Columbia University This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 14, 2009
New York, NY: As a college-bound student, I have been looking at different universities' approach to education. Is it innovative and unique? Is it motivating? Does it provoke students into deep thought – or perhaps even action? After much research, a particular university caught my attention, one that truly challenges students to think, question, and learn.

Columbia University, snug in the heart of ever-notorious and notable New York City, has long been hailed as one of America's most prominent liberal universities.

Since its inception in 1754, Columbia has attracted worldwide attention. In the 1960s, it was known for its role in the anti-war movement and a campus-wide ban on the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

While visiting Columbia, I spoke with a third-year student who told me that this is certainly a “liberal campus.” He also told me that Columbia is “receptive to a number of speakers.” Without stating it explicitly, his meaning was apparent, for Columbia is infamous for hosting controversial figures.

In 2007, Columbia President Lee Bollinger invited Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to speak at the school. Ahmadinejad is controversial for his denial of the Holocaust, his public call for the destruction of Israel, his pursuit of nuclear technology, and his government's imprisonment of ­journalists and scholars, including Columbia alumnus Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh. Bollinger's act incited widespread media attention and criticism. He had wished merely to promote “robust debate” but instead roused half the world.

Though Columbia has a long history of pushing society's conventions, it has defined itself as the university of a new, daring intellect. It is a “critical premise of freedom of speech” to be able to hold a forum that makes this debate possible, Bollinger has been noted as saying. “This is ­America at its best.”

Indeed, this is also education at its best.

Learn more at

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 22 comments. Post your own now!

mag4ever said...
Aug. 13, 2012 at 1:15 am
I visited Columbia this past summer! It's such a great, little campus. A lot of parents might be concerned about safety, but I have never felt so safe in my life! The campus is hard to get lost in and has many of NYC's greatest restaurants, cultural events, and sight-seeing opportunities within walking distance or just a taxi or subway ride away.   I'm going to be a senior this year in high school and have already started my application. I highly recommend this school! :) 
LexiClare said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 10:44 am
Ivy League was always a dream... now it's time to focus.  Columbia would be just perfect, in the heart of the country, the liberality ;), and an outstanding writing program.  The question is, though..... what do they really want from you?
Inksplotch said...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm
Columbia is my dream (: Amazing journalism program, Ivy League, and it's in NYC. Amazing. Less than 10% acceptance rate though...
Randileighlove said...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm
you won't be accepted if you don't spell it right!! ;)
laura22 said...
Jun. 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Columbia is my first choice for college, hopefully I will be exepted to go. You make the school sound so great. NYC is also a big plus. They have a great teacher's college.
SecretBliss said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Columbia University is a great school from what i hear but i had a question i was wondering you can answer...i've tried to contact the school via email but they havent really answered my question and i tried looking on their home website. Well i just wanted to know if they accept american sign language as a requirement fulfillment?
journalist_NY said...
Mar. 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Columbia is a highly respectable school; it's professors are brought to the campus from all over the world. New York in all it's hustle and bustle still manages to keep us on our toes waiting for the next big thing. I've always hoped to be part of their medicine program and serve the community in NYC. Hopefully I'll get the chance one day.
kim... said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm
I heard that the Core is too constricting and the administration is corrupt. Do you agree with either of these?
amehndi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm
Columbia is my dream school, especially because of its amazing journalism program and its great location in NYC. I would be absolutely thrilled to get in, even though I know it's really selective in accepting students. 
nonconformist22 said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm
I WOULD LOVE to go to Columbia...they have the best School of Journalism in the country, and that's what i hope to be. The world needs more people telling their truths, and i believe Columbia is doing just that. Thanks for the review!
lizzymwrites said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 11:17 am
Getting into Columbia has been my dream for a while now, it's a great college. Only 11% of the applicants get in, though. Wonderful article!
Green5 said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Ive been to Columbia University when i went to "Take a girl to college day" columbia is pretty cool
redjuarez said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm
I've heard that the people at Columbia are quick to criticize and there is absolutely no room for anything half-baked or filled with holes. I've also heard that the teachers aren't very interested in the helping the students personally. This is all hearsay though.
redjuarez replied...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm
i take it back! sorry, i think i got mixed up with the university of Chicago,,,oops
spontaneous09 said...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Thanks, I didn't know why this university was so popular. You enlightened me a lot but I wish you would have expanded on how the education they offer is the best.
Portlynne said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Wow! Is it a really good one?
Poppyxoxo said...
Dec. 1, 2009 at 10:13 am
I thought I knew alot about Columbia, but as I read this review, I realize that I don't..
messijessi said...
Jun. 24, 2009 at 8:32 pm
Very well written, and it's about a great college.
Abigail_W said...
Jun. 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm
My brother went to Columbia, and he graduated a year ago. I hear it's wicked hard to get into.
liliford1 replied...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm
I hope not. But I do have a question for anybody that could answer.
Do you think that I have a good chance of getting in? I've wanted to for years and years... My grandma went there, my dad went there, and so did one of my uncles. I go to a very cultural school that would stand out to any college. But do I have a chance even with all of that?
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