The Ivy Coach Daily

January 5, 2020

Veteran Enrollment at Columbia

Ivy Coach salutes Columbia for enrolling so many of America’s veterans (photo credit: Andrew Chen).

Would it surprise our readers to know that Columbia University has more veterans enrolled at the university than the rest of the seven Ivy League schools combined? Likely not as we’ve focused a great deal over the years on the pages of our college admissions blog on Columbia University’s School of General Studies, a school for non-traditional as well as returning students (students who spent time away from receiving a formal education). And we’ve focused a great deal on how Columbia’s School of General Studies loves America’s veterans. In fact, we understated the number of veterans enrolled at Columbia as compared to other Ivy League schools. Yes, we understated it!

Columbia Has More Veterans Enrolled Than Four Times the Rest of the Ivy League Combined

As Sofia Partida writes for The Columbia Spectator in a piece entitled “Columbia Has More Veteran Students Than the Rest of the Ivy League Combined. But How Are Women Vets Getting in the Door?,” “As of the 2018-19 school year, there were 477 U.S. military veterans enrolled in the School of General Studies as undergraduates and postbac premed students. In a population of 2,568 General Studies students overall, this constituted a significant fraction of the school as a whole—18.6 percent, to be exact. In fact, Columbia is actually home to more veterans than four times all other Ivy League schools combined.” Four times all other Ivy League schools combined. Yes, you read that correctly!

Columbia, and All Ivy League Schools, Need More Female Veterans

Regular readers of our college admissions blog know that we offer pro bono college admissions help to select veterans each and every year. And regular readers also know that we’ve had difficulty finding female veterans to work with on a pro bono basis. It seems we’re not alone. Columbia — in spite of their high veteran enrollment numbers — is also struggling to attract female veterans. As Partida writes, “But compared to the national statistics, Columbia lags behind. For the last academic year, the percentage of U.S. military women veterans in General Studies falls at 10.5 percent. According to [Rose] Gibbs, [a recent School of General Studies graduate], this is partly due to recruitment practices, which she believes could do more to funnel qualified and high-achieving women veterans into General Studies’ applicant pool. Across conversations with nearly a dozen women veterans who are enrolled in or have recently graduated from General Studies—a group of women almost as large as one fifth of the current demographic—only Gibbs said she had been recruited directly.”

Ivy Coach salutes Columbia University for their longstanding commitment to educating America’s veterans. We hope the school is able to admit even more veterans — and female veterans in particular — in the years ahead!

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