Cornell University

Ithaca,NY: Being from Kansas, the sight of Cornell’s plunging gorges and rolling hillsfascinated me. Of course, Cornell is much more than a beautiful campus. Itupholds its Ivy League status with a 31 percent acceptance rate, ampleopportunities for undergraduate research (including the Cornell Research Scholarsprogram), and strong programs in computer science, English, architecture, hoteladministration and biology, among many others. But biology majors, beware: theintroductory biology course is reputed to be very difficult. The School of HotelAdministration comes close to being an undergraduate business school, and itsstudents actually operate the on-campus Statler Hotel.

Another uniqueaspect of Cornell is that it is New York’s land-grant university, combiningprivate and state schools on one campus. For example, the School of Industrialand Labor Relations is a state school that has achieved worldwide acclaim. NewYork residents applying to Cornell state schools pay in-state tuition.

For evening outings or weekend entertainment, Cornellians visit the aptlynamed Collegetown, a tiny area within walking distance of the dorms that consistsof three streets lined with restaurants, a laundromat, a video rental store andthen some. Nevertheless, the campus itself offers top-rated food services,including my favorite part: the Cornell Dairy Bar, which sells imaginativeflavors of ice cream created by culinary students. While most students live indorms (many of which are named after graduated classes, such as Class of ’26Hall), some prefer to live along the residential streets bordering Collegetown.About one-third of the student body joins the Greek system, which may contributeto Cornell’s better-than-average social life. With over 13,000 undergraduates,plus the 6,000 at nearby Ithaca College, there is always someone new to meet.

I really enjoyed my visit to Cornell and recommend it to those who seekan Ivy League education but prefer life in a small town.

Reviewed in 2003