Cornell CAS vs UC Berkeley L&S

Hey I have to commit to a school but I really can’t choose between Cornell CAS and UC Berkeley L&S.

I originally wasn’t going to even apply to Cornell because I thought it was a safety. I guess my arrrogance backfired because it’s probably the best school I was accepted in. I’m waitlisted at Princeton but I’m trying to be realistic.

I grew up my whole life in NYC. I go to an elite public high school. I’m interested in math, econ and some humanities. I’m also an award winning filmmaker who makes ads on the side for money.

In my high school class, 87 kids got into Cornell but only 6 kids got into Berkeley and most of them got into Stanford too. I honestly didn’t think I’d get into Berkeley. I read that both schools are equal academically.

I have to pay around the same for both so money is not a factor.

UCB has a better global rep but that’s more because of their grad school. Cornell is an ivy but it’s the lowest one and people in my school make fun of it.

Cornell has better facilities because it’s private whereas UCB’s classrooms smell like my NYC public elementary school. Also Cornell’s food is A1.

I probably wouldn’t commit to Haas or Dyson so it’s more about the overall education.

I heard the girls are more attractive in NoCal.

The Bay Area is nicer than Ithaca obv…I like to party a bit and smoke some of that fire. I’m just worried that UCB frats are too extreme compared to Cornell’s.

I visited both schools and got different vibes. UCB was wild since all the kids were partying. Everything was really disorganized and the students that I spoke to seemed kind of stupid. The campus was really nice though.
Cornell was quieter and nice in its own way. It felt cozy and the classes were significantly smaller. The kids there seemed a lot smarter.

Is it worth taking a leap of faith and trekking out to the wild wild west?? I feel like Cornell would be right at home whereas UCB would be out of my comfort zone…which isn’t even a bad thing. Help please!

Please don’t come here.

87 kids got into Cornell??? What high school do you even go to…?

Really? Cornell was a safety for you? By the way, on the West Coast, people hold UC Berkeley in the same regard that you hold Cornell (albeit people actually respect it because it’s a damn good school). Around 40 people in my (non-magnet (as I assume yours is), but competitive) public high school go to Berkeley a year. Nobody ridicules the kids who go to Berkeley, though.

However, considering that you obviously think Cornell is that bad, you probably shouldn’t go there.

On Berkeley, though:
-Intro class sizes are huge, particularly in high-demand courses like Computer Science. This is a gigantic flagship public school, over twice the size of Cornell. It’s difficult to get personal attention. You either thrive there or you don’t.
-The campus is nice, I guess, but people here think it’s pretty ugly, particularly compared to other schools in the area (Stanford, UCSC, UC Davis).
-Some of the area around Berkeley is pretty shady. It’s an urban college, and it doesn’t have a Morningside Heights or something around it. I definitely wouldn’t feel safe walking around the city alone (although if I end up there, I’ll probably end up getting used to it).

I don’t know much about Cornell, so I can’t say anything there.

If you want unbiased advice, you probably shouldn’t insult the people you’re asking advice from.

Go to Berkeley if you’re concerned its the worst Ivy. You’ll probably be happy knowing you’re going to the best public university in the States.

OP, I think you are sort of delusional.

…"most of them got into Stanford "??? Are you sure about that? It was something like a 4% acceptance rate this year.

They are both great schools, similar in rankings and status. Go where you’d be the happiest. I wouldn’t want to pay out of state tuition at Cal (assuming you’re not a Californian). But everyone is different. And it sounds like your friends are a bunch of elitists to make fun of Cornell…really.

@Renomamma He’s saying that most of the people who got into Berkeley (6 in his class) also got into Stanford.

Thanks @Janizary . I still find that hard to believe.
Also, I’m in the West (not California) and Berkeley clearly accepts more people where I am than Cornell does. Cornell told our HS counselor they don’t want to accept people who won’t come (it affects their yield) and most students don’t travel so far. My D expected to meet people from all over the world at Cornell , but in reality most Cornellians are from NY or nearby. She still loves it there. But this could lead OP and his/her classmates to think that Berkeley is more selective because so many more get accepted to Cornell. Cornell also has a state school component, which is helpful for NY students. There’s no financial aid for out of state students at the UCs unless things have changed. Whatever.

@Renomamma – as of Fall 2015, 4449 of 14, 315 undergrads were from NYS. The total # of U/Gs is larger than the freshman class due to transfer enrollment. (I would guess that transfers skew more toward NYS b/c of some of the GT agreements.)

That # increases to 8155 when you include Middle States and New England.

Unrelated, but just noticed that nearly half the grad students are internationals.

Thanks for looking that up @CT1417 . I wonder what the numbers are if you include nearby eastern states on top of NY (I could look it up, just only so motivated to do it)

@Renomamma – I don’t know where they break enrollment out state by state, but I feel like I did see it once a few years back. This was the easy stat: 8155 when you include Middle States and New England.

Berkeley is the best public university in the US but Cornell is the best 1/2 public school.

They actually have a lot of similarities. Both are very large. Both have a lot of transfer students (a lot transfer into Cornell’s public colleges). They are very close in us news ranking and in admit rate.

Cornell’s location is not for everyone.

One big difference is no financial aid for Berkeley if you’re not a California resident. In case that matters.

Just over 60% of the undergrads at Cornell are in the ‘non-state’, or endowed colleges of Cornell, although more than half of those enrolled in the contract colleges pay OOS tuition. 73% of the grad students are in the endowed schools.

Absolutely agree that Ithaca is not for everyone. Centrally isolated, as it is said, and the winters can be gray.


Cornell is not the lowest Ivy. Brown and Dartmouth are…