Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Are they shrinking the class size as a strategy to sustainably continue their debt free model? Or because they’re making moves to go tuition free? Or just cus? Any thoughts from #insiders
 

stickflip723

I wanna grow up to be a debaser
2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2016
135
231
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Are they shrinking the class size as a strategy to sustainably continue their debt free model? Or because they’re making moves to go tuition free? Or just cus? Any thoughts from #insiders
I wish they'd gimme a hint if they're going debt free because that would seriously change my calculus
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phoebus Apollo
Feb 28, 2019
54
82
31
Are they shrinking the class size as a strategy to sustainably continue their debt free model? Or because they’re making moves to go tuition free? Or just cus? Any thoughts from #insiders
I heard that they reduced their number of spots by 25 this year... something about them losing space in one of their hospitals to Mt. Sinai
I heard the same as AussieChase. It's a logistical thing. Not enough clinical sites for students.
 
Jul 20, 2018
133
262
41
I wish they'd gimme a hint if they're going debt free because that would seriously change my calculus
I think Columbia would currently classify themselves as "debt-free" with the Vagelos Scholarship. I highly doubt they'll go "tuition-free." My logic behind that is that a debt-free system better allocates money to those who need it (a student, for example, coming from a family in the top 1% doesn't need* his/her tuition payed for by donors). A tuition free system is definitely able to recruit highly competitive students from wealthy backgrounds, but that's what individual merit/recruitment scholarships are for.

*The debt-free system only falls short when parents are unable/unwilling to meet their expected family contribution (which I recognize is the case for many students)
 
  • Like
Reactions: twirl16 and ZFox

Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I think Columbia would currently classify themselves as "debt-free" with the Vagelos Scholarship. I highly doubt they'll go "tuition-free." My logic behind that is that a debt-free system better allocates money to those who need it (a student, for example, coming from a family in the top 1% doesn't need* his/her tuition payed for by donors). A tuition free system is definitely able to recruit highly competitive students from wealthy backgrounds, but that's what individual merit/recruitment scholarships are for.

*The debt-free system only falls short when parents are unable/unwilling to meet their expected family contribution (which I recognize is the case for many students)
This is valid, and I commend Columbia’s model. They’re generous with a lot of people who need money— and I think ultimately that brings in many exceptional classmates who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. That’s so awesome, and I wouldn’t wanna change that.

That said, your family doesn’t need to be in the top 1% to not qualify for aid. I bet there are a lot of people hovering around the upper/middle class who won’t qualify, or who won’t qualify for much— whose families are certainly comfortable but who will still feel burdened because they’re footing a HUGE bill for their 30 year-old kid’s medical education.

My parents could mortgage their home or liquidate assets. Instead, they’ll keep working even though they want to retire so that they can minimize the amount of loans I need to take out. (Even with solid income, they can probably only cover COA in NYC.) That makes me want to go to a cheaper school, even though I like Columbia better.

I don’t think NYU went tuition free to recruit more rich students. I think they did it simply because people will know when they apply that they’ll be able to afford it, and they won’t have to take out outrageous loans or continue to be a huge burden on their family. I’d wager that confidence alone will increase the SES diversity of their classes. (Although, again, COA in NYC is significant so I bet NYU will still struggle with that aspect.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: StanleyYelnats
May 2, 2018
360
608
41
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
This is valid, and I commend Columbia’s model. They’re generous with a lot of people who need money— and I think ultimately that brings in many exceptional classmates who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. That’s so awesome, and I wouldn’t wanna change that.

That said, your family doesn’t need to be in the top 1% to not qualify for aid. I bet there are a lot of people hovering around the upper/middle class who won’t qualify, or who won’t qualify for much— whose families are certainly comfortable but who will still feel burdened because they’re footing a HUGE bill for their 30 year-old kid’s medical education.

My parents could mortgage their home or liquidate assets. Instead, they’ll keep working even though they want to retire so that they can minimize the amount of loans I need to take out. (Even with solid income, they can probably only cover COA in NYC.) That makes me want to go to a cheaper school, even though I like Columbia better.

I don’t think NYU went tuition free to recruit more rich students. I think they did it simply because people will know when they apply that they’ll be able to afford it, and they won’t have to take out outrageous loans or continue to be a huge burden on their family. I’d wager that confidence alone will increase the SES diversity of their classes. (Although, again, COA in NYC is significant so I bet NYU will still struggle with that aspect.)
I’m nowhere near the top 1% and I didn’t qualify for aid. There are people that have to pay full price for Columbia.
 
Mar 6, 2018
974
1,223
41
Status
Pre-Medical
This is valid, and I commend Columbia’s model. They’re generous with a lot of people who need money— and I think ultimately that brings in many exceptional classmates who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. That’s so awesome, and I wouldn’t wanna change that.

That said, your family doesn’t need to be in the top 1% to not qualify for aid. I bet there are a lot of people hovering around the upper/middle class who won’t qualify, or who won’t qualify for much— whose families are certainly comfortable but who will still feel burdened because they’re footing a HUGE bill for their 30 year-old kid’s medical education.

My parents could mortgage their home or liquidate assets. Instead, they’ll keep working even though they want to retire so that they can minimize the amount of loans I need to take out. (Even with solid income, they can probably only cover COA in NYC.) That makes me want to go to a cheaper school, even though I like Columbia better.

I don’t think NYU went tuition free to recruit more rich students. I think they did it simply because people will know when they apply that they’ll be able to afford it, and they won’t have to take out outrageous loans or continue to be a huge burden on their family. I’d wager that confidence alone will increase the SES diversity of their classes. (Although, again, COA in NYC is significant so I bet NYU will still struggle with that aspect.)
I’m nowhere near the top 1% and I didn’t qualify for aid. There are people that have to pay full price for Columbia.
I'm not sure exactly what income brackets people are talking about here but just for some perspective on specific numbers. My finaid email said that up to $125,000 parental income is not considered to contribute ANYTHING to efc. That limit may be set by number of siblings in college or total household size, or just standard for everyone. I'm not sure. I have two siblings in college, but 6 person household in total so maybe someone else with less can confirm or refute.

What this means is the only thing parents are expected to contribute when below $125,000 income is a very small percentage of their assets (we're talking like 1% per year based on my package). If the student has no significant assets on top of that and comes from a middle or upper middle class home making less than $125,000 a year they get over full tuition and close to full COA.

After the $125,000 mark I don't know what percentage of income goes into efc. What I will say is the people who get screwed are students from very wealthy backgrounds who's parents refuse to pay and older adults who are career changers and already have a lot of personal assets because it appears that Columbia will expect you to contribute almost all of your personal assets over the four years
 

Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm not sure exactly what income brackets people are talking about here but just for some perspective on specific numbers. My finaid email said that up to $125,000 parental income is not considered to contribute ANYTHING to efc. That limit may be set by number of siblings in college or total household size, or just standard for everyone. I'm not sure. I have two siblings in college, but 6 person household in total so maybe someone else with less can confirm or refute.

What this means is the only thing parents are expected to contribute when below $125,000 income is a very small percentage of their assets (we're talking like 1% per year based on my package). If the student has no significant assets on top of that and comes from a middle or upper middle class home making less than $125,000 a year they get over full tuition and close to full COA.

After the $125,000 mark I don't know what percentage of income goes into efc. What I will say is the people who get screwed are students from very wealthy backgrounds who's parents refuse to pay and older adults who are career changers and already have a lot of personal assets because it appears that Columbia will expect you to contribute almost all of your personal assets over the four years
I met with financial aid and can confirm that siblings in college does change things a lot.
I’m not going to extrapolate my personal situation too much, because I realize there are a lot of factors that I can’t fully appreciate. All I’m saying is that my family is not outrageously well off (certainly not approaching 1%) and the tuition here would be a real burden on my family and I’d need to take out a good hunk o’ loans

(With that said I will reiterate that Columbia has an excellent aid model and I think they’re doing good work.)
 

weakmadestrong

5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
May 2, 2014
21
48
111
I'm not sure exactly what income brackets people are talking about here but just for some perspective on specific numbers. My finaid email said that up to $125,000 parental income is not considered to contribute ANYTHING to efc. That limit may be set by number of siblings in college or total household size, or just standard for everyone. I'm not sure. I have two siblings in college, but 6 person household in total so maybe someone else with less can confirm or refute.

What this means is the only thing parents are expected to contribute when below $125,000 income is a very small percentage of their assets (we're talking like 1% per year based on my package). If the student has no significant assets on top of that and comes from a middle or upper middle class home making less than $125,000 a year they get over full tuition and close to full COA.

After the $125,000 mark I don't know what percentage of income goes into efc. What I will say is the people who get screwed are students from very wealthy backgrounds who's parents refuse to pay and older adults who are career changers and already have a lot of personal assets because it appears that Columbia will expect you to contribute almost all of your personal assets over the four years
For perspective, I'm from a 4-person household, I'm the only one in higher education, and my letter also said no parental contributions required over $125k, either. Seems standard I think? So we ended up having no expected family contribution.

I also know a few current students who qualified for aid again even tho their parents have pretty high incomes. Maybe that takes into account the COL in their state/region, kids in college, unusual circumstances? In any case I always hear people saying "never settle for the first offer" so negotiation may be key here :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: twirl16
Mar 6, 2018
974
1,223
41
Status
Pre-Medical
For perspective, I'm from a 4-person household, I'm the only one in higher education, and my letter also said no parental contributions required over $125k, either. Seems standard I think? So we ended up having no expected family contribution.

I also know a few current students who qualified for aid again even tho their parents have pretty high incomes. Maybe that takes into account the COL in their state/region, kids in college, unusual circumstances? In any case I always hear people saying "never settle for the first offer" so negotiation may be key here :)
I doubt you can negotatiate with the finaid office. That's more of an admissions thing for merit scholarships. But it couldn't hurt to try!

And yeah looks like the $125,000 cut-off is standard then, which is very high for no contributions required. Maybe it's just because I grew up in the Midwest but to me $125,000 is a lot of disposable income! My parental efc is still greater than zero because of parental assets but still not a lot which is awesome!
 

Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
That is awesome!

You can negotiate for aid, but only if there are true financial considerations for them to factor in that they might not have. They were very helpful when I spoke with them, and they did everything they could to try to increase my package . (They did 3 seperate calculations to try to protect my family’s assets.) In the end it didn’t help too much for me personally. But also, my parents live in a place where 125k/yr is not much money, especially for a 4-person household. I’m grateful to the finaid office for trying.

It’s clear they want to give people the most AID they can. But I don’t think there’s much wiggle room for merit this year.
 
Sep 17, 2018
55
62
31
I was waitlisted here and I really thought I wanted to go here. I sent a letter of intent clearly saying I would definitely go if I got it. Now I have had a change of heart and think my top choice is elsewhere. What should I do? Do I need to withdraw now? What would happen if I got in off the waitlist and did not attend? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

freedoctor17

2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,264
2,277
81
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student (Accepted)
I was waitlisted here and I really thought I wanted to go here. I sent a letter of intent clearly saying I would definitely go if I got it. Now I have had a change of heart and think my top choice is elsewhere. What should I do? Do I need to withdraw now? What would happen if I got in off the waitlist and did not attend? Any advice would be appreciated.
Nothing would happen. Your letter of intent is not binding. Don't withdraw if you're still unsure of whether you'd go there or not. Just wait it out until you're certain.
 
Dec 20, 2018
345
634
41
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I doubt you can negotatiate with the finaid office. That's more of an admissions thing for merit scholarships. But it couldn't hurt to try!

And yeah looks like the $125,000 cut-off is standard then, which is very high for no contributions required. Maybe it's just because I grew up in the Midwest but to me $125,000 is a lot of disposable income! My parental efc is still greater than zero because of parental assets but still not a lot which is awesome!
One thing I will add is that in places like the Bay Area, 125K household income is poverty level. Applies to parts of SoCal, NYC, NJ, CT, MD as well. It’s great if Columbia takes in cost of living in these locations when determining EFC.
 
  • Like
Reactions: weakmadestrong
Mar 6, 2018
974
1,223
41
Status
Pre-Medical
One thing I will add is that in places like the Bay Area, 125K household income is poverty level. Applies to parts of SoCal, NYC, NJ, CT, MD as well. It’s great if Columbia takes in cost of living in these locations when determining EFC.
Ya that was basically my mental justification for why it seemed so high to me. Regardless I don't think they necessarily have an exact COL modifier, but if I remember correctly things like rent and mortgage payments are reported in CSS, so relative cost of living is reflected at lesst secondarily through these figures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: weakmadestrong
Aug 14, 2018
34
79
31
Status
Pre-Medical
Also, does anyone know how long Columbia students get for Step 1 dedicated study time? I couldn't find it on the website.
 
May 2, 2018
360
608
41
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If anyone could answer a couple of questions regarding grading it would be very helpful!!

1. Are pre clinicals pass fail?
2. Is there internal ranking in pre clinical?
3. How are clerkships graded?
Also I am wondering how often students are tested in the preclinical phase?
Also, does anyone know how long Columbia students get for Step 1 dedicated study time? I couldn't find it on the website.
Going to answer these to my best ability. Note I’m not a current student, just an accepted one.

1. Yes, pass/fail preclinicals.
2. No internal ranking.
3. There is honors for clerkships I think, with more distinctions than pass/fail (for example, there is high pass). I think.

From what I understood from second look, tests are every 4 weeks, and exams are all online over the weekend.

You get 2 months of dedicated time to study for Step 1. It is on the curriculum map on their website.
 
Jul 27, 2018
93
21
11
Going to answer these to my best ability. Note I’m not a current student, just an accepted one.

1. Yes, pass/fail preclinicals.
2. No internal ranking.
3. There is honors for clerkships I think, with more distinctions than pass/fail (for example, there is high pass). I think.

From what I understood from second look, tests are every 4 weeks, and exams are all online over the weekend.

You get 2 months of dedicated time to study for Step 1. It is on the curriculum map on their website.
why are exams on weekends?
 
Mar 6, 2018
974
1,223
41
Status
Pre-Medical
why are exams on weekends?
Maybe a current student can clarify, but I think you basically have the whole weekend to take the exam as you see fit, so you can take it on Friday and have the weekend off or if you're behind on studying, study the whole weekend and take it Sunday
 

stickflip723

I wanna grow up to be a debaser
2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2016
135
231
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Maybe a current student can clarify, but I think you basically have the whole weekend to take the exam as you see fit, so you can take it on Friday and have the weekend off or if you're behind on studying, study the whole weekend and take it Sunday
This. My tour guide said a friend of hers left on a Thursday before break and took the exam on Friday on his laptop in the ski lodge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: theKingLT
Dec 20, 2018
18
2
1
If we are currently on the WL and have acceptances to other schools, what option should we be choosing tomorrow?
 

weakmadestrong

5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
May 2, 2014
21
48
111
If we are currently on the WL and have acceptances to other schools, what option should we be choosing tomorrow?
I think you're still supposed to choose "plan to enroll" at the place you're accepted and currently plan to attend. "Commit to enroll" will become available tomorrow, but you shouldn't do that just yet if you're still waiting.
 
May 15, 2017
1
0
1
Status
Pre-Medical
hey guys! this is such an insignificant question, but can anyone tell me what kind of swag I missed out on by not attending revisit weekend? (also good luck to anyone hoping for waitlist movement tomorrow!)
 

weakmadestrong

5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
May 2, 2014
21
48
111
hey guys! this is such an insignificant question, but can anyone tell me what kind of swag I missed out on by not attending revisit weekend? (also good luck to anyone hoping for waitlist movement tomorrow!)
You missed out on a bag that could theoretically be used for groceries (but has started to break for me) and a water bottle that looks like something you'd get at a kids' summer camp. So, not much :laugh: I think the biggest hit for me was the food on the first night
 
  • Like
Reactions: melonah

stickflip723

I wanna grow up to be a debaser
2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2016
135
231
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
You missed out on a bag that could theoretically be used for groceries (but has started to break for me) and a water bottle that looks like something you'd get at a kids' summer camp. So, not much :laugh: I think the biggest hit for me was the food on the first night
Hey man, that pen was the best I've seen. Definitely sealed the deal lol
 
Apr 2, 2019
40
1
1
Status
Pre-Medical
For anyone who was accepted to Columbia-Basset: did you have a lot of research experience and is a lot of research experience likely to hurt admissions for this program? I know they are not interested in physician scientists and that's not the angle that I would try to present in my application but seeing my application with little involvement in rural communities, but a lot of involvement in research as well as underserved urban communities, is it worthwhile to apply to this program? I wouldn't want to reduce my chances overall at the NYC program if I'm not likely to be accepted for Bassett, even though I am interested in studying at Cooperstown.
 

Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
For anyone who was accepted to Columbia-Basset: did you have a lot of research experience and is a lot of research experience likely to hurt admissions for this program? I know they are not interested in physician scientists and that's not the angle that I would try to present in my application but seeing my application with little involvement in rural communities, but a lot of involvement in research as well as underserved urban communities, is it worthwhile to apply to this program? I wouldn't want to reduce my chances overall at the NYC program if I'm not likely to be accepted for Bassett, even though I am interested in studying at Cooperstown.
If you’re interested in learning in a small community, having a longitudinal panel of patients during clerkships, and getting a sense of how a single healthcare institution is run I think it is worthwhile to apply and won’t hurt your chances of getting into the school even if you’re rejected from Bassett.
 
  • Like
Reactions: teatimepanda

freedoctor17

2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,264
2,277
81
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student (Accepted)
For anyone who was accepted to Columbia-Basset: did you have a lot of research experience and is a lot of research experience likely to hurt admissions for this program? I know they are not interested in physician scientists and that's not the angle that I would try to present in my application but seeing my application with little involvement in rural communities, but a lot of involvement in research as well as underserved urban communities, is it worthwhile to apply to this program? I wouldn't want to reduce my chances overall at the NYC program if I'm not likely to be accepted for Bassett, even though I am interested in studying at Cooperstown.
I was rejected at Bassette but invited to interview at the NYC program in the same email. They might just not think you're a good fit for bassette, it won't affect your NYC chances at all.
 
Apr 2, 2019
40
1
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I was rejected at Bassette but invited to interview at the NYC program in the same email. They might just not think you're a good fit for bassette, it won't affect your NYC chances at all.
As I understood, it's kind of like applying MD/PhD where if youre rejected from that pool, you're sent to the MD pool but later in the cycle and thus at a disadvantage.
 

freedoctor17

2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,264
2,277
81
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student (Accepted)
As I understood, it's kind of like applying MD/PhD where if youre rejected from that pool, you're sent to the MD pool but later in the cycle and thus at a disadvantage.
Hmmm maybe, but i interviewed in November (got the interview invite much earlier, like around September time i think but couldn't fit any days until then). Not sure how late that is in terms of the rest of the cycle. Especially since they're non rolling admissions.
 
May 2, 2018
360
608
41
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I was rejected at Bassette but invited to interview at the NYC program in the same email. They might just not think you're a good fit for bassette, it won't affect your NYC chances at all.
Got to say, Bassette has a lot more of an elegant ring to it than Basset ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: freedoctor17

Phoebus Apollo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2017
100
122
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
As I understood, it's kind of like applying MD/PhD where if youre rejected from that pool, you're sent to the MD pool but later in the cycle and thus at a disadvantage.
This doesn’t apply to Columbia because they don’t do rolling admissions.

I interviewed in December, for reference.