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3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Cornell has great diversity of race, background, culture, and sexual orientation. And while it is probably the most socioeconomically diverse of the Ivies, many people are totally out of touch with reality. If you confront them about Cornell's tendency to be mostly wealthy kids, they'll reply "OMG not true! Like, two of my friends were raised by single moms." ... great job, CU

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: There are many opportunities on campus and in clubs for people of different races and sexual orientation especially. In my experience, most people are accepting of a wide range of diversity, but I'm sure the prejudices and biases exist somewhere. There is a mandatory orientation event for freshmen that does a good job of addressing this issue though, in my opinion.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: There are people from every race, nation, and creed here, and there's pretty much an organization for each one of them. Cornell's financial aid helps a lot of socioeconomically disadvantage people to still be able to come here and get a world-class education. There are also a lot of rich kids here though. LGBTQ is a fairly large community on campus, but they're still trying to be more accepted. They actually have secret parties every now and then, but they're pretty strictly LGBTQ only. Cornell itself is not a religious school, but some religious groups on campus have a good presence and many active members, such as Catholicism and Judaism. But I never met so many atheists and agnostics before coming to Cornell either. And most people at Cornell are very liberal. There are very few conservatives who go here. Ithaca itself is extremely liberal too. The bottom line is that Cornell is a mixing pot and no one really minds. We all pretty much get along and accept everyone. I've never really heard of or knew anyone who felt discriminated here.

3 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Very diverse when it comes to economic background, political beliefs, religion, and sexual orientation. I feel like there is a polarization between Hispanics/Blacks and the rest of the ethnicities. I know that blacks/hispanics feel like they have almost no friends of other races, and that it is because people avoid them, but being Hispanic, I can tell you that those that feel segregated do it to themselves. The black/Hispanic communities cluster together freshman year, then stay that way the whole time. It is their own fault

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: The problems concerning diversity have to do with microaggressions that many students don't realize are oppressive (they go to an ivy league school so you think they'd know better but no)

5 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 15 responses

  • 93% No
  • 7% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Republican

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 73 responses

  • 5% Progressive/very liberal
  • 32% Liberal
  • 33% Moderate
  • 14% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 16% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 72 responses

  • 6% Progressive/very liberal
  • 54% Liberal
  • 25% Moderate
  • 3% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 12% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 74 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 73 responses

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

Have you changed your political views since starting college?    Based on 15 responses

  • 53% No
  • 7% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 20% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 20% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 15 responses

  • 27% Republican
  • 13% Democratic
  • 13% Independent
  • 7% Other party not mentioned
  • 40% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 15 responses

  • 60% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 7% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 7% Yes. I've become more religious and have changed my religious affiliation.
  • 20% Yes. I've become less religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 7% Yes. I've become less religious and have changed my religious affiliation.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 16 responses

  • 50% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 44% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 6% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How important is religion in your life?    Based on 15 responses

  • 7% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 13% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 33% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 47% Not important. I don't affiliate with any religion.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 73 responses

  • 62% Very accepting.
  • 32% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 7% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.


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