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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4 College Junior

Athletics: Hockey is our number one sport. The other teams do well too, especially lacrosse and track teams but hockey steals the show. But if you're coming purely because of sports this might not be the right place.

4 College Junior

Computers: Wired up – Multiple computer labs in all parts of campus, both in libraries/labs and dorm buildings. Multiple places to scan, print, copy, fax all with reasonable prices per page. Wireless internet available throughout most of campus, most of the time. Personal computer and printer is helpful and more convenient but student can survive without printer. Should have their own laptop though at the least. Around exam times, libraries/labs do get swamped.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Not Too Bad – Things don't seem to be too strict around here in my opinion. Just keep your head down and don't be obnoxious so they can easily find you.

2 College Junior

Athletics: I guess basketball used to be popular when we were good, but now all the games are free to students and the arena is still half empty. It's just not fun. Hockey games can get pretty crazy, but they are sold out very often and it is hard to get tickets at the last minute.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Location-Cost Tradeoff – If you want good location (near collegetown, commons), expect to pay at least 700-800 a month. Parking is also a nightmare in those areas. If you move further away from campus, apartments get much nicer and parking becomes free, but then you can't easily walk to restaurants and bars.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: If you're a freshman you've got it made, free bus passes for all. Also, so long as you're traveling within Ithaca, Ithaca Taxi is relatively cheap. I expected taxi rides past Ithaca Commons to be $13+ having come from Long Island, but the cost turned out to be half that (barring tip).

4 College Freshman

Academics: Grade Distribution – Everyone here is very smart, but there's a wider distribution of grades than you'd expect at a school where the percentage of acceptance is slimmer. I like that not because its "easier" but because I have the ability to help my friends out or show up at office hours and be able to help people that I've never met who are having trouble, and I've made a lot of friends that way. I wouldn't have had that opportunity at a school where everyone knew everything, I feel like I have something to offer the rest of the people who go to my school and it's a great feeling.

Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I never applied for any scholarships, but I wish I did, it'd be good experience for Grad school. I hear a lot of people complain about financial aid, ask some current students about it if you can.

4 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Something for Everyone – I can't say I've tried everything, but i've tried a bit and stick with what I like. There's the frats - large, loud, and crowded mess-halls where people sloppily try to get freaky and most times don't. Never really had a good experience that was more due to the frat than because of the company I came with. There's bars - slightly classier locations where people also get drunk but can sit around, shoot pool, chat, etc. Chapter house is my favorite, delicious selection and a Celtic string group make me feel almost European. I highly recommend just making friends who have their own place, inviting cool people over, and having fun. You know everyone, or at least you know they must be cool if one of your friends invited them. You have awesome conversations, drink tasty beverages, do art, play music, meditate even, who knows, but it's chill and enjoyable.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Develop Yourself Into an Excellent Human - Human Development – Being a Human Development major is an exciting experience. You're constantly learning about how we all are shaped by internal and external forces. Not just psychologically, but biologically, sociologically, and even economically. It gives you a fascinating perspective about the world and our places and influences in it. The professors are all very excited about their fields and are more than willing to help you in your endeavors, wether its writing your honors thesis or just talking about things you're dealing with. The work is exciting and interesting, it feels like an elective compared to my old pre-med requirements. As a post-bac, i'm left wishing I had better preparation for what to do next, planning the next step, making the appropriate moves or training. But within the context of a student, HD was fantastic and recommend everyone take at least one class from their roster.

2 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Unless Your Dirt Poor Don't Even Try – Friendly enough, but not much in terms of financial aid if you're parents are middle class +

3 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Greek Life – Used to be better, new regulations limit freshman participation.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Really Good Compared to Most Universities -For the First Month and a Half – The food is great. At first. There's tons of variety, specialty nights that can be really tasty, and you're really never going to walk out of a dining hall thinking there was nothing edible. But after a while you get used to campus food, meaning you also get tired of it. Same anywhere you go I expect.

5 College Student

Diversity: A Melting Pot – At Cornell University, you will NOT find a typical student body. The kids at Cornell range from extremely "fratty" to very nerdy. The students come from all different ideological and ethnic backgrounds which makes the college experience even better.

4 College Student

Campus Housing: Mary Donlon hall is a very typical college dorm. Although the rooms are average and somewhat small the social aspect of the dorm surmounts the negatives! A great place to live. There is always something to do.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Student

Facilities: Libraries Are Fantastic! The libraries at cornell are simply amazing. The library staff here really aids its students and are extremely helpful. I think the variety of the libraries also offer the diversity needed to succeed at Cornell.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Say No to CRACK – I mean, you have students who do do heavy drugs, and that's their business. Students do, and always will, drink. It's not a big deal to me, though.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I Live in Heaven – I love North Campus housing for Freshmen. It creates a sense of community in a world where I know no one, presumably. I love it! My dorm building is wonderful and everyone always seems cheerful and happy!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I'm Safe at Night – I feel safe when I walk around on campus at all times of the day. There may be one or two people every now and then who report being "attacked" for something, but I feel as if I do not put myself in any type of situation like that to get bothered.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Very Good – I have had a good experience with the financial aid office at Cornell. They have been open to questions and very helpful. Sometimes it can take a while to sort out complications because they are very busy so I recommend calling/meeting in person over e-mailing for urgent matters

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There are a lot of dining options around campus and Cornell attempts to provide many vegetarian/vegan options. Some of the dining opportunities are not publicized well or hard to find, however.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe – I always feel safe on Cornell. There is very little crime here and the police constantly send out updates to the student body about the crimes that do occur. Drinking is monitored on campus strictly, however.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Cold and Dreary winters, hot and sticky summers and an awesome median in between for both fall and spring. Absolutely gorgeous the first few weeks of school.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Frats Dominate – While there are a reasonable amount of bars/nightclubs in neighboring C-Town, most of the action that any average student under 21 will recieve is at the numerous frat houses on campus. With the enormous amount of options on campus it is not rare for one to be able to find a party any day of the week, especially the weekends.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Sports Are Very Emphasized – As a D-1 School Cornell Ultimately places high importance on it's varsity sports. There is no lack in funding for anything varsity- sports related. School is very into Ice Hockey but not really any other sports besides that.


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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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