Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1369 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Sophomore

Computers: I do not have much experience with computer labs and printing on campus, but the wifi is excellent.

College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I am living off campus now.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I am usually too tired by the weekend to have much of a social life.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics are very tough at this school.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Majors: I have not had an internship through Cornell.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: I believe my program has me on a path that will help me realize my career goals.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: I meet different types of people all of the time. People have really different backgrounds and are from all over.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The guys and girls in the frats and sororities seem really cliquish.

4 College Senior

Athletics: Sports is a big culture at Cornell. The facilities are nice and open to students

3 College Senior

Academics: I am a Development Sociology major and frankly, when I was going into it I was skeptical at first. But the classes can be interesting and the faculty is readily available and willing to help with questions.

4 College Student

Drug Safety: "Work Hard, Play Hard" is a common theme across campus. During the week, we study (most of us). Weekends, we let off steam. It's fairly low pressure, decently visible, and enforced fairly. Be smart and safe. Don't lie to yourself or go crazy and you'll be ok.

4 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Off-Campus Dining is pretty mixed. Break out of Collegetown, and there are some spots that are really great. The Moosewood Restaurant has some of the best Vegetarian food I've ever tasted. There also some decent Ethnic cuisine, as well as cheap "Americanized" options. But, if you're looking for really good food, you can always go to NYC.

4 College Student

Majors: Architecture is (one of) the hardest major to get into on campus. I heavily recommend attending a summer college program (Cornell has a great one) or interning for a firm, because they almost take no one without some experience that shows they are dedicated. You need a pretty great portfolio, but don't fall sort on the essays or interview. The admissions department is really helpful--if you can go to an info session when you tour the school. Invest a lot of time into your application. If you can, apply early. It will pay off.

5 College Student

Majors: The Architecture Program is (usually) the best in the country. Architecture isn't for everyone. It's rigorous, stressful, and time-consuming, but if you're passionate, you love it. The professors are exceptional, the staff caring, and the community tight-knight and fun-loving. The alumni network is strong, and there are a lot of resources to push you forward. The facilities are always improving and being updated with new technologies and equipment. The 60 (55 by second semester) of you in the freshman class will bond and basically become a family. Just remember to get out of studio once and a while and keep in touch with non-Archie friends, because at times it's easy to get caught up in the world of Architecture. Nevertheless, in such a big school, being in a small program prevents me from ever feeling like a little fish lost in a big sea. Be prepared to work hard and love doing it.

5 College Student

Health & Safety: It's pretty safe here I like to think. The campus is well isolated, and the swipe card system does a decent job at making dorms and academic buildings safer.

5 College Student

Transportation: The T-Cat Bus system is pretty great. It takes some time before you can really figure out how it works, but overall I'd say it's fairly convenient and quite cheap. The campus is also good for walking and fairly isolated from outside traffic.

5 College Student

Greek Life: Greek Life is pretty abundant here. Some students get caught up. For most, it's just great way to network, party, and bond. I'm not Greek, and I'm happy. I have friends who are Greek, and they are also happy. Do what feels right.

3 College Student

Campus Strictness: It's pretty much what you'd expect. The police shut parties down when they get too rowdy, but they're also there if you need help.

5 College Student

Weather: Ithaca is fine. Seriously. It's not that bad. Bring a coat, get some boots, grow a pair. If you're from the Midwest, you'll have no problem adjusting. Everyone else: make friends with someone from the Midwest, Upstate NY, Eastern Canada, or Antarctica, if you want to learn how to survive.

5 College Student

Campus Housing: Not all dorms are created equal, this is true. North Campus is a mix of anything from horrible to resort-like, but I feel that this just builds character for the freshmen. The West Campus housing system for upperclassmen is excellent all around. The buildings there are climate controlled, new, and close to central campus. The food and dining on West is arguably some of the best across campus, and you burn it all off when you walk up Libe Slope to go to class everyday.

5 College Student

Athletics: The Sports scene at Cornell is a hit or miss, but in the end it's a good balance. Coming from the Midwest, I honestly miss Big Ten football and basketball, but other sports such as hockey and lacrosse are more than enough to fill the void. As one of the top teams in the nation, Cornell Hockey is the epitome and center of Cornell Sport culture, and it is truly exciting to be a part of it. As a season ticket holder, I can pledge that home hockey games are always fun, highly spirited, and never boring affairs. The cozy rink fills pretty much for every game, and Student section tickets (if you know what you're doing) are fairly cheap.

If you're a fanatic, like me. Don't worry. Priorities change when you go to college. To be honest, it's all I can do to get to the Rink on Fridays. Cornell is a challenging school. If you manage to make time to follow ANY of the sports here, I'd say that's a success.

5 College Student

Computers: Computer access is excellent at Cornell. There are computers and printers available all over campus, so some of those who can't afford it actually can get by without a computer. Nevertheless, owning a laptop will make your life significantly easier and will always be a worthwhile investment. Since the labs and libraries eventually close, owning your own computer gives you the autonomy to chose when and where you want to work. Some majors also require purchasing a computer, such as Architecture and Computer Science. The free, networked, and discounted software is great, too, and will make having your own computer worthwhile.

2 Recent Alumnus

Weather: During the spring and summer, it's great. There was an unusually warm fall. As an Arizonan, I will definitely say that the winter ruined it for me. Too cold.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I was a graduate student who received a one-year fellowship that covered tuition and living costs.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: The first year Cornell gives you a bus pass that you can use at all times to ride the local TCAT bus, which will take you anywhere in Ithaca. After that, the cost of the pass is subsidized. The bus is free to all Cornell students, even if they didn't buy the pass, on nights and weekends.


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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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