Local Atmosphere

Location
Mount Vernon, IA
Undergrads
1,171
Tuition
$34,705
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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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

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
4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: You are signing up for small town IA. That being said-get a car or make friends with someone with a car. Fast.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Mount Vernon is just Cornell love. From the Silver Spider shop to Polly Ann's antique store, and the fantastic old middle school that houses a little of this and that, Mount Vernon is an amazing little town (this is coming from an East Coast, big city guy). There is so much character in all the little shops and stores all around the town, and the people are absolutely amazing. This is probably because most of the people around the school are or were affiliated with the school (yes I have run into the former President of the School, and several current professors). Its absolutely amazing, and the only place you could find anything like this is probably Hogsmead Village.

2 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Mt. Vernon, Iowa is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. There are things in town to do, but the town is literally one street long and it get really old really fast. The best thing to do is go to either Iowa City or Cedar Rapids where there are stores, malls, restaurants, etc. The best place to go in my opinion is the Lincoln Wine bar, where they have live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays, gourmet pizza, and gourmet wine.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

If you're hoping for bustling, big city life, then you'll need to look elsewhere. Mount Vernon is chock-full of small-town charm. The uptown shopping district features great, locally-owned restaurants and boutiques, including the nationally renowned Lincoln Café. For the most part, the students and community members coexist peacefully. There is the occasional complaint about drunken college students being disruptive. However, many Mount Vernonites take advantage of the sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment that Cornell brings to the community.

Entertainment in Mount Vernon itself is kind of slim pickings. There is a single-screen movie theater that shows a different movie each week, and a bowling alley and three local bars offer some nighttime fun. The Palisades-Kepler State Park is located just a five-minute drive from campus and is perfect for students who are more outdoorsy, with hiking trails and access to the Cedar River. If you’re looking for more mainstream stores or restaurants or larger entertainment venues, Cedar Rapids is only a 20-minute drive to the west and Iowa City only 35 minutes south. There are four other schools located in Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor: Mount Mercy College, Coe College, Kirkwood Community College, and the University of Iowa, the largest college in the state. Though there isn’t a ton of interaction between the schools, Cornell students do sometimes take advantage of programs or speakers at the University of Iowa.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Named one of ten "America's Coolest Small Towns" for 2009 by Budget Travel magazine.
  2. Lies in the heart of Iowa's Cultural Corridor and is home to events like Chalk the Walk and the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival.
  3. Boasts the award-winning Lincoln Café , which has received rave reviews in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and O Magazine.
Notable Natives
  • Ashton Kutcher - actor and former model, was born and raised in nearby Cedar Rapids.
  • David Loebsack - current representative for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, is a resident of Mount Vernon and served as a professor of political science at Cornell College until his election in 2006.
Points of Interest
  • Amana Colonies
  • Lake MacBride
  • Lincoln Café
  • Palisades-Kepler State Park
  • Sutliff Cider Company
Shopping Centers
  • Coral Ridge Mall
  • Lindale Mall
Movie Theaters
The Bijou
123 Second St. SW
Mount Vernon
(319) 895-6165
Major Sports Teams
  • Cedar Rapids Kernels: Minor League Baseball
  • Cedar Rapids RoughRiders: USHL Hockey
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Cedar Rapids: IA: 20 minutes
  • Iowa City: IA: 20 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 27 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 28 responses

  • 14% Painfully remote.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 71% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 7% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 7% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 28 responses

  • 14% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 54% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 32% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 28 responses

  • 64% No way.
  • 25% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 11% Totally.

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