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Reviews 1504 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: I did not join Greek life and I never liked the frat parties, but it is a huge deal on campus, especially for Freshmen.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I did not qualify for financial aid (international student status) but from what I heard, the process was easy and smooth. The only complaint I ever heard was that it was not always enough.

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5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Cornell offers an endless array of on-campus activities. For being in a remote setting, they do a great job of keeping their students busy. Every week there's something: frat parties, university-hosted events, movie screenings, sports games, field trips, etc. The list goes on and on!

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: The quality, locations, upkeep, and efficiency of the libraries is unrivaled. There are some hidden study spots that are really fantastic (once you find them). The athletic centers are great and most are new and modern, and there's always a fun class going on. However, with the amount of walking you do getting from class to class, you may not even need to exercise. The student centers are fun hubs of activity where you're bound to run into friends. Also, just walking around campus is pleasant. It's really a beautiful place.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Finding off-campus housing is easy and great but only if you look a whole year in advance. Usually it works out but it can be daunting because friendships and location preferences can easily change in a year.

5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: One of my favorite things to do was to eat off-campus. Collegetown has really great food, especially ethnic varieties and vegetarian/vegan/organic options, and the prices are geared towards students.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: I found there was a good balance of leniency towards minor offenses but strict consequences to major ones.

5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Cornell has a fantastic career services office in each of the Schools. I found the counselors were easily available and there was a large amount of job postings. They really help you in your search for summer internships and on-campus jobs!

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The Psychology program at Cornell is really great, especially if you're interested in research (which I was).

3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: No one pays attention to campus sports except Hockey and sometimes basketball. Varsity hockey is a HUGE deal and attending the games was one of my best experiences at Cornell. Hockey games are the exception to the rule that Cornell students don't have much school spirit. Definitely camp out and buy season tickets with friends!

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: It's a big school but somehow it feels small. I ran into several people I knew every single day, though it was always someone different, which is what's so great about it! Great sense of community.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: The town is small and very far from major hubs. However, there's TONS to do on-campus, which I always took advantage of. Offerings such as: movies at the Cornell Cinema (super cheap and free popcorn!), festivals (Holi in the spring), talks (John Cleese of Monty Python), sports matches (HOCKEY!!!), campus club events (Latin ballroom classes), etc. There's really great food available at Collegetown, quaint shopping in the Commons, and a Target at the mall. The local bus system takes you pretty much anywhere you need and when it's nice out (or not, if you're adventurous) go for a hike. Ithaca is one of the most beautiful places I've been in.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Find places all the time that are new! Living off of the college budget allows me to always find somewhere good to eat!

5 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Lots of house parties, bars, slope day, concerts. Overall you can find a good time any day of the week.

4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: So many club sports. They do not always give the club sports the space or resources to make them great, but there is at least some availability of space. Lots of fan support for the sports we are good at.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Overall it is pretty safe. The assaults that have been reported happen around 3 a.m. You should not be out and about alone during that time, duh.

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: I'd say it is not as bad as most state schools. The people that use drugs generally cluster together. There is a lot of access to alcohol, but it's college, it happens.

1 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Fall last 2 weeks, spring last two weeks. The entire school year is winter. Snow starts on Halloween, and ends on the last week of classes. It is really really really cold (-30 F), and grey most of the time.

1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: IF you do not live somewhere with a parking lot, then you will almost certainly get a ticket at some point. In C-Town it gets very hard to find parking, about 1% of it has parking laws that actually allow you to park during reasonable times. They are basically out to get you.

3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Tcat bus system is pretty good. Will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go. Lots of buses from Ithaca to places like NYC, Syracuse, Cinn., etc. Even have a very expensive airport to fly into. IF you bring a car, chances are you will get a ticket at some point. Parking rules are ridiculous.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: The rules are generally reasonable. The parking is a real pain.

2 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Ithaca is an expensive place to rent, but that is because of the property taxes. The demand for housing is super high, so landlords have no need to make the places nice, because people NEED to buy them, especially since you are not guarenteed on-campus housing once you are a junior.

4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Very diverse when it comes to economic background, political beliefs, religion, and sexual orientation. I feel like there is a polarization between Hispanics/Blacks and the rest of the ethnicities. I know that blacks/hispanics feel like they have almost no friends of other races, and that it is because people avoid them, but being Hispanic, I can tell you that those that feel segregated do it to themselves. The black/Hispanic communities cluster together freshman year, then stay that way the whole time. It is their own fault

4 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: As far as fraternities, there is a house for everyone. Financially it is very beneficial most of the time, and it is can be much nicer than living in a dorm. In general, people do not view each other very differently whether they are Greek or not, simply since so many people are.

4 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: I feel that on average the guys are better looking than the girls. The dress is very preppy, not my style. There is huge diversity of interests, so I cannot even make a general statement. You will always find a good group of friends with your interest and have a good time.

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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.

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Applicant Status At Cornell University

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