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Any person, any study
Oh, the Possibilities!
Ezra Cornell wasn’t kidding when, in 1865, he vowed to “found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” With seven undergraduate colleges, seventy majors, and over four thousand courses, Cornell students certainly have options. Most enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Engineering. Three of the colleges are funded by New York state, meaning that New Yorkers get a break on the hefty tuition. Class size can be large (the infamous Psychology 101 is a class of two thousand!), but higher-level classes usually stay between fifteen and fifty students. The sheer number of options can be daunting, and although the professors are accessible, you need to be motivated and take initiative. The core curriculum isn’t too extensive, which gives students the chance to take electives from any of the seven schools (Wine Tasting at the Hotel School is popular). Cornell professors are at the top of their fields and expect their students to work hard.
Working Hard and Letting Loose
Students accepted by Cornell tend to be motivated overachievers. The university
abounds with opportunities for extracurricular activities, such as writing for the
One Gorges Campus
The pun “Ithaca is Gorges,” which you’ll see emblazoning T-shirts across campus, sums up the Finger Lakes region: It’s stunning and filled with, well, gorges. You’re bound to pass over one, as well as an accompanying waterfall, on your way to class. The 745-acre hilltop campus also features the Cornell Plantations, three hundred acres of trails, gardens, and natural areas. From the 173-foot Jennie McGraw Tower, the focal point of campus, chime masters play daily tunes. Cornell overlooks the tip of Cayuga Lake and the small, artsy town of Ithaca. Although some students find Ithaca sleepy, they don’t deny that it boasts great restaurants, like Maxie’s, and occasional live music. Ithaca is also within ten miles of four natural parks. Students can rent gear from the outdoor education program for activities like climbing, skiing, biking, and hiking.