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Undergraduate Posts: 4

Columbia Personal Statement - "Why Columbia?"

Jul 29, 2018   #1
Greetings, handsome - or beautiful - friends,

I will apply for Columbia and would thus appreciate if you could give me some feedback on my essays. Here is the first one:

Essay prompt:

Tell us what you value most about Columbia and why.

(300 words or less)

Discussing not only Science and its applications with the Frontiers of Science classes, but also Arts, History, Philosophy, and Literature as part of the Core Curriculum is what excites me the most about Columbia. In this context, while Columbia's curriculum aligns with my desire for a more holistic formation, indispensable for my actions as not only a researcher, but as a citizen concerned with our future challenges in both Biology and society, its Music Humanities classes offer me the prospect of continuing my piano and music composition studies, thus perfectly matching my academic and personal expectations.

Moreover, Columbia's commitment to research - as shown by its more than 200 research centers -, its enormous variety of research areas, and excellent faculty members - specially Caleb Scharf, whose lecture "The Copernicus Complex: Are We Special in the Cosmos?" has recently drawn my interest to the field of Astrobiology and the prospects of extraterrestrial life - offer me a unique opportunity of exploring the field of the Fundamental Researches, which appeal to me as a transformative journey through understanding our Universe and how life ended up here.

Finally, the enormous variety of Columbia's student body, with learners from the most diverse ethnics, religions and countries, offers me a enriching prospect of intellectual growth, as I am able to confront so distinct points of views during my four graduation years, learning from new cultures and life experiences, which my travelling through Europe and America - where I met people ranging from a witch to a former war prisoner whose favorite occupation was simply eating every day once more to a real witch - proved to be such an amazing experience.

Thus, Columbia should be the best place for me to explore my curiosity and love for learning.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Best regards,

Jul 30, 2018   #2
Hi Arthur.
I think your essay is really well thought-out and original. I particularly enjoy the part where you mention one of the lecture which drew ypur interest. It showed an insight about yourself.

As for the last paragraph, I think you can be more specific about how the diversity of student bodies will help you with your learning, since multiculturalism is a vague quality which a lot of schools have.

I think you should try to reform your paragraphs by asking yourself this : Is is Colombia only or it is suitable for any other random one.

Still, wonderful job and good luck!
Holt [Contributor] 1595  
Jul 30, 2018   #3
Arthur, I think you should open the essay instead with the reference to your curiosity and love for learning. It ties in directly with the current first paragraph you presented. So adding that hook to the start will make the opening paragraph more interesting to the reviewer. At the mention of the 200 research centers, you should also consider mentioning one research center specifically and the reason why you value that place as a part of your potential Columbia experience. I don't understand how the following portion ties in with why you value Columbia:

which my travelling through Europe ...

- If this does not tie in directly with a Columbia University experience then it should not be presented in this essay.

There is also no such thing as 4 graduation years. There is only one graduation year, your senior year. Consider using any of the following terms in its place:

1. 4 college years
2. 4 university years
3. 4 academic years
4. 4 tertiary education years
Aug 1, 2018   #4
Hi Arthur,

I went to Columbia undergrad -- best of luck! I think your essay shows that you really get what Columbia is all about.

I agree with the above poster that you should lead with your passion for learning instead of listing the Core Curriculum. That won't catch the attention of the reader. Also, instead of going off topic with travelling, I would elaborate on your interest in diversity by discussing New York. I think Columbia really sees that as what makes it special versus other Ivies.

Change 'Columbia's commitment to research - as shown by its more than 200 research centers -,' to 'Columbia's commitment to research, as shown by its more than 200 research centers,'. I would also diversify your sentence length and structure as well.

Good luck with your application!

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