We’ve been bashing Columbia pretty heavily this week. (Post I: Columbia no longer a favorite? – Post II: Why Columbia got schooled – Post III: More theories on why Columbia got dinged.) We do still think that Columbia is a good school — we know of a BUNCH of totally awesome and very impressive students attending there right now. Maybe all of our opinions are misinformed, or maybe we are telling you stuff that doesn’t really matter. Or maybe we’re just on an anti-Columbia jig right now. Funny though – compared to other schools, we have an inordinately high number of Columbia posts over the lifetime of this blahg. We actually love Columbia – it was the first school we ever wrote an essay guide for, and we’ve helped a gazillion BSers with (successful!) Columbia apps. Maybe we’re PO’ed at CBS adcom for not playing square.
This is obviously a big reason why you need to do your own research. Your feelings for Columbia may be very different from ours. As with all schools, we actively encourage candidates who say they’re interested in Columbia to research the school carefully, TO FORM THEIR OWN OPINIONS – and we sometimes also suggest that they consider NYU Stern.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re interested in Columbia, then you should be interested in Stern.
- Stern is in NYC.
- Stern has a great finance program.
- Stern is strong with marketing, entrepreneurship, social venture.
- Stern sends plenty of graduates into consulting.
- Stern has arguably a better location in the City.
- Stern is cheaper.
But NYU is not Ivy League. It’s not always a Top 10 bschool, depending on who you’re asking. It doesn’t have the same “oooh” factor for some; it doesn’t seem as impressive (though their website sure is nice isn’t it! Stern was the first top bschool to launch a really good site – we were impressed by that).
We would suggest that if you are dissing Stern for no reason other than you believe it’s not as good as Columbia – then you are selling them short, and you’re probably cheating yourself.
But if Stern is so great, why did they also take a hit on their apps last year?
We actually think that one reason is blowback from Columbia. Our bet is that oftentimes, people apply to Stern after already applying to Columbia – they loop an NYU app into their strategy only after being lured to NYC by the prestige of Columbia. They get their Columbia Early Decision app in, then they look around for another school to try for, and they realize WOW! Stern’s Rd 1 isn’t for another month!! and they slap an app together and submit to NYU, too. So maybe a number of those who decided to skip Columbia decided to skip NYC entirely.
Of course, if there is any overlap, it’s relatively small. Let’s look at the stats.
The 12% decline at NYU was only 530 apps.
The 19% decline at Columbia was 1,260 applications.
When we saw “19% decline” we said wow. When we saw “1,260 apps” we said WHOA!
Sometimes when we’re working with someone, we can tell that they’re much more a Stern type – that maybe they don’t know it yet, but the Columbia atmosphere will turn them off. It’s very rare when someone goes to a Stern event and comes back saying they didn’t feel warm and welcomed there. Sometimes people feel they’re not a good fit but it’s rare that they feel actively negative about the place. That has not been the case with CBS.
Of course, sometimes we run into cocky, arrogant, overly self assured BSers who want to go to Columbia — and we say “Great! You sound like you’re a perfect fit.”
Sorry, Columbia. You’re not a ‘Snark favorite right now. Maybe you will be again. We’ll wait and see how you redeem yourselves.