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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3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Lots of Walking – Sometimes your classes are very far apart. There are alot of slopes that will drain you out by the time you get to class.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Great parties in college town – Almost every night. It's crazy. 35 minute walk though =(

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: Completely Love the Classics Major – As someone who has always been interested in ancient history and languages, it was pretty obvious I was going to end up a Classics major once I advanced to university. So far, I've enjoyed every one of my courses in the field, and I've noted that the professors are usually more understanding and generous than in other departments. My plans are to study abroad as often as I can now and in the future, eventually going to graduate school and getting a PhD. I want to be a professor of Classics at a university level, hopefully somewhere Northeast. Classics is great for the travel aspect of this, and there are hundreds of opportunities just in Greece and Italy, for example. I do have some worries about graduate school, as it's highly competitive, and also for future employment. There's no denying that the Classics field is pretty small, so I don't imagine thousands of open positions just because I finish school. Still, I think it's worth it to spend several years with what you love, and if I end up stuck teaching high school Latin, that's alright with me. I'll have plenty of knowledge I can use on the side to keep me busy.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Depends on If You Are in the Greek System or Not – Drug and alcohol use is pretty common in the frats, but the frats are off campus so if you wish to avoid them then it's not very noticeable. The only drug really in any sort of visible use is pot. You will get arrested if you are caught with drugs / alcohol [underage]

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Close Knit Department, Full of Opportunities – I'm in the Science of Earth Systems major, concentrating in Ocean Sciences, and I love my department. It's a really close knit department, so I know most of the other students in my major as well as a lot of the professors. The department hosts weekly events, usually with free food, so it's really easy to get to know everyone. The professors mingle with the students freely, and they are very helpful-- I get multiple e-mails each week with different scholarships, internships, and job opportunities that various people have found. The courses are both extremely informative while being laid back grading-wise, and it is very easy to get into research.

3 College Junior

Transportation: Buses Are Best Options but Only for Freshmen – Bus passes are paid for during freshman year. However, you will have to pay for them during sophomore to senior year. The times that they come are pretty convenient for MOST buses; however, catching a bus in between classes is pretty hard. The best use would be to use it for going to class and going back home.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Big Party School – My friends are always partying. Lots of drugs usually go on during these times.

3 College Junior

Weather: Always Cold and Rainy – Classes are never cancelled unless a room gets flooded. It usually snows pretty often, and during most of the year it's either raining or snowing. Classes are 15 minutes from dorms for freshmen, and are usually very far away from each other.

1 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Have Applied- Got Nothing – I am a junior..I have applied three times (every year) and have yet to receive a cent.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Research opportunities are all over on Cornell's campus because this University is know for research, among other things. However, I don't know if they are classified as "internships". Finding opportunities is not a problem though.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Not a Huge Presence – Athletics aren't too big overall, but some sports are popular. For example, hockey is a big deal and people buy season tickets. This is the only sport that students don't get to see for free, which is nice for other sports.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Great Course Offerings – There are many courses to choose from. I have had pretty good professors. Workload is high, but as expected at an Ivy League school. One thing that could be seen as negative is the highly competitive nature in some pre-med courses.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Variety of Choices, Some Expensive – There are many places and choices of where to live near Cornell, but a lot of collegetown is overpriced.

4 College Senior

Transportation: Big Campus, Bus Access Everywhere – Given that Cornell has a huge campus and is a bit removed from the rest of Ithaca, the buses are a great way to get around. There are always buses running, even late at night on weekends, and they come often enough for them to be a convenient option. The one setback is that the bus does not come cheap, and is only free for freshman year.

3 College Senior

Athletics: Sports Are Secondary – As an Ivy League institution, Cornell focuses more on the academics than it does on the athletics department. Although we have all of the typical varsity sports teams and athletes to participate in them, sporting events besides hockey and wrestling are overshadowed by academic and social life. We have incredible facilities for whoever would like to participate, but turnout at events tends to be lower than average for college events. However, the hockey team is the pride and glory of Cornell athletics and every game has attendance almost at capacity. It's very exciting to have one sport that almost everyone at Cornell is invested in.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Not a Lot to Do but Study. Ithaca is a nice quiet city, and is a perfect place you like nature and studying.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Great, If You Like Nature. The city is built around the university, so all the shops are geared towards students. However, there is not to offer in terms of shopping at high end retail. The scenery is nice, and there are many gorges, waterfalls, and hiking trails to visit when a break is needed from studying.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Weather: Winter Sucks – The summer and fall are beautiful, the spring is pretty nice some years, but other years it's really cold and still snowing in May. And the winter... ridiculously cold and snowy, walking up or down hills on campus is a bummer.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: The campus environment in general are safe. There are sometimes crime alerts coming into my mail box but nothing as serious as felony type.

4 College Senior

Computers: Labs Are Sufficiently Equipped – Cornell has lots of computer labs all over the campus. Some labs are rather creepy (they are located on the ground floor and the air is somewhat unpleasant) but generally they are kept very neat and convenient.

4 College Senior

Scholarships: Very Satisfied – The financial aid officials are generally prompt at answering my inquiries and the process itself was manageable. As long as you keep track of the deadlines and processing status of your required documents, there shouldn't be much difficulty going through the aid process

4 College Senior

Weather: Amazing Summer – Summer and winter are very contrasting here. During winter, you can hardly see the sun and it's almost always gray. It snows a lot and really cold. However summer in ithaca is just gorgeous. once the weather turns nice, you will see everyone hangs out outside people tanning on the libe slope.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: CALS- Biology – The application process for my major was very easy. After the common app essay, the supplemental essay was a short 500 words. I did not face any abnormal steps in the process. For the admission- a tip I can offer is if you have worked in an internship related to science, try to get a recommendation to send to the school.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses Sometimes Come Late – They go by many important areas like the mall and grocery store, but they are often times late. I don't mind, unless I have a class to go to. The buses are not reliable to use for class because the can run even up to 20 minutes late.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The dorms on campus are great and are well kept. However, the dorms on west campus (which are very nice) require all students living there to have a full meal plan which is quite expensive.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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