Where do most upperclassmen stay? Off-campus? My friends are already starting to look at houses and I'm debating whether I should stay on West campus next year. I heard that West Campus is kinda shady compared to North and that staying in a dorm would be loads more expensive than moving out. Cost is definitely an issue for me, but at the same time, I think it would be a more social thing to be living on-campus. Any advice to give?
Don't overlook the 2 dorms in collegetown (cascadilla and sheldon??). My d lived in one of those dorms her sophomore year and really enjoyed the experience. (No big hill to climb up everyday.) She did move off campus her junior year but stayed in the collegetown area.
most ppl live on campus sophomore year, and move out junior year. west campus is kinda nice, actually. i liked it better than north (except for the food). The hill isn't that bad, especially compared to the bridge detours.
And I don't think it's more expensive to live in a dorm. In fact, it might be cheaper. Most apartments, after you add the rent, electric, water, internet, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, extra furniture, etc, are really not cheaper. Especially the nicer ones. I think it only becomes cheaper if you live several blocks away or the place is really shabby.
1. Most of the desirable apartments in Ithaca are rented early (like right now for next year). This means making a commitment 10 months in advance to sharing an apartment or house with particular individuals next year. Do you know these people well enough? One of the advantages to staying in the dorms is that you don't have to pick next year's roommate until spring.
2. Think about whether you're likely to join a Greek house. When I was at Cornell (back when dinosaurs roamed the Arts Quad), fraternity and sorority members usually lived in the chapter's house sophomore year. I suspect that this is still true. If you sign an apartment lease now and then join a Greek house later, you may have to break that lease, causing difficulties for both yourself and your would-be apartment mates.
I think that these are two of the reasons why many students stay on campus sophomore year, even though West is not quite as nice as North.
We found that staying in the dorms was less expensive, as well as very convenient. Cook house has a dining hall, all the amenities (high speed internet, cable, etc) and a school year lease. If you need to stay the summer, sublets are easy to find.
Marian is absolutely right- kids are signing leases for next year NOW!! My d just signed her lease last week and kids are looking at her current apartment too.
It might be practical to stay on campus another year. Decide whether you'll pledge or not-get tight with a group of friends and live near one another in a dorm next year- and then you can live the last two years off campus.
My d did express a bit of regret not living on campus. She did find it to be a more social situation in the dorms. Actually, that is part of the reason she is taking another apartment. She is now in a small house that has about 6 apartments. It's pleasant, but there is def. not as much comaraderie as there is in dorm living. She and her roommates will be going to a larger "apartment complex" with the hope that it too will be a bit more social than her current situation. Again- don't overlook the collegetown dorms- my d really loved living there.
The new West Campus houses sound great, except that kids who live there are supposed to eat there -- and that may not be convenient in some instances, especially at lunchtime. Are kids who live in those houses finding it possible to eat enough meals there to justify the cost of the meal plan, or do they end up eating a lot of their meals elsewhere (meaning that they pay for food twice -- once for the unused meal plan meal and once for what they actually ate somewhere else)?
Each house meal plan comes with a number of (50 or 75 per semester) meals that can be used in any dining hall. Also, UNLIMITED access to the dining room at the house during meal hours. Potentially, one could eat breakfast right when the dining hall opens and again right before it closes the breakfast service! Do not worry, your child will not go hungry.
In addition, depending on which House meal plan you're on you get a certain number of big red bucks (psh, i mean points) to use. I'm on the cheapest plan in the house system, and I get unlimited house meals, 50 outside meals per semester, and $250 in points. Plus the 24-hour pantry is not to be overlooked, especially Becker's.
I was more concerned about the logistics. When I was a Cornell student, I lived on West Campus for four years (thanks to an incredibly cheap but highly desirable triple in Baker Tower that actually consisted of three rooms and was more like a suite). In the entire time I was there, I never ate lunch at Noyes Center on a weekday. Never. Most of my classes were way up in the ag school, and coming back to West Campus in the middle of the day would have been very inconvenient.
Fortunately, it sounds like today's West Campus people are managing. Thanks for the information.