Cornell University Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

16%

Very Good

42%

Average

30%

Poor

11%

Terrible

1%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

31%

Average

37%

Poor

24%

Terrible

8%

Campus Food
Excellent

55%

Very Good

35%

Average

7%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

44%

Very Good

41%

Average

13%

Poor

1%

Terrible

0%

Class Size
Excellent

23%

Very Good

39%

Average

26%

Poor

7%

Terrible

4%

Activities
Excellent

56%

Very Good

29%

Average

11%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Local Services
Excellent

22%

Very Good

34%

Average

30%

Poor

11%

Terrible

4%

Academics
Excellent

40%

Very Good

34%

Average

19%

Poor

4%

Terrible

2%

Overall Review for Cornell University

Excellent

47%

Very Good

40%

Average

7%

Poor

2%

Terrible

4%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Suhaib

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Eleanor

My major is actually industrial and labor relations, but that wasnt an option. Cornell University is a very tough place. We have a lot of surface level diversity (sort of) with students from all over the country and the world, but they're all pretty similar and there is a very apparent lack of non-Asian minorities. The clubs are incredibly exclusive and you have to apply to take part in everything, leaving a lot of people barred from activities they want to join. Furthermore, Greek life dominates the social scene as there is basically nothing else to do in Ithaca and students do not like to partake in non-alcoholic social activities. Although a Capella groups are a big deal and there are a lot of dance groups, the arts scene is pretty insular. As a freshman I have found my classes boring and not at all stimulating. I've been shocked by how easy they are and I'm pretty sure that the "work hard" mentality of cornelians is a myth. Overall, my time at Cornell so far has been underwhelming and quite frankly the worst semester of my life.

Emily

It's a nice school in a not-so-nice area. The actual campus is really pretty, built over waterfalls etc but a lot of surrounding Ithaca is kind of run-down looking. Something that drives me crazy is that a lot of the extracurriculars are super competitive. As an engineering freshman I applied to 4 project teams and a club sport team and got rejected from all of them. The only clubs I could get into were the ones that accept everyone like SHPE and SWE.

Noah

Disclaimer: I am a student studying Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University with a minor in Economics. In my experience at Cornell, I have found that the academics are top notch. There are issues with travel from the university if you live outside of a driving distance, as Ithaca has a tiny, tiny airport! If you can handle the weather, travel delays, and rigorous (but rewarding) academics... the culture is excellent. People are passionate and energetic- there is a diverse set of people that attend Cornell and there is always someone up for almost whatever you might want to do. Overall, four years later, Cornell has become my home.

Emma

I love this school. Not only is there a beautiful campus (with all four seasons!), but the education that Cornellians get is unparalleled. The classes students take push them to dig deeper, think harder, explore more. There's also a thriving social life, and there are activities and organizations to suit every taste and interest.

J

Cornell University is a fantastic institution! The professors are often animated and their true knowledge in the subjects they teach (and research) shows every day. They make themselves available for office hours many times throughout the week. While many of the freshman lectures are extremely large, the accompanying courses like the labs or discussions are much smaller. There are a multitude of places to study and often those places have some sort of cafe nearby. The food on campus exceeds that which I have tasted at other colleges and universities and is also healthy. The only shortfall is that while there are many vegetarian and vegan options, it seems they have gotten rid of many of the protein dishes. When a dish high in protein is offered, there is often a long line for it. Much of the on-campus housing on North Campus (freshman) is amazing. I currently live in Balch Hall, the all female dorm. It is very quiet and beautiful, and has many study lounges. However, like with all the other dorms, visitors must be accompanied at all times. I have been into Dickson and Donlon and both are extremely nice, but more modern dorms. I do not know much about the off campus housing, but it is a MUCH longer walk to get to campus/classes. Cornell is a large campus and the many hills make it quite a workout to get from one class to another. The plus side to that is there is a large bus system that runs throughout the whole campus. In addition, the campus is absolutely gorgeous (excuse the pun, you will understand if/when you attend) and the view from the top of Libe Slope is amazing. If you don't like small towns/nature, don't attend this school. Students are pretty much restricted to campus activities, hence the reason why more than 30% of the student population is part of a fraternity or sorority. Those not in a Greek house, still participate in many of the parties and other activities. As far as the nature, there are lakes, waterfalls, gorges, trails, etc everywhere. As a biology student who loves nature, and hates concrete jungles, I love the school. But to each their own. Overall, Cornell exceeded my expectations and I am very glad to have chosen to attend.

Alyssa

Cornell University is a ground breaking institution that produces some of the world's greatest citizens. The opportunities there are seemingly endless and most students find a niche within the community. However, financial aid is not superb and it is often difficult to get in touch with a person to help you. They are not very helpful in terms of students who are struggling and it makes Cornell seem as though all they care about is money.

Zac

Awful, super nerd, no life, class size is too large. Cornell faculty always say this with FAKE smile: "I want to help you, but you got to talk him/her first, his/her office is xxxxxx" They always want to pass the buck to others; they dont want to deal with your stuff. SUPER NERD, so many course materials are unnecessary. We are dealing with the real World, teach kids how to dress and how to social.

Maureen

If you want to learn as much as possible about a variety of different subjects and disciplines Cornell provides an unparalleled experience. A note on housing: on campus was double the price of off campus, but off campus housing was and remains extremely disappointing. Be an RA!

Amy

It has a very intellectual, academic atmosphere, but the workload is not constantly stressful. It may be hard to figure out your interests early on, as it is easy to get lost in the sea of students, especially in large classes. The weather is pretty dreary, and the ground is super hilly, but you can still enjoy yourself.

Ayesha

I love Cornell because it is a vibrant community with an astute student body. Every day there is someone that is embracing the cornelian motto and is going forward to change the world. Through either high end cancer research or project teams, everyone can be seen making a difference. The excellence illuminating off of these students blinds me everyday and reminds me how thankful I am to be apart of this big red family.

Marta

Coming to Cornell has probably been the best choice I've ever made. With a student population of over 20,000 but a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, it's that perfect mix of big enough to find a community for almost every niche interest, while also providing a personal academic experience. Cornell was the only Ivy League I applied to because coming from a low-income background, I was put off by the elite school stereotype of snobbishness and lack of diversity, but when I looked into Cornell, I found a school truly trying to make all students feel welcome, regardless of ethnicity or economic background. I'm happy to say that upon arriving at Cornell, it was quickly clear that Cornell practices what it preaches in this respect. Another thing I'd highlight about this wonderful university is how it's possible to get both breadth and depth; I'm double-majoring in math and music and have been able to seriously engage in both subjects through research and extracurriculars. I'm part of a fantastic choir, the Cornell Chorus, in which I am the only music major—people from all across Cornell, from English to engineering to environmental science, come together to make excellent music while still being very serious about academics.

Kaithleen

I believe Cornell is a great place for me. For starters, they are amazing with my major. For bio/pre med, they have many research options and different clubs to keep me interested. They have amazing staff and great resources in case we get stuck. Theres events for everyone, no matter what you love. The food is great and you will meet people here that will have positive effects on you forever!! Although the work load is exhausting, the degree is absolutely worth it! GO BIG RED !!

Abigail

I thought Cornell would be super intense and stressful, and I wasn't wrong. However there is so much more than stellar academics to the school. Most of the professors I've met are incredibly helpful and invested into their students (shout out to Professor Sanderson & Dr. Kelp!); I rarely miss the chance to go to office hours! The food is also has great selection, ranging from sushi to Cornell Dairy ice cream!

Casey

I came to Cornell as a junior transfer from a small community college in upstate New York. Coming from a much smaller, less-motivated school, I was very nervous about attending a much larger and much more reputable school. I was worried that it would take me a while to make friends and that I would feel not as intelligent in comparison to all of the other brilliant students that go here. After half a year I can safely say that attending Cornell is the best decision that I have made (or possibly will ever make) in my life. I've found a wonderful atmosphere here with extremely welcoming students and faculty, all of whom push me to do my very best and think beyond the classroom on a more broad, scientific basis. I am majoring in Entomology, the study of insects (something which most people have never heard of). My department is very small but it contains some of the best and brightest entomologists in the world who have long, successful histories of pursuing science and inquiry. At Cornell, I have been able to join a lab working on bumble bee toxicology and am currently a co-author on a paper that is currently being written by myself and a wonderful post-doc that I've been working closely with. The opportunities at Cornell are limitless and I've been able to pursue virtually anything that I've ever wanted to or was curious about. Growing up I've always wanted to get into rock climbing and because the small town I grew up in didn't have a climbing wall, I was never able to pursue this interest. At Cornell, I am part of the rock climbing club as well as Snodgrass and Wigglesworth, the undergraduate entomology club here on campus, and Scientista, an organization aimed at promoting women in science. Now that I think about it, the only complaint that I have regarding Cornell in general is the parking availability and parking pass price. Like many other large schools, there is virtually no available parking and the spaces that are open are miles away from campus. OTHER THAN THAT, I couldn't praise Cornell more!

Jael

Cornell University is my dream school. It is my home away from home. I learned so much being here so far and Cornell has opened many doors for me in my few years here. The campus and scenary is beautiful. The food is pretty good. The academics are pretty tough but going office hours and having study group sessions help a lot.

Taylor

At Cornell you have a wide variety of clubs and activities that you can get involved with. It is really easy to get involved in things you may have not otherwise thought of before. I have been exposed to so many new things here that I otherwise wouldn’t of had the opportunity else where.

Terry

All I can say is, wow, what a disappointment freshman year has been for our daughter and for us, her parents. The branding of the name Cornell is not worth the possible brainwashing that comes with some of the classes taught. Let me elaborate. Pushing communism in class to my daughter. Not one but two classes. Yes communism. Throwing our beautiful USA under the bus. My daughter hated it the very first week in Ithaca. She said there is a very cold vibe and the students walk around like zombies. We are not rich or hippies. It is not what we thought. Be careful of what some are teaching your kids. My daughter was smart enough to know to get out. Oh and if you have any conservative bone in your body - good luck. You will be snuffed out like a candle. You have no voice. So much for embracing diversity. It’s BS there. My daughter and others were told by the Republican club on the lawn when all the clubs were trying to get sign ups to not worry it won’t be public knowledge. To us that is scary stuff. By the way she nailed her grades despite the constant tension she had to experience. The classes alone were not her reason to leave. It was the overall feel and unhappiness in the air adding to the class experience. And yes she did join two clubs. Many agreed they didn’t like Cornell either and were only there for the name. I will agree many people I met were unpleasant in Ithaca. On a positive note I will say her chem and bio professors were good and she learned. However her humanities professors were filling her head with garbage. She jumped for joy outside her dorm when we moved her out.

Etinosa

Personally, I kind of hate it. One thing that I didn't know would be such a big thing for me is location. It is very much in the middle of nowhere, and there's not much to do in Ithaca. If you enjoy the rural areas--especially scenic places--Ithaca would be a good fit. However, I realize that rural settings are just not my cup of tea. Another thing I have found to be extremely difficult is making friends. I am a pretty socially-engaging person, so it is baffling me how I am in my third year and have a total of about 3 inconsistent friends. I won't say that the school is "cliche-y", because honestly, that describes just about any and every social setting. And it may be just me, but something about the general vibe of people on campus just hasn't fit for me. And I am not familiar with other college campuses, so it may just be a college thing, but our campus is very overtly segregated. It's interesting (and actually very disheartening) for me, considering I usually seek to explore all types of friend groups. However on campus, it's like people only associate with those of the same race/ethnicity as them, and if you're not doing that, it is looked upon as odd. I'm not complaining--I made my bed, so I am lying in it. Plus, Cornell is considered to be of high "prestige", and provides me with an excellent education, which I am ever grateful for. Other positives about the school that I can point out include the amount of RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES made available to students (the university does a VERY good job of this; if you put in your due diligence, you can benefit from many of them), as well as the vast number of extracurriculars that students can engage themselves in. However, if I had to choose again, there's no doubt in my mind that I would not make the same choice.

Dana

Cornell is a very rigorous school but there’s also a lot of opportunities to have fun and have a more creative outlet. There are varsity and club sports as well as many student run organizations. While Cornell is lacking in diversity, which is not surprising for an Ivy League institution, most students are able to find groups where they feel that they fit in.

Li

Cornell University is overall awesome! As an international student, Cornell is the first school I have been in the U.S. I felt welcomed here. Either the students here or the teachers here are great. We have various opportunities to participate in either sports, concerts, showcases, or other recreational events. The environment here is also beautiful, with falls, gardens, modern buildings, and historical buildings as well on campus. More importantly, I met wonderful people here. Scholars are open to conversations, we discuss what ever we want inside and outside class.

Meera

Cornell University challenges me in every possible way: from working hard to excel academically to becoming an activist for causes I care about

Klaudia

Academic life at Cornell is amazing. Professors genuinely care about you doing well and are extremely knowledgable. Housing sucks, plain and simple. It is not guarenteed for upperclassmen and off-campus housing is grossly overpriced. On campus housing is limited and far from luxurious.

Lin Khant

Cornell is a great university for academics, as is to be expected. The amenities around Ithaca are not lacking, but not in abundance, which is not something that Cornell can really control. The campus climate is pretty safe and the quasi-rural location is conductive to both work and isolation.

Melyza

An outstanding institution with friendly faces and incredibly smart professors. Cornell is extremely vigorous, and its students are not afraid of the unknown or the challenging. The community is very-welcoming and the school spirit is so strong; it is truly remarkable!

David

Cornell is a great university. Anyone who comes here can find people doing what they are interested in, and the majority of people I have met are friendly and accepting. The academics here are top notch, and while I have had a bad teacher or two, the vast majority are excellent and easy to talk to when I needed help. The food is excellent: even the worst dining halls are good, they're just not as good as the best on campus.

Henry

I don’t have much experience with the Cornell campus and community, but what I do know makes me feel like I’ll be able to make myself at home there. The environment around Cornell is full of nature trails running through the woods and by the rivers. I saw them last summer, when I visited the campus, and it reminded me of Mississauga, Ontario, where I spent my first ten years basically living in the woods. School has made it increasingly difficult to get out of the textbooks for the past few years, so getting back to nature, especially in the winter, is something I’m really looking forward too. While nature is important, I also like the developed parts of Cornell. I’ve never been a fan of sprawling, smoke-filled cities, so the scale of Ithaca, small enough to feel comfortable and relaxed, yet still home to a variety of communities and interests. For me, the food scene is especially important. I had the pleasure of eating at several excellent Ithaca restaurants during my visit, and I remember the shrimp risotto from Moosewood being especially good. Academically, the impression I have of Cornell is significantly more balanced than the computers focused university I expected before my college research and visits. I have found the Cornell students leading campus tours and representatives hosting information sessions to be excellent speakers from a variety of fields, and I am eager to see the campus that help them develop these skills.

Sofany

At Cornell there are so many opportunities for students! Clubs? There are so many your email will be bombarded by listservs. Hungry? There is gourmet dining and street food you'll regret in the morning. Seasons? They range from breathtaking to miserable. Academics? You'll learn so much and potentially develop a stress disorder. Sleep? You don't need 8 hours of sleep every night! All in all it is a great school that you will LOVE because of all the opportunities and experiences, and HATE because of the stress-induced anxiety.

Sara

If one is looking at Cornell University for the academics, they are looking at the right place. Cornell has most any major or minor that one can imagine with very little limitations. It is vert difficult to not find something for everyone. The professors at Cornell are all very intelligent in their field and most are willing to sit down with a random student anytime and just talk to them about their research. Along with that, there are many extra curricular activities for students to be involved in. Whether students join them to further along their future career or to help them relax. The activities range from Greek life all the way to pizza club. How cool is that? Students literally get together, order pizza, and eat it together on a regular basis. If there isn't a club for someone already, it is very easy to start one. While the academics and activities are outstanding, there are definite negatives to Cornell. Starting with the price for food. I bought a can of soup from a store at Cornell that would normally cost $0.59 in a grocery store. I ended up paying $2.39 for it. I'm a broke college student, canned soup is supposed to be inexpensive and accessible, not a luxury! Going along with that, you have to pay for everything including laundry and printing. They're already overpricing their soup, couldn't they at least give us free printing? Either way, Cornell is the place to be when it comes to academics, but if you want cheap soup, you're looking in the wrong place.

Matthew

I love the University. My aunt and uncle work there. I live one hour from Cornell and attend concerts there. My mom lived and worked in Ithaca for 4 years and loved the Commons and all Ithaca has to offer. I enjoy the outdoors and hiking the waterfalls and gorges there. Cornell is located in a perfect place!

Angela

The academics here are top-notch, particularly for certain majors like Computer Science. The overall atmosphere is difficult at times -- the weather does have a real physiological effect, and the seasonal depression coupled with the high pressure can take its toll.

Zara

I believe Cornell University is a wonderful place to challenge yourself by surrounding yourself with driven, intellectual individuals. Between academics, extracurricular activities, and social events, there is plenty to do and infinite opportunities to grow. The university also cares deeply about its students and ensures their safety and well-being at all times.

Amanda

I’ve personally enjoyed my experience there. There are a plethora of activities for students together involved in, but the tuition is pretty expensive. There’s also a concern about depression and suicides among students along with the lack of sufficient mental healthcare, which is pretty unsettling.

Linda

I am currently a high school senior who will attend Cornell University in Fall of 2018 as part of the Class of 2022. I have visited the campus once on a college tour in the summer of 2017. Overall, I love Cornell University because of its strong focus on academics and its "Any person, any study" motto. I also enjoyed the sights and gorges around campus, and I am excited to explore the campus and meet different people who are passionate about their hobbies and studies.

Daniel

Cornell will challenge you greatly and there is a lot of stress. It will push you and you have to respond and adapt effectively. The opportunities are tremendous and I am so grateful because Cornell helped me build a lot of confidence in my abilities and potential. You have to find your niche but remain open to new opportunities, people, and experiences. The friendships I made at Cornell are lifelong, the network is strong and will help you, but you have to put the work into your education. It is very supportive but not hand holding. Despite the competitive and stressful environment at times, my experience was once in a lifetime and I have so many fond memories of my time there and so will you. Like many things you have to take advantage of the opportunities and shape your own experience. You will have people rooting for you along the way though.

Bridgette

I have fallen in love with Cornell. The campus has fantastic facilities and amazing resources for students. As a student athlete, I find that there are many opportunities to get extra help or support from others, which I think is very important considering the new stressful environment college can be for students.

April

Coming to Cornell has been one of the best decisions of my life. First off, I cannot exaggerate just how great the location is; when I was thinking about colleges, I didn't really give this much thought, and that would have been a mistake if I had gone anywhere else. Ithaca is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and there are plenty of trails to explore it (and, surprisingly, they don't have heavy traffic)! The housing situation, especially past freshmen year, can be a bit of a nightmare. I was lucky to get into Risley (the creative and performing arts house), and I highly recommend checking out other program houses if you're looking for on-campus housing with great communities! The food in pretty much all the dining halls is fantastic (especially relative to other colleges) - if you can afford a meal plan it's definitely worth it. Academically, things can get stressful, but there are plenty of unique and interesting classes that should at least make your semester worthwhile, and most of the professors I've had have been very approachable. There are also plenty of study groups/resources (like the Writing Center) if you feel like you're struggling.

Jennifer

Cornell offers amazing opportunities, not only through its classes but through how it connects individuals with similar passions and goals. The facilities are amazing, and the school is always working to improve them. On-campus housing needs to be easier to come by, since often students are forced to live off campus (which is expensive).

Jenna

Cornell is the perfect work hard play hard school. It is academically very rigorous, but there are plenty of fun things to do everyday. Most students are very involved and participate in at least one extracurricular. People here are very driven, so it is a great environment to be in. The alumni resources are amazing.

Nisa

Cornell's motto "any person...any study" holds true in the sheer variety of classes and opportunities available to the students. This is a school with world-class programs in both engineering and hotel management! This beautiful campus is home to brilliant students from all parts of the world with unique perspectives to share. There is so much you can do here at Cornell University.

rashed

Matthew

I believe that Cornell is one of the best universities in the United States. It is nestled in the gorgeous finger lake region and the campus is beautiful. The student body is very diverse along with the professors. The school also has a rich history being that it is a land grant college founded in 1865. I would highly recommend this university to anyone considering higher education.

Matthew

Cornell has a big enrollment and because of that there's so much diversity in what you can do and study. There are really interesting classes (like Wines) and interesting student groups (like Japanese Taiko drumming ensemble). It's a unique combination of the excellent academics of an Ivy League institution mixed with the incredible opportunity that comes with having such a large and diverse student body.

Sohyeon

When I first came to Cornell, I was honestly a little disappointed; I hadn't really thought about the location and there was a lot of joking about being in the middle of nowhere. But the surrounding town of Ithaca may be suburban/rural, but it is full of charm and has plenty of its own culture to enjoy--plus, it's really beautiful here. It does, however, get cold. Beyond that, the Cornell community is intellectually active and diverse, and has provided me with a dearth of opportunities that I don't think I could have found elsewhere. The interdisciplinary majors and programs at Cornell are a huge plus, and allow a progressive movement in research and study--and have allowed me to really combine a lot of my passions into a focused study. The faculty has always been very accessible and have been extremely helpful in helping me develop my academic career.

Helen

It's alright. You'll get your Ivy League piece of paper, and like most people want, you'll get to use that to your leverage- it's true. You pay for the name. I've met some great people here, but the school itself is a moneysucker. For example, the school can't provide free printing to students but can afford to buy chairs worth 500 dollars each to sprinkle across campus, costing hundred thousands of dollars.

Elizabeth

I love the environment and the people at my university. Starting my freshman year, there were many activities and meetings available to me for getting to know the campus and my academic resources. I always felt safe, even walking around campus at night on the rare occasion that I did. There were always things to do around campus, you just had to find the time to do them and you needed to have good ears around campus.

Hannah

I have honestly loved my overall experience at Cornell. I believe that university should be a time to acquire knowledge and better yourself, and the academic environment at Cornell enables this growth. If you enjoy being challenged and enjoy learning more about subjects for which you have passion,I definitely recommend this school!

Soni

Cornell University has a beautiful campus with a diverse group of people and a great range of activities. Both the academic and activities side of Cornell seems to abound and is plentiful. The facilities are a beautiful mix of modern and traditional architecture and there are many places for both quiet, individual study as well as group studying.

Mariam

Cornell is a really special place. The academic opportunities are endless: students are involved in so many different hands on experiences. Engineering students for example, participate in research and/or project teams, and many clubs are available for those interested in business, pre-med, pre-law, etc. Students are definitely challenged, but there are lots of resources, as long as you are willing to go out and advocate for yourself. No one will hold your hand here. Printing and laundry are not free, which sucks. There also isn't much night life in Ithaca that does not revolve around partying, so if that isn't your vibe, that may not be the most fun.

Kaitlyn

Cornell is a place that anyone could turn into a home. The University's academically-driven yet collaborative environment isn't overly-competitive or stressful and creates a healthy challenge for top-notch students. With over 14,000 undergrads from all walks of life, everyone is bound to find their group and become a life-long fan of the Big Red

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