Ithaca, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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2 College Senior

Parking: Not enough parking and it's too expensive.

College Freshman

Parking: I don't have a car on campus. I have heard from those who do that spots fill up rather quickly, and the cost is high (though not "outrageous").

College Freshman

Parking: I do not have a car so I am not well aware of parking problems. I take the bus for free or walk to where I need to get to.

1 College Freshman

Parking: There is no point of having a car on campus. The buses run all the time and there are free bus rides for all incoming freshman and first years.

2 College Senior

Parking: Cornell is known as one of the greenest campuses in America. That being said, parking on campus is intentionally made difficult to encourage walking, biking, public transportation, etc. However, MANY people of campus have cars, so definitely feel free to bring one if you do have it. It's so much more convenient to have one, especially if you plan on living off campus. There are paid parking spots in a few places on campus that charge money per 15 minutes, which can get expensive. But if you have to turn in a paper due at 8:00am and you woke up at 7:50am, having a car can be godsend. Also, free parking after 5:00pm!!


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 1198th
    Best Parking Availability
  • 1279th
    Most Reasonable Permit Costs
  • 1321st
    Best Off-Campus Parking

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

With such a large campus, expect to walk long distances from your home to campus and from class to class. Ithaca is notorious for its hills, so you’ll be sure to get your morning exercise. While having a car is convenient, it is pretty much useless if you expect to use it primarily to drive to class. If you’re willing to shell out the cash for an expensive parking pass, then you will still be hard pressed to find a favorable place in the vicinity of one of your lecture classrooms. However, due to the somewhat isolated nature of Ithaca, having a car is useful for weekend trips.

Cornell faces a serious space crunch in regards to on-campus parking, and most students are displeased with the number of spaces available. While you may sometimes get away with parking in loading zones, wary officials will be quick to ticket your vehicle after 30 minutes, and don’t expect any mercy from Cornell’s transportation department. It’s possible, from time to time, to find spaces in pay lots by Willard Straight and Friedman Athletic Center. The downside is that you have a maximum parking time of two hours, and both lots are still a hike to class. Most students walk to class because of the problematic and expensive parking situation, and they choose to leave their cars in residential lots.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$300–$670 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $12
  • Fire lane: $50
  • Handicapped zone: $50
  • No parking zone: $25
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Friedman Pay Lot
  • Willard Straight Pay Lot
  • North and West Campus
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Central campus, during peak hours, is difficult to find a legal place near any of your classes. Parking is much easier to find in the pay lots, which are usually less packed, but they are always a longer walk from central localities.
Getting a Parking Permit
Permit prices and eligibility are determined through a tier system with limited access to specific lots.
Parking Services
Commuter and Parking Services
(607) 255-PARK

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 78 responses

  • 24% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.
  • 15% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 29% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 18% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 12% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 1% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.

What are the best places to find a parking spot on campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 29% Parking Garage across from Barton Hall
  • 21% North and West Campus
  • 21% Willard Straight Pay Lot
  • 14% Parking lot across from Balch
  • 7% Friedman Pay Lot
  • 7% North Campus

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 78 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost

What are the worst places to look for a parking spot on campus?    Based on 9 responses

  • 82% Anywhere on Central Campus.
  • 18% Campus during the week in general


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