Location
Mount Vernon, IA
Undergrads
1,171
Tuition
$34,705
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 481 total reviews with an average rating of 3.2

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5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: greek life here is different than most schools, but it is still extremely enjoyable. socially very active with many opportunities to be involved in the community

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: while it doesn't quite compare to larger schools, parties at cornell are still extremely fun. there is also a uniqueness factor at cornell (some parties take place over multiple nights, some have different themes, etc.).

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: cornell hassles you a ton about any paperwork (or lack thereof) that they receive regarding financial aid, but as soon as everything is sorted out, they literally throw money at students who qualify

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: the nice thing about athletics here is that the events are very easily accessible and most teams have a decent amount of success. athletics aren't huge here, mostly because some of the teams have an unwarranted elitist attitude. this does overshadow the fact that we can still enjoy quality athletics without having to pay a cent. that's pretty special

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: housing on campus ranges from very nice to very poor, with the poor options slightly outnumbering the nice options. furthermore, older students get first access to the nicer dorms. the one redeeming factor for the less nice dorms is that the atmosphere in these buildings tends to be much more social and fun than the atmosphere in the nicer dorms

1 College Sophomore

Transportation: there is no provided transportation on campus mostly because the campus is so small

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: everyone is very friendly, but the town is so small and it gets very old after a while. the nice thing is that an escape to a larger city is only 20-30 minutes away

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: With Bon Apetit, the campus dining has improved dramatically.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Remember before you dive in the dating pool is very shallow.

3 College Senior

Parking: Getting parking in a lot close to where you live is a small miracle.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Mount Vernon is a painfully tiny town, but its proximity to Cedar Rapids makes it cute and livable.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Computers: The computers on campus are nice, there just aren't that many of them around.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: The Greeks don't really exist until after Pledge Week in February, where the 30% of the student body involved becomes a moderate annoyance to the rest of the student body and shows their existence mostly by sexually harassing passers-by and puking in places they shouldn't for the rest of the year.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: I don't really engage with the partying too much. Many people go out to the bars in town or party off campus, but to really get things started you need to go into Iowa City.

3 College Senior

Weather: It's very, very cold and windy and snowy in the winter. People who don't come from the midwest should be prepared for a midwest winter.

3 College Senior

Diversity: The campus is diverse for small-town Iowa, and has a sizeable international student population, and about a 30% minority group population. That said though, this is Iowa, and it's overrun with white people the second you step off campus.

2 College Senior

Transportation: We live in a small town in Iowa, so the campus has no need for a shuttle. Taxis and public transit are usually out of Cedar Rapids, but honestly it's more convenient to just have a car or find someone who does.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: I don't do it because I need to live near the academic buildings, but I'ver heard living off-campus can be great if that's what you're into.

4 College Senior

Academics: The block system works great for some people and not for others, but for me it's a lifesaver. Whatever you're doing, you literally only have to do it for a month. If the course is bad, it ends soon. If the course is good, taking more like it is easy. You get to know all your professors very well, because you spend a month straight with them every block, so if you find professors you like, which you probably will, class feels a lot like hanging out with friends discussing interesting academic topics. The classes are very small, I've never had one over 25 people. Study abroad is the easiest thing in the world at Cornell and I cannot recommend taking off-campus blocks highly enough.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drugs aren't a big deal here, but alcohol is. However, most of the alcohol consumption happens off-campus, so unless you go looking for it, you won't see too much of it.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Within Mount Vernon, there is very little, but with a car there's a ton of options between Solon, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City, and with surprising quality across the board. Who knew there was such good ethnic food to be had in Iowa?

4 College Senior

Athletics: I'm not an athlete, but athletics is a culture on campus and the teams do very well for a small, DIII school.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: The dorms are generally okay. Freshmen get the short end of the stick, although after next year all the freshmen dorms will be renovated into some of the best on campus. Russell Hall, the upperclassmen suites, are the best on campus at the moment.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: I didn't get as much aid as I hoped, but the school is very good about giving more if the student comes back a second time and requests more.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The RA's and campus safety are pretty cool about it. Just don't do it in your room. go to one of the parties.

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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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