Cornell College Summary

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Basic Statistics

Mount Vernon, IA
Full-Time Undergrads
Part-Time Undergrads
In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
Room & Board
Acceptance Rate
53 %
Admission Difficulty
Average SAT Scores
Average ACT Scores

Best ThingsMore . . .

  • Great professors
  • Small class sizes
  • Residential campus/sense of community

Worst ThingsMore . . .

  • Cold winters
  • Dining hall/food
  • Housing
  • Lack of school spirit

Frequently ComparedCompare . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

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.

Cornell College Student Reviews

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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.


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