Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1361 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: There are your nerds, non nerds, good looking people, not so good looking people... It's a huge campus; what can you expect? You'll find all types of people.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: I would feel safer if there was not a recent wave of sexual harassments that happened on campus. There was one rape report that generated a lot of attention but that turned out to be fake.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Greek Life: Cornell is huge on Greek but for these few years, the school has really cracked down on Greek life because of hazing problems.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Some dorms are better than other but in general, they are all very good.

5 College Student

Academics: Its hard here but nothing will prepare you for the real world like Cornell.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Some of the buildings are old and kind of gross looking but for the most part the buildings are new and very pretty. cornell has a beautiful campus!

3 College Freshman

Weather: It gets really cold in Ithaca so definitely bundle up.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: I received really good financial aid because I am a New York state resident and went through the H/EOP program for New Yorkers but I've also heard from other people that Cornell isn't too generous with aid.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Majors: Cornell has a very diverse selection of majors and classes.

5 College Freshman

Majors: I came to Cornell specifically because it had my major. One of the good things about it being so large is that it has a large variety of classes and majors so I don't feel like I am taking boring classes to fill certain requirements. Also the majors are pretty loose about distribution requirements--I am an Animal Science major and was able to take a biology writing class to fulfill my English requirement.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Cornell is relatively diverse compared to other colleges. I went to a small and very diverse high school so Cornell doesn't seem as diverse as my high school did, but Cornell does have a lot of programs and initiatives for diversity.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Cornell is very diverse. There are many international students and students of various economic, social, and racial backgrounds.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Cornell is relatively safe. I am able to leave my laptop and personal belongings in the library unattended without a problem. However, recently there have been some attempted rapes and forcible touchings on campus in secluded areas late at night. The police have made an effort to increase security, patrols, and awareness as a result.

3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Cornell is relatively diverse, especially after realizing its rural setting. There are a fair number of initiatives for racial diversity including program houses (dorms) focused on ethnic/racial groups, but open to everyone, academic programs (ethnic studies), and extracurricular options. However, the racial/ethnic diversity is much better supported and visible than socio-economic diversity at Cornell.

2 College Junior

Weather: There is always at least a foot of snow on the ground during the winter months. That being said, the university does make an effort to clear all roads and sidewalks. It's also usually pretty windy and the walk to and from classes can be brutally cold. A warm jacket and sipping hot chocolate on the walk really helps.

5 College Junior

Academics: The classes are difficult, but you know you're receiving an excellent education. Professors make an effort to ensure that you understand the material.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: My major required certain grades in essential classes. I took those classes and after passing the required classes, I just had to file a form and I was affiliated second semester sophomore year.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Lots of parties on-campus because there is not much in the surrounding Ithaca area. About 30% of students are in greek life. There is about 30 frats and 12 sororities.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: It's often freezing cold with lots of overcast skies and more often that not it's fairly wet from either melting snow or just rain and drizzle. When the snow has settled, it looks pretty nice, and the fall is nice to when all the leaves change color. It's fairly hot during the spring and summer, but seeing as I come from a relatively cool area (the Bay Area) I may be a little biased.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's a small town environment that's boring.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: The facilities are great! There are multiple gyms for students to work out. Also, there are many libraries to study spread throughout the campus so you can pick and choose your favorite ones. There is also a lot of green space on campus. The Arts Quad is especially beautiful in early fall and in the spring. Student Centers are also conveniently placed there resident halls.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Living on campus is really great your freshman year. North Campus is really like a community and you get to be together with everyone else in your class. Later on, everyone gets separated so embrace North Campus while you can. Campus housing really fosters a nice community your freshmen year. Hopefully you'll be in a good dorm with great people.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: The TCAT system is really useful for getting around Ithaca and the surrounding areas. However, only freshmen get a free bus pass. After your freshman year you need to pay for an annual one, which is slightly disappointing. There are many stops though, and there is even an app that gives you the bus schedules.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I'm in the Human Ecology school where the majors are very specialized and extremely interesting. I am currently in the major Human Biology, Health, and Society, but I am also trying to dabble in Policy Analysis and Management and Human Development. Personally, I've found some of the most interesting classes in HumEc. However, Cornell as a whole, has SO many different majors and programs of study. There is definitely something for everyone and there are so many different classes you are able to take. It's great!

3 College Freshman

Weather: When it is really cold, it is really hard to get up for early morning classes. I often even find myself staying in the dorm instead of going to the library to study.


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Goldwin-Smith Hall
Goldwin-Smith Hall
Goldwin-Smith Hall Goldwin-Smith Hall
Photo by Gaodifan under Public Domain | Source

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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