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Cornell Guide

Cornell University

Est. 1865

“I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” -Ezra Cornell, 1868

Location: Ithaca, New York

Tuition: $52, 853 (NY state resident $35,483), Housing $8,564, Dining $5,766

Schools: Agriculture & Life Sciences, Architecture, Arts & Sciences, SC Johnson College of Business, Hotel, Dyson, Engineering, Human Ecology, Labor Relations, (Total 14)

14,315 Undergraduate Population, 2015

Ranking: #19th World University Rankings, # 9th US Colleges Ranking (Times Higher Education), # 16th QS World University # 2 QS WU Subject Veterinary Science

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Student Review: Do not hold the fact that Cornell is found in Ithaca, New York against it. This campus overlooks the beautiful Cayuga Lake as seen below and has six building on the National Register of Historic Places paired with a 2,800 acre botanical garden. To say this campus is scenic is to actually sell it short.

The Stunning Fall Cornell Campus


Overall Cornell is not in an urban hub which draws many students interest. However if one is looking for a secluded campus filled with history, and character than Cornell is certainly head and shoulders above most of the competition.

Which Hogwarts house is Cornell like?



Read next:  U Chicago Guide ! 

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Top Ranked STEM University

MIT Sloan

The top ranking STEM Colleges for 2016 has been released by Forbes, here are the top 8 colleges for science, technology, engineering, and math. Cornell is the only Ivy League to make the top 8 at number 3 position.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Read our MIT GUIDE. Get key info for applying to MIT. Click here!

2. US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD)

3. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Cornell Campus
Cornell Campus

4. Rice University (Houston, TX)

5. US Airforce Academy (Colorado Springs, CO)

6. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)

7. Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA)

8.Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg,PA)

According to the average wage for STEM graduates is high, > $51,000. Graduates are in high demand from these top colleges.

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Ivy League Campus Rankings

Ivy league Campus Rankings

Below you will find our Ivy League Campus Rankings. These rankings were contested internally between many members of our team. Ultimately this was our final list, but we welcome your feedback to your insights about how you see your campus as it compares to our rankings.

#8: Brown University
Brown University is found in Providence, Rhode Island. Not the worst city in America, but it is not exactly a major urban hub that would be ideal for a school to be located in.Plus this god awful piece of strange artwork plagues the campus only further perpetuating the notion to the fact that they are the hippies of the Ivy League.brown

In fact, the only reason many of its students have ever been to Providence is because that is where the school is located. The school is the draw, not the location. That is why many who have a choice of Ivy League schools will not go to Brown.

You can go to Ivy League schools in major cities like New York Philadelphia, or Boston, or go to ones with excellent scenic views such as Princeton or Cornell. Overall Brown University just does not have enough in terms of majestic scenery, urban appeal, or historic tradition to make it stand out in comparison with other Ivy League campuses.

#7 Yale University

Yale is plagued by the fact that it is in New Haven, Connecticut. Much like Brown being in Providence, this is not an ideal landing spot for any youthful Ivy Leaguer looking to experience the big city, or a beautiful scenic view beyond campus.

yale peabody
However the Gothic architecture has allowed for many to tout this school for having some of the most beautiful buildings of any campus nationwide.

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If you do not think so, take a look at Connecticut Hall which was actually built with a Georgian Style:
Yale’s campus is beautiful on the inside, but unfortunately the location downgrades Yale underneath its many of its competitors.

#6 Dartmouth College

The architecture providing structure for most buildings on campus is classified as Georgian. A noted feature of this campus is the greenery stemming from the beautiful landscape made up of a scope of trees that provide a background justifying the nickname for Dartmouth as the “The Green”. By happenstance the university also has a large area officially named “The green”. “The green” is the epicenter of the campus providing a common area where students enjoy festivities ranging from bonfires to Christmas trees to concerts.

The Green Dartmouth
The Green Dartmouth

Overall Dartmouth is a pristine piece of property in the middle of New Hampshire. However their setting being in New Hampshire limits the students’ ability to ingratiate themselves in an urban area such as high ranked schools like Penn or Harvard. Additionally the campus, although beautiful, is just not as majestic, large, or historical as Cornell or Princeton.

#5: University of Pennsylvania

Although it is in the heart of a major metropolitan city this campus is in the bottom half of all the Ivy League schools for a few different reasons. First, the fact that it is in the heart of a city makes it feel congested and difficult to navigate at times. Second, the student dorms with massive satellites at the top are not exactly the most luxurious. Third, this university neighbors one of the most crime ridden neighborhoods in all of the country, West Philadelphia.

In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground at Penn is where I spent most of my days!

Ben Franklin Statue

Ben Franklin On Penn’s Campus

I hope so because if you go anywhere else West of the University you are venturing into no man’s land, and because of its proximity Penn is in fact the most crime ridden campus in all of Philadelphia according to Billy Penn. However the proximity to the heart of Philadelphia certainly is a major pro with party ready undergraduates looking to experience a major city’s nightlife.

Overall Penn’s location is both a positive and a negative, which ultimately demotes its campus to the bottom half of the whole Ivy League.

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#4: Cornell University

Do not hold the fact that Cornell is found in Ithaca, New York against it. This campus overlooks the beautiful Cayuga Lake as seen below and has six building on the National Register of Historic Places paired with a 2,800 acre botanical garden.

To say this campus is scenic is to actually sell it short.

Cornell Campus


Overall Cornell is not at the top spot because it is simply not in an urban hub which draws many students interest. However if one is looking for a secluded campus filled with history, and character than Cornell is certainly head and shoulders above most of the competition.

#3 Princeton University 

This campus’ most historic building, Nassau Hall, actually predates the start of the American civilization. In fact British troops once occupied it during the Revolutionary War.
Princeton Campus
Aside from that Princeton is also found on the scenic Lake Carnegie in the affluent suburbs of New Jersey. Additionally Princeton’s campus is the largest of all of the Ivy League schools with over 500 acres of property. Princeton University also finds itself comfortably located between both Philadelphia and New York City while still providing the majestic scenery that can only be offered from schools outside of the urban setting.

Princeton’s unique combination of historical significance, large space, beautiful scenery, and convenient location land itself the number three spot on our list.
#2 Columbia University

New York is known as the city which never sleeps. This is also true for the urbanite students who occupy the campus of Columbia University. These students get to enjoy all of the amenities and opportunities from living in the greatest city in the world. Columbia’s campus is the smallest of all of the Ivy League schools with 32 acres of property, but it is some of the mostprized real estate in the world as it sits on the edge of the Upper West Side.


Columbia University The Steps

Columbia University The Steps

Many Ivy League students are anticipating and working to one day live in New York within the financial sector, or launching their own brand or company, but Columbia’s students get to enjoy the landscape of New York immediately as undergraduates. Also not to be outdone by Cornell, Columbia University boasts more than a handful of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Take one stroll down “the steps” found within Columbia University’s campus, and you will see how beautiful of a campus it really is.

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#1 Harvard University

When you have the largest endowment of any university in the world it may be easier to ensure that your campus sets itself apart from everyone else’s. However it’s not just the money which Harvard has put into the campus, but the historical prestige surrounding each building. One example is Server Hall which has been called by some as their “favorite building in America” because of its beauty.The prestige of Harvard is not limited from the buildings, but other magnificent areas like Harvard Yard. Harvard Yard is the heart and soul of the University where the most gorgeous views can be found, and the most prestigious figures like the dean as well as president of the university locate their offices.
Nearby neighbor’s campus, MIT, pales in comparison to Harvard’s campus. The housing structure allows for a more structured system for social connection between all undergrads, and the setting for the different houses to compete with each other.

Harvard Yard

Harvard Yard

Harvard has been established as an absolutely influential part of Boston by becoming the backbone of the northern suburbs just outside of Boston. It is the best parts of Penn ingratiating themselves inside the Philadelphia community without any of the crime problems which Quaker nation struggles with. Additionally the University allows students to enjoy a majestic campus experience within the confines of the campus, but also allow for the students to dive into the wonderful nightlife at the heart of Boston.

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Now Read: Top Ranked STEM University 


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10 Things Incoming Cornell Freshmen Should Know

Cornell Freshmen

Welcome to the Magical Land of Ithaca.

1. It’s gonna be cold – like cold cold.

It’s nice and warm during summer, but it can be unbearably cold, windy, and icy in the winter.

2. You’re gonna eat a lot of good food, and possibly gain a lot of weight.

Our dining halls have good food from all around the world. There is also a lot of free cookies.

3. You’re either gonna hate or love the Greek scene.

Although you won’t be able to go to frat parties before your second semester freshmen year.

4. Cornell is beautiful. It’s like Narnia, Hogwarts and Rivendell combined.

You’ll love it here.

5. At the same time, the workload is crazy and you will cry.

Cornell is the easiest Ivy to get in and the hardest Ivy to get out.

6. Cornell’s community embodies its “any person, any study” motto, so you will find all kinds of people, which may be a weird experience.

Diverse Ivy League Students

But you’ll learn that we are all the same regardless of where we come from.

7. Cornellians are some of the nicest, most genuine, most helpful human beings you’ll ever meet.

We are also very beautiful people.

8. There are so many things you can do; so many clubs you can join; so many opportunities you can take.


9. But at times, you will falter and feel all alone.

You will hate Ithaca; you will hate Cornell; you will hate everything. You will feel like you’re stuck here; you will miss home; you will hate your life.

10. But I promise you, in four years, all your experience will make you a stronger, wiser, and a more well-rounded individual, and you’ll be glad that you got rejected from Harvard.

I went to Cornell – ever heard of it?

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10 Truths About Being an International Student in the Ivy League


1. You realize that you’re not the smartest person in your country anymore. Sorry.

You have disgraced the honor of your kin.

2. No matter how healthy or ~organic~ your dining halls are, you have begun a romantic love affair with American junk food and big portion sizes

Pictured above: you succumbing to the 20 pounds you gained first semester

3. You realize how much Americans party and drink, but you secretly (or candidly) want to join the party

How can a human being function with that much alcohol in their system? However, if you’re European, you secretly judge Americans for getting drunk over that p*ss they call “beer”.

4. First World Problems. First World Problems Everywhere. Welcome to the Ivy League.

Like, Stacy, who gives a f*ck that Brandon hasn’t texted you back, there are wars and religious conflicts where I’m from. Can you not?

5. Some people still ask you: “How come your English is really good?”

But on the bright side, some Americans are genuinely amazed by the amount of languages you speak.

6. You are starting to be more Americanized in your mannerisms and way of thinking, and you love/hate it. 

And now you have your own set of first world problems. “All the computers in the library are taken; HOW CAN I CONTINUE LIVING????? #killmenow #ivyleagueproblems”

7. Homesickness is real.

Sometime all you need is home. However, the bright side to this is that you appreciate your country and culture even more. Even the bad.

8. Which is why when you meet people from your home country, you instantly become best friends.


9. Sometimes you look at your work load, and ask if all this is worth it.

You look at your friends who had stayed in your country and get slightly jealous that they are eating real Chinese food unlike that greasy sh*t they have here.

10. But you realize that you have been privileged with the best education any human being can ever attain, and you’re grateful for it.

Although you’ll never be as cool as Emma Watson. Sorry.