Columbia University | Teen Ink

Columbia University MAG

February 14, 2009
By Michelle BRONZE, Mason, Ohio
Michelle BRONZE, Mason, Ohio
2 articles 2 photos 0 comments

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.

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This article has 22 comments.

mag4ever said...
on Aug. 13 2012 at 1:15 am
mag4ever, Carrollton, Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments
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! :) 

on Apr. 19 2012 at 10:44 am
LexiClare BRONZE, Allentown, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Carpe Diem: make your life extraordinary."
~"Dead Poets Society"

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?

Inksy SILVER said...
on Nov. 27 2011 at 11:41 pm
Inksy SILVER, NSL, Utah
7 articles 0 photos 89 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead"
~Benjamin Frankiln
"Love? Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love."
~Moulin Rouge

Columbia is my dream (: Amazing journalism program, Ivy League, and it's in NYC. Amazing. Less than 10% acceptance rate though...

on Nov. 3 2011 at 9:36 pm
Randileighlove SILVER, Mertzon, Texas
9 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live In Love

you won't be accepted if you don't spell it right!! ;)

laura22 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 4 2011 at 5:19 pm
laura22 BRONZE, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Quotes "It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit -- enable them to see visions and dream dreams."

""You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world... The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way ... people look at reality, then you can change it."

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.

on Mar. 31 2011 at 5:44 pm
SecretBliss BRONZE, Paterson, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

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?

on Mar. 12 2011 at 4:38 pm
novelistspast. BRONZE, Brook Park, Ohio
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

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... BRONZE said...
on Feb. 1 2011 at 6:59 pm
kim... BRONZE, Ellicott, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
I heard that the Core is too constricting and the administration is corrupt. Do you agree with either of these?

amehndi SILVER said...
on Sep. 1 2010 at 3:40 pm
amehndi SILVER, Plainsboro, New Jersey
7 articles 0 photos 5 comments
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. 

on Aug. 4 2010 at 11:32 pm
nonconformist22 SILVER, Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
The world and I are young-
Never on lips of man, never since time began
Has gladder song been sung.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

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!

on Jul. 23 2010 at 11:17 am
lizzymwrites GOLD, Miami, Florida
13 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only people for me are the mad ones... the ones who never yawn and say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders against the stars." - Jack Kerouac

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!

on Jun. 6 2010 at 9:44 pm
Jane_P PLATINUM, San Clemente, California
25 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
When asked about race...

"Well, when I went to the bathroom I was Russian, and when I came out I was Finnish."

or, alternatively:

"Irish I could tell you."

In the end, it's about you as an achiever. Colleges don't care about which high school you went to, they care about what you did when you were there.


You might have a "legacy" boost though.

Green5 BRONZE said...
on Apr. 13 2010 at 7:31 pm
Green5 BRONZE, Bronx, New York
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
Ive been to Columbia University when i went to "Take a girl to college day" columbia is pretty cool

ignorethis said...
on Feb. 19 2010 at 11:04 pm
ignorethis, Saint Charles, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is in your moments of decision that you're destiny is shaped."

i take it back! sorry, i think i got mixed up with the university of Chicago,,,oops

ignorethis said...
on Feb. 19 2010 at 10:49 pm
ignorethis, Saint Charles, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is in your moments of decision that you're destiny is shaped."

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.

on Jan. 26 2010 at 10:25 pm
spontaneous09 BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
1 article 0 photos 32 comments
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...
on Jan. 4 2010 at 12:08 pm
Wow! Is it a really good one?

liliford1 said...
on Dec. 9 2009 at 12:46 pm
liliford1, East Hampton, New York
0 articles 28 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be happy?"
-Oscar Wilde

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?

Poppyxoxo said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 10:13 am
Poppyxoxo, Atlanta, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I thought I knew alot about Columbia, but as I read this review, I realize that I don't..

on Jun. 24 2009 at 8:32 pm
messijessi BRONZE, Malvern, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 13 comments
Very well written, and it's about a great college.