Ithaca, NY
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Reviews 1546 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Depends on Your Definition – A large majority of IC's students seem to be upper-middle class white kids. Most that I've met come from Christian or Jewish backgrounds or identify as "spiritual", agnostic, or atheist. (Many aren't strongly religious.) Hillel is popular, and there's also a small Catholic community. That aside, everyone knows a handful of international students and kids from minority backgrounds. IC is very open to the full spectrum of sexual orientations. Politically, campus is largely progressive.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Bring Your Own – There are great labs on campus, but a personal computer is pretty much a necessity. Certain programs require one, and most students use Macs. Bringing your own printer is also advisable though not entirely necessary.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: In general, the entire campus is in good shape-- blame it on the fact that we're walking up and down stairs and hills all day. There are a lot of really, really gorgeous girls here by most people's standards: boho/ indie/ glamorous/ stylish/ natural/ all walks of life, and they dress stylishly for going to classes. It can be intimidating as a girl, since it sometimes feels like a standard to try to live up to. The guys are usually pretty attractive as well; there are a lot of jocks, "lax bros", and on the opposite end, indie/ alt guys. The hookup culture is a big thing in lower years, but there are also plenty of kids who start serious relationships, or stay in long-distance relationships. Overall, there's quite a mix, though students are largely white, upper-middle class, and well-dressed. Unfortunately, everyone is hidden under layers of jackets and scarves for half the year.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: Hit or Miss – In general, 100-level gen eds are often tedious, dull, or sort of a joke, though this isn't always the case. Professors range from terrible to great in those. However, one of IC's strengths is that you start taking a lot of courses in your major freshman year, and in major classes, the professors are great, educated, and passionate. HSHP, the acting program, and Park in particular, have great reputations.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: Better With a Car – As a freshman, the school encourages you not to bring a car, but really, the experience is so much better WITH a car. Certain places, like the mall, or Wegman's/ Wal-Mart/ certain shopping areas are very difficult to reach by bus, and the Tcat stops running at 12:30 or 1 AM. Freshmen have terrible parking in Z-lot, and it's very expensive, but it gets much less expensive as you get older, and parking gets much better. Cars also tend to be social leverage to some degree.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Nightlife options include school-sanctioned events, small, closed dorm parties, crowded Circles parties, off-campus house parties, college nights at clubs like The Haunt or Oasis, Cornell frat parties, and the bar scene on the Commons and in Collegetown for those 21+. Circles are a popular freshman experience, but the open parties are really rather shady and get creepy as you get older. House parties range from terrible to fun. The club scene is only worthwhile on college nights, but can be a good time. Some of the best times are simple nights in the dorm with friends. Transportation involves the TCAT (unreliable) or a taxi/ Green Hornet (the better option). Don't walk down South Hill. Kids get hit.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Uneven Campus Safety – Students can get away with a lot in the dorms if they're careful. Dorm parties can be great, but if the music gets too loud, or if you get really obnoxious, you'll get caught. RAs tend to be fairly lenient with alcohol, but it can vary by the situation. If kids get in serious trouble, it's usually for drug use (make the hallway reek of weed and you will annoy a lot of people) but kids get away with quite a bit too. Just use common sense and be respectful.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Better Than Average – It can get old after a while but in general it's pretty good. There are three dining halls: campus center, towers, and terraces. Each has its perks. IC has a large vegetarian/ vegan population, so there are always veggie options on the menu, though the quality varies. Terraces' Kosher Kitchen secretly has the best dining hall food on campus. The dining halls always have several flavors of gourmet ice cream (Ithaca is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae... fun fact.) and while the names may be strange (Bulldog Crunch, anyone?) it gets addicting. Brunch on the weekends can be singlehandedly responsible for the freshman 15 if you aren't careful. Many meat-related dishes are rather suspicious. Late night's Taco Tuesdays are infamous. The TC Lounge is like a fancy starbucks and has great acoustic nights.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Friendly People, Alternative Culture – The people at IC tend to be really friendly and creative, and for the most part are extremely liberal, but there are always plenty of exceptions to that. To describe the general student body, there are a lot of hippie kids, a lot of kids into indie music, and then a very distinct and separate group of athletic "biddies and bros". An alarming number of people are obsessed with musical theatre. The drug scene is rather prevalent and the school is somewhat known for this, but that's by no means every student, and if you're friendly, you're bound to meet some cool people that you'll like, no matter what you're into. For the most part, kids here are very into individuality, so there's a bit of an art school vibe, though not overwhelmingly so. Plenty of piercings, dreadlocks, and interesting hair colors to go around. Preppy kids are less common but not a rarity. Many students come from the East Coast, but there's a fair number from all over the country and Cali especially. Students are generally middle and upper-middle class. There are no frats and it's not quite the traditional teen-movie college experience, but a lot of us like it better this way.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Freshman Housing – If you're going into your freshman year at Ithaca, do everything you can to wind up in freshman housing. Current options include Talcott, Rowland, Boothroyd, and East Tower. Each has its own perks-- Rowland and Talcott are located just off the main quad, the tower is connected to a dining hall, TC lounge, Subconnect, and is dead center of campus (but requires climbing a LOT of steps), and Boothroyd's rooms are just doubles, but they're ridiculously huge. (It's off in an inconvenient corner of campus though.) Living communities exist in the Terraces, and are good if you're really interested in what they're about. Hood Hall is home to the Wellness floor (drug and alcohol free) and while kids do choose to live there for that reason, others just wind up placed there and don't abide by that at all. Rooms are basic white cinderblock, but in theory you're allowed to paint them approved colors.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Weather: Weather changes quickly and often doesn't make sense. The only thing you can really expect is to have very cold weather, and snow-- a lot of it-- from late December to early April. Long winters contribute to cabin fever and cattiness. Blame the lake effect, but Ithaca is known for getting more rain than Seattle. When it rains, it rains hard. That said, when it's nice out, it's the most beautiful thing ever, and fall in Ithaca is gorgeous.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Common Sense – In general, IC itself has a safe campus, and has enough of a community feel that people watch out for one another. That said, things happen. Watch out for yourself at night downtown. The winter is long and vicious, and that can be dangerous, especially for students that party heavily. Know your limits and stick with your friends when you go out. IC does have a medical amnesty program for students that overindulge in alcohol or run into trouble with drugs, so you won't get in trouble if you call for help if it's needed. Campus police keep an eye on things, but in an uneven way.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Definitely Apply. If there's even a slight chance you might get financial aid, definitely apply. IC is a pretty expensive school, but they tend to help out people who need it. Beyond that, they give away a lot of merit scholarships to kids who worked hard in high school. If you earned a high GPA and/or did well on standardized testing, you stand a good chance of receiving some sort of scholarship award without even needing to apply. For some of the largest awards (full tuition in some cases) there are rigorous application processes, and they base the award more on full personality and accomplishments. Many of these awards require interviews to qualify you, and from what I've seen, from the people I know who received major awards, charisma seems to be a factor. Definitely worthwhile to apply for.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Unique IC! IC is a very unique place, the Park School is the number 3 school in the nation for communications. The professors here are interested in investing undergrads with knowledge. They are very enthusiastic and helpful. IC provides a wide array of events for students to attend that can broaden their experiences and personalities. The city of Ithaca itself was rated #1 college town in America a few years back. With Cornell across the way, it seems as if young peoples may be taking it over. The view of Lake Cayuga is beautiful and enhances the campus up at IC!

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Experience @ IC – At IC I have made very close friends whom i trust and am growing to love. The parties are really fun, and the size of the school (6,000) allows making friends to be an easy task. IC is unique because it has such a diverse mix of students. Music is a big deal here and so are sports, everyone can be happy within their own crowds.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The New athletics and Events center is a technological innovation. There is an Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a huge indoor track! It lights up in many different colors at night for all of Ithaca to see.
The Dining Halls are also very unique they offer many different places to sit, as well as many different options to choose from. The food is generally good.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The girls here you could say are varied. Some of them are backstabbing two faced liars. Others are just plain dumb and clueless. Some of them lets say just like more than one present during a certain "event".
As for appearances, well, there are all kinds. There are the fat f***s, the ones with too much make-up, the smoking hot s***s, and everything in between. The "dimes" are all taken, so don't even bother. The pennies are still available, and are yours for the picking at a certain event called Cortaca.
If you're a perspective freshman, then don't expect your first hook ups to end clean. Eventually you'll get used to it. Most hot girls come in with boyfriends and don't break up with them until maybe late in freshman or sophomore year.
Although they are many girls here who are dating material- even wife material, don't expect to find the love of your life here.
Bottom line: Expect the unexpected.

8 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Facilities: What the Heck? The new athletic center is a waste of money, all the stuff there is from at least 15 years ago,

4 College Freshman

Weather: It is often rainy. Snow hardly comes during the Fall semester. It can get quite windy. The college usually cancels class if there are issues getting to class.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Blue Stone Bar & Grill – The food was very tasty. The cost was average and totally worth the food. It is centrally located in the commons so it was easy to get to. There was a great variety of food.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drugs and Alcohol – The drug and alcohol scene is very abundant, the kids tend to drink alot and make people feel uncomfortable if not drinking

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The girls are kind of stuck up and drama prone. They tend to be judgmental as well as the guys at the school. The football players are treated like gods at the school. I tend to stay away from that scene. Other than that there are some good people at ithaca that i don't mind

4 College Junior

Majors: The Park School has great connections and resources to help you find an internship. Career Services is helpful with paperwork but the administration in majors can be more helpful in finding something that applies to your interests.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Great Campus – Ithaca offered me exactly what I wanted in my academic experience. I've also made friends and have a fairly good social life. Sometimes, the school lacks adequate nightlife activities if you're under 21, but overall has a great campus culture.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Housing on Campus – Living on campus is ok. The dorms are decent, but not kept up in good order all the time. The Towers are most convenient for access to food but the elevators tend to break often. The quads are convenient in terms of location, close to the academic buildings.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Jennifer Segal
Newton ,MA
Communication Management
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

When students are asked to evaluate their overall experience at IC, they often look at the lessons they learned both inside and outside of the classroom. Students who go beyond the social aspect of college and get involved end up both gaining the most experience and having the most fun. Many students love IC because of its size. Sometimes, it’s hard to walk anywhere on campus without bumping into someone you know. With such dreadfully cold winters, the academic programs and well-organized student groups are the main reasons students come back every year. Also, the great size allows students to connect with other students in their majors and their professors/advisers, as well. 

Like many things in life, students’ experiences with IC are simply what they make of them. If you sit in your dorm room for four years, you will be miserable. If you experience the life Ithaca has to offer and go outside of your comfort zone, you most likely won’t regret your decision to attend IC. The school’s high retention rate proves this. IC offers a great mix of academics and everything else college life should offer—friends, fun, professional opportunities, active campus life, and a time to learn and grow.

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