Cornell University Reviews
Browse Reviews by Popular Programs:
Great for those who want to experience a non urban college campus setting. May not be as prestigious as other ivy leagues but still great name on resume and offers same opportunities as other schools
Great school. The faculty are all very dedicated. The campus is beautiful and located in a small town surrounded by nature. Some of the students are there because they have to be, but many of them still enjoy learning. The classes can be stressful, but if you enjoy what you're learning then the stress doesn't account for much, the ones you hear complaining the most are the ones who don't want to be there.
It really does try to live up to it's motto of "Where anyone can find instruction in any study." You work, live, and socialize with people who come from different walks of life and have interests in just about anything. That being said, it IS an Ivy League school, so "different walks of life" generally means 50% upper to upper-middle class white kids, and 50% everyone else. However, of the Ivies, it definitely has the biggest breadth of academic diversity (7 different colleges, half public, half private) and the large size means that you'll be able to find your group of friends (and avoid anyone you can't stand). Greek life is big (about 1/3 of students when I was there), but there's no real pressure to join up. There really isn't a single "Cornell experience" - it's a choose-your-own-adventure book where you can have both frat bro electrical engineers and hardcore academic art students playing beer pong at the same party as B.N..
Cornell was an amazing place to study. I did a lot of hands-on work and had professors who were leaders in their fields. The campus is beautiful, and the town is really geared towards college students, so it is a truly welcoming place to study.
The school is very large, but is a great place for someone who knows exactly what they want to study. It is not for the faint of heart.
Cornell is a wonderful place, both academically and socially. Its diverse student body allows you to explore any interest you desire.
Unlike some other Ivy-league schools getting in to Cornell is not the hard part. You will get a fantastic education but you will work your A$$ off for it.
I had trouble learning to balance school work, paid work, and other activities, but I muddled through slightly above average in an engineering program while working two jobs and holding officer positions in multiple student groups. Yes, college is hard, but you can do it, and you could probably do it better than I did if you focus on the school work aspect.
Cornell University provides a great education in a variety of disciplines. The University has both endowed and state colleges- the latter allowing a Cornell education at reduced tuition for residents of New York State. Introductory classes are often large, which can make it a bit more difficult to form close relationships with your professors or many of your classmates. However, Cornell offers additional support resources, and as you proceed to higher level classes, there is often more personal interaction. You have to be proactive in taking advantage of what the school has to offer and in distinguishing yourself as one from many, but that's a good lesson for life after college.
I read the review from the student who graduated in 2014, and I will say that my experience 20 years prior was just about the same. "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." I am a first generation college student from a rural area, and I felt completely ill-prepared for Cornell's academics. At times, I thought Cornell would break me - but I didn't allow that to happen! I muddled through and swore I would never darken the doorstep of another institution of higher education again! However, I went on to take a few classes at Harvard, one course at Boston University, and I received a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University. Cornell really prepared me for academics elsewhere - I didn't have a problem at all at any of those universities! I will begin my doctoral studies at Baylor University in June 2015, and I feel grateful to Cornell for teaching me how to study and how to love learning. Moreover, I left Cornell without owing a dime in student loans. If you have great financial need, don't let that stop you from applying. The school is very generous with grants and scholarships! Oh.. and Ithaca is awesome! Stay for the summer, and you will fall in love with the place just as much as I did!