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Cornell University

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Cornell is very good for people who areQuite BrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
Cornell is very good for people who are pro-active, because professors are very willing to help you with whatever provided that you approach them first. In order to create a sense of community, you need to find your own niche such a program house, fraternity, or organization, because the Cornell community lacks any common ground. Some majors do foster a sense of community such as architecture, but those majors are few and far between. The state schools have an excessively high number of upper-middle class Jewish Long Island females a.k.a. "JAP's". The schools without state funding are all superb and generally have better facilities than the state schools (except ILR and the Bio Dept., which are on par). The town is located very far away from the rest of the world, making weekend "escapes" into challenges. You have to be proactive to find a nightlife.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2007
Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Surrounding City: C
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Cornell University is best known for its highAstronomy
Cornell University is best known for its high level and diverse collection of research groups. I urge all who attend Cornell to join a research group relevant to their field and through it gain experience and make contacts for the future. There are a number of Colleges/Universities that can provide similar courses to Cornell, but none that can match its "research potential".
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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You can bet on getting an outstanding educationCommunications
You can bet on getting an outstanding education at Cornell. At the time I was there, Carl Sagan was my astronomy professor. Allison Lurie taught Creative Writing. This is the caliber of the teaching faculty pretty much across the board. There were only a few professors that I would say were substandard. I also had lots of opportunities to learn outside the classroom - if you were motivated to find them, there were internships both on and off campus, study abroad, semester in Washington, DC, etc. etc. The campus is huge (be prepared to walk A LOT - I graduated in the best shape of my life) and beautiful, and the food is pretty good for cafeteria fare.

On the negative side...in my opinion, the social life at Cornell sucked. It's a big school, and highly competitive, so it can be difficult to make true friends. It's a cut-throat environment and sometimes people aren't very friendly. It's really easy to get swept up in the "anything for a good grade" mindset. There's a work-hard, play-hard mentality, which means the weekend starts on Thursday and pretty much revolves around drinking. The place is also well-populated with rich, spoiled kids who've never lifted a finger. This is not my background at all, and I just couldn't relate. Yes, there are great people there - but you have to do some serious looking around for them. Cornell is also cold and fairly remote. It all adds up to being a rather lonely place sometimes.

I will say that I believe Cornell contributed to my success after college. When I tell people where I went to school, I usually get a "wow, you must be smart" look. I got my first job out of school during a severe recession, and I think just the school's name on my resume made me stand out. HOWEVER, the name can only take you so far...I also worked a bunch of internships in my field, graduated with honors, and got good recommendations from professors. It's also about what you make of the experience, and taking advantage of the opportunities Cornell offers.My advice to anyone considering Cornell is to have your wits about you before you set foot on campus. You are not going to get your hand held while you are there. Be yourself, and look for people who are genuine. Seek out the classes with the great professors. And buy a pair of really warm boots.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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