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3 College Senior

Diversity: There's a lot of different people of different backgrounds at Cornell. It doesn't feel that way because people merge into cliques and groups, making it difficult to interact with people different from yourself without a great amount of effort.

3 College Junior

Diversity: We aren't as racially diverse as some people like to say. There are a handful of PoC students and quite a few international students. There isn't a lot of interaction between different groups. And while the campus is generally accepting of everyone, it's not perfect. It doesn't help that last year some idiot kept putting swastikas all over campus. However, there are plenty of student groups that raise awareness for all groups and it is easy to find someone who will understand and accept you for you who you are.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: We have a lot of students from all over the world going here, and for the most part they and their cultures are accepted without argument. However there have been insistence's of derogatory drawings showing up in some of the bathrooms, but the dean was quick to send out emails about it.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Cornell College is a wonderfully diverse community that embraces all types of ethnicities, religions, political beliefs, sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds. Students are usually very open to meeting new people and display their beliefs through various activities and organizations that are available on campus.

3 College Senior

Diversity: The campus is diverse for small-town Iowa, and has a sizeable international student population, and about a 30% minority group population. That said though, this is Iowa, and it's overrun with white people the second you step off campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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For a small, liberal arts college located in America's heartland, Cornell boasts some great diversity compared to the local landscape. Incoming classes average 20 percent students of color and four percent international students. The number of students from diverse economic backgrounds also adds to the variety of students on campus. Numerous religions are present on campus, as well, from Catholicism to paganism and many things in between. However, religious practice is not a high profile activity for most students. Cornell does not have an extremely visible or active GLBTQ community, primarily because these students are well received within campus culture.

Tolerance, particularly of more liberal viewpoints, is something Cornell students and faculty alike do really well. Conservatives on campus are more likely to be criticized by students for holding right-wing views. Nevertheless, the College Republicans are an active student organization. Isolated incidences of intolerance do occur, but the overwhelming student reaction is an intolerance for intolerance.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 48%
20-21: 44%
22-24: 6%
25+: 1%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic: 1%
International: 0%
Native American: 2%
White: 90%
Unknown: 2%
Gay Pride
Cornell's campus is predominantly socially liberal and accepting of the GLBTQ community. Students are- successfully-encouraged by various organizations, events, and courses to be open-minded when it comes to people whose lives are different from their own. Alliance, Cornell's student organization for the "empowerment of queer people and allies," is well received on campus. Their "Safe Zone" signs, which indicate an individual who will be understanding, supportive, and trustworthy for a GLBTQ student, can be found throughout both the residence halls and academic buildings.
Political Activity
Cornell's political climate definitely leans to the left, though there are active student organizations for both democrats and republicans. Students are also involved in a wide range of other political issues, including poverty and the global AIDS crisis.
Economic Status
Cornell has a need-blind admissions policy, which means students from a wide variety of economic backgrounds are admitted. A majority of Cornell students receive financial aid of some type, whether it is need- or merit-based. Though many students come from middle-class homes, there are students from almost every walk of life. Additionally, there is no noticeable segregation within the student body based on socioeconomic status.
Most Common Religions
Religious affiliation is not something that is strongly emphasized at Cornell. The college itself is loosely affiliated with the Methodist Church, but the chaplain and office of spiritual life stress spirituality and open-mindedness. Cornell has student organizations with religious affiliations (ranging from Catholic to Jewish to alternative religions) that host events to promote both awareness and education about various religious holidays and practices.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Cornell boasts numerous student organizations focused on issues related to minorities or diversity in general on campus. BACO-Black Awareness Cultural Organization- focuses on awareness and empowerment through community and support. OLA-Organization for Latino Awareness-supports awareness and education about Latino culture on campus. Eyes of the World is an organization which serves as both a support system for international students and an outlet for students wishing to share or experience different cultural traditions and knowledge. These, and many other organizations, host a variety of events throughout the year, including movie screenings and discussions, speakers, and educational events on the OC. The Office of Intercultural Life sponsors an annual diversity conference which provides students an opportunity to showcase academic work and facilitates discussion on issues of race and ethnicity, gender, and class.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 24 responses

  • 29% Progressive/very liberal
  • 42% Liberal
  • 17% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 12% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 23 responses

  • 13% Progressive/very liberal
  • 48% Liberal
  • 22% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 17% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 25 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 25 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 24 responses

  • 42% Very accepting.
  • 42% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 12% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 4% It's hard to be a minority here.



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