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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1 College Senior

Parking: The Worst – Good luck. Parking is a nightmare, the permits are so expensive running at about $900/semester and you will always get a ticket if you're parked illegally.

4 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drugs Are Here If You Want Them – Drugs are around if you want them to be available but I'd say most students don't use heavy narcotics. Drinking is more popular.

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: I'd say the eaterys around campus are better than most colleges. Trillium offers the best options for lunch and everything is reasonably priced.

3 College Freshman

Majors: Lots of Variety – many colleges and many majors. transferring process is simple

3 College Freshman

Academics: Registering for Classes – Lots of people go on a certain day to get their classes. Popular classes fill up fast (such as chemistry 2070 and chemistry 2080) so hurry and register if the time comes! It's a very easy and self-explanatory process.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Don't Bring a Car Until You Live Off Campus – The bus system is great and parking costs a fortune, so you don't really need a car until you live off campus

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Almost Perfect – I just wish gym memberships didn't cost as much, otherwise all facilities are helpful, available, and accessible.

3 College Freshman

Parking: A lot of upperclassmen have cars. You need one to get around the Ithaca area. There is an excellent bus system, but it doesn't go everywhere and takes forever if you have to transfer. Parking on campus is incredibly expensive, and if you don't have a permit, you will get a ticket.

5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Not Too Bad – Academically, there is very little tolerance for plagiarism and cheating. In terms of underage drinking, there is an extremely forgiving medical amnesty program, and it's dealt with by Cornell, not the city/county justice system.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: General Overview – The cost of housing depends on proximity to campus. The farther down the hill, the cheaper it gets. Most people live in houses that are divided into individual apartments. Students tend to move off campus around junior year.

1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Street parking is very difficult at Cornell- it's mostly a walking campus. You need a permit to park in most parking lots that are available on campus and those are expensive.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Very Safe – I have never felt unsafe on any part of Cornell's campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Transportation: Plenty of Buses – Cornell has a great bus system to take you all over campus and good places for students close by, like the mall. It's also free for freshman, so they give you a great chance to figure out which bus you need and whether or not the option works for you.

5 College Freshman

Computers: We have great computer access here. There are open computer labs with Microsoft Office and Adobe Design suites. There is also wireless all over campus, and all the libraries have printers for a low price.

3 College Junior

Facilities: Research is very abundant at Cornell, and basically anyone can participate in it.

2 College Junior

Weather: Very Cold – It is very cold in Ithaca. This definitely hurts my view of the college because classes are hard to walk to in the snow and the wind. Once the weather is nice again, everyone loves the campus.

4 College Freshman

Majors: Pretty Focused – For hotelies, you follow a very structured and focused curriculum, which actually helps a lot in attaining specific breadth of knowledge you need for your prospective career option. Although Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA) is very focused, it encourages its students to be well-rouned and open-minded. Besides hotel classes, you need to take classes that aren't necessarily related to hotel administration, like French, math, etc.

3 College Freshman

Parking: It's Ok – If you are visiting, it's hard to find a parking spot. There's a pretty decent-sized temporary parking lot near the townhouses; however, not many freshmen have cars on campus (although many upperclassmen do). I heard that it's pretty expensive to get a parking permission.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Beautiful Campus! Cornell boasts its beautiful campus with gorges and lake nearby. Freshmen live on North Campus, and there are two major dining halls and student centers: Appel Commons and RPCC. Personally, I think Appel usually has better food, but people have different preferences. There's Ezra's Cafe in Appel, which is good for coffee and Nasty's at RPCC to grease you up all the way whenever you want to. However, mail service at RPCC is pretty slow and inefficient. Once, it took them a week to sort mails and packages, and waiting for them to sort mail was painful. People like to go to libraries to study: some prefer Uris while others prefer Olin. Olin has a Libe Cafe, which is crowded most of the times. Uris has a cocktail lounge, which has a remarkable view and really comfy chairs for short naps. There are lots of acapella groups on campus along with many other clubs.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Many Options and Pretty Good Food – Cornell has 10 all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, and many other eateries scattered around campus. I personally like the food better at school than I do at home, because there's almost always something I'd love to eat... so beware of the Freshman 15 (never thought it could ever happen to someone who was as skinny as i was... it certainly did though!) There are also many different meal plans to choose from, the only problem is that when you live on West Campus, you are required to have an unlimited meal plan (which I don't care for since I don't need to eat that much and I also work at a job 4 times a week that feeds me).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Facilities: There's Lots to Do on Campus! Cornell has 3 gyms on campus (including an ice-skating rink), more libraries than I care to count--I've only been in 4. There's also many clubs on campus, something for everyone--there's a Chocolate Club by the way! People are pretty friendly on campus too, it's beautiful, and even though it's stressful, there's always someone there to help.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Being a Hotelie – A student in the Hotel School at Cornell has a lot of opportunities, but lots of hard work comes along with it. On top of a heavy workload for classes you are encouraged to work at the Statler Hotel to gain experience to go along with what you are learning in class. As a hotelie, you are also apart of a huge worldwide network of alums where you can easily find an internship/job for the summer. This past summer I was able to work at a 5-star hotel in the Canary Islands! I love being a Hotelie!

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: It's Ok – If you are a girl wanting to get into parties for free drinks, then you will have it your way. There are parties every weekend (and every day if you want), and you can get a fair share of alcohol at parties. Many people have alcohol in their rooms, and most people pre-game in the rooms (wherever really...it just can't be too blatantly public) and get away with it. Peer pressure, not much. I know some people who choose not to drink and find their own ways of having fun on weekends in some other ways than getting drunk and going to parties.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: Lots of Seminars and Opportunites – I'm a biology major in CALS. The workload isn't too bad but the introductory courses can be very stressful. Overall though, there are a lot of resources to help like tutoring, info sessions, seminars and even 1 credit course supplement classes that you can enroll in. Plus its a field that produces a lot of job/internship opportunities pre/post grad.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: Hockey Is Pretty Big – There are many gym members and runners around the campus. Ice hockey is pretty big here, and it's pretty fun to go to the games.


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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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