tjTOMORROW: Columbia University


Ellen Kan

Representative Sarah Quin presented the features of Columbia University at the College and Career Center on Oct. 27.

Ellen Kan, Print Editor-in-Chief

Name: Columbia University in the City of New York

Location: New York City, NY

Freshman Class Size: 1,430 students (Columbia College and Columbia Engineering combined)

Strong programs: Columbia Business School, Columbia Law School, undergraduate engineering, English, Earth Sciences, Economics, History, Political Science and Public Health majors, undergraduate research, internship opportunities, study abroad programs

Representative: Sarah H. Quin, 212-854-1975, [email protected]

Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest university in the United States. A member of the prestigious Ivy League, Columbia offers its students unparalleled opportunities in the one of the world’s most dynamic cities, New York City. Columbia students are known for their enthusiasm and passion in advocating for community issues, and the campus-oriented student population remains tightknit despite the overwhelming attractions in New York City.

During the information session, the representative commented on the many perks of the Columbia undergraduate experience. Seniors can apply to either Columbia College, which offers degrees in the arts and physical sciences, or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, also known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering.

Both graduates of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are required to take at least part of the Core Curriculum, a set of humanities-based courses that is one of the hallmarks of a Columbia education. In Core seminars, students explore both classical and contemporary literature through insightful discussions. The ideas covered in these classes provide Columbia graduates with essential critical thinking skills and a lifelong appreciation for the classics.

The representative also highlighted the significance of attending school in New York City. There are countless resources available in the world’s financial and cultural capital; Columbia’s Center for Career Education (CCE), for example, frequently sets up internships with prominent organizations for students. Notable politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs also regularly engage with students on campus, and students can experience cultural attractions such as Broadway shows and museums at reduced prices or even for free. In turn, Columbia students can give back to the community by participating in a variety of extracurricular activities and study abroad programs.

The application process is a difficult one, as acceptance rates are under 7 percent. The representative urged students to serve as their own advocates in the admissions process. She encouraged applicants to go into detail about their accomplishments and advised against downplaying achievements for the sake of sounding humble.

She also emphasized that grade point average (GPA) is taken into account on a school-by-school basis, reassuring students that Jefferson’s rigorous courses will not put applicants at a disadvantage. In addition, Columbia’s need-blind admissions policy ensures that all students are given a fair chance, regardless of financial handicaps.

Overall, Columbia University is an appealing option for students seeking the ideal undergraduate experience. The package deal includes a firm foundation in the liberal arts, even for graduates of Columbia Engineering; exposure to a diverse array of student interests and activities; incomparable access to New York City’s cultural and entrepreneurial resources; and few financial burdens for applicants whose families cannot afford to pay for an Ivy League education.