Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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5 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity and acceptance are high.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: I meet different types of people all of the time. People have really different backgrounds and are from all over.

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.

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

Diversity: Diversity is prevalent here, but not maximally.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 130th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 702nd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1264th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Mandy Kain and Radhika Arora
Hewlett, N.Y., and Ithaca, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Cornell professes a commitment to diversity, and this is evident on campus by the numerous clubs, organizations, and classes dedicated to a variety of ethnicities, races, religions, and political views. There are also many international students and faculty. Support services are available for every walk of life. However, these services may dwindle in the future as increasing budget cuts hit groups and departments dedicated to minority services. In recent years, bias-related incidents have risen on campus—ignorance and outright racism does still exist—but this is still the exception, not the rule.

Overall, students are ambivalent in regards to the diversity of Cornell’s actual student population. Some feel that the school is populated by a majority of Asians and whites from New York City and the Long Island area. Certain Cornellians feel separated from minority groups, while others have a culturally and ethnically diverse mix of friends. Without a doubt, the student body represents a broad range of ideas and backgrounds, even if social scenarios don’t always favor integration. As long as you’re aware of the many groups and their activities on campus, you will have ample opportunity to mix with all different types of people.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Foreign countries
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 27%
20-21: 32%
22-24: 18%
25+: 22%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 8%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 16%
Native American: 0%
White: 72%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
There are different student groups dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students' issues, as well as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center on campus. There are also numerous classes in the Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies program.
Political Activity
Political activity is common on Cornell's campus. In addition to the standard Cornell Democrats and College Republicans, there are a number of smaller social-justice-oriented clubs on campus, focusing on issues ranging from anti-war to the environment to immigrants' rights. All of these groups make their views known through protests, information campaigns, and other activities. Ithaca is known to be a very liberal town, and this trend tends to influence the campus political climate as well.
Economic Status
Students are from various socio-economic backgrounds. There's a natural impetus to assume that the majority of the students, due to the high price of an Ivy League university, are wealthy, but there is a huge disparity of economic status on campus. Many students are not from high-income backgrounds, and they may feel marginalized by Cornell due to the high prices for books, housing, and tuition.
Most Common Religions
Cornell has a large Jewish population, as well as many Christians, Catholics, Hindus, and Muslims. There are a variety of clubs on campus, as well as services at Sage Chapel, a non-denominational house of worship on the campus. Special holiday-themed activities, such as Christmas caroling or Shabbat 1000+, are common.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Sample: La Asociacion Latina; Black Students Union; Minority Business Students Organization; Mosaic; African, Latino, Asian, Native American Programming Board; Asian Pacific Americans for Action; Hillel; Indonesian Association; Islamic Alliance for Justice; Multicultural Greek Letter Council; Direct Action to Stop Heterosexism; The Association for Students of Color

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 66 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 14% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 12% Conservative
  • 35% Moderate
  • 33% Liberal
  • 6% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 66 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 3% Conservative
  • 26% Moderate
  • 14% Not sure
  • 52% Liberal
  • 6% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 65 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 65 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 67 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 7% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 30% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 63% Very accepting.


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