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Reviews 1504 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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5 College Student

Weather: Ithaca is fine. Seriously. It's not that bad. Bring a coat, get some boots, grow a pair. If you're from the Midwest, you'll have no problem adjusting. Everyone else: make friends with someone from the Midwest, Upstate NY, Eastern Canada, or Antarctica, if you want to learn how to survive.

5 College Student

Campus Housing: Not all dorms are created equal, this is true. North Campus is a mix of anything from horrible to resort-like, but I feel that this just builds character for the freshmen. The West Campus housing system for upperclassmen is excellent all around. The buildings there are climate controlled, new, and close to central campus. The food and dining on West is arguably some of the best across campus, and you burn it all off when you walk up Libe Slope to go to class everyday.

5 College Student

Athletics: The Sports scene at Cornell is a hit or miss, but in the end it's a good balance. Coming from the Midwest, I honestly miss Big Ten football and basketball, but other sports such as hockey and lacrosse are more than enough to fill the void. As one of the top teams in the nation, Cornell Hockey is the epitome and center of Cornell Sport culture, and it is truly exciting to be a part of it. As a season ticket holder, I can pledge that home hockey games are always fun, highly spirited, and never boring affairs. The cozy rink fills pretty much for every game, and Student section tickets (if you know what you're doing) are fairly cheap.

If you're a fanatic, like me. Don't worry. Priorities change when you go to college. To be honest, it's all I can do to get to the Rink on Fridays. Cornell is a challenging school. If you manage to make time to follow ANY of the sports here, I'd say that's a success.

5 College Student

Computers: Computer access is excellent at Cornell. There are computers and printers available all over campus, so some of those who can't afford it actually can get by without a computer. Nevertheless, owning a laptop will make your life significantly easier and will always be a worthwhile investment. Since the labs and libraries eventually close, owning your own computer gives you the autonomy to chose when and where you want to work. Some majors also require purchasing a computer, such as Architecture and Computer Science. The free, networked, and discounted software is great, too, and will make having your own computer worthwhile.

2 Recent Alumnus

Weather: During the spring and summer, it's great. There was an unusually warm fall. As an Arizonan, I will definitely say that the winter ruined it for me. Too cold.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I was a graduate student who received a one-year fellowship that covered tuition and living costs.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: The first year Cornell gives you a bus pass that you can use at all times to ride the local TCAT bus, which will take you anywhere in Ithaca. After that, the cost of the pass is subsidized. The bus is free to all Cornell students, even if they didn't buy the pass, on nights and weekends.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: It's an Ivy-league school with a reputation to match. The lecturers are great, the homework is challenging. They want you to think. They want you to work hard. I think they want you to learn.

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: There isn't much, but it's not all chain restaurants. The restaurants downtown have to be locally-owned. It's not cheap, but the quality is generally all right.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Ithaca is a beautiful city, but the winters are terrible.

4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Many of my friends were international students and others were from all over the country. I learned a lot from them and their cultures and heritage.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: I lived in East Hill Plaza. It was moderately close to campus, far from downtown. I enjoyed a really short walk to the grocery store and a bus stop. It seemed a little expensive for what it was, but it was well-maintained, clean, and safe.

2 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: The bar scene is small and is mostly located downtown and in Collegetown. Many of the bars feature bad music, sticky floors, and unpleasantly large crowds stuffed into tiny spaces.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Freshman get free bus passes and all other students get free rides on weekends and weekdays after 6. Its pretty easy to get to most places.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: I don't really care about sports so I'm no export, but the main sport Cornell people care about is hockey and were apparently pretty good. I've been to the gym and its decent but the fee is a separate charge.

1 College Freshman

Weather: It rains a lot and snows a lot. Gets super cold. It really nice late spring/summer/early fall though.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Like one third of the campus is Greek. I don't really participate though.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Depending on where you live, it can be very expensive. There are like 4 landlords that own a lot of the rental properties, and they keep the prices high. But a lot of people do ok and enjoy living off campus.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: What really sucks is your not guaranteed housing for junior and senior year. And sometimes renting off campus can be expensive.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Very large selection, can basically study whatever you want!

5 College Freshman

Majors: I'm studying Industrial and Labor Relations. At first I didn't really know what that was and didn't know if I would like it, but I'm almost done with my freshman year and I love ILR! I don't know what I want to do for a career, but I'm thinking Human Resources. I love the classes and topics of ILR and the professors are great.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Tons of people from all walks of life. Can't walk ten steps without seeing like three different ethnicities. Some people seem to stick to their own kind, but most people have friends from all races, religions, ethnicities etc.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are some good places nearby. Maybe not the healthiest though.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I've never had a problem with my health or safety while I've been here. Had a friend get an infection and they helped her. Every once in a while you hear of weird attacks in Collegetown at night.


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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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