Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Senior

Facilities: There are lots of libraries and the quads are great green spaces. The athletic facilities are top notch for both varsity athletes and regular students.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Facilities: Cornell gives its students the opportunity to succeed in every aspect of life: from academics to social life. The scenery is amazing and the buildings around campus are unique and beautiful. Visit in the summer and I guarantee you'll fall in love.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: The student organizations make Cornell an experience tailored to your interests.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: Cornell is a school of options. You can be and become any person here. From rich to poor, outgoing or shy, there really is a place for everyone here. The classes are challenging but extremely worth it, just make sure that you are studying something that you are passionate about. At Cornell you get the big school scene with the small school feeling. The separate colleges really make it home.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: There are tons of libraries and places to study!


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 16th
    Best Library
  • 38th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 196th
    Best Student Centers
  • 354th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 381st
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Most students seem very satisfied with Cornell’s facilities. Construction is continually in progress to improve older buildings and revamp outdated ones—unfortunately, this is sometimes disruptive to classes. The architecture of these buildings varies from modern to traditional and gothic, with the overall effect being a uniquely beautiful campus.

Most students commend Cornell’s recreational facilities, including state-of-the-art gyms, basketball courts, an indoor track, a cinema, and numerous student centers. The only major complaint that most students have with the facilities is that not all are free-of-charge—students must pay for a gym membership, although many feel that the rates are reasonable. The Cornell University Library system is the 11th largest collection in the U.S., and this is evident in the abundance of volumes available on campus and the multitude of research opportunities.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
745 acres
Student Centers
  • Appel Commons
  • Community Center
  • Noyes Community Center
  • Robert Purcell
  • Willard Straight Hall
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • Big Red Barn
  • Mac’s Café
  • Olin Library student lounge
  • Terrace
  • Trillium
  • Willard Straight Hall
Bar on Campus
  • Big Red Barn has beer on tap on the weeknights
  • The Regent Lounge in the Statler Hotel has a fully-stocked bar where you can get alcoholic beverages and food
Bowling on Campus
Helen Newman Bowling Lanes
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Ciabatta's in the Park
  • Ezra's Emporium
  • Libe Café
  • The Green Dragon Café
  • Two Naked Guys Café
Movie Theater on Campus
  • Cornell Cinema in Willard Straight Hall
  • In Uris Hall auditorium
School Slang
  • AAP: College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • AEM: Applied economics management, which is the business major
  • Aggies: Refers to students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Arch Sing: When a cappella groups sing under one of the many campus arches, usually near the dorms
  • Bear Access: CIT's package of network services
  • CALS: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services, free short-term on-campus counseling group
  • Chalkings: Advertisements for events that are drawn in chalk on the roads and sidewalks of Cornell
  • CIT: Cornell Information Technologies, computer and network services
  • Cocktail lounge: Reading room that is undergroung in Uris Library (A great place to sleep-I mean, study)
  • COE: Cornell outdoor education
  • The Commons: Downtown Ithaca, containing shops and restaurants, very hippy-style
  • DOS: Dean of students
  • EARS: Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Service, a student-run helpline for counseling
  • FWS: Federal work study or first-year writing seminar (required for all freshman)
  • Gannett: Cornell's health care center
  • Haven: Peer support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students
  • Hotelies: Students in the School of Hotel Administration
  • IC: Ithaca College (sometimes called IK)
  • ILR: School of Industrial Labor Relations
  • ISSO: International students and scholars office
  • JA: Judicial administrator (the people who get you in trouble if you're under 21)
  • LGBTRC: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender resource center
  • Libe Slope: The hill between Uris Library and the west campus dorms
  • Louie's Lunch: Truck on north campus that serves fast food
  • Midnight Howl: The night before finals students yell as loud as they can at midnight to let out studying aggression
  • Nasties: Name given to Bear Necessities, a convenience store in Robert Purcell Community Center on North Campus.
  • OL: Orientation leader
  • POST: Pre-orientation service trips
  • Prelim: Preliminary exam, any full-length exam that's not a final, often scheduled at night instead of during class
  • Program House: Residences organized around a theme
  • Quarter Cards: Ads handed out or found in mailbox on a quarter piece of paper
  • RA: Residence advisor
  • RHD: Residence hall director
  • ROTC: Reserve Officer Training Corps(military program)
  • RPCC: Robert Purcell Community Center
  • SA: Student Assembly, the student government
  • SAFC: Student Assembly Finance Commission, gives funds to student organizations
  • SAO: Student activities office
  • SHIP: Student health insurance plan
  • The Sun: Cornell Daily Sun, the student-run newspaper
  • TCAT: Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, public bus system
  • WSH or The Straight: Willard Straight Hall, the student union
  • Zeus: The Temple of Zeus, a café in Goldwin Smith Hall
  • The Chimes: McGraw Tower had become the symbol of Cornell University. It is visible from much of Ithaca and contains the chimes, which are played everyday (occasionally ringing out the Beatles, Disney songs, or Jingle Bells).
  • Dragon Day: Every year, the architecture students make a huge dragon to parade around campus in and then they burn it. Some years, the engineers also make a large Phoenix, and the event becomes a contest. It begins when the architecture students sell Dragon Day T-shirts. The night before, the architecture students beautifully toilet paper the arts quad. The next day, the parade of the dragon begins.
  • Freshman/Seniors on the Field: On the first home football game of the season, the freshmen rush the field; on the last, the seniors do the same.
  • Slope Day: On the last day of classes, students gather on Libe Slope to celebrate the end of the year. It used to be an unstructured event full of very drunk students, but now that it is organized by the University, only those over 21 can easily drink. On Slope Day, there are vendors selling food, a carnival area, and famous bands playing (Rusted Root, OAR, Kanye West).
Urban Legends
  • Cornell has one of the highest suicide rates. This is not true. It does have some suicides, like any school, but in proportion to the student population, the rate is not excessively higher than at other schools.
  • If a couple walks around all of Beebe Lake holding hands they will get engaged.
  • If you are asked for a kiss at midnight on the suspension bridge and say no, the bridge will fall into the gorge.
  • When a virgin crosses the arts quad at midnight the statues of AD White and Ezra Cornell get up and meet each other in the center of the Quad to shake hands and congratulate each other on the chastity of Cornellians. (I don't know anyone who has tried it, but there are footprints on the quad, so maybe it's true).
Favorite Things To Do
Catch a suntan on Libe Slope, eat lunch at the Terrace, examine the stars at Fuertes Observatory, have drinks at the Regent Lounge, meet friends at Libe Café, see a movie at Cornell Cinema, watch a hockey game in Lynah Rink, watch the sunset atop the Johnson Museum of Fine Art, work out at Helen Newman, or listen to the Clocktower Chimes Concert Thanks to its large size, Cornell's campus hosts many activities. In addition to the huge list of activities sponsored by the many clubs on campus (including dances, a capella shows, game nights, and comedy shows), Cornell has a movie theater, bowling alley, rock-climbing wall, gym, theater, and hockey rink. Cornell students may enjoy these activities either at reduced rates or for free, depending on the event.
Student Organizations Web Site
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
There are too many student organizations to count. Actually someone did once and found more than 825 registered organizations on campus. Some of the more prominent organizations are listed below.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 66 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 70 responses

  • 3% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 23% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 57% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 17% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 69 responses

  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 10% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 64% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 26% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.



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