What can Columbia do for you?

The weird and wonderful perks of being CU alumni
By Virginia Ambeliotis and Cori Lin

While you seniors were scrambling with peers and panhandling for jobs, The Blue and White did a little digging to see if a CU diploma offers anything actually useful, like free stuff. Our findings were not incredibly sexy, but have a look anyway; some might surprise you.
First off, you should definitely spring for a Columbia University Club of New York membership! It’s located in a beautiful neighborhood (Midtown) and the mission statement on the website emphasizes, among other things, the Club’s commitment “to instill a deep and abiding pride in Alma Mater” and to provide “excellent facilities for the social, business, and certain recreational needs of members and their families.” This February, 2017, commenced an affiliation with Penn’s Club, so members can hang out there too. (A recent search unearthed an “Inter-Club Young Alumni Speed Dating” event on the website.1) Barnard and Teachers College grads are also welcome. And anyone else with money to burn, presumably.
American Health Care Act meltdown got you nervous? Buy more insurance! You might be eligible for discounts on Auto, Home, Renters, Liability and all Personal Line coverage thanks to Columbia Alumni Association’s partnership with Liberty Mutual. For your medical needs, CAA has a Healthcare Discount Card that can help you save “up to 75 percent on prescription drugs and up to 50 percent for laboratory tests and diagnostic medical imaging procedures” at participating locations. CAA has also created “high-quality, affordable insurance [that] can help fill the te

alumniperks
Illustration by Kristine Dunn

mporary needs of alumni who may be without Medical insurance after graduation or have temporary gaps in their medical insurance”. Caveat: it’s currently unavailable to residents of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington (state).
If you’re sad you didn’t get to study abroad, participate in Columbia’s Alumni Travel Study Program! Faculty lead trips to various locations each year. It’s your best chance to

have that Eat, Pray, Love experience you’ve always wanted, and postpone contemplation of your relationships and overall future. Barnard grads, travel accommodations are available in Toronto and London at the The University of Toronto Faculty Club and The University’s Women’s Club, respectively.
Barnard grads can also audit most Barnard classes for free! Just reach out to the professor beforehand. (You can audit Columbia classes via its School of Professional Studies, but that costs money.) You can take Barnard classes for credit as a Postbac student, just obtain permission from the instructor and the Dean of Studies and pay only for the number of credits taken. If you withdrew from Barnard before completing your degree, you can apply to the College’s Resumed Education Program. You just pay for the number of credits taken, plus a readmission fee.
Finally, should you want to keep your nose buried in a book and never go outside, Barnard and Columbia alums have access to all Columbia University libraries for life. (You might have to fill out some paperwork depending on your affiliation.)
These amenities should hopefully equip you with everything you need to navigate the adult world. Get out there and show them what you’re made of.w

1Alumni can get hitched for cheap at Faculty House or St. Paul’s Chapel, but no pressure.

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