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On Site: Cornell University


At a Glance

Ithaca, New York

Undergraduate Students: 14,000

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 94%

Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

Notable Majors/Programs: Architecture, engineering, business, biology, agriculture, history, government, hospitality


The Feel

  • Founded as a New York land grant college for the purpose of education in the agricultural industry. The founder, Ezra Cornell, intended it to be a place where anyone could study. As a result, they were the first ivy-league college to admit women.

  • Cornell is located in the beautiful town of Ithaca. Part of the campus includes a nature preserve, lake, falls and botanical garden. Hiking trails are everywhere and the campus is very hilly.

  • The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the second largest college on campus and includes programs addressing agriculture, climate change, global development, and health and nutrition.

  • The College of Human Ecology focuses on the relationship between humans and various forms of nature.

  • Cornell has 37 varsity teams that compete in NCAA Division I. Hockey is the most popular, both in attendance and in participation in through intramural sports.


Standout Points

  • Cornell’s architecture program has been considered among the top world wide for decades.

  • The Nolan School of Hotel Administration includes a working hotel which serves as experiential education for students. This program is considered number one in the world.

  • Cornell has a tradition requiring all students to pass a swim test in order to graduate.

  • Willard Straight Hall was established as the first student union in the country. It includes a “fun library,” which contains only books for leisure reading.

  • The architecture and engineering schools compete every year on Dragon Day, which includes parading a dragon around, created by each school, and then having them face off to determine a champion.


Fun Fact

  • Students at Cornell have a nickname for the toned calves that students acquire over the years due to lots of walking up hills around the campus. They call them “Cornell Calves.”


Bottom Line Fit: For the ivy league-capable student looking to trade in the urban settings of Brown, Harvard or Yale for the natural, rural setting of western New York along with a bit more of a balanced college life (regarding academics and extra-curriculars).



Learn more about Cornell University!


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