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How I got into Columbia (Interview 13)

Updated: Dec 2, 2020


SAT: 1530 (740 Math, 790 Reading)

ACT: 35 (36 English, 35 Math, 36 Reading, 34 Science)

GPA: 3.89

Rank in Class: 4

Size of Class: 245

Ap's Taken: Physics Mechanics, AB Calculus, French Language, German Language, Spanish Language, American History, World History, European History, English Language, English Literature, US Government and Politics, Comparative Government.


  • I was the lead editor on my schools newspaper

  • I participated in my schools theatre production team in al four years of high school

  • I was on my schools debate team and served as a leader of the team in my junior and senior years

Personal Story

"You know, at first I wasn't that excited about it. I got into Harvard and Columbia in the spring of last year and I was much more excited for Harvard than Columbia.

After visiting Ithaca and Boston I just fell in love with Ithaca and with Columbia and decided to go there afterward. It was after that point when I started to become really excited about everything I was going to be doing at Columbia and the cool experiences I would have with the amazing people there."

Useful Advice

"I think that the trap a lot of people fall into is that they thing that their essay has to be this tear jerking page that is worthy of a Hollywood movie, but that's not true. All the admissions people want to see if something different which shows off who you are and why you want to go to that school. That's it. Who are you? Why do you want to come here?

Now, what people is that they don't state who they are, but instead what they've done and then say some really cliche response like 'It's a great college' or 'I want to change the world by going here' or something like that. That'll put you in the trash bin right away. Without a doubt. What you want to do instead is emphasize the really specific reasons why you want to go to Columbia, or Harvard or whatever. These should be really really concrete reasons like 'I think I'll have a better chance at getting into Stanford business school if come here and on top of that, I've always wanted to travel to the eat coast to interact with and connect with new ideas.' This is concrete and gives a clear idea that you're a driven person who plans for the future and has a clear idea of how the school will impact their lives.

I believe that people should make sure that their essays are more expressive of who they are and beyond that show who they want to be and how college fits in to all that."

Columbia Undergraduate, Class of 2023

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