Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1503 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is kind of naturally self selecting at Cornell. All of my close girl friends are Greek, though I have many guy friends who aren't. I think that's partly because most of the greeks all know each other, and being Greek perpetuates more Greek friendships, but a good part of it is because the people who rush are similar and naturally are attracted to each other anyway.

I find it difficult to find friends who aren't Greek -- they are less involved on campus.

Non Greek is just as likely (if not more likely) to look down on Greek life than vice versa.

Greek housing is great. I live in one of the shittier physical houses and it's still way better than any on campus housing (spacious, aesthetic, cheaper, clean)

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: You will feel safe if you go to Cornell.

As far as sexual assualt goes, I think there is less assualt here than at other schools, but that it is more reported and discussed. Our student body is very vocal, and cases are handled seriously.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Ithaca has great food and booze available in vast variety of taste and time.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Best of the best.

As a vegetarian and sometime vegan, I've never had a problem finding HEALTHY food. Also, everything is delicious and the salad bars? Dear lord they're amazing. You'll come here and leave spoiled.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Campus security is very backwards at Cornell. They crackdown on noise violations, regulated fraternity parties, and drugs (weed is more dangerous than alcohol?), but (far more dangerous) off campus partying thrives and dorm drinking is rampant. Campus is super strict about drug use and greek life, very lenient with alcohol/sex.

Oftentimes, police will write people up for noise violations, but blatantly ignore the underage drinking. Fraternity house parties get shut down regularly on campus (where brothers try their best to control regulated, registered parties), but then the party just moves to a more rowdy, less regulated off campus scene.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Almost everyone plays an intramural/club sport. There are also so many classes on outdoor education and athleticism. Campus involvement is amazing.

Varsity athletics though? If it's not hockey, you can forget about people caring. Though drunkenly cheering on your loosing football team in an empty stadium is a great experience.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: You will cry from happiness if you go here. The people will change your life. You will love it at your most tiring, four AM, coffee addled nights in the library. I wouldn't trade my Cornell opportunity for anything.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Since Cornell degrees can be so specific (hotel admin, business, ILR, etc.,), we attract a broad range of recruiters. There are plenty of career fairs and recruiters always on campus. Hell, I was studying in a coffee shop and a recruiter exchanged cards with me. Cornell is the best at many things, so we attract the best. Your Cornell degree will create connections world wide due to global recognition and an amazing alumni network. The alumni are so helpful and willing to reach out!

The Career centers are AWESOME they help with resumes, interviews, and opportunities, but, most importantly, teach you to fend for yourself.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Eh. There are ups and downs to every living situation. Though Cornell's is overpriced, my financial aid actually overcompensated for my campus housing, so you never know. My room was cramped, but the social environment was amazing -- Cornell designed the low and high rises to force social interaction. Other buildings have grade A amenities (libraries, study lounges, AC, proximity to campus, dining halls, etc.,).

If you get placed in Balch or Risley, at least you'll be close to campus. And if not, hey, at least you'll get great quads.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: One of the best things about Cornell is the campus is always occupied. Between late night dining and 24 hour libraries, labs, and study centers, you will always find a fellow student when you're cramming for an exam. There is a blue light system and buses to get you back to your room if you stay out late, and you can always find a study spot. With Cornell's abundance of libraries and computer labs, you will never want for study space.

I love Cornell because everyday you discover a new art exhibit in a building, a scientific presentation, or even a whole new library. You constantly have more campus to explore, and top of the line dining facilities to fuel your adventures.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Cornell has great diversity of race, background, culture, and sexual orientation. And while it is probably the most socioeconomically diverse of the Ivies, many people are totally out of touch with reality. If you confront them about Cornell's tendency to be mostly wealthy kids, they'll reply "OMG not true! Like, two of my friends were raised by single moms." ... great job, CU

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: You will rarely see an out of shape person at Cornell. People are well groomed and well behaved.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The difference between Cornell's night life and a state school's night life is that Ivy League students are properly ashamed of our partying and drunken escapades. But in reality, my Cornell friends party more than anyone else I know. The great thing is the variety of options at Cornell -- frat houses and annexes, bars, apartments, etc., I've seen a few restaurants taken over by drunken dancers. But if you don't want to participate in night life, you won't be a minority -- there are plenty of other options at Cornell!

The worst aspect is the prevalence of the bar scene; most people get fakes.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: The ILR School is tailored to preparing its students to fight and hunt for jobs. There are mandatory resume critiques, mock interviews, and Career fairs. We have our own Office of Student Services (it's great -- they'll know you by name!), and you'll become close with your fellow classmates. Since it's so small (under 200 a year), you have instant camaraderie with your fellow ILRies. Not to mention the lack of specific requirements... pretty sweet. Of course, if you can't write or have difficult consuming, analyzing and annotating vast quantities of material in mere hours, don't bother applying. You'll be miserable. But ILR will provide you with the connections and skills to make it in the real world.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Majors: There are several Offices of Career Services, and you are constantly plagued with emails about internships and jobs from clubs, OCS, and classes. For me, my internship had to be in my rural state, so it was way more difficult. But I also got several offers from competitive internships -- one of which I got because of my Cornell connection.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: It is a very small town, so shopping and events are pretty much the bare minimum. It has an amazing college town feel though in the sense that all the locals know about and everything pretty much revolves around the school. There is gorgeous scenery and hiking within a short radius.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: There really is not many police officers are campus to enforce rules, but periodically they will come around for checks. Nothing really interferes much with student' lives if you are responsible with how you are carrying yourself.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: You have to look at places very early on- about a year before you want to move in, but once you find a place off-campus housing is great. Collegetown is an awesome location for going out, being near others, and being close to campus. The area in general is pretty old so there aren't many fancy places, but it's fine for being in college.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: I have met a lot of great people since being at school here. There is so much variety that it is easy to fit in or find someone they are interested in.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: I'm non-Greek and certainly don't view the Greeks any differently just because they are. If I don't like them as a person, it would not be because they are in the Greek system. I have many friends in sororities and they really enjoy it.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: There are many opportunities on campus and in clubs for people of different races and sexual orientation especially. In my experience, most people are accepting of a wide range of diversity, but I'm sure the prejudices and biases exist somewhere. There is a mandatory orientation event for freshmen that does a good job of addressing this issue though, in my opinion.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: It's hard to get the option you want in the housing lottery. Most dorms are pretty good though, so it is easy to fit in where you end up. However, some of the rooms are very small to share with a roommate.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Most professors are okay, there are only very few bad professors. It is really about pairing up to do research.

2 people found this useful Report

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Goldwin-Smith Hall
Goldwin-Smith Hall
Goldwin-Smith Hall Goldwin-Smith Hall
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Mandy Kain and Radhika Arora
Hewlett, N.Y., and Ithaca, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Students express both praise and criticism of their overall experience at Cornell University. Positive experiences seem to outweigh negative ones, with most agreeing that even some of the negative aspects of Cornell—the immense workload, competition, dreary weather, and social pressures of a large campus—have taught them valuable life lessons. The large size of the campus can be both a blessing and a curse.Cornell offers a wealth of academic, professional, and personal opportunities, but can also offers the feeling of getting lost in the crowd.

Most students agree that it falls on the individual to make the most out of one’s time at Cornell to be outgoing, open to new ideas and experiences, and proactive in pursuit of one’s goals. Classes are difficult, and no one can expect to coast, but for those who are willing to work hard, classes can be very fulfilling. Finding a balance between coursework and social activities can be difficult, but if you can manage it, you will find a campus filled with new and interesting activities to get involved in.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Cornell University

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