Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1502 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Frat Parties Galore – I myself am not much of a partier, but Greek life is huge on campus, and there are always open Frat parties to go to if you are into that kind of partying. The bars are pretty popular among students as well.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Excellent Housing All-Around – North Campus is a great environment for freshman-all of the dorms are nice and it has a big community feel. The upperclassman dorms on West are all awesome. They have the best dining halls!

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe – I have always felt safe on Cornell's campus. Whenever there is a campus crime, an e-mail is sent out to students notifying them of the occurrence and what the university is doing about it. There are blue lights all over campus-you can pretty much see one wherever you go.

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Tough but Worth It – Cornell is academically grueling. You'll be pushed to work harder than you probably ever have. Have I thought twice about whether it was the right choice? Of course. In the end, I always come to the conclusion that it truly is a world class institution that continually provides me with wonderful, unique opportunities that would not be available to me elsewhere. It is a unique place. It is a gorgeous place to live in, though it can be quite depressing in the winters. It can be fun -- there are endless things to do every day and so many things to be a part of. It really is up to the student to make the best of Cornell.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: We've got basketball and hockey. Not really sure about anything else. You obviously don't come to Cornell for the "school spirit." The athletic facilities though are excellent.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Very Diverse – The student body is comprised of very diverse students in every way possible -- ethnically, economically, politically, religiously, and sexually. However, it is easy to note the large percentage of Jewish people, specifically from Long Island. Perhaps it was my skewed perception as a freshman that saw Cornell as seemingly segregated; the program houses belonging to the minorities and the Greek system largely belonging to the majority white population.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Quite Difficult – There are a few resources for finding off campus housing but most of it is word of mouth.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Quite a Bit to Do – The town is quite small and a tad bit rural. However there are always numerous activities to do, both academic and non-academic

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Computer Labs – There are quite a lot of computer labs in the libraries and even in some of the service centers such as rpcc and appel commons. The network and the internet speed is excellent. I have never had a problem using the facilities. However during exams and midterms, they get quite crowded especially during finals

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Punishments When Necessary – Cornell is very strict about drug and alcohol use. If students are underage, RAs make it very clear that they will be suspended or that their offences will go down in their records.

4 College Junior

Academics: Challenging but an Amazing Experience – Cornell can be very challenging, but once a student becomes adapted to the cornell environment, everything falls into place. I cannot picture anyone being bored here. There always something to learn, something pushing you to let out everything inside of you. At cornell, you have to seek to behelped but no matter what there's always someone waiting to take your hand. The professors are just incredible, so though provoking.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Free Bus Pass Helps, but Not Much – Most students walk or take the bus. It's hard to get into Ithaca and honestly, Cornell can be a bit isolated up on the hill.. but as a freshman you get a free bus pass that makes it easier to get to the mall or the Commons. Either way, you don't necessarily get out to restaurants etc. much because it can take a while to get on the bus and go that way.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Guaranteed Intelligence Helps – The guys are decently attractive, especially because you know they're definitely intelligent enough to have been accepted.. that helps things a lot

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Thumbs up – A lot of people rush at Cornell. It's definitely something to do if you like to go out, if you want to meet a solid group of people that you can rely on throughout your years at school etc. The summer before school I was positive that I would never be a "sorority girl", but rushing was the best choice that I made.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Night Life in the Fall Is Open, in the Spring Frats Are Closed – As a freshman, the majority of the nightlife involves the frat scene. During the fall semester, the frats are openly recruiting new members and there will be multiple open frat parties on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. During the spring semester, once rush has occurred (right at the start of the semester) frats tend to throw more closed mixers to which only sororities are invited. At this point in the year, the frat scene becomes much more exclusive and there's much less to do for underage kids who aren't greek. There will still be one or two open parties a weekend, but frequently they fill up quickly. If you join the greek system, the night life is awesome. If you don't, there will be some stuff available but the choice will not be as great.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Just Okay – Guys are generally cool but girls are rather limited. American girls usually are prettier and Asians aren't so good.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Weather: Ithaca Is Bipolar – During the winter it is freezing (literally) everyday of the week. It snows at least a little everyday durign the winter. Spring and fall are okay temperature wise, but it is never very warm

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drugs Aren't That Popular – Drugs aren't popular unless you are in greek life. Drinking is a very popular activity almost any day

3 College Sophomore

Academics: I'm currently undecided on my major, which is hard because there are so many requirements for specific majors and its hard to get ti done in the 4 years

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Very Diverse – Cornell University is very diverse, accepting students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The student body is generally accepting of peoples from all backgrounds.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: The apartments are cheaper than on-campus housing, but are a lot older.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Ithaca Downtown – Ithaca downtown has a great variety of restaurants. My favorite so far is the Boatyard Grill, with its decadent array of desserts. Vegetarians can go to Moosewood for amazing food as well. The only problem is transportation. My friends and I have to take a taxi to certain restaurants.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Whether you're outdoorsy, artistic, a bookworm, or a party animal, there are always events and opportunities around campus to get involved and meet new people. Many times I've walked across the quad to find some type of festival that I didn't even know was happening, and then found people that I either already knew or got to know just by enjoying the event with them.

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Ranked #1 for a Reason. Cornell's dining facilities are fantastic. Lots of good food, huge variety, and all you can eat. It is very easy to pack on weight at Cornell if you have poor self-control. And the ice cream is FANTASTIC.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Cornell has great gyms and a huge variety of athletic programs. They also have a ton of student centers and libraries. Something is always going on somewhere.


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Goldwin-Smith Hall
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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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