Cornell vs. Notre Dame

Makes complete sense about the TA’s. I hadn’t thought about it from the perspective of who isn’t on campus also and is just remote. But great points.

And yep, Engineering in normal times, is challenging. But there are always people to help if you need. My daughter might get frustrated about the lack of office hours and did bring it up to a professor who actually listened to her and changed it for the following semester, but that is one thing that has been an ongoing issue and as long as they’re not going to limit the number of students in a major or have direct admit to a major, they have to deal with those growing pains (the kids) because Cornell at this point is still unwilling to do so.

Cornell is using undergrads as TAs?

OMG all the time!! My daughter’s friend is a TA in that crappy Chem class we were talking about! The non Engineering one.

Not that it’s pertinent to this discussion, but my D at Michigan had an UG TA for physics last semester. But she thought he was awesome, smart, congenial, and even got a reco from him. So there are some good UG TA’s.

Edit: The class was a lab.


Good point. Lots of kids at ND would never hesitate for a second to take the ND offer vs Cornell. That said, there are lots at ND who didnt always dream of attending.

Truly ND is a different place, and its doesnt have a lot of direct substitutes. Cornell is a great school, but I doubt its THAT different than some of its academic peers. ND is ND, for better or worse. It aint for everyone, that’s for sure

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I’ve a few family members at ND, including a son who is a sophomore at ND and have another son going to Cornell in the fall for engineering. My ND son has told me not to send the youngest to ND for engineering. He says that although ND is a wonderful experience with an incredibly strong community, they are just not that strong for engineering and math. I think they are trying to change this aspect of the school, but presently the math department is weak and many of his engineering friends are constantly complaining about professors/ support etc. You really can’t beat Cornell for engineering - I’ve already explained to my son that the engineering program at Cornell will grind him into dust, so he’d better prepare himself. For any other major, ND is so incredibly unique and special - if my younger son wanted business, econ, liberal arts - I’d send him to ND in a heartbeat. ND is not very diverse - Cornell is much more so. Hope this helps.


I graduated from Cornell many years ago and my son was accepted this year and was deciding between Cornell and ND. He considered the schools equals for academics, but ended up choosing ND for fit. He’s excited about the dorm system, the sports, and the overall culture of kindness.

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Not sure on that, if that were the case, it’s yield (56%) would be similar to a BYU (80%). The Fiske Guide has ND’s overlap as BC, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Villanova ,Duke, Holy Cross. Seems like a reasonable list.

The dorm experience at ND was pretty unique compared to a lot of those schools where my son also looked and is one of the big attractions to ND.

I would agree about the comparison with BYU but for the fact that BYU’s tuition for members of the church is extremely low (about $6,000 per academic year) while Notre Dame’s tuition (approximately $56,000) is similar to many elite colleges & universities.

I am gonna put my two cents in here–parent of 3 ND engineering grads, most recently 2020—totally agree some great teachers, some not so great. Both in engineering and math departments. All three, though, had great undergrad internships and two ended up with fabulous jobs right out of the gate, and one is in med school. They definitely were not at the top of their engineering classes either.

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Agree with all stated here.

Thank you everyone for your help! I sound so spoiled saying this haha but this has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in a long time!

I ended up choosing Notre Dame. Cornell has amazing professors, amazing classes, and amazing majors --it beats out Notre Dame in everything academic that I want to pursue. But Notre Dame has a better culture, sense of community, and overall student life. Overall, people are just happier there it seems.

I had to figure out which I prioritize more: academics or student experience. And I chose experience knowing that the academics are really good at ND too! Plus, I was nervous about Cornell’s difficulty and competitiveness.

Again, thank you for your help! As many of you have mentioned, I couldn’t go wrong but it was so helpful to hear your thoughts! Wish me luck!


Best of luck! :sunglasses:

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