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Brown vs. Cornell

nas2011nas2011 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited May 2011 in Brown University
Hi, everyone. I got accepted to both Brown and Cornell and am having a hard time deciding between the two. They both gave me about the same financial aid offer, although at Cornell I was accepted for the Hunter R. Rawling III research program and rejected at Brown for PLME, which I wanted to be apart of. Right now I am sort of leaning towards Cornell, but still haven't visited either. I will be visiting within the next few weeks. If you could give me your thoughts on the two in comparison academic/social wise, or anything else it will be much appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by nas2011 on

Replies to: Brown vs. Cornell

  • Dad2Dad2 Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    Cornell is academically stronger than Brown (and more rigorous). Cornell is certainly tops in the sciences (great undergraduate and graduate programs, top faculty).
  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,723 Senior Member
    Cornell is academically stronger than Brown (and more rigorous).

    That is his opinion. Others will disagree strongly. Academically, both schools are excellent.
  • swim2daendswim2daend Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    Ya, I would definitely disagree very strongly to Dad2's statement. Without any real sources to back that statement, I would disregard that post as it's not true. We have fa nominal science/math programs here. Though the ENGINEERING school I will say is better at Cornell (as it is very hard to rival their program and I think many would agree that Cornell Engineering is very impressive), to say that Cornell is better than Brown AS A WHOLE is so shockingly wrong in the most blunt way possible. To a point where some people (including myself) are somewhat offended.

    Both are great schools and Congrats nas2011 for getting into both (especially this year)!! You really will be happy at either school. I would say the visit will be the more important part of your decision, so just keep an open mind and there will be a LOT of info sessions where your questions will be answered by Brown.

    I would be able to give you better feedback if I knew enough about Cornell's research program, but I've actually never heard of it before haha. Don't think this place is just for the humanities though. It's a very false stereotype that befalls on Brown.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,517 Senior Member
    There are differences, particularly in setting and scope. Brown's entire program encompasses only two of Cornell's seven undergraduate colleges, consequently Cornell's student body obviously has a much more diverse range of academic interests and characteristics. Many ultimately find the existence of the varied colleges to be a benefit. For example my daughter has taken courses in three of the colleges, some of which she would not have imagined taking before she got there. But others may alternatively prefer more homogeneity.

    Being part of a large community of students in a college town that is of and for students has its advantages, for life as a college student. Providence, as a much larger city, offers different advantages. The winter weather in Providence is a little better, usually. And it is closer to get to major cities and desirable destinations from there.

    I think your visits will help you decide where you feel you belong.
  • mgcsincmgcsinc Registered User Posts: 1,169 Senior Member
    "Brown's entire program encompasses only two of Cornell's seven undergraduate colleges, consequently Cornell's student body obviously has a much more diverse range of academic interests and characteristics."

    Lol, cute shilling, monydad.

    Brown is not divided into distinct schools with distinct academic programs. This is a good thing, because it means that people with diverse academic interests are all under one umbrella. To claim that Brown is a land of homogeneity just because it isn't carved up into separate pieces is ridiculous.
  • nas2011nas2011 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks for all the feedback. I think the visit will be my most important decision factor as well swim2daend and monydad. I am staying overnight at both campuses, so hopefully that will help. The bad thing would be if I find if I like both equally despite there differences! haha. Then my decision will be even harder. Does anyone else have any input?
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,517 Senior Member
    "Lol, cute shilling, monydad"

    I am not shilling at all. The various specialty colleges at Cornell are not merely additional arts & sciences colleges, they offer curricula, majors and courses that are not commonly found at Arts & sciences colleges, for the most part. There is some overlap and duplication with CAS and with others of the colleges there, but to a significant extent the specialty colleges are truly different. Perhaps one needs to attend there to fully understand the extent of the differences, but it is a fact.

    Perhaps Brown actually offers courses and majors such as: agronomy and other areas of agriculture, hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, architecture, fiber science, nutrition, business administration, communications, I can go on and on. OP can go ahead and compare himself, I''ve no reason to care much.

    Upon quick check, one source says
    "Brown University offers 95 majors in 20 areas of study."
    "Cornell University offers 139 majors in 26 areas of study."

    So this is not shilling, this is fact, it is an aspect of Cornell that actually distinguishes it from many other schools it is often compared to. The Cornell course catalog is over 700 pages long. It has nothing to do with the organization into different colleges per se, it has everything to do with the fact that these different specialty colleges are truly different, and teach subjects that are outside the realm of what is generally offered at arts & sciences colleges. That's why they came into existence in the first place.

    Now one can ask, why do I as an Arts & sciences student care? And this is a reasonable question. Before one comes there, it is not obvious that the odd programs in these disparate colleges can add value to you as a student in the Arts & sciences college. But in practice, they often can.

    The types of things a CAS student might do before they graduate include: Seeing if you like marketing by taking a course at the Dyson school; doing an independent study with a communications prof in the ag school, that may well have informed a future career path; taking the wines class for fun, either through the Hotel school or more intensively in the ag school, taking a popular nutrition course in Hum Ec, Doing an extracurricular TA'ing a law course for prisoners, run by a prof at the law school. Or doing an independent study course in solar energy with an ag school prof,and courses in natural resources at the ag school, as I did years ago.

    This is not an encyclopedic list obviously, it is merely illustrative. The point is, many people wind up finding value in these "different " colleges, once they are there, though they never expected to previously.

    Even the areas of overlap represent additional opportunities that many students find value in. For example, D2 wanted to take an intro statistics class, there were five different classes to choose from in 4 different colleges, IIRC. Each with different levels and slants, and offered at different times and places. She took the one that most matched her preferences. I believe accounting is another area of duplication, assuming one wants to take it they can do so at dyson, or the hotel school, I believe. There are a number of other cases like this. All serving to maximize student choice.
  • MitchKreybenMitchKreyben Registered User Posts: 439 Member
    Rhode Island's Brown University was the lowest-ranked Ivy League college in 2010, according to U.S. News and World Report

    From "Inside Higher Ed"
    People of all political persuasions agree that the student body and faculty are overwhelmingly liberal.

    Plus isn't this where JFK junior got in when he couldn't get into any of the other Ivy's?
  • kylerbloodkylerblood Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    As long as you get As and do one thing you get into Cornell (usually), while still an accomplishment, Cornell is known as the safety to the real ivies. Academics aside it is garunteed that brown with an admission rate of just 8.7 % this year will hve a more selective and therefore more impressive student body than Cornell with a huge class of 18% (only including arts and sciences) then account for the state school part and roughly 30% of students get into Cornell. Woul you rather be a peer to Several thousand kids who got all As and did one or two minor things or would you like to meet Emma Watson, one of the many amazing students that made it through brown's extremely selective admissions process.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,517 Senior Member
    ??? In Fall 2010 Cornell CAS accepted 15.7% of applicants, the aggregate university accepted 18.4% overall. For Fall 2011 the aggregate university accepted just under 18% of applicants. 2011 CAS stats are not yet available.

    Emma Watson is no longer at Brown.
  • swim2daendswim2daend Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    ^ Yes she is... She's promoting Deathly Hallows Part 2. Could you imagine the amount of time she needs to conclude the final installment of any kind to one of the most revolutionary modern series in the world?? You're so adamant that Cornell is better. The admissions rates above are true, but I don't see the purpose since the acceptance rate as a whole is still more than double of Brown's, but admission rates still don't say which school is better (hence why I think the topic of admission is kind of superfluous).

    The idea of Brown having a better and more cohesive student body CANNOT be proven; however, I truly believe it is and I feel the education I'm receiving here is much better than anything Cornell could offer me (and this is an entire personal reaction to Brown's education. Some people could EASILY disagree and say they couldn't prosper the same way at Brown as they could at Cornell). The differences are astronomical, so AGAIN the visit should answer your questions about which you should choose.

    About the majors, we have an independent concentration.... meaning you can major in anything you like as long as you have a good reason to do so and you've set up your own requirements...

    Can we stop this Cornell-Brown feud now please, monydad? It's really not helping the OP and even though you have your opinions, be respectful to the fact that the OP really does have a hard decision to make (life changing). Just be objective and not just keep posting trying to show how Cornell is better. There will always be a counterargument to what you say Cornell is better because Brown is just different than Cornell.
  • woodhead01woodhead01 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Plus isn't this where JFK junior got in when he couldn't get into any of the other Ivy's [sic]?

    If you think that Harvard didn't admit JFK's kid, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the realities of college admissions.
  • Iheartschool12Iheartschool12 Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    @kylerblood You have the worst argument.

    And for the record, both are phenomenal institutions that are deeply respected throughout the world. Visit both, then decide.
  • NapsterNapster Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    USNews is the absolute last source you should use in choosing between Brown and Cornell...

    My opinion: Come to Brown and you won't regret it. I personally feel that the academic environment is stronger at Brown than at Cornell, and it's undeniable that the weather is more reasonable. Plus, visiting Boston and NYC is actually possible, whereas Cornell is pretty much really far away.

    You may not agree, and that might be a good thing. Visit both and choose which feels right :) Good luck.
  • Aj1410Aj1410 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    @ monydad ...... She will be back to complete her degree !!
This discussion has been closed.