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Is visiting Columbia a must?

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New post 18 Oct 2012, 21:37
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I'm debating whether i should fly out to NYC to visit columbia. With flight and hotel it's going to be a bit pricy, so I don't want to do it unless i absolutely have to. I've heard from a few people that with columbia, visiting the campus is seen by adcom as a necessary action to demonstrate interest and that if you don't visit, your chances are hurt.

Any truth to this?
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New post 18 Oct 2012, 23:13
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Bullshit.
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New post 19 Oct 2012, 03:00
Yeah, I would say that is a far stretch (maybe it's Columbia pride gotten out of hand??)
But it is good to visit if you can make it.
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New post 19 Oct 2012, 06:36
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I wouldn't say it is a requirement. I visited because I happened to be in CT already so it only cost me a train ticket to get there, I would not have flown all the way from Colorado just for an info session that didn't say anything I couldn't find out online. That said, the application asks if you have visited campus and my interviewer also asked if I had visited and what I thought of the campus, etc. The admissions office does lots of events in cities around the country, see if you can make it to one of those. Then at least you show that you care enough to make it to an event even if you aren't able to travel all the way to New York.
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New post 19 Oct 2012, 11:07
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mappleby wrote:
I wouldn't say it is a requirement. I visited because I happened to be in CT already so it only cost me a train ticket to get there, I would not have flown all the way from Colorado just for an info session that didn't say anything I couldn't find out online. That said, the application asks if you have visited campus and my interviewer also asked if I had visited and what I thought of the campus, etc. The admissions office does lots of events in cities around the country, see if you can make it to one of those. Then at least you show that you care enough to make it to an event even if you aren't able to travel all the way to New York.



Thanks for this input. I actually have visitied columbia several times a while back to see friends, but i never did a class visit or an "official" one. I suppose i shouldn't put down on the application that i visited since adcom could look at the list of applicants who signed up for an official campus/class visit.
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New post 19 Oct 2012, 16:49
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Were you visiting MBA students or was this during undergrad? If it was MBA students then I would list it. They ask if you know any current students immediately after if you have been to campus. I would put 'Yes' to visited campus and put 'John Doe (CBS '13)' in the who you visited, or something similar. If it was just visiting friends during undergrad then I would leave it out.
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New post 19 Oct 2012, 18:25
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Im actually flying to New York (from Europe) mainly to see the campus in 3 weeks. I reckon that it is worth it since I also want to make sure that the school is the right fit for me.
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New post 22 Oct 2012, 11:36
craky wrote:
Im actually flying to New York (from Europe) mainly to see the campus in 3 weeks. I reckon that it is worth it since I also want to make sure that the school is the right fit for me.


I couldn't agree more. Especially with the second thing. I mean, even leaving aside the advantage for application, how could you spend two years at a place you have never seen. I know sooo many people who went to places they had never visited, and some got some surprises, and not all were good....

Just walking around for a day and absorbing the ambiance is soooooo helpful for you to know whether you might fit or not.
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New post 22 Oct 2012, 22:04
Seems like everyone is on the right track in this thread, but I'm weighing in anyway because I hope other people see this - we get questions like this from client all the time, so it's obviously a pervasive issue. As a former admissions officer, I can say that no professional with any pride would cede decision-making control over to the person who merely "wants it the most." This is to say nothing of the fact that most admissions offices do not have robust CRMs capable of tracking (let alone qualifying) touchpoints. In fact, the very reason that people believe you "have to visit Columbia to get in" is because Columbia asks in the app about whether you have visited and the reason they ask is because that's really the only way they can find out how many applicants, admits, and enrolled students visit before they apply. As with many other aspects of the application itself, the question is being asked more for data acquisition than it is for evaluation. These are the types of myths and untruths that spread around the Internet like wildfire. Ask yourself though: if you reviewed files for a living and prides yourself on identifying the best applicants, would you ever give bonus points to people who visit the school?

Furthermore, the schools who really want you to visit (like Tuck or NYU) will ultimately have tools to either encourage or require a campus visit. Nobody is looking to fool candidates, that is for sure.

If you can, you should visit the school at some point, but that certainly doesn't have to be in the midst of a stressful period in your life, on a short time line, or when it's bad for your budget. My advice is to see where you get in and then visit those schools - better to spend time/money visiting maybe 2-3 options once you are admitted rather than 5-6 when you are applying. (Final note: I accepted enrollment, attended, loved, and graduated from one of the top five law schools in the country without ever laying eyes on the place first, so even if you can't visit, it can still work out.)

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New post 23 Oct 2012, 17:24
There is no need to visit the Columbia. However, you have to get to know the program well so you should attend a local information session (if possible) and at a minimum speak to alumni, current students and even others who are or have applied to the school. There are a few schools where a visit is critical -- including Tuck, Haas and Yale -- but not Columbia. I recommend that you spend your time and money elsewhere in this process.

Good luck.
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New post 23 Oct 2012, 19:49
ManhattanReview wrote:
There is no need to visit the Columbia. However, you have to get to know the program well so you should attend a local information session (if possible) and at a minimum speak to alumni, current students and even others who are or have applied to the school. There are a few schools where a visit is critical -- including Tuck, Haas and Yale -- but not Columbia. I recommend that you spend your time and money elsewhere in this process.

Good luck.
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Thanks for this input guys.

Yikes on tuck and haas. I'm also applying there but unable to visit due to financial constraints.
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New post 23 Oct 2012, 20:50
Tuck does not require a visit. Stern often requires that the interview be done in person, on campus, but you can get a waiver for that if travel difficulties arise. As for Tuck, they *encourage* that you visit because the campus is so uniquely situated and the tools they use to "encourage" such visits are things like student-initiated interviews. However, if you can showcase to Tuck that you "get it" in your essays, you can still certainly be admitted. Two of my clients were admitted last year without ever visiting. Apologies for any confusion, but perhaps it was not my post that confused you.

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New post 24 Oct 2012, 06:25
If you can't visit during the application process I would highly encourage you to visit Tuck if you get accepted. It is a very unique environment, very small area. Some love it, some hate it but either way I wouldn't accept an offer to Tuck without visiting the school. That is the big reason they try to get all applicants to interview on campus if possible.
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Re: Is visiting Columbia a must? &nbs [#permalink] 24 Oct 2012, 06:25
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