someone at a bar, talking to someone at a party; etc. It is all name and little else. It lacks the resources and money of other schools, and the result shows it. The Ivy sterotype of accomplished professors who can't teach holds true here to a greater extent than most other schools. But oh how that name can work wonders when trying to impress/get a job/get into grad school.

Nicolas

Columbia's best feature is its beautiful Beaux-Arts campus. For those who want a more campus-y college experience, it's there for them, and for those who want a more independent, city-driven experience, the rest of Manhattan is only a short subway ride away. Despite being a huge university with thousands of grad students, I'd say that the size of Columbia College and Engineering is about the right size and we are certainly the focus of the Columbia administration. The administration as a whole is a notorious bundle of red-tape, and it takes a long time for things to get done, but when they do, Columbia usually does them pretty well (off-campus Flex, housing renovations, etc.). Columbia is known for its controversial speakers (Minutemen, Ahmadinejad, etc.) and so Fox News, especially Bill O'Reilly, has staged a personal vendetta against us for it, which has its pros and cons. So we are known either as a powerhouse of intellectual superiority by our friends, or a center of fascist liberal indoctrination by our enemies. It's an interesting dichotomy.

gabby

midsized school in a more suburban part of nyc. overall students do not appreciate teh admin but i think that overall they want to work in our favor. i love columbia including the student body. i would want to make students be more relaxed.

Aasha

I like that Columbia has a great, small campus but then is in new york city so you have the best of both worlds. Columbia has a little bubble with local stores, restaurants, and bars but we also have the luxury of being able to "go downtown" and get away from campus really easily. Columbia is really passionate and really liberal so it can be overwhelming--there are always protests and rallies and sometimes tempers flare. (Having Ahmadinejad come and speak took over the campus for the entire semester, which after awhile, was pretty annoying...) Columbia's administration is very out of touch with the students' needs and there's a lot of frustration with the curriculum, housing, financial aid, etc. It's nice that because Columbia is so old (over 250 years and still strong), we have a lot of fun traditions, stories, and superstitions.

Leah

It's a perfect size school, gives you the feeling of a big city but also a small college campus, makes you feel very intellectual and that you are a part of a long history, has a wonderful library, the sports aren't great but the academics are top noch, great parties, great being in the city

Harper

the best thing about columbia is that it's in new york city. the size is just right. people react positively when I tell them I go to Columbia. My professors are fantastic.

Bruna

The best thing about Columbia is the campus. the literal aesthetic value of Columbia's campus was enough to make me decide to come here over any other (definitely cheaper, and probably more relaxed) schools. I feel like I'm in a college when I wake up in the morning and some days here when the weather is nice are just gorgeous. Also the benefits of being located in Manhattan, but not exactly in the center, are really numerous. I'd change the administration's attitudes towards students. There's this idea at Columbia that students who come here are independent and don't need help with anything. Therefore, the administration likes to emphasize how they don't "hand hold." However, that's just code for they make a lot of really good services that Columbia offers for its students difficult to access because students don't want to ask for help and don't know how to get help when they need it.

Ryan

I love Columbia- I've had unbelievable opportunities to travel, to meet famous professors and scholars, to see important political figures... the resources are extensive, and are some of the best in the world. The only thing I would change would be the connection between the administration and the students- it always seems to be overly intense, but I think this is half the reason why students choose to come here in the first place. It's tough to find the time to leave campus on occasion, because many of the things that NYC is known for are at least 30 minutes away by subway, but it is doable. The courses can be difficult, but many of the professors are very willing to help students, and as much as the environment is competitive, everyone wants to see everyone else succeed. I'll always remember the main quad in spring- the steps are always covered in students, the fields are full of people playing frizbee, some play guitar and dance troupes are outside practicing.

Chris

Columbia is great because there are so many different kinds of people here. i wish that there was more of a campus wide community, but this is new york city, so it will never be like a state school. the school is perfect size for me, just big enough that i can walk on campus and still see someone i know. the hunger strike on campus last semester was interesting, because i saw columbia allowing its students freedom of speech and treating them with respect.

Pauline

I love Columbia's campus. It is absolutely gorgeous. The dating scene isn't the best but in general I've met a lot of nice boys and girls. Most of them smart, though some are just book smart. Columbia is not a great party school but sometimes the few parties that do happen are fun. Thank God we have bars and places to go out just down the street. Also, the RAs are sometimes way too strict and not very nice (not always of course). And we are in NYC which is awesome! I'm really loving Columbia!

Leah

Columbia has the best of both worlds. Morningside Heights is like a small college town but if you ever get bored exploring things in the immediate vicinity of the campus you have ALL of New York city at your fingertips. A lot of people don't realize how important it is to be in an urban environment and have options open to you. With all the museums, concerts and restaurants- you'll never get bored in the city.

kelly

One of the best things about Columbia is its location. Being in New York City, especially coming from Arkansas, has opened up so many new doors. Being a student here has allowed me to have so many more experiences than I would have in Arkansas. In addition, the multi-cultural aspect of Columbia's campus. Everyone has a different life story and come from all around the world. Only at Columbia, I believe that all four of my suite mates were born in different countries.

Cameron

The people here are awesome. Because you have such intelligent people living around you, conversations are always interesting! I spend my time with friends in the freshman dorms, I spend my time in Butler library, which is gorgeous. There are many options for places to eat and the foods way better than at any other college I have eaten at. Obviously NYC isn't a college town. The neighborhood is really safe. I walk home by myself from a bar at 3 a.m from 104 to 116th and have no problem.

Andy

If I could I would eliminate the ideology of race on our campus.

Leila

Columbia is amazing - it is small enough to feel like a home and a familiar campus, but large enough so that it doesn't get boring. Also, the fact that we are located in a quieter part of the city is amazing; it is so easy to get downtown to experience the exciting clubs and restaurants, but equally fun to stay uptown and enjoy campus life and our own bars filled with Columbia students.

Sarah

You'll get sucked into the competitive, I need to study all night in Butler on a FRIDAY mode because everyone around you is a neurotic freak. You think there is something wrong with you if you don't feel like doing your reading and going to the Heights instead...on a Wednesday. I wish the bar/party scene was better, because going to the same 3 places every night of the weekend can get really old, really fast. Columbia seems to have some sort of "war on fun" going on, if you will. The nice thing is that we are in the city, so you can go downtown and to other areas to party, but that can get expensive. Also, unless you make a VERY conscious effort, it is really easy to get stuck in the "Columbia bubble" and never go below 110th, even on the weekends...it's that whole "I need to study constantly and make myself crazy to get an A" mentality. There is very little school pride, and it is depressing when it is hard to convince people to go to a football or basketball game with you. Yes, I agree that our teams aren't the best, but the games can still be fun, especially if you bring your own flask :). But also, because people are so anti-establishment here or hate athletes for some reason (probably because they were that loser in high school who secretly wished he/she was an athlete or at least good at something that didn't involve a book), they don't want to have anything to do with the sports teams, let alone go to their games. It's usually other athletes or ex-athletes that go to the sporting events. Joining a sorority was the best thing I ever did, because the only normal people are in them, or on a sports team.

Alison

Its a very small school, people for the most part know of each other or can recognize most of their class. Its a unique experience because of its location as a real campus but in the middle of NYC. There is alot of school pride, but not so much school spirit. Sports are almost non existent unless you are on a team.

Julie

The best thing about Columbia is population that hangs out, outside, specifically on the lawns and the Low steps when it's warm out. You can find people playing frisbee, football, smoking hookah, tanning, reading a book, enjoying a meal, or just simply hanging out and it's simply a fabulous environment to surround yourself in.

Michelle

While there is a lot of controversy about Columbia in the media, you don't feel it as much on campus. Most of my time is spent around Columbia's campus on the Upper West Side.

Katherine

there is no campus life. no social scene. there are no parties. people do not talk to each other in class. people do not make friends in classes. people are unfriendly.

Andy

The best thing about Columbia is its location and reputation

Anastasia

What many people consider the best thing about Columbia (I mean, they call it "Columbia University in the City of New York") is New York City. The city provides the social life that the campus lacks, and there are all the obvious shows, museums, etcetera that serve as entertainment and additional class materials. There is nothing like being able to get virtually anything to eat at three in the morning, or seeing the Vermeer your Art History professor blathered on about for fifty million years in class up close and in person. New York City provides access in a way, I believe, few other universities can. On the other hand, the city stunts the social life on campus. Traditional social events are often phased out, and the tough policies on IDs and so on that have overtaken the city have had similar effects at the local bar scene. Underage drinking is definitely on it's way out, which may be a positive for some but is often seen as a flaw by anyone looking to have the quintessential college experience. The administration here can be difficult to navigate--it's a lesson in patience, smarts, and dealing with customer service people. People who choose Columbia should be aware that the red tape they'll deal with may make parts of their experience wholly unpleasant, and I've rarely encountered a Columbia without complaint about the advising system here. Many claim that good advising exists, you just have to dig for it, but in my experience there are a lot of bumps to finding it. Of course, Columbia is a name brand school and when you tell friends and family you're going here, they may be impressed. That's probably a bad reason to choose a college.

abby

I love columbia as a whole, but right now I am too bitter about the social situation and hearing my best friends complain about it to comment on anything else

Allie

Columbia has many different aspects that are grouped into 2 categories: social and academic. The academic side seems ridiculously rigorous. The amount of homework I am assigned per class is basically impossible to finish and when you add up all the homework for every class you get an amount so large that it would drive 99% of people insane. The teachers seem to not care about the student but then a very small percentage care enough to make it worthwhile. You cannot get too into your work or you will go crazy and you need to realize that college is more than just grades it is the entire experience that makes it what it is. The social aspect can seem very lame at a distance, but if you find the right people and make your own fun, it can be a great time. However, you certainly need to know how to find fun on your own because it most definately does not come to you. At the end of the day if you do not take yourself to seriously Columbia can be a decent experience.

Andy

It's nice but it's small so by the time you're a senior you know everybody. People act too intellectual - that's what I would change. Not a college town.

Marisa

Best thing about Columbia is the city, and then classes. The level of education you receive is worth every penny that you pay. I may complain about going to classes frequently, but the truth is that I really enjoy what I am studying and the opportunities (such as going abroad) that Columbia offers. The fact that you are in the center of the world doesn't hurt either, whatever you want to do, at whatever time you want to do it, the city will most likely offer it. It is the most vibrant and lively place in the world that you will never cease to be bored to explore.

Liz

Columbia is great for its diversity. Lots of students from different places, different backgrounds, etc. I think the size is perfect: I feel like I know everyone but I keep meeting new people. There is no college town, per say, but Morningside Heights is homey and has a real college atmosphere. I love it here.

Christina

Columbia is really great. The location is wonderful and has just enough college town feel.

Johanna

When Columbia students are asked "So, how do you like Columbia?" the most popular refrain you'll hear is "Oh, New York is great!" There is really not much of a campus life here; they really aren't kidding when they say that New York is our campus. This is good and bad, as we do have access to one of the most amazing cities in the world, but at the same time it makes it hard to feel like you have any connection to the campus other than that it houses the buildings where you have class. It almost feels like a commuter school in that everyone has their own thing going on. Granted this depends some on what dorm you live in, and whether you are good friends with people on your floor (which can add to the sense of campus community), but for the most part you don't just "run into" people a lot here. Other than choral or dance group performances and random (and severely under-attended) student council events, I honestly can't think of any events that people here actually get excited about. That's another big thing - there is absolutely NO school spirit. Absolutely none. Whatsoever. A lot of people you will talk to have a Columbia shirt because they like repping that they got into an Ivy, not because they are particularly huge fans of Columbia or what it stands for. That's mostly because it stands for very little besides its stellar academic reputation. There are few places better for a lot of academic specialties, but as far as you having a "typical college experience"... not so much. Overall, this school will not give you a complete college experience by default, but it will give you a diploma from an amazing school.

Sarah

I sometimes wish the school were a little larger, because I feel like I constantly run into the same people every single day. It would be nice to see a few more new faces from time to time. I love being in NYC for college, this is definitely a plus as there are so many opportunities to take advantage of in the city. There is not a lot of school pride and I wish there was more. This is one of students' more frequent complaints. People are always impressed when they hear you are a Columbia grad or student, because it is an amazing school, after all.

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