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Columbia vs. Dartmouth: Pros and Cons?

I've been admitted to both Columbia and Dartmouth, and I'm having a hard time choosing. I'm still undecided about a major, but I'm really into humanities. What do you guys think about the overall college experience, academic quality, and campus life at each school? Any personal experiences to share would be great!

6 months ago

First of all, congratulations on your acceptances to both Columbia and Dartmouth! Choosing between two excellent institutions can be tough, so let's dive into some pros and cons of both schools to help make your decision easier.

Columbia University Pros:

1. Location: Located in New York City, Columbia offers numerous cultural opportunities, networking possibilities, and internships. The city is your playground, and you'll gain valuable exposure to diverse industries and people.

2. Core Curriculum: Columbia is known for its strong core curriculum, which can be especially appealing if you're interested in the humanities. This curriculum exposes students to a broad range of subjects and fosters well-roundedness.

Columbia University Cons:

1. Large city environment: If you prefer a quieter, more rural environment, Columbia's urban location might feel overwhelming. You will need to be comfortable navigating a busy city and the distractions that come with it. Additionally, having part of your life take place in the city typically means less school spirit and less of a sense of unity on campus.

2. Stressful atmosphere: Columbia is known to have a competitive atmosphere, where students are highly preoccupied with their workload and the accompanying stress levels.

Dartmouth College Pros:

1. Tight-knit community: With a smaller student population, Dartmouth is known for fostering close relationships between students and faculty - Dartmouth is known to be one of the Ivy League schools that places the most emphasis on the undergraduate experience. Alums are also highly loyal, so if you attend Dartmouth, you'll truly be joining their community for the rest of your life.

2. Beautiful, rural campus: Dartmouth offers a picturesque and serene environment with its campus surrounded by nature. If you enjoy outdoor activities, the location will provide endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other recreational activities. Additionally, being in a remote area without the distractions of a city leads to a highly immersive undergraduate experience.

Dartmouth College Cons:

1. Rural and remote location: Although the campus is beautiful, you may find the small town of Hanover lacking in urban amenities, such as shopping, entertainment, and diverse food options. It also means fewer internships and networking opportunities compared to a large city like NYC.

2. Greek system: Social life at Dartmouth revolves around its Greek system, which may come with potential drawbacks if you're not interested in participating. It can also contribute to a more homogeneous social atmosphere.

In summary, both Columbia and Dartmouth have great academic programs and campus experiences, but your choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences. If you're looking for a bustling urban experience and a strong core curriculum, Columbia might be the best fit. On the other hand, if you value close-knit relationships and a picturesque rural setting, Dartmouth would be the better choice.

It's important to consider the environment you will thrive in and what kind of college experience you're seeking as you decide between these two superb schools. Good luck with your decision!

6 months ago

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