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academic rigor and competitiveness/ best students; Columbia SUPP/ Why Columbia?

Sabahat 3 / 7 2  
Dec 28, 2012   #1
This a supplement to Columbia where we have to tell what you find most appealing about Columbia and why.. I have said everything truthfully but i feel as if it sounds a bit boastful and arrogant. What do you guys think? Is it appropriate? especially first paragraph. Any suggestions on improving it are welcome and please correct any grammatical mistakes. I will definitely help back anyone who gives a meaningful response. Thank you guys.

There are several things about Columbia that I find appealing about Columbia. The most appealing has to be the academic rigor and competitiveness at this institute. Columbia is one of the best and the best of the best students attend Columbia. I believe that I have a lot of potential in me and I want to test myself against the best in the world as I believe that I have the capacity to do so. I feel that the competition at my current school is not very great and there are not many students who are really serious about their studies. I want to compete against students who can push me to my limits. I don't want to be disrespectful to my fellow students nor do I want to boast but I feel that I am capable of doing more than what I am doing right now. It is just that my mind knows that I don't need to push myself too hard to be at top right now and I am also suffering academically due to my classmates as we are not taught advanced stuff because most of my fellow students are 'lost' during lessons. When I asked my science teacher about not learning something advanced and more complex she told me that she has to keep my fellow students in mind when planning courses. Unfortunately, due to lack of means and resources I cannot learn individually and have to depend on whatever lessons we are being taught at school. Therefore,it is a great opportunity for me to test myself against the best and to know my potential. I am pretty sure I have the capabilities to succeed among the best.

All these factors greatly influenced my decision to apply to Columbia and I am hopeful that I will be able to spend some great years of my life there.

P.S. is this topic fine or should i write about the beautiful campus and location? because that's also an option

anon13 - / 2 2  
Dec 28, 2012   #2
This is a good effort. However, there are two big issues with this essay:

1. Substitute Harvard for Columbia. Re-read. Do you see the issue? Admissions officers will think that you don't really know anything about Columbia other than its "big name." In order to be a compelling applicant, you need to convince the officer that you really love Columbia - not just competitive school X - since it's important to officers that they keep their yield high (meaning that if you're admitted, you'll come).

2. Is this too boastful? In my opinion, yes. You should avoid complaining in your essay (while you may not be challenged at your current school, there is almost no way to tackle this issue without coming off negatively).

This is what I think you need to consider when changing this essay around:

-Is there any particular program at Columbia that attracts you, and why? You need to at least mention what school [CC vs. Engineering] you're applying to.

-Talk about how you'd add some new perspective (maybe cultural?) to the Class of 2017
-You can talk about New York. However, be very specific. This is what I'd do: find an internship -- perhaps only available to Columbia/New York students -- that interests me. I'd research it, then write about it in my essay. What this tells admissions officers is that you have a compelling reason to be a Columbia student.

-Don't write about the beauty of New York/the campus. 25,000 other applicants are going to do exactly that, and the applications readers are going to feel like shooting themselves if they see another paragraph about the Big Apple.

Best of luck!
JessDoIt 3 / 5  
Dec 28, 2012   #3
"Columbia is one of the best and the best of the best students attend Columbia"...a bit repetitive
Mfrazzano 1 / 5  
Dec 28, 2012   #4
I completely agree with anon 13. They will just assume you're recycling essays and didn't put much effort into learning about the unique features of the school that attract you to it
mela3 2 / 37 2  
Dec 28, 2012   #5
I agree with the above comments. Columbia gets tons of applicants, and many of them mention what you just did. Also, there are many schools just like Columbia, with the same resources and just as competitive. Try to make it a bit more personal. I wouldn't call it "boastful" exactly. Perhaps prideful. It does sound like you are interested in the status of the university, as well as your own, more than anything else. These schools want to see more than the academic side. There are tons of extremely intelligent applicants. What makes you different? What makes you more than a letter grade/GPA? Of course its important to test yourself and want to be in the company of students who take education seriously, but there is more to it than that. It is a good essay, just be careful with your tone, and try to be a bit more "personal." These are just suggestions. Feel free to disagree. This is ultimately YOUR work.

Best of luck =)
OP Sabahat 3 / 7 2  
Dec 29, 2012   #6
thanks a ton guys! your assessments are invaluable to me. Will be posting a revised version soon.
headshot0313 7 / 15 1  
Dec 29, 2012   #7
Personal opinion:
If I substitute any other school for Columbia, I find that this essay could also be sent to other schools, my English is not so good, but after reading this essay, but I wanna let you know a feeling of mine that if I were the officer, I would think this essay could be sent to many other schools if replace the school name...

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