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Date Posted: 15:17:22 09/13/18 Thu
Boston Lion, I appreciate *YOUR* reply and I think that your points are fair as well. (Your posts are always very well considered.) Please allow me to address your most recent items out of order.
With regards to your points 2 and 3, I think there is plenty of data which would back up my general observation that the popularity of Columbia, while having grown substantially -- indeed dramatically -- over the past three decades, has tracked a less steep trajectory than the popularity of NYU. If they were stocks, Columbia would be Microsoft, but NYU would be Amazon. In the words of Ralph Cramden, NYU's popularity has gone "to the moon, Alice!"
When you compare the two admissions rates, that muddles the fact that the two universities are of different sizes and that Columbia's figures are distorted because they do not include the School of General Studies, or Barnard for that matter, which although formally separate from Columbia, is as much a part of the undergraduate experience at Columbia as Radcliffe is at Harvard.
This year, NYU received over 75,000 applications. That's more than twice the number received by any Ivy League school. I'm going to guess -- and this is a guess -- that it's a ten-fold increase from the late 1970s, when both the city of New York and NYU itself struggled to avoid bankruptcy. The admit rate at NYU this year was 20.9%, down from 35.4% as recently as 2014.
I think there is plenty of data which would substantiate the outsized increase in NYU's popularity but, to me, the most glaring bit of data is the following. Every year, the Princeton Review asks its surveyed high school students to name their "dream school" and, every year, the top four answers in some order are Stanford, Harvard, NYU and Princeton.
The order of the top four answers changes from year to year, but it's always the same four. Now, which of those four seems different than the other three? I'll note that the Princeton Review also asks parents to name their "dream school" for their child and the answer is always some combination of HYP, Stanford and MIT. NYU never makes even the top 10 of the parents' list. Kids want to attend NYU because it's in New York, but their parents don't care.
But to address your point 1, you're absolutely correct that I'm just stringing together some facts as an outside observer. I have not been "fully immersed" at Columbia "for an extended period of time," though as I mentioned in another thread, I spent a considerable amount of time when I was single chasing lesbians. One of those lesbians was a student at Columbia, so I actually have spent a lot of time in a Columbia dorm in the fairly recent past. I think it's fair to say that she and her friends did not represent a scientific sample (of any population of Columbia students whatsoever), but in terms of my not meeting more co-eds from Columbia, it was not for lack of trying.
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