Cornell vs Northwestern vs UC Berkeley [environmental sciences and/or policy]

Hello everyone,
I am finding making a final decision on colleges to be impossible. I got into Cornell, Northwestern, and UC Berkeley. It would be great if some of you could tell me what you would choose based on this info and maybe answer some of my questions at the bottom.

Personal details:
-From Massachusetts (OOS tuition for Berkeley)
-Hoping to major in environmental sciences/policy
-I have a wide range of interest that I would like to pursue
-I am interested in going to a school with a vibrant student org scene
-I am extroverted yet dislike Greek life
-I care a lot about prestige in relation to employability
-I am looking for not just a liberal, but a leftist campus feel

-Excellent minors/adjunct majors in the secondary subjects that interest me
-Their journalism school is usually seen as the best in the world and I might want to major in that if I don’t end up majoring in env sciences
-Higher overall rank according to US News (#9)
-I like the quarter system because it allows me to have more variety in my studies, although it might be stressful
-It is easy to switch between schools
-(Probably) better advisors because private
-More intellectual from what I have read
-Evanston is more suburban than schools like Berkeley and I want an urban environment
-There isn’t much that I find interesting nearby except for Chicago
-Their environmental sciences major (even with a policy tracks) seems a little too STEM for me (I see myself as a social sciences student) and it isn’t very well known around the country
-I’ve heard that Northwestern has a lot of Greek life and I’m worried about finance bros being a large portion of my peers
-Not quite as left-leaning as the other two

UC Berkeley
-Better ranked for my major (#4 in the country for environmental sciences/studies/policy according to some sources)
-Much more left-leaning than the others
-Big and thus a lot of opportunity
-Near extended family in San Francisco that might be able to help me if I ever needed it
-Better off-campus food options in my opinion
-More urban than the others
-I know one of the professors in my hypothetical major
-There might be competition for internships because of the school’s size (not sure if I understand this correctly)
-Many classes are big and impersonal
-Diversity not proportional with the US population (mostly just White and Asian)
-I never really understood Californian culture and I’m not sure if I’d fit in
-Very major-focussed (not as much focus on my secondary interests)
-Much lower on USNews (#22) (not sure how good this would be for employability)

-Has a pretty good major for me (not as good of a fit as Berkeley’s but better than Northwestern)
-It seems easier to complete a major although I might be wrong
-Culturally more like the east coast (I would fit in better)
-Closer to home
-Also pretty large and thus has opportunities
-Ivy League school
-Good resources
-In the middle of nowhere
-I’ve heard that people find it to be depressing
-It doesn’t have the minors I want
-Although my major is technically CAS, almost all of the courses are in CALS which might cause logistical issues
-I’m not aware of there being good food or much going on nearby

Tiebreaking considerations:
-How prominent is Greek life (I heard that Northwestern has reduced its Greek life but is it as small/unimportant as at Berkeley yet?
-What is more important for employability: school ranking or major ranking?
-(Important) Which school is the most employable overall? For my major?
-Is Berkeley super culturally Californian? Would someone from the east coast feel out of place?
-What are the course loads at each of these schools? The easiest? The hardest?
-Which of these is the most prestigious, second, and third?

Please don’t talk about tuition. I’m trying to purely evaluate these schools on their actual merits. I will suck up whatever price to have the best experience possible since my family can afford it.

Thank you so much for reading through all of this.

I’d eliminate Cornell - as it’s in the middle of nowhere. Evanston is suburban but access to urban which is clearly what you want.

Assuming costs are similar or an issue, I’d go to Nwestern every day of the week over Berkeley. It’s smaller, going to be more personal and better funded. Then you can study journalism although I’d make sure to research if that is true (if you weren’t directly admitted).

Since you mentioned pedigree (with Cornell) - Nwestern is arguably the most prestigious of the three. That doesn’t get you anything…but since it matters to you.

Good luck.

If cost is not an issue, Northwestern.

Note that different regions and college populations may be left (or right) leaning in different political aspects, rather than uniformly left (or right) leaning in all political aspects. UCB, being a majority-minority school, probably has many students who align with the political left because they see the political right as hostile to minority groups, even though they may not be all that left leaning in other aspects.

UCB has a substantial Hispanic / Latino undergraduate population, although underrepresented compared to that of California high school seniors. White students make up about a quarter of the undergraduates, similar to the percentage of California high school seniors.

Employment related to your major likely cares more about major ranking, if it cares about ranking at all. Employment not related to your major likely cares more about school ranking, if it cares about ranking at all. Many employers do not care that much about school ranking. But certain types of “elite” jobs do care a lot.

You can also get some information by major from College Scorecard:

Thank you. I just checked and you are right about diversity. I guess the diversity pie charts on Naviance aren’t correct.