Location
Mount Vernon, IA
Undergrads
1,171
Tuition
$34,705
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 543 total reviews with an average rating of 3.2

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College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I don't have any experience in off campus housing myself, and am not close to very many people who live off campus.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Campus strictness is pretty lax. How well a dorm is run can be up to the resident assistants assigned to that dorm. Campus safety is not very committed to breaking up parties and such.

2 College Junior

Scholarships: Receiving the initial aid when I was first accepted was not too troublesome. But in regards to outside scholarships and renewing them, it can an irksome process. The workers in the financial aid office can be rather unhelpful. If you try for additional aid from the school in a different form (work study, merit based), they can be very unaccommodating. In particular, finding an on-campus job that is open to people not eligible for work study is difficult. It's also a trying process for international students, as they are usually even more limited in their options.

Some students try to earn extra money by finding jobs off campus, but it's only feasible if you have a car and it's not too far away, but jobs in town and surrounding area are not too common.

2 College Junior

Health & Safety: Campus safety is there when you call, but their presence is usually not overbearing. An encounter with them can be pleasant or unpleasant depending on which person you get when you call and/or which person they send to assist you.

There have been several bias-related incidents on campus. There have also been many incidents of sexual assault/harassment on campus. Neither of these have been dealt with well by the administration or campus safety. If caught, the culprit usually receives a light punishment. For sexual assault, the most likely resource would be the feminist group on campus, Third Wave Resource Group, which provides a safe space for victims. But there aren't very many other safe spaces on campus, and the student body is not very sympathetic to victims either.

Most students feel safe walking around campus at night. However, even after incidents, there have not been very many steps taken to up the security. There are very few surveillance cameras on campus, and lamppost lights don't always work.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Many students on campus are involved in Greek life. Though not a requirement to be involved on campus, many do end up pledging to a Greek group eventually. None of the Greek groups on campus are affiliated with national chapters, nor do they have their own chapter houses, due to various circumstances.

People in sororities/fraternities will tend to spend time with each other and form cliques. Some groups even have their own lunch tables in the dining hall. Non-Greeks may enjoy the pre-pledging parties, or they may not be involved with Greek life at all.

2 College Junior

Athletics: The only sport the general student populace really cares about is varsity football. But they're not - haven't been - that great - the team, that is. For years now.

Only people who care about football/sports to begin with and the whole "Friday night lights" kind of thing follow the team. Which is a decent chunk of the student population. Administration is also fond of the football team. They recently re-turfed and added new lights to the (small) football stadium on campus.

Athletic facilities are decent. The Small Sports Center is pretty old, but has an indoor track, basketball court and such other things that belong in a sports center. The renovation of the Commons included an exercise room, which many non-athlete students use. Much more accessible than the Sports Center due to its location.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: A typical small town. Quaint. One Main Street with shops and restaurants lining its sides. There's a park nearby. Other than that, there's not much else to the "city". Every business in town is small and family owned. A good and bad thing, as pricing can be a bit higher than if it was at a chain store. It also means students may have to drive out of town if they need something that's not there. But Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are usually only a 30-45~ drive from campus.

The locals are generally nice to students. The neighborhoods are a confusing hodgepodge of even more confusingly-named streets (e.g. First Street and First Avenue). Most students feel safe venturing around campus and town at night. Though there have been several bias-related incidents on campus, there have not been any crimes - that I know of - in town.

3 College Junior

Facilities: Students seem to either become very involved or very minimally involved. Many students will end up committing to one - or several - groups or activities and spend a lot of time with those particular groups and other people associated with said groups. As a result, student life can tend to be rather clique-y. There are also students who never become committed or active in any organizations. There aren't very many students who are an in-between. Because it's a residential college in a small town, activities (club events, parties, etc. ) are typically limited to on or near campus.

Parties are a big part of student life, and drinking at parties is common and generally accepted. There is, however, no pressure to attend parties or drink; it is not a necessary part of student campus life.

Both the administration and the general student body are not very helpful to students of color. That is not to say that they are deliberately unhelpful, but rather they have not done enough to help students of color and first generation students. There is a noticeable lack of understanding when it comes to meeting the needs of these students. Additionally, the hilly campus is very unaccommodating for students with disabilities, and the facilities are not very accessible, either.

2 College Senior

Health & Safety: I hear that the nurses are a joke and assume pregnancy for every female that walks into the door. Cornell has a great student organization called TWRG that addresses sexual assaults but I don't see the school take action for any reports. Over all, the student body doesn't think that sexual assaults on campus. Everytime the "Clothesline Project" is up, the school reacts with surprise.

3 College Senior

Athletics: I'm indifferent. These responses are biased and do not reflect the opinion of the Cornell student population.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: I live in a house. Its pretty affordable and very close to campus. Been living there for 2 years, coming back next year.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: There's some with bad reputations of hazing, sleeping around, being snobs and downright unpleasant. I'm indifferent because I am not part of it. I wouldn't want to join one either way. I don't desire that and I also don't feel inspired by any positive image that any sorority/fraternity displays (because there isn't any).

5 College Senior

Academics: The Block plan is great! It prepares me to absorb a great amount of information in a short amount of time to create reports, essays, and presentations of high quality.

4 College Senior

Academics: There's a lot of opportunities to immerse myself in the Ethnic Studies type of thinking. The professors in the department are supportive. My major is flexible enough to get support from professors from other departments so I am always with help.

3 College Senior

Diversity: There's a lot of different people of different backgrounds at Cornell. It doesn't feel that way because people merge into cliques and groups, making it difficult to interact with people different from yourself without a great amount of effort.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Its a bubble whose dating scene I would NOT want to be part of. Ever. People know each other's business and the small school size makes it easier for STDs to spread. The Block plan also makes it difficult to be in a functional relationship.

4 College Senior

Campus Housing: Beautiful campus and great housing, except for one building which is getting renovated this summer. Everything is close to each other.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Location of school is in a small town. The only thing available are local restaurants. Prices are ok, but food gets boring after 2 years. The college cafe doesn't stay open late and the cafeteria closes early too. Can't do much if one is studying late and going hungry.

3 College Senior

Facilities: Only two buildings on campus have elevators or rails. Beautiful campus. Could work on a few things.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: They keep cutting scholarships. If I were admitted this year, I wouldn't have received a $500 scholarship filled in the gap needed for me to attend. The school doesn't manage its money well and cuts back on us.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: About 30% of the student body participates in Greek life, which are strictly local groups with no national affiliation. There are no special housing opportunities for Greeks and non-Greeks do not usually view individuals by more than their individual characteristics, but sometimes when Greek groups are together non-Greeks apply the stereotype that is assigned that group.

The social atmosphere is stimulated through Greek groups, and those in Greek groups have a community service requirement so you will often see members hosting or participating in some sort of service project as well as hosting parties and other activities for the campus to take part in.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Being a DIII school, athletics are definitely not the most important thing at Cornell. However, a very large population of the student body participates in a sport, some even two. A lot of student-athletes make a point to support other teams during their games and quite a few more attend games and show school spirit. Organized cheering and dressing up as a theme for games does not happen, but for the most part the school is supportive during games.

Facilities such as the indoor track are becoming a little outdated, but the weight room is fine for the time being and the main gym where all games are held has newly redone floors, new lights, and a new sound system. Not to mention, Ash Park's football field was newly redone with turf in summer of 2013 and looks great. Our baseball field is very nice and is probably the best one in the Midwest Conference, but our softball field is located a little ways off campus, not very far but still a challenge to find if you don't know where you're going.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: Cornell offers a unique One-Course-At-A-Time schedule that allows students to go in-depth in their class for the 3-and-a-half week period and pairing this with classes in your major makes for the ultimate learning experience. It leaves little time to forget any information and connections are made throughout the course through discussions and projects with lecture class periods being very rare.

As an education major, the OCAAT schedule also gives me an advantage being able to student teach without being any conflict with other classes, go into classrooms for observation for an entire day, and go on field trips. Due to the condensed schedule, workload can become heavy, but professors are extremely easy to contact and encourage feedback on assignments to make sure your academic success can be realistically maintained.

Cornell has a very old campus that is listed on the National Historic Registry so the faces of the buildings cannot be remodeled, but the insides of the buildings are nice and have excellent wireless internet, audio, video, and projection capabilities. It makes for a very beautiful yet academically up-to-date campus.

There are countless internship and job opportunities for Cornell students during the school year as well as summer, and of course after graduation. There are work study jobs available in Admissions, at the Sports Center, in Dining Services, and countless others. There are even non-work study positions available on campus as well as off-campus at restaurants, bars, nursing homes, and babysitting. There are internships that can be applied for with help from the college and talking to a professor or an adviser will help you tremendously to find options that will fit your specific interests.

College Sophomore

Majors: I have not had an internship but that does not mean I won't look into it in the future. Student teaching will be completed for my education degree but other than that I have not really explored my options for internships, but working with a non-profit organization that has a focus on education would be an excellent and realistic opportunity.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Cornell has about 95% of the students live on campus, including myself, so I have not and do not plan on looking into off-campus living. I am familiar with a few people who do not live on campus who enjoy it, but I do not know any more details.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Erin McNeill
Hometown
Foristell, MO
Major
Sociology/Anthropology, English
View all previous student authors

One Course At A Time (OCAAT) pervades every aspect of the Cornell experience. From the academic schedule and athletics to involvement in organizations and the expected response time to e-mails, OCAAT becomes embedded in Cornell students’ way of life. The block plan has a way of distorting time at Cornell. Many students find themselves marking time by the day or week of the block rather than by the actual dates. Though, from an academic standpoint, the block plan isn’t for everyone, it does allow the flexibility necessary for learners of all types to be successful in the classroom. Additionally, OCAAT allows most students to at least pick up a minor, while many students double or even triple major. There are valuable internship opportunities around every corner, and several programs and centers focused on helping students thrive. Study abroad experiences are unparalleled and easily affordable, due to the shorter time frame. Why take a Spanish class on campus in Iowa when you can take it while living in Mexico for the month?

While the problem of student apathy tends to get a lot of lip service on campus, it is really only true in terms of school spirit for athletics. Cornell has over 100 student organizations—impressive for a school with a student body numbering less than 1,200, and a majority of these are very active and visible on campus. Recognizing that small-town Iowa may not have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, Cornell works hard to bring entertainment to campus. The theatre department puts on four to five productions each year, and student organizations like the Performing Arts and Activities Council (PAAC) and KRNL-FM bring bands, comedians, and other performers to campus on a regular basis. Best of all, it’s all free for students. Ultimately, the Cornell bubble can be a bit confining if you let it. But if you make an effort to enjoy your four years at Cornell, it will be more than worth it.

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