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Pros and Cons of Cornell

Ny0rkerNy0rker Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
edited January 2012 in Cornell University
please be specific!!!
Post edited by Ny0rker on

Replies to: Pros and Cons of Cornell

  • karajanhrakarajanhra Registered User Posts: 550 Member
    You realize there are dozens of threads on this exact topic floating around the Search function for the Cornell forum, yes?
  • katmandookatmandoo Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    ummm... pretty but cold.

    (i've only visited... in hs)
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    Pros: The epitome of academic diversity. You can study anything there. As your interests change, the odds that you will still be able to meet them there are higher than perhaps anyplace else. This same diversity attracts a fellow student group that is hugely diverse in their interests and outlooks.

    Also, as a reasonably large school they are likely to have more upper level electives in your ultimate field of interest than a smaller school may have.

    Cons: This diversity is both its blessing and its curse. Fact is, (this psychology text I'm reading says..) actually people don't really prefer diversity. We prefer the company of people who are more like us. A heterogeneous place means the density of people just like us is somewhat diluted, vs. for example a small LAC picked specifically because they have a large proportion of people who share your outlook.

    Also the flip side of a large school is perhaps larger class sizes, particularly in entry-level survey classes, and TAs as graders and leading recitation sections; whereas at an LAc this will all be done by full profs.

    Finally, at least in the sciences, fact is this is a pretty darned tough school, academically. This may be a con, in that getting through is no cakewalk. On the other hand it may be a pro in that you will be well trained, both in subject matter and in handling tough situations generally. For example, at an alumni function I attended, a doctor I was talking to said that after Cornell, med school was relatively easy.

    Another pro is that many people have heard of it, and for the rest of your life a lot of people who don't really know you will presume that you are smart.

    Another con is that, for the rest of your life, some people who don't really know you but attended one of about 7-8 particular other schools will presume that they are smarter than you. However, even these people will grudgingly suspect that you might be smarter than a lot of other people, just not them.
  • CayugaRed2005CayugaRed2005 Registered User Posts: 4,041 Senior Member
    Another con is that, for the rest of your life, some people who don't really know you but attended one of about 7-8 particular other schools will presume that they are smarter than you. However, even these people will grudgingly suspect that you might be smarter than a lot of other people, just not them.

    I don't think this is so much of a con as much as it is that some individuals have no tact.

    I'll add another pro to the mix: Ithaca. Some students may deride it for being a small city and out of the way, but in my mind it is one of Cornell's strongest assets. It means that the school is relatively insular and that the students and professors can afford to invest all of their time and energy into campus life, which results in a lot of great traditions and distinct 'Cornelliana' that other schools might lack. There are 20,000 students at Cornell, and it has more dynamism than cities five times its size.

    Ithaca also more than stands on its own merits. For anybody who has an appreciation for the outdoors, it is an absolutely beautiful place to live. And for anybody interested in fantastic, locally sourced food, good coffee shops, and even better book fairs, Ithaca is a great place to spend four years.
  • Chad10Chad10 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    pro- the hockey team
  • norcalguynorcalguy Registered User Posts: 7,548 Senior Member
    For example, at an alumni function I attended, a doctor I was talking to said that after Cornell, med school was relatively easy.

    I'd like to know what med school he attend cuz med school is kicking my ass. I have 20 hours of science and 4 hours of non-science per week so unless you took 20 credits of science at Cornell each semester, you are not going to have an easy time in med school.
  • stargazerliliesstargazerlilies - Posts: 1,470 Senior Member
    My Personal Pro's:
    1. Human Ecology, and its whole mission
    2. PAM major - everywhere else, I'm majoring in Econ, at Cornell there's more choices
    3. Big school, but smaller than NYU (current school)
    4. Diversity. I couldn't give a crap about color, I'm talking major-wise. I couldn't stand an artsy LAC where every other person studies Literature and East Asian studies.
    5. Has a tons of pre-professional majors and teaches practical applications
    6. Campus is rural and beautiful. NYU has no campus...
    7. I won't have to trip over hobos and fend off crack dealers on my way to class! :)
    8. Ithaca is a cute little college town. I LOVE NYC but there's no community feel here
    9. Reduced tuition for New Yorkers at contract colleges = sweet deal!
    10. Students more down-to-earth and less snooty/elitist than at other Ivies/Top schools. Browse the Penn forum if ya don't believe me...
    11. the food is so good!
    12. School Spirit! We don't have like sports and stuff at NYU...
    13. I love the snow! I like cold weather.

    1. Long drive to my hometown in LI, but 3-4 hrs ain't bad
    2. Damn acceptance rate is so low
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    "I'd like to know what med school he attend cuz med school is kicking my ass."

    Hey how ya doing norcalguy, good to see a familiar handle during this brief relapse of mine.

    oh wait, you just said how you're doing. Sorry about that.

    Anyway, it was Cornell. Perhaps "easy" was a mischaracterization of the comments, I can't recall in all specificity, but in any event it was clear the individual felt they'd been extremely well prepared.

    Which was the stated tradeoff for not necessarily having had the greatest time of it while there. Which I understood.

    Still, in the end that person cared enough to attend an alumni event. So did I.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    "I'll add another pro to the mix: Ithaca."

    Most of the pros & cons I listed relate really to how different people perceive the exact same features of the school.

    Its location can be viewed the same way.

    I agree with you, it was a pro for me too. I loved it there, so much that I even stayed most summers working on campus. And I've been back a number of times since.

    The natural beauty of the place can be awe-inspiring, viewed routinely as you're walking to campus.

    On the other hand, some people find it to be a con. It is a hip place, with a lot going on for its size. However it does not share in full measure a lot of the characteristics that make a big city desirable to many, and it is not near anyplace like that either. (please, don't say Syracuse...).

    But a lot of schools are in relatively isolated locations, with a heck of a lot less going on than Ithaca has, and in less attractive locations. And being in a city is not the be-all either, as I've learned recently, people just drift off and campus life becomes almost non-existent.

    So there are trade-offs. Which part of the trade-off equation is more pro, or more con, depends on the preferences of the perceiver.
  • Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    The old cliche about Cornell is: "The easiest Ivy to get in to and the hardest to get out of." That means that the acceptance rate is forgiving and the academics are punishing.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    Here's another pro: Alumni functions.
    Even when I was living in some weird part of the midwest, there was an active Cornell Club that I joined, provided a nice little social outlet and some fun activities, for someone who didn't know anybody in the area. There was no such club there for our various other alma maters.

    Cornell has a good alumni outreach program, they have various profs come around & give interesting talks on many diverse topics. In the NY area, these events are quite well attended.

    They seem to do more alumni stuff than our other alma maters, one of which is another Ivy. (maybe my wife just never got on their list or something..)

    Even the alumni magazine can be a good read.

    The Cornell Alumni University is another great thing they do, it's a relatively cheap and interesting vacation.This is not just limited to alumni, but a good proportion of the attendees wind up being alumni anyway.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    The social scene also can be viewed either as a pro or a con. There is an active fraternity presence that a good number of students clearly find appealing. However others may be less than enthralled by the degree of prominence the fraternities have in the social scene.

    It can certainly be avoided, most people are not in them. But my D1 didn't even want that many frat types being around her at all. And I've read others voicing the same opinion, even quite recently here on CC actually.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    It's funny, one tends to feel some minor,vague yet existent connection to grads of other Ivy league schools; like you all had been in different branches of The Elks Club, or fifth cousins once removed, or something. For no good reason, really. Seeing as how none of us care about sports rivalries. (Well except some of us may care about hockey, but none of them do).

    If I meet someone socially who went to Brown, I might be motivated to say oh I went to Cornell, whereas I wouldn't be saying oh I went to Johns Hopkins if that had been the case. Not worth a heck of a lot, just an interesting phenomenon I've observed.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,345 Senior Member
    Finally, a pro is that your degree will generally be well respected; people I knew who did well expected to go to good grad or professional schools, and for the most part that's exactly what happened.

    To which I suppose the con is: there's no guarantee you will do well, actually.
  • CUAmbassador11CUAmbassador11 Registered User Posts: 635 Member
    pro: bill nye the science guy :)

    soo excited for my solar system class next semester...i heard he guest lectures one of them
This discussion has been closed.