Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1379 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Freshman

Weather: The weather is very cold here and since the buses are not on time walking is usually necessary. This can become inconvenient since the classes are relatively far from the dorms.

4 College Freshman

Academics: A lot of varied curses are offered at the school and there are also a lot of research opportunities. I can pretty much take a class on any subject since there are multiple colleges to chose from

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Although the bus service isn't perfect it is pretty regular and it is really convenient for going to the mall.One complaint that I would have is that although the bus service is free freshman year it costs money all the other years.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: I was very disappointed with the financial aid system. Since my family had some savings we received zero financial aid from the university. Especially since the tuition is so high I am trying to find ways to earn money for college, like scholarships, outside of financial aid.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Although the Ithaca itself isn't very big the campus life is pretty active. There is really no need to leave the campus most of the time as there usually will be something to do. Other than that Ithaca has some nice restaurants and is very college student friendly. There are also ample opportunities to go to New York City freshman year.

1 College Freshman

Parking: I have yet to meet a student who drives to class. Public transportation is readily available and reliable, and much cheaper than obtaining a parking permit and maintaining a car. Parking is almost always reserved to farther than normal walking distance due to space problems on campus.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Schools spirit is more or less totally lacking in athletics with the exception of hockey. The entire campus will seem dead as Lynah is packed with hordes of fans. Other sports are more or less totally ignored. Gyms are plentiful and well maintained.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Walking around campus, one can see the many colors of Cornell, and it is difficult to go through a day or even a few hours without hearing someone speaking heavily accented English or their home country's language. The LBGTQ community on campus is active and open. At the same time, if you were to stop someone on the street and ask them where they were from, you'd be more likely than not to hear New York or California.

2 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Not sure what the grade means but Cornell is (was?) a HUGE drinking school. I pause because the administration is trying REALLY HARD to keep freshmen from drinking, to mixed effect. But come on, you go to a school this hard where it's this cold (see dartmouth), it makes sense that everyone drinks a lot. Other drug use exists, mainly in fraternities, but is not the majority and isn't really a predominant part of the party scene.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life rules the social scene here. Some of the houses are unreal, and it's a joke that the houses are ranked so low on this site. The fact that the houses are such incredible places to live is one of the only reasons Cornell hasn't disbanded its Greek system. Only knock on it is more of a knock on Cornell social life as a whole with the recent crackdown on underage drinking and hazing. 2 years ago it was A+ no questions asked but its headed in the wrong direction.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: I'm a bio major, and the courses are pretty interesting

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: it's not so difficult as long as you write the essay well

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: I don't live on campus but most of my friends think it's pretty good

4 College Junior

Computers: Depends on place; some new buildings have better computers/higher speed than the ones in older buildings

4 College Junior

Facilities: The facility is great but not all of them are free

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you are greek its awesome. If you aren't it kinda sucks if you are a gdi as everything is exclusive. It gets better when you are 21 though.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Hockey is awesome, basketball is ok, and very few people go to football games. So it depends on what you like to watch.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: If you are from a big city, Ithaca is really boring, but if you are from a small town I hear it has a lot of things to do. Some locals are friendly and others are just weird hippies.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Greek Life: The greek here is awesome. There are alot of parties going on every weekend and the frats are sick while the sororities have a majority of the attractive and cool girls. Great way to find a social network among the most social and fun on the campus as alot of people are reclusive and weird.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Transportation: The buses are really convenient and there are alot of them, also very easy to figure out times and routes.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The work load is pretty heavy but there are so many libraries and they're all pretty nice and the buildings are generally very nice. Plus the bathrooms in the Pysical Sciences Building are dope

2 College Freshman

Weather: Im from the South and its real cold but you get used to it fast

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing is great in terms of availability and quality, however the prices are high for a suburban area such as Ithaca.

4 College Senior

Drug Safety: There is a large party scene on the weekends at Cornell, however the alcohol is way more prevalent than any of the other drugs.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Dining: The prices at Sage Hall are high in comparison to the quality of the food.


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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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