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Columbia University in the City of New York

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Date: Nov 30 2005
Major: Political Science (This Major's Salary over time)
I've been out of Columbia and out of New York for a number of years now, and I'm amazed by the remarkable difference in perspective that has taken place in such a short time. Most students complain bitterly about the experience at Columbia (including myself), but they fail to realize how Columbia has a kind of transformative effect on the person that no other school in the world can do. I know now how much Columbia has shaped me as a person and the values that I now embrace are the values that I learned while I was an undergraduate there.

Make no mistake about it: It is a hard school—academically and socially. But the pay-offs are overwhelming in the long run.

I can't really say anything that has not already been said about the faculty, the student life, the resources, the city. But I do want to underscore the core curriculum. The Columbia education revolves around it. It is what gives an intellectual identity to Columbia, rooted in the texts. The manner in which the Core invites students to think about serious questions by reading great books is an academic ideal that almost every college/university in the world (a few exceptions) have abandoned. Columbia keeps it alive, as a living tradition. This is, above all, what gives Columbia its identity and its distinctiveness. And I'm so proud to call it my own.

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