NYC Schools Panel

Get the inside scoop on what it’s like to attend NYU, Columbia, and Barnard from current students and alumni.

Date 08/05/2021
Duration 61:24

Webinar Transcription

2021-08-05 NYC Schools Panel

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on New York City School Panel. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.

Now let’s meet our panelists. Okay.

Hi there. My name is Maril. Uh, I graduated from NYU in 2019 and I, uh, my major was in integrated digital media.

Hi, I’m Gabrielle. I graduated from Barnard in 2018 when I was sustainability and child development major. Hello everyone. I’m Juliana. I’m a rising junior at Columbia studying financial economics. Um, I also recently changed my major, no longer poly side, but race and ethnicity studies.

Great. [00:01:00] And, um, to give you a brief overview of NYU, it is located New York city as a, this panel. Um, and it is in Greenwich village, which it’s probably not, it’s a little bit more south. Um, it’s really situated between Midtown, which is where all the Broadway and all the action happens and a little bit of, of wall street, which is where all the money, you know, rolls around.

Um, and it is a private school, um, and it is pretty large. Um, it is about 53,000 students total, and that’s what undergrad, um, grad and that’s at the medical school, you know, the engineering school, different campuses. Um, so I think it’s really great. Cause you can find lots of different people. I’m interested in a bunch of different subjects that you can kind of interact with.

Um, and I think that’s what makes it really cool. It isn’t has an urban setting. Of course, new city, very urban, um, and the faculty ratio is nine to one. Um, I would say. Kind of year and your classes. It’s everybody has to take very similar courses. Um, your classes will be really like full with students. Um, but once you get into more of your major specific ones, they start to get smaller and you get to really get to know your professors.[00:02:00]

Some notable alumni lady Gaga, of course the queen, um, Martin Scorsese, Donald Glover, and we have a bunch of astronauts and really cool, famous people. Um, I actually passed fun fact when I was going to Kimball, which is kind of like our central hub, um, where lots of classes are in dining halls. Um, I pass Dakota fanning when she was leaving her classes.

So, you know, she is a famous movie star. I saw her, I was so excited. Um, apparently Timothy Charlemagne is like an on and off student, which is really cool too. You’ll have to go into a school with like famous people, which I really liked. Um, and yeah, fun back. A tiny percentage of students come from outside the U S um, NYU is like really international friendly, um, which I thought was really fascinating because that was the first time I met people from like all over the world in a single classroom.

Um, and I went to the engineering school at Tandon, which was, you know, took some classes in Brooklyn. Then I went to Manhattan and took some business courses in policy and policy courses. Um, so that really good mix of people. Um, and they have campuses all over the world as well and Abu Dhabi, Shanghai. Um, in Africa, they have one, [00:03:00] I believe in Australia, France, you know, all those really cool places that you can study abroad.


All right. So tell you a little bit about Barnard. Uh, we’re located also in New York city by clearly, but up north, towards Morningside Heights at name for a neighborhood that you’ll hear again later in this panel, it’s a small private school. In fact, it’s an all female student body, a female, and non-binary.

And transgender. So being such a small school with a background as a women’s college, there’s a lot of history rooted in the school. Um, we have a small student to faculty ratio. Again, it’s about nine to one and it pretty much, every class feels tiny. Um, if you want a larger class, we do have the option of taking classes across the street at Columbia, as part of our consortium, just like Columbia students have the option to take classes with us at Barnard, that you will find that your classes are mostly Barnard students.

Um, especially in certain departments. Um, [00:04:00] again, it’s a super small school, 2,631 students total because we don’t have a graduate program like NYU and Columbia do. Um, but that makes us really tight.

Some of our very famous alumni includes our annual Hurston, who I’m sure many of you will be reading in school, if not this year in future years, Greta Gerwig, the very famous mind behind countless movies like Francis ha and little women. And of course, Martha Stewart, who made it very clear when she came to speak to us, we were not allowed to ask any questions about Snoop.

Only Martha, um, for anyone who watched Gilmore girls, uh, Lorelai Gilmore started at Barnard, um, among several other pop culture names. If you were a Kim possible fan, I know I’m dating myself a little bit. Christie Carlson Romano once passed me in the underground tunnels that exist underneath our school so that you can literally roll out of your dorm, go in your pajamas to class without ever having to go outside in the snow.

Um, just a couple of great fun facts about Barnard [00:05:00] outside of our tunnels, which is our pride and joy. Um, we are one of the top producers of Fulbright scholars, and it really does feel like a small liberal arts school, about 75% of our classes have fewer than 19 people, which is amazing considering we’re in such a big city.

So a brief overview about Columbia. We’re located in New York city and Morningside Heights. So upper west side right next to Barnard. Um, we are a private school and we are a large university. There’s 21,857 students total, except out of the undergraduate students. It’s 6,000. So I’d say we’re a mid-sized college in terms of undergraduate, except in terms of university, we are quite large.

Um, we also have the urban setting, of course, and we have a student faculty ratio of six to one,

and our notable alumni are Barack [00:06:00] Obama, Lou Gehrig, Kate McKinnon, and some fun facts about us are that we are the first school in the United States to grant an MD degree. And we were also the second largest landowner in New York city after the Catholic church.

Okay, so we’re going to do a quick poll. So are you planning on applying to a New York city schools? So I’m going to start the poll. What’s the, um, what’s it like in New York city? I’m an upstate at Cornell.

Certainly not as cold as Cornell. I would definitely love that tunnel system.

I think it’s very lively. I came from Florida kind of a farming town. So like throwing myself into New York city was definitely an eye-opener. Um, but there’s always something to do. You know, whether it’s a Broadway show, free ice skating in the park. Um, yeah. [00:07:00] There’s you can’t go a day without doing something exciting.

Okay. So I think I’m going to close the poll and now, uh, where did it go? Okay. So, um, 82 people said, yes, they are applying. No people said that they aren’t applying. So that’s good. 18 said maybe, and four said not sure. So we will continue on.

Yeah. So I chose NYU, um, because one New York city, why not, you know, that’s kind of always a dream when you’re a kid you want to move to the big city. Um, so I figured looking at schools in that area, but essentially NYU was like the main school I was really interested in there. Um, because they had access to all these different industries.

They’re situated in a place that is near all these tech startups, um, and, uh, different, um, incubators for startups in case I wanted to do startups that right next to wall street, in case I wanted to be like a banker or something cool like that they’re right next to Broadway and have all these different, um, art [00:08:00] museums and everything nearby.

So pretty much any industry, or why don’t you go to NYU had a hand in connecting students and they also had top professors in those fields. Um, so I just wanted to be able to have a broad range of, um, majors and, um, opportunities to choose from, um, because I was interested in so many things and eventually I did find my circle and I kind of went that way and everything worked out.

So it was great. Yeah.

So I did not want to go to Barnard even on my college tours. Um, and my mom said, let’s just check it out. Cause I was already going up to Northern New York to Poughkeepsie, to look at Vassar and I’d been to Vassar and I fell in love with it and family history there. I thought that’s my place. I stayed the night there.

And I was like, yeah, these are my people. And on my way into Barnard, a friend of mine said, oh, I know somebody there, let me just connect you and pass my number along. And within 15 minutes I had a text from this woman at Barnard who said come up town. And I was staying in times square with my mom and I’ll show you around.

And I got on the train for the very [00:09:00] first time and, um, was so confident in myself that I gave other tourists directions, how to get around New York, got off the train, found my way into a Barnard. Where I was surrounded by about 15 women who had just gotten off their internships, having a hot cider brownie party on a fall evening.

And when I walked away from that night, I thought, wow, faster was great. I felt really comfortable and really at home, but Barnard is where the people I want to grow into are, and that’s how I ended up at Barnard.

So for me, I chose Columbia because I knew I wanted to go to college in a big city. I’m from Chicago, but I didn’t want to go to someplace that was so close to home. So, you know, New York city is the best place to go there. Um, and I also knew that I wanted to pursue a career in business at some point. And obviously New York city is one of the best places to be for that.

Um, we also have a great economics program, which is what I’m majoring in. [00:10:00] So, you know, everything just kind of fell into place. And when I visited, um, right before college applications, I really just fell in love with the school.

Okay. I think we’re going to do another poll. Uh, so where are you in the college application process?

For me, it was always between New York or Washington DC. Those I had to get on Georgia. And those are my favorite places. I don’t know how I ended up in upstate though. Well, if you go to NYU, you can do both. I actually did a study abroad in DC for a semester, and I learned about politics right during like the 2016 election.

So that place was spicy. It was nice. There’s so many good exchange programs between schools like Howard. Cause I was interested in how our university, how our university and Columbia have a program and then Spelman and Barnard have a program. And so I just thought that was really cool. [00:11:00] Okay. So I think I’m going to close the poll.

So, okay. We have 22 students that haven’t started, their college application, 60 are putting together their colleges. So this is probably the perfect webinar for you. 24 have started their applications and two are almost done, which is shocking, considering that it opened like yesterday.

Um, so I guess what makes them where you’re different, I’m going to kind of mentioned this before is that they are pretty much in every industry and they’re taught in pretty much every industry, if you want it to do social science research, um, especially like their psychology program, but those are like top tier engineering program just keeps getting bigger and bigger, um, art business.

They have one of the best business schools in the entire country, as well as one of the best art schools. Um, so, you know, if I wanted to pursue any kind of field, that’s kind of the place to go. Um, and just everyone has really like, multi-disciplinary pursuits. Like I know people that are, um, they’re majoring in like mechanical engineering, but they’re [00:12:00] like after classes, they go to the Tisch school of the arts to participate in acting club.

Like they, they want to be actresses, but they’re also to be engineers. And I thought that was really fascinating cause I’ve never seen those kinds of combinations. Um, and that’s one of the places you can do it because they’re the top and everything. So I thought that was really great. Um, and it’s just, NYU in general is pretty good.

Um, so if I wanted to study abroad, I’d have, um, 12 other campuses to choose from that he’s like NYU owned. So I would have to apply outside of NYU. Um, I would just be able to stay within NYU, taken where you credits. So I wouldn’t have to deal with the messiness of like studying abroad. Um, but if I was wanting to switch to another campus, I could go to Abu Dhabi or Shanghai and get an NYU degree from those campuses.

Um, and I get to learn, you know, maybe Lencioni’s or something. No, I just, I really liked that, um, kind of aspect to it

so far. It’s kind of an interesting dynamic in that we do have a consortium with Columbia, so you really get your small close tight-knit community with the opportunities to access everything that [00:13:00] Columbia and teachers college. And mailman and the international schools offered to you. Um, so there’s really a benefit of getting what you would want out of a tiny community and access to anything that Barnard may not have in addition to a really strong sense of tradition and history, which I just, um, it continues to still linger with me, I guess, three years after graduation now.

If you ask any Columbia student, what sets Columbia apart from other colleges? Uh, most people will say the core curriculum. So we have a very robust core curriculum. It is the cornerstone of the Columbia college education. Uh, we take classes and literature. Philosophy history, music, art, and science. So freshmen will take literature, humanities, and they will also take university writing frontiers of science.

And, you know, we really just get this very [00:14:00] robust well-rounded education where we’re studying different subjects aside from our major. And what I think is great about that is that you’re able to meet students outside of your major, that you usually wouldn’t see in those like other classes. Um, and it’s just really great to have that education.

Um, and also in terms of our campus, we do have a main campus quad. So we’re not as integrated into the city as, um, NYU per se. But, you know, I like that personally, just because, you know, I can venture out into the city when I want to, but I can also have the comfort of a close knit college community.

Okay, so that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat so you can see them and then read them aloud before our panelists gives you an [00:15:00] answer as a heads up, if your Q and A’s have, isn’t letting you submit questions, questions, just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.

Again, if you joined from like the actual webinar landing page, it’s not going to let you use all the features. And then also, um, please paste your not paste. Please put your questions in the Q and a tab, just so they don’t get lost. Like don’t put them in the public chat just because it may get lost in like all the other questions and we shall get started.

Um, so if you see like questions popping up in the Q and a tab, that’s just me copying and pasting them. Um, okay. So, okay. So first question, uh, how has the finance, how are the financial aid plans at NYU and at Columbia university? Yeah. So I guess I could answer for the NYU in, um, um, I would say it kind of depends on your financial situation.

So I come from a low-income background, so I was offered, [00:16:00] um, pretty much a full ride. I had already won like a million dollars in scholarships, but NYU was able to give me a full ride because I was low income. So there was a whole thing with scholarships and stuff. Um, but so if you’re calling qualify for low income, um, you, I think would get really good financial aid, NYU, if you’re middle-class or like, um, I guess more like upper-class, it might be a little harder and usually you might just depend on loans and whatever kind of, uh, parental support, um, for international students a little bit different.

Um, they do offer some aid for non us citizen, the permanent residence. Um, but it will depend on your CSS C profile or CSS profile. Um, and then like FAFSA for students applying. Um, the, I know most students generally took out loans. Um, so kind of depends on your. And in terms of Columbia, uh, we don’t offer any merit scholarships.

However, um, in terms of financial aid, we do meet a hundred percent of full demonstrated need. Um, and we are a need-blind for like [00:17:00] domestic students. However, we are need aware for international students part for NYU on that part for the very last part of, and they’re also, NYU offers very little merit aid.

I just want to know how you get a million scholarships, honestly. Um, okay. So I’m seeing a few questions about acting programs. So one person asked how closely related are the Barnard and Columbia, um, theater theater programs, and, um, are there shared resources? And then another person asked about NYU’s acting program and if it’s good.

So I can speak to the Barnard program. Um, we work very closely with Columbia and pretty much everything. There are a very select number of performances that are specific to the schools, but those programs each exist to give those students the opportunities to kind of like live in the school that they applied to.

Um, because there are distinct differences between the Columbia’s program and [00:18:00] Barnard’s program that said it’s only one or two performances a year that you really can’t cross over. And the acting clubs are all consistently open to everyone. The acting performances they cast across schools because sometimes Barnum has a performance that does need male performers in a large volume, and we have to talk to Columbia for it and vice versa.

So, um, it becomes a really open actually the acting community at Barnard is really strong because of how close it is to Columbia’s pro.

Yeah, I think that’s us for NYU. I’m not crazy familiar with, um, the acting Portland specifically, but I know that like Tisch school of the arts is one of the top, like one, two or three art schools in the nation. Um, and they separate kind of their students by, um, I don’t know if it’s not colleges, but it’s like different groups in different acting programs.

So they have people who are like focused on Broadway and people that are focused on TV and film. Other people that are focused on more, the tech, more technical work, some are like writers and script writers. Um, so you do find [00:19:00] your niche within, um, two school, the arts, and then you kind of take classes accordingly to that.

Uh, okay. So I think we’ll move on to like the next general topic I’m seeing. Um, they’re asking about like the actual application process and panelists. If you like, look on the screen and you see like the Q and a tab, if you click on that and then go to publish, I’m just gonna start moving the questions to there so you can see them, but what makes a good essay?

What are they looking for in an applicant?

So Barnard is really looking for personality. Um, when I say that I genuinely mean that, um, I didn’t have the numbers for a school like Barnard. I didn’t have the stats. I didn’t have the grades. I didn’t have the scores. If you look at my numbers for the year as accepted, I am the bottom of the barrel and it never phased me because, um, when I was accepted, I knew that it was because the essay I had written was so [00:20:00] very me, but they felt that I could contribute as the person I was holistically.

So in terms of your application to Barnard, I wouldn’t be afraid to apply if your numbers are the lower end, though. I will say every year it gets more competitive. Certainly because we’re very competitive with Wellesley and we battled for that spot as the most competitive women’s college every year. Um, but Barnards focus is on building a strong community that can interact with one another and continue to develop and continue to maintain history and tradition.

And so they do care about who you are, your extracurriculars, how you tie that thread together and how you present yourself. So I would really highlight the most, you, you can be in an essay and if you get the chance to interview, um, do your best to, to show up and be you there too. I told a horrible dad joke in my interview and I’m like 90% sure.

That’s why I got in.

Yeah, I would have to [00:21:00] kind of, um, uh, be with everybody. I also didn’t have really the scores to match the like average, at least for NYU. But I did have, I worked really hard on my essays. That’s how I got them going and scholarships. I’m getting really good at essays. And I also had a really strong extracurricular background.

Like I was working on a startup at Google. I was president of different clubs. I was traveling to California for like the whole, my whole senior year, just working on that. Um, and I’ve been working on getting into college and making myself the best since like eighth grade. Cause like this was my, this was my way out, so to speak.

So I was like working really hard. And as a low-income student, that’s all you have is your work ethic pretty much. Cause I didn’t have access to a bunch of other things that other students would have. Um, so I made sure my work ethic was like on point. Um, and I was saying your essay, you know, like everyone said, be as you as possible, be unique.

So I was, so I worked admissions for one whole cycle at NYU reading essays and deciding on applications. And one of my favorite parts is reading essays that were extremely unique and I knew this person would succeed in. Like some people wrote about like how they [00:22:00] led like a failing team, all the way to the finals and still failed.

Like they didn’t succeed. There was no happy ending, but it’s you show, they showed what they learned through their failure. And I thought that was super fascinating and how they were not afraid to spend an entire essay talking about what a failure they were. So I thought that was really hilarious and I kind of loved reading that.

Um, yeah. As unique as possible, also fun, you know, like a little tip, if you’re not funny, naturally don’t try to be funny. Cause it’ll come off as really weird. So just, just the tip. Someone has told me that before. Uh, Juliana, did you want to add something for Columbia? Yeah. So I just definitely agree with what everyone has said so far.

Um, and in terms of Columbia specific essay advice, so Columbia kind of has some weird prompts where it’s like list some shows that you’ve enjoyed list books that you’ve enjoyed reading this past year. And, you know, students often get stumped with those questions because it’s like, what is Columbia looking for?

Do they [00:23:00] want me to, you know, New York times, best sellers. Do they want me to have these like dense academic texts? Like no, Columbia is not looking for something specifically in those answers. What they’re looking for is, you know, when they’re looking over your essays and just deciding who to admit into their class, they really just want to be able to get a sense of like how you would act as a student and how you, how you would personally contribute to, um, the college campus.

So when they’re reading this, they want to be able to see you. So it’s just important to be as authentic as authentically you, as you can be. Um, and just put down really what you enjoy reading. Um, you know, I enjoy fashion magazines, but I know I put a couple of them in there. Um, I wasn’t trying to portray myself as someone who was, you know, an academic at heart because.

That’s not me. And you just have to be honest with yourself, honest in your applications, and just be able to relay your passions to them so that they can best visualize [00:24:00] how you would be as a student on campus. Okay. So I am seeing a lot of questions about scholarships and like money. Um, I know, um, y’all said that it’s more, um, needs based than merit space.

Uh, can y’all explain that a little bit more and maybe how to get some scholars.

So my best scholarship advice is to do some research in your hometown, um, because the schools are looking, they are need-blind across the board, I believe and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure all three of our schools are need-blind. That means that they accept students, um, without considering what they, the students can then contribute towards the school’s endowment, um, full tuition or otherwise.

And that means that they have to help these students figure out how to cover the full expense of college. So pretty much any and all money that they have goes towards helping students attend their program. It’s tough for these schools, um, and the [00:25:00] finances are kind of hard to track and it gets a little difficult and that’s why they don’t offer merit based scholarships.

But there are lots of programs in your hometown that. So I, for instance, was not going to be able to get what I needed from Barnard financial aid. And I did a little digging and it turns out a couple of the organizations I’ve been volunteering with actually had small scholarships that ended up paying for my books the entire time I was in college.

And it’s not just my programs. It’s not just like a small place I left out in Phoenix. It’s most places have opportunities for students who have been involved, who know the area who are going to carry their city, their state, their organization’s name onto great things that they’re looking to give you money to do that with.

Um, so my best advice for scholarships, if you’re looking for merit-based would too, would be to really dig around in your community, in your religious organizations, in your cultural communities. Um, and see what’s available to you based on who you are, your [00:26:00] contributions and who you can find about. Yeah, definitely to add onto that.

It’s really, those are some really great tips. I would also look at like, what your parents do. So have your parents worked for like a really big company? They often have scholarships or some kind of loan, forgiveness programs for their children. Um, as well as if your parents are veterans, um, and also like, um, different demographics as well.

Like if you’re LGBTQ, if you’re first generation, if you speak more than one language, if you’re left-handed, they have scholarships for that. So it’s a bunch of different things and really, really in, um, in your like major choice. So if you already know what major you might want, like let’s say you’re going to be doing psychology and look at like psychology scholarships.

Um, if you’re doing stem, those are like, there’s a lot for those. Um, you definitely have really great opportunities to get some type of funding, um, from either nonprofits or actual companies. Um, and it was really good also about like company scholarships is that oftentimes they’ll give you an internship.

So you kind of get already started, you know, building your resume right out of college, which is really your opportunity. So you don’t have to keep applying for [00:27:00] summer internships. And I would also like to highlight two really great programs. So the posse scholarship, it is not need base. It’s entirely merit based and you can receive, um, like a full tuition ride to any of their partner schools.

So definitely look into that program. And I also know Coca-Cola scholars as well. Um, that’s a $20,000 scholarship to any college that you choose to attend. Okay. So we’ll do two quick questions, two more quick questions, and then I’ll do a pop-up and then we’ll get back to the QA. But, um, there was some questions about Barnard specifically.

So Gabrielle, you want to answer these, um, one person had asked, like, what are the benefits of going to an all girl school? And then another person asked are the, um, professors from Bernard off. So this I’ll start with the shorter answer, which is no, I had about 50% female professors and male professors just [00:28:00] based on the courses that I took.

Um, they try to provide diverse opinions and academics who are at the top of their field. Um, the other thing to note is that isn’t, as it’s not a research school, you don’t have professors trying to churn out research to gain tenure. Um, so there’s a lot more investment in you and your success. Um, I would say when I look back on my experience at Barnett and I have to be really clear about this, this is my experience as a female presenting woman at a school that has historically been female.

Um, and our acceptances are changing to adapt to the way that the gender binary is changing and adjusting. And I want to acknowledge that publicly because I think it’s something that people stray away from when you hear a women’s college, um, When I was there, I felt empowered at every move at every stage to ask for what I wanted and wait for somebody to say no to me, instead of believing that the answer was going to be now.

And I [00:29:00] know that sounds like a personal problem, but it is, I think, implicit in our society that. Females are raised typically and not in every situation to be more passive in what they ask for. We still hold fewer CEO positions. We still speak up less on average in classes. Um, I went through all of high school and was repeatedly told by science teachers and math teachers that I was stupid because they didn’t want to answer my questions.

And they were all male. And again, to be clear, that’s not that all male teachers are bad. It was just my experience. Um, so being at Barnard at a place that was dedicated to my success and my education as a woman, I never second guessed raising my hand. And now as an adult in the real world, I don’t second guess pretty much anything.

I mean, I’m a human, I second guess a lot of choices, but I don’t second guess standing up and saying, this is what I think. And this is why I think it, I don’t wait for Amanda. Call on me and ask my opinion. I [00:30:00] don’t wait for permission. I asked her what I want and when I’m told now I move forward. And that to me is the biggest thing I learned from Barnard.

You know, I showed it to my classes and pajamas. I wasn’t worried about how I looked because I wasn’t paying attention to who was there. And I was there to learn and the teachers were there to see my success. And they were deeply invested in me as a student, not just as the token female in stats class, which is quite often the experience.

So when I look at that, I experienced that Barnard. I think the best thing I got out of it is the confidence to walk into any room and believe I’m as important as anyone there that may just be ego. The added piece of it is that it’s really nice to have a community of women that you know, and trust who have a shared experience with you in all different areas of.

So I lived with six women in college. They are my favorite people. It was not always easy, were very different. And now I have friends who are neuroscientists and tech, [00:31:00] engineers, and political marketers, um, and immigration attorneys. And through all of those relationships, like I have access to any kind of information I could possibly want and support in any way, because I can say, Hey, this shared experience we had, I know you, I trust you and I’d love some support and some information on this.

Um, so Barnard gave me, I think, um, the most confidence in the world and a community of people that I believed in who were going to give me support and the opportunity to learn even post graduation. I honestly would have just assumed that it would be all female teachers, honestly, I wouldn’t even looked into it.

So that’s good to know. Um, okay, so this is going to be a loaded question, but I’m trying to combine it and then we’ll do the quick pop-up. But, um, any tips on making friends, whether you’re in a situation of living in a [00:32:00] single cause I know Columbia has a lot of singles classes, um, dorms or any situation also thoughts on imposter syndrome and another person asks what sold you on the New York city area, as opposed to living in other places like California.

And then just general things about your school and New York life.

I can take that imposter syndrome mine. So, um, I’m a therapist now and I spent a lot of time talking to people about imposter syndrome. There’s an inevitability to it. It’s tough when you’re around really bright people doing amazing things. But you have to imagine that the window that we’re looking into the world with this stained glass, it’s not a clear picture.

And so you could only trust it so much to give you the reality. You’re only going to see what you see. You’re not going to see the other person looking at you and saying, oh my God, how smart are they? They got into this [00:33:00] program. I’m competing against them. I don’t belong here. The application process is extensive.

It’s really deliberate. It’s really thoughtful. So if you’re in this program, it’s because you belong. And I would encourage you to remember every single step of this application process. Every time you wonder, do I belong here? Because you absolutely do.

I guess I can tackle on like the first question about making friends, um, Kenzie, you did say there’s a lot of singles at Columbia. However, I lived in a double my freshman year. I have been living in a single after that, but it has been strange with COVID. So just in general tips for making friends in college, I would say just, you know, don’t pass up any opportunities.

Like if someone wants to hang out, like say yes, um, the open to new opportunities, new experiences going to concerts and going out into the city. [00:34:00] Um, and I know that it has been harder with COVID making friends, but you know, there’s also a lot of virtual spaces to make friends as well. You know, group chats online, like your Facebook group, like there’s so many different spaces that you can connect with people.

So I would say just, don’t be afraid to reach out to people and just say yes, when the opportunity comes up, Yeah, I would also add onto that. Just like, it depends if you want to intentionally make friends or unintentionally, I kind of just run into people. Like I think my first week at NYU, someone like looked at me, it was like, you know how to use the subway.

Right. I was like, okay. Like it was my second day using the subway and I was like, sure, I’ll take you to run out and okay. And then I made friends with them and you know, it’s yeah. It’s, it’s like random. Um, I found it to be random New York city. I’ll just bump into someone. I haven’t seen him like two semesters and then we go have lunch and it’s like, you know, you catch up.

So, and everyone’s like super busy all the time, so it’s nice to have, you know, those moments. Um, but if you’re interested, [00:35:00] like they have sororities and fraternities, um, they’re not like the traditional type that you see in movies. Cause like we don’t own houses where we can have that. So it’ll be like in someone’s apartment.

So it’s a little bit different. I mean, you can join clubs, um, which is generally what I did. But there, I mean, there’s lots of different ways. I would say for New York city in general, you do kind of have to be intentional about where you go and what you do, because there’s so many opportunities to kind of get lost in the sauce.

So to speak, you could forget about your homework and go to a Broadway show and come back at two in the morning. Wait, cause you were waiting outside the doors for somebody famous to come out and take a picture with, I totally did at least three times worth it every time, but then you get sidetracked with homework and midterms rolls around and it’s yeah, I’ve made a lot of friends during midterms because I took good notes, but yeah.

Thank you for y’all’s answers. So I’m going to do a quick pop-up uh, Okay, there we go. Uh, once work one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over [00:36:00] 155 advisors and admissions officers sign up for a free consultation with us by going to and clicking the green chat button in the bottom.

Right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us. Now, back to the Q and a. Okay. I had a curiosity though. Um, I can, I’m sorry. I Marta. Lou, can you pronounce your name again? Sorry.

Okay. Um, what should we call it? Um, it’s I saw somebody ask a question about you working in admissions or did you work in admissions at NYU? Yeah. So from freshman year to senior year, I worked in admissions doing the tours and the calls and the emails, and I was on the social media thing. So like my face was the first thing you saw on their page for like three years straight.

Um, and then after I graduated, they invited me back to being like an application reader for the 20, 20, 19 20, 20 cycle. And then [00:37:00] I’m hopefully going to do it again. Sometimes I want to, I want to go there for their master’s in school counseling. So I’m trying to figure out my way in, because they’re expensive.

They do have license for grad students and they have good scholarships. That’s good to know. So back to the actual Q and a, um, okay. Uh, Lord. Uh, okay. So a lot of students are asking about like testing, not testing, well testing and, um, like courses they should take in high school. So, um, what, which courses did y’all take in high school?

How did they help you for college or did they help you? Did he get any credit stuff like that? Um, so I can kind of add to this. Um, I was told, you know, by teachers take APS, you know, whenever you can stack your sec, your, a transcript with as many like hard courses as possible. So I did that and I actually found the AP courses to be harder than college.

I don’t [00:38:00] know. I think it was because of the short amount of time and like how much information and you don’t really have access to your like teachers in high school, as much as maybe professors, because professors have like a bunch of office hours. Like they will have some at like 5:00 PM in the middle of the night, like D professors are wild.

So, and I think you have, you can form relationships with professors much. I know easier than you can with high school teachers. Um, cause there’s that like level of professional, I guess, that you have to be it’s different when you’re in college. I don’t know. And I feel like once you go up, like master’s level to like professors or my friends almost, it just gets easier to form those connections.

Um, so yeah, I, yeah, AP, I mean, take AP, they’ll prepare you over prepare possibly. Um, yeah, dual enrollment is good too. I took like one dual enrollment course. Um, that was cool.

Yeah. And for me in high school, I did not load up on a lot of APS. I think I maybe took five APS before applying to college. Um, and in terms of course, credit at Columbia. [00:39:00] Fives, um, sometimes fours for course, credit, but there’s different requirements for different departments and classes. So it’s best to take it on a case by case basis when you got there.

Um, but I always do. I wanted to study economics and I took AP micro in high school. My school didn’t offer AP macroeconomics, but if any of you guys are in Chicago, Northwestern actually has this great free program. It’s called Northwestern college bridge. And I was able to take, um, a summer class at Northwestern, completely tuition free, and they paid for my books and everything.

Um, and that was really great as well, because not only was I like on a college campus before high school, I could just take that class for free. And I was, I was with college students as well. So I took AP, I took macro economics, um, and that did not. That unfortunately did not transfer over to Columbia, but I think it’s just great to take classes in the subject that you’re interested in.

And if you [00:40:00] know what major you want to go into, it’s another way to show demonstrated interest in that major. Um, and I was also part of the university of Chicago collegiate scholars program. Um, and that allowed me to take classes at the university, uh, for three summers as well. Okay. I also see a question here, um, specifically about Barnard accepting dual enrollments.

So I’ll kind of cover the one I took in high school. And that question simultaneously, um, Barnard will accept some dual enrollments very carefully. So you might be able to accept it as credit, but they probably want to allow you to use it as like a, an intro course, which is their same policy on many threes on AP tests.

You can usually get credit for it, but you can’t use it to level ahead in another. Like in that field. So let’s say you got a three on your AP Spanish test. You wouldn’t be able to get to Spanish two. You would still have to take Spanish one, but you’d get those three credits. Um, what I would say about filling out your high [00:41:00] school academic schedule, try and take four years of language, because it’ll help you test out later on, try and take math courses in the area that you want to be able to test out of.

So I knew I was never going to take calc, not in college, wasn’t going to happen for me, not a math person. I took stats and was able to test into stats to, um, things of that nature that kind of help you prep for testing out of intro courses, as well as getting academic credit in the future would be the way that I would go.

Okay, so Giuliana, you mentioned that, um, summer program, can you type that in the chat for one and then for two, this is for everybody, but I know like Columbia, Barnard have a lot of those summer programs, sometimes a little bit expensive for people, but, um, do the, does go into those show, demonstrated interest.

Does it actually help with getting into the school and then other people were just asking how in general, do you show demonstrate interests? So Columbia [00:42:00] unfortunately does not actually track demonstrated interests in terms of admitting people. However, I do think that doing a summer program, there would give you an edge just because, you know, you’re able to talk about it in your essays and you’re showing your interest in those Columbia specific essay responses.

It’s just not demonstrated interest per se, that they’re looking at. Um, and yeah, I can type the program in the chat. Thank you.

I would second what Juliana is saying. So, um, Barnard, doesn’t give you added like credit for taking their summer programs, especially because they have so many different ones. Um, but they do track demonstrated interest. So that’s one difference between Barnard and Columbia. They definitely do pay attention to that.

It’s just that their summer programs aren’t necessarily going to count. The best thing you can do if you take a summer program is talk about what drew you back to Barnard and what part of that experience was meaningful to you.

Uh, [00:43:00] okay. So, um, I just want to answer these questions. They’re like some people asking about like, if their school doesn’t offer like AP programs or like, um, dual, um, there are other options outside of school that you can take. And then also when you’re going through the application process, it’s a holistic process and they look at how the other students from your school and what your school offers and your school environment is like when determining, um, how well your student profile is.

There are a lot of webinars that go over that in more detail. But for the most part, you won’t be compared to like a kid going to a private school that offers every single AP in the world. So that isn’t a big deal. They’re just good courses to take for prepping for college. I guess on prepping for college, um, what programs do your schools offer?

Cause some people are asking about like best business programs, best medical school programs. Um, like what do they offer? What are they good at? And then also to add onto that, um, are they more [00:44:00] humanities leaning, um, or more stem and research or mixture?

So is kind of interesting case in that because we are, um, combined with Columbia, there are some programs that we do really well and some programs we rely very heavily on Columbia for. So our computer science program is slowly growing out of Barnard, but mostly is housed at Columbia. Our Spanish program is primarily housed at Columbia that the French program who both Columbia and Barnard is housed out of bark.

Um, Barnard is really well-known for their women in gender studies, their anthropology department for their American history department and their psychology department, which is extensive. Um, so those are all things that I would definitely take. Look at Barnard core in particular, and know that there are phenomenal stem programs at Barnard are chem, bio physics labs.

Amazing. Um, but you are going to find some of the tech progress and some of the engineering is much stronger over at Columbia.[00:45:00]

Um, yes. Just to add onto that we have just about every program you could imagine, like if you’re interested in studying something, then you’ll probably find that at Columbia, uh, we are known for economics program as well as our English program. Um, but we have just about every major social sciences. Um, we also have our engineering school as well, which I’m not a part of, but so what some people don’t know is that our undergraduate program is split into Columbia college and CS, our engineering school.

And so if you’re more interested in stem, then you would join, you know, CS. But if you’re more interested in the humanities side, social science, things like that, then you would join Columbia college.

Um, as for NYU, it offers like every major under the sun. Um, Pretty much. So their industry and research base, depending on what you want to do, which is kind of why I wanted to go there. Cause [00:46:00] I wasn’t sure. Um, it did kind of depending on what you want to pursue. Um, but they have research opportunities that are fully fun for undergrad students, um, at every pretty much every single college within NYU.

Um, and even if you don’t know like which specific major you want, or maybe you have really like specific interests that are not offered, we do have our, like our Gallatin school, which they have the, like a major it’s called, like, uh, I think it’s individualized study. So you kind of kind of make up your major, take the classes you want, obviously with, you know, certain pre pre-recs.

Um, you have to take as well, but like I know someone who wants to, to go to law school to study criminal justice. So they made up their own major called evil. So they studied evil and then they went to law school to do criminal justice, which I thought was super cool. Um, some people do a combo of like fashion.

So they can take classes at like the art school and at the engineering school and do some psychology courses to understand like, what are like fashion trends, people are running. So it’s, it’s kind of a mixture. Um, and every single person that does this program has like very specific dreams and they all kind of [00:47:00] achieve them.

Like they become road scholars and all this other stuff. So, I mean, I think NYU is like one of the top schools for like producing road scholars. So if that’s something you want, definitely look into that. Um, yeah, lots of opportunity at all our schools. Um, I guess going on that note, like what are some programs or, um, opportunities or just some favorable memories that you have from your time in school?

The Barner has got some huge traditions, including, um, what we call big, sad and big sad is when they spread tables across the entire campus from the furthest building to the other end of campus, and then put a giant submarine sandwich on there and they ring a bell. And when that bell goes off, you run for the sandwiches and grab as much sandwiches as you can, like filling Tupperware, taking whatever you can.

And that’s your [00:48:00] meal for like a week solid. Um, everyone is on campus eating this giant sandwich together and it’s, uh, I mean, it’s like vegetarian, it’s tuna on some sections. You’ve got Turkey and ham. You’ve got the whole nine yards. Um, but it’s nice because everyone comes out for it. The professors come out, the whole school is there.

Um, it’s just like a really fun and lighthearted way to spend the middle. The semester, um, the other great Barner tradition is what we call midnight breakfast. So the midnight that final start, everyone gets out of their bed and rolls into, um, our big campus center and their pajamas and all of the campus leadership.

Um, the deans, the president of the university, your favorite professors, they serve you breakfast, um, bacon, eggs, ham, giant tables of ice cream and cake. Um, and you just kind of party right before finals. Start to get some of that stress off your back.[00:49:00]

Um, and for Columbia, one of the programs that people don’t really know about is urban New York. Um, and you can win free tickets to Broadway shows, tourist attraction, sporting events, group dinners, operas, everything just about everything that New York has to offer. And freshman year, I want to take it to see the Nutcracker and, you know, I saw it at the opera house and it was just so amazing.

And Columbia just has so many great programs where you can explore the city for free. Um, we also have the arts initiative where you can. Free or discounted tickets to these different shows as well. So that’s definitely one of my favorite things about Columbia. Um, and in terms of our traditions, my favorite tradition is probably the tree lighting ceremony.

You know, every year they just light up campus walk and it’s just beautiful. And, you know, they play, they play music, you know, hot chocolate, kind of the whole thing. You get a [00:50:00] free shirt and it’s just a tradition that brings people together in the winter. And even during COVID, when we haven’t had these like big gatherings, they still lit up the trees and it’s, it’s gorgeous.

I love it.

Um, for NYU, I guess one of my favorites was a flurry. So NYU. Like kind of week long event where they have different brands, but flurry is my favorite event in December. Um, it’s when they rent out a woman, I think it’s Woolman ice skating rink in central park for all NYU complete for free free skates.

Just everyone, all of NYU just shows up. We just kind of a mess because ice getting a little rink could be crazy, but that’s where I learned how to ice skate. Um, that’s where I learned how to get up from falling from ice skating. So I fell my button multiple times, but that’s like, you always find people willing to help you get up and like, take your, take your pictures for you while you’re attempting to ice skate.

Um, and I made friends there and I just, I really loved it. It was for food, you know, lots of fun stuff. Um, there’s also palladium brunch, which I think was. [00:51:00] Um, and palladium is one of the residence halls, which everyone else calls dorms, the dorms residence halls. Um, and essentially they have like chocolate fountains and just a bunch of food all over the place.

Um, for one meal swipe, you can go in and just, it’s like a buffet of food, which is always great. Um, and you know, other things that we should have Facebook groups, I don’t know if they still use Facebook groups, but like people always were posting free food that like clubs leftover. So I got to try like Indian food and middle Eastern food for free, just try and bits and pieces of everything.

Um, so if you’re like me, you were balling on a budget, uh, free food all over the place and also free. T-shirts lots of stickers too. It’s really great freestyle. Okay. Um, okay. There are a lot of good questions. Um, okay. So just, you know, these schools are, um, historically white institutions or majority. Most schools are majority came out now, but, um, there are a lot of feelings of insecurity about going to school as being a minority in any status.

So do y’all [00:52:00] have any tips or experiences on being a student of color or LGBTQ status or being a woman

or even low income to just throw it in there?

Barnard has a very active series of affinity groups, um, and some very strong mental health programs so that you can find your support and your community within, um, the school. I’ll be honest, it’s a historically white female school because it started because women weren’t allowed to go to college. And that was back in the days when only white people were allowed to go to college, they are working towards becoming more inclusive, but that’s a long process.

And, um, we can hold bar. We do very much as alumni hold Bernard accountable for what they’re doing and the efforts they’re making. Uh, and I know that the students are very active at school, but I don’t want to lie and pretend that it’s like the easiest experience that would be unfair to you. [00:53:00] I can speak honestly and say that, um, the diversity is it for me, as somebody came from a very heterogeneous community, it was enlightening.

Um, and I knew that there were affinity groups on campus that provided the support, the insight and the advocacy that I wasn’t participating in. Um, just because I wasn’t part of that affinity group. So there are going to be places for you to turn. Um, but I would hate for you to go in blindsided about the situation.

Yeah, definitely agree with everything. Gabrielle has just said. Um, and Columbia specifically is, you know, one of the most diverse colleges in the country and New York city is also one of the most diverse places in the country. And personally, I have never experienced discrimination, um, due to any of my statuses at Columbia.

Um, and I will say that Columbia students hold administration accountable, [00:54:00] if, um, there’s anything that they disagree with. And, you know, there’s a running joke that there’s always protests happening on Columbia’s campus. And, you know, I definitely agree with that. Columbia students are very active about the issues that they’re passionate about, about, you know, inclusivity and diversity in general.

So I’d say that I have personally felt very welcomed in the environment and you know, we’re always working towards progress.

Yeah. And that’s for NYU. I mean, from my own experience, I, so I’m, I’m, I’m Dominican and Cuban. Um, so I joined the Dominican student association. I became an officer in that and participated in all their events for like three to three years. Um, and then I also joined the Cuban student association. Um, I joined society of Hispanic engineers.

So I found my little groups within that, where I could, you know, discuss any issues that were ongoing or participate in opportunities specifically towards, um, my like affinity groups. Um, um, so yeah, I think it’s. Kind of your experience at college is what you make [00:55:00] it to be. If you want it to be focused on finding your niche within your culture, your religion, whatever it may be.

That’s fine. Some people I know, just focus on their majors. Um, it depends what you’re looking for at a college. And I think like, um, you know, our other panelists have said, it’s not, we don’t want to lie to you and be like, oh, it’s, you know, it’s great. You’re going to pretend it is really hard. I have faced a lot of struggles.

Like I didn’t feel like I belonged until I got that degree in my hand. Like there are a lot of struggles that you face on the way there, um, even by the institution itself. Um, and th that might not be an institution problem, or it might be, you know, just that singular person that was causing problems. But, um, we all, we all got through it.

Hopefully Juliana is almost there. So, so yeah, I mean, the light is there at the end of the tunnel. I have three, my I’m about to be a sophomore, so I got a while. Um, okay. So, um, Coming to close on the panel, but I guess just to tie everything up, sorry, if we didn’t get to your question, some of the panelists put our emails in the chat.

If you want to ask some [00:56:00] quick questions afterwards, but, um, what do you wish you knew before you got to your school?

You don’t know that I have an answer for what I wish I knew before I got to school, because I think the beauty of college is learning how much you don’t know. Um, which seems like a little bit unfair now at this stage in the game for you guys. And I, I recognize that what I will say looking back on my time at Barnard is that I wish that I had been more involved in Barnard success all around.

Um, the student government is supremely active and they are focused on making it a better place for students, for teachers, for future students, for alumni. And they also provide immense access to our alumni. So my friends who are on student government were also then allowed to go to the Athena film festival, where they were having really interesting conversations with [00:57:00] documentarians and filmmakers and screenwriters and donors, and like learning about different parts of the world that I really missed out on because I was very tunnel vision in what I was doing on campus.

Um, so when I look back now, I wish I had diversified my social set. I wish that I had been more involved in the success on campus, and I wish that I’d been a little bit kinder to myself because even though I did go on to go to grad school and grad school was great. I picked a program where the grades were not the end of the world.

My grades were helpful, but they didn’t get me into grad school. And so I wished that I had given myself more opportunity to take risks with my classes and so that I could learn new things instead of trying to pad my resume and my GPA. And that’s what I think, looking back on college, but going into it, I’m so glad I didn’t know anything.

And then for me, I’m currently a rising junior, so I’m not super far removed from the high school experience. Um, [00:58:00] but what I would tell myself back then is probably just don’t stress about the little things. You know, I tend to stress about my grades or a task or something here and there, but you know, at the end of the day, it’s like you are worth more than a test score.

You know, your college application is a whole holistically looked at like don’t stress about one specific part of the application. Don’t stress about one small test score, you know, Work and focus on yourself because, you know, at the end of the day, like if you are focusing on yourself, you’re most able to, you know, authentically portray yourself in your college application, you’re able to just, you know, be more satisfied with yourself without the end, the end of the day, you know, that’s what really matters.

Um, so yeah, I think that’s probably it. Yeah, for me, I have to agree with both panelists. Like I kind of also wish I would focus would have focused more on my, like time in the classroom rather than focused on [00:59:00] like padding my resume. Um, if I would’ve known I was going to go into master’s program, so I just finished my master’s either at the university of Michigan, like now, and I’m going to another, master’s like, I’m moving at the end of the month to Europe to do like, yeah, it’s a whole thing.

But, um, if I would’ve known, I would’ve liked academia, I wouldn’t focus so much on industry, like patting of my resume. And I would have been like, I think a much better. Um, and I feel like I kind of missed out on that aspect and NYU is amazing research, like, um, opportunities. I definitely missed out on those.

Um, cause I was too busy, like, oh, startup culture. Yeah. It’s the whole thing. But, um, but yeah, and also just in as New York city, like in general, um, I feel like I wish I would have known myself better before going to New York, New York city specifically. And I just get, I guess most cities have this kind of thing where they kind of test your limits on, you know, what you can handle as a person, your mental health and all these things.

And being, I moved there when I was 17. So I didn’t, I knew nothing. I was a baby, so to speak. So going into, you know, this city where everyone seems to have a [01:00:00] goal and, and knows everything, what they want was really, um, something I had to work through and I’m still working through that. And now I have like goals and stuff.

It just, I wish what I know now would I would be able to apply then. Um, and I think I would have been much more. Those are all great answers. I’m taking this into, cause I still got some time, but uh, thank you to our panelists. Um, and that is the end of our webinar. Um, on New York city panels, here’s the rest of our August series.

I do have to say that, um, there will be some more panels on different schools, my school, Cornell university, although I won’t be speaking in it, but I’m in another panel on HBCs. I will be doing that one. Um, and then they’re just going to be a bunch of panels. Uh, if you want to know more about these schools or like find answers to your specific questions, you can always reach out to current or former students, especially through like Instagram and stuff.

That’s a good way to just get a good look at the schools. And then also watching some of our other webinars or [01:01:00] rewatching this one, uh, emailing some of the panelists. If you have quick questions and then also. Just doing your own research. YouTube is like the best resource sometimes. And so is Google. So, um, because there’s so much going on, just like, what were your questions?

You should be able to find something. Uh, so yeah. Thank you to our panelists again, and thank you everyone for coming out to the webinar and I’m stopping recording.