college competition Archive



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img April 27, 20127:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Ye Olde Zerging

Though not quite as impressive as having a spaceship in your backyard, the Columbia Starcraft club will go head-to-head with rival Harvard in the playoffs of the year-long Collegiate StarLeague tournament; our team and Harvard are both contenders to win the division. If you’re interested in seeing the stellar combat go down in a competitive atmosphere, the matches will be shown in 401/402 Hamilton starting at 9:00 p.m. If you’re still recovering from that kegger that didn’t happen last night, you can tune in via live stream from the comfort of your personal computer.

ProtestCraft via Wikimedia Commons



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img January 18, 201210:07 pmimg 9 Comments

Today, compounding the stress of nervous high school seniors across the hemispheres, our Office of Undergraduate Admissions released preliminary numbers for the regular decision pool. The stats showed an overall drop in applications from last year, which they attributed both to a normalizing effect from Columbia’s switch to the Common App in 2010, and also to the recently reintroduced early action plans at Harvard and Princeton. Despite the less impressive numbers, the applicant pool was described, as it is every year, as the most academically competitive yet. Hooray! The potential class of 2016 also demonstrated itself to be exceedingly sensitive and loveable by excelling in categories like “diversity of experience” and “voice.” The breakdown is as follows:

  • 31,818 applications for a class of 1,391 students
  • Anticipated to be one of the larger applicant pools in the Ivy League
  • Applications were down 8.9% from last years numbers, but,
  • There has been a 21.5% overall increase in applications since 2010

Full email after the jump



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img March 30, 20115:23 pmimg 48 Comments

Admissions Dean Jennifer Fondiller signed each of the 5,154 letters!

This week, accepted Barnard prospies for the class of 2015 are receiving their letters–and they will have to wait, because Barnard holds to tradition in sending out only paper acceptances. So much admissions hoopla going on!

And it was a notable year for Barnard. The college saw a 38% increase in early applications, from 397 to 550. The college also received 5,154 applications, more than ever before; up from 4,618 last year, for a gain of 12%!

This sets their admission rate at 24.9%, also the lowest ever, up down from last year’s 27.8%.

Dean Fondiller attributes the success to targeted recruitment worldwide and the opening of The Diana Center.

Photo by Adrienne Hezghia



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img March 30, 20115:00 pmimg 75 Comments

Welcome home 2015!

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has just released the admissions statistics for the Class of 2015! The takeaway: shitloads of people applied to Columbia. The overall admission’s rate for this year was 6.9 percent, compared with last year’s 9.2%. We suspect this has a lot to do with the switch to the Common App, but regardless, congratulations are in order for next year’s freshpeople!

Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, made the following statement:

The Undergraduate Admissions staff and I take great pride in admitting the Class of 2015 to Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. Chosen from among 34,929 applicants in our most selective admissions cycle ever, admitted students hail from 73 countries and all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. We admitted 6.4% of students who applied to Columbia College and 9.9% of those who applied to Columbia Engineering, for an overall admit rate of 6.9%.

The full statement and breakdown of the data after the jump!



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img September 25, 20081:27 pmimg 15 Comments

report cardFinally, finally, Columbia has gotten some recognition for its dogged drive towards greenishness: a good-enough-everywhere-but-Columbia grade of A- on the third annual Sustainability Report Card for American colleges. The decision ties us with 14 other schools (including four Ivies, none of which were in New Haven, not that we care about that or anything). And it’s probably the most drastic improvement we’ll ever get in a national ranking, up from a B grade just last year.




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img August 31, 20071:16 pmimg 14 Comments

This time last year, Bwog elder statesmen Marc Tracy and Avi Zenilman invited underformers to reconsider their college decisions. The verdict: in retrospect, most other places are just as weird as Columbia, but in different ways. (Except Yale, which is weird in ways all its own.) This year, Dan D’Addario opens the debate once more.

nyuNew York University

N.Y.who? NYU has a far greater social scene than Columbia’s manic-depressive party-study cycle; they also have the dubious benefit of being way downtown. The notable alumni indicate that this school actually cares about, like, the arts and stuff (unlike Columbia), but also leaves you largely to your own devices, with no main campus and little student-teacher interaction (much like Columbia, but more

shameless about it).

What they have that we don’t: Haley Joel Osment; Washington Square Park; Tisch School for the Arts; joie de vivre.

What we have that they don’t: Matthew Fox; Manhattanville [?]; GS; ennui.

Hookup factor: Boys like boys. Girls hold out hope. It’s all easier on Ecstasy.

ucUniversity of Chicago

U.Chicago is to Columbia as Columbia is to Yale. It also indulges some of Columbia’s most admirable and most irritating qualities – the passion for theory that so easily becomes aggressive pretension. If you have ever thought at three A.M. during exam week, “This works,” perhaps you were meant to spend four years pounding your brain with theory on the shores of Lake Michigan.

What they have that we don’t: Oprah; deep dish pizza; pride in their academic work; endearingly widespread enthusiasm for the Core.

What we have that they don’t: Tiffany Patterson; edible pizza; pride in getting on Cobrasnake; relatively widespread sanity.

Hookup factor: Better than you’d think: imagine the Butler stacks if no one ever left (except the weak ones, to cry). (more…)



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img June 20, 20071:10 pmimg 42 Comments

jdhfHere comes the revolution: members of the Annapolis Group, a loose consortium of liberal arts colleges, have finally decided to bolt from U.S. News and World Report’s embattled college rankings, and are promising to come up with a system of their own. Among them is outgoing Barnard President Judith Shapiro, who laid out her opposition back in 1998, penning those fabulous title quotes and making the dubious claim that the rankings cannot be an accurate measure of collegiate quality if they place Barnard so low (the bears aren’t that low–just solidly middle of the road). 

Spokespeople said that “over 50 percent” of the organization had decided not to provide  their data to the annual survey. Bwog wonders which half that would be.



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img February 28, 20071:20 pmimg 5 Comments

kjhIn preparation for the storming of NYU, a few Bwog editors and other interested parties will be gathering tonight at La Negrita on 109th and Columbus to sharpen our skills before going big time. Trivia goes from 8:00 – 10:00 with a two-drink minimum. Swing by at around 7:45 if you want to get in on the action.



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img February 21, 20075:35 pmimg 30 Comments

sdfGood weather, apparently, begets genius.  Earlier today, a commenter left the following on the Think Coffee review: “i propose we get a gaggle of cu students together to go down to think on scrabble nights (thursdays??) and kick some nyu ass.” Kick some NYU ass? Something we do both far too much and yet not enough at all.  Within hours, inboxes were filled, IMs were sent: Columbia University would have a Scrabble team, and Bwog would gingerly poke fun. However, a quick phone call to Think laid down the kibosh (15 points)–the Scrabblers had left for Brooklyn, or something.  So Bwog’s competitive spirit changed gears: TRIVIA NIGHT.

Here’s the plan. Bwog wants to start a super-quiz team with the sole purpose of putting Tisch students in their place. We hear The Baggot Inn, one block off Washington Square Park, is the pinnacle of both the NYU and the five boroughs trivia set–but since Bwog knows only what’s on the undersides of Snapple caps, we need some stellar quizzers to out-quiz NYU, and we’ll split the comped bar tab when you win.

Try-outs will be informal – if you’re interested, send your name, phone number, and a good time to chat to  We’ll call sometime soon to ask, “Which New York ‘university’ is about to get their shit handed to them in a Morton-Williams bag?”  Answer correctly and you’re in.  We’ll most likely be training on Wednesday nights at our own La Negrita, then getting some road experience around the city before going for the title on a Tuesday night at Baggot’s.  Or hell, maybe we’ll just rush’em next week and bank on first-timers’ luck.




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img August 29, 20066:15 pmimg 13 Comments

In which Bwog apprises you of news important and not. 

Gore? Over. Clinton? Not a chance. But his highness Jeffrey “I’m a rock star” Sachs? Hell yes! This man doesn’t even need to declare a candidacy to run for president–with fans like these, he could end up Commander in Chief by write-in without so much as a wave of his laser pointer. If FDR can do it in a wheelchair, J. Sachs can definitely do it at about 80% of normal male height.


You may think you’re hot shit for getting into Columbia, but next year’s class will be even more selectively chosen: we’re now accepting the Common Application, making Brown the last Ivy holdout. Bwog is sure this has nothing to do with that ninth-place US News and World Report finish. Oh no.

No, this is completely unrelated to Columbia, and yes, Gawker already posted it. But as many people as possible should enjoy the vulgar genius of P. Diddy as possible. Cheers!




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img August 29, 200610:27 amimg 12 Comments

Welcome to Columbia—let the self-recrimination begin!

Seriously, if we can posit one common thread throughout a student body that is diverse in just about every conceivable dimension, it is that we all overthink things. Debates between eating dinner at Deluxe or the Heights will take half an hour; whether to major in History or Poli Sci (or Comp Sci or Applied Math) will take up the other half of your time here. And you’ll still wonder if you made the right decision to begin with—the decision to come to Columbia.

We could tell you all the reasons why you chose correctly, but we’re confident enough to believe these to be implicit. You’ll get it; you’ll know you did well by yourself. So, in the interest of paving your road to eternal regret, Bwog staffers Marc Tracy and Avi Zenilman present arguments in favor of elsewhere: six schools that may have given you a better college experience. Or not.

Stanford University

Best of several worlds: you get to be Bay Area without living in a city, you get great weather that is nonetheless seasonal, and you get Ivy-caliber academics without Ivy-caliber winters and Ivy-caliber classmates without Ivy-caliber pretension. Plus, redwoods.

What they have that we don’t: Major league hook-up to Silicon Valley. Berkeley and San Francisco are not far off, and Yosemite’s only a few hours’ drive. Also, we really get the feeling that everyone there has great skin. And their quarter system allows for greater personalization of your studies. Plus, redwoods.

What we have that they don’t: Palo Alto plays SoHo to Berkeley’s Village. All that Silicon Valley stuff still has to go through Wall Street. And at the end of the day, you still can’t get a decent knish. See our point?

Hook-up factor: If nothing else, the better weather means that you don’t pass through the winter months forgetting that the opposite sex exists. Plus, redwoods. (more…)



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img August 19, 20061:39 amimg 18 Comments

After weeks of breathless waiting, university administrators found out yesterday how their school fared this year on that outsized arbiter of institutional excellence, the US News and World Report college rankings. Nothing much changed, at least in the range Columbia cares about: the span between number one and number nine, where it’s been stuck for three years running.

While we’re playing with statistics, other people like putting things in order too! According to Newsweek, Columbia is about as good as it is global–we come in tenth on a list of the world’s most international universities. Columbia looks a little better in China, where Shanghai Jiao Tong University puts us at number seven in the world, and rankings for research universities done by an independent group give Columbia a preen-worthy fourth place.

Alma Mater, however, does not fare so well on the altruism index. The Washington Monthly, a left-of-center political mag, ranks schools in the categories of Community Service, Research, and Social Mobility–which shakes things up a bit. Columbia languishes at number 36 on this list, behind the likes of Alabama A&M and Ohio State (but ahead of Princeton).

The Monthly‘s choice for the school that’s best for America? MIT. Proving once again that geeks make the world a better place.



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img May 18, 200610:17 pmimg 20 Comments

USA Today has chosen their 2006 All-USA High School Academic First Team, a ponderous name for 20 kids who have WAY too many activities in their young lives, including–we kid you not–inventing a patent-pending wearable breast exam training apparatus using diaper gel, cashews and a bikini. Math problem: Yale got 27% of those who didn’t go to Harvard.

In other, even more random news, a silver-haired gentleman in a pinstripe suit rolled into a Bwog correspondent’s office on a Segway with five Japanese businessmen in tow. Bwog wants one. And some businessmen, too.



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img May 12, 20061:54 amimg 20 Comments

A few days ago Google introduced a new feature called “Trends” that allows users to view statistics about the search queries that Google fields by the millions every day. And finally, we have proof that Columbia actually is more important than its ivied brethren.

A comparison by volume of the search term “columbia university” versus “harvard university” et al., and “columbia” versus “harvard,” etc., reveals that Columbia is well ahead on both counts (and it’s assigned us a fitting color).

Columbia 1, all other Ivies 0.

Update: Also, check out “columbia college” versus “harvard college.”

The score: 2-0.

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