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On-Campus Services: Making the Most of Your Columbia Tuition


Let’s be honest. We all know that attending Columbia is not cheap, and for many of us, it’s a sacrifice we make in the name of an amazing education. Many of your tuition dollars go towards resources that not are highly publicized or as well known around campus.

Here are some of the campus resources, both people and services, that you may have forgotten about or never heard of, but can make your time at Columbia even better. As spring semester winds down, it is not too late to take advantage of these before summer break. Be sure to check them out!

1.     Nutritionist. Whether you are trying to figure out how to navigate the dining halls, transform bad eating habits, or get in shape for summer, one of Columbia’s nutritionists can help you make healthier lifestyle choices. Unlike services like Counseling and Psychological Services, which only allow limited visits per year, you can schedule as many free appointments as you would like. You can easily make an appointment online here.  


2.     Peer Advisors. One of the untapped sources of wisdom is the Columbia Peer Advisors. These students have gone through everything and are more than willing to give advice in order to help you survive and succeed at Columbia. You can ask them a question you may not be comfortable asking your advisor or an adult, like whether or not you should drop a class, how to approach your professor during office hours, or advice on getting an internship. Not matter what the issue, Peer Advisors are more than happy to help you out. They are available Monday through Wednesday, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in 403 Lerner, and on Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the Lerner ramps. The option to make an appointment on Mondays with a Peer Advisor from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. is now available.


Picture source: http://www.studentaffairs.colu…

3.     Academic Success Program (ASP) Tutors. Are you struggling in a class, but do not want to dish out the money for a private tutor? ASP offers free tutors for a variety of subjects for both CC and SEAS undergraduates, including Physics, General and Organic Chemistry, Calculus, and Statistics with Calculus. These group tutoring sessions can help you stay on track in your hardest classes. All you have to do is make an appointment with your advisor to request a tutor.

4.     The Library. Believe it or not, Butler is more than just a popular study spot, it is also – gasp – a library, replete with real librarians (in the flesh!) to help you out. Instead of Googling articles and primary documents, you can go straight to one of the library’s online search engines such as CLIO to easily obtain all the sources that you need. You can also request books from other libraries through the Borrow Direct program. Columbia pays for you to access these resources, and you will no longer have access to them after you graduate. If you find using the search engines overwhelming or you cannot seem to navigate the stacks, just ask a librarian. Their job is to help you, and they are more than happy to help guide you through that research paper.


5.     Laptop engraving. The Department of Public Safety offers free engraving for your electronics just in case they get lost or stolen. This is a simple way to add a level of protection to your valuables; engraved items are more difficult to resell, and can be recovered more easily. Simply make a request on their website.


6.     Free and Discounted Software. Buying that new laptop for college already puts a dent in your pocket, so why pay full price for software that you can buy discounted from CUIT, such as Endnote and Symantec Antivirus? A list of free and discounted software is available here.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many multitudes of privileges out there exclusively for Columbia students. There are so many great things Columbia offers us, so make sure you take advantage of as much as you can, and get some bang for your buck!

Leslie is a currently a freshman at Columbia University's Engineering School. She became interested in fashion and beauty after watching some YouTube videos on these subjects. Now interning at an amazingly fantastic mobile fashion app company in NYC, Leslie is trying to find what aspect of the industry she enjoys most.
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