I came VERY close to going to Ithaca this fall. I had all of my paperwork filled out for Ithaca and the deposit check written.
But I will not be attending Ithaca next year, and heres why.
1. when I visited campus, I liked it. i thought i would love it, but i didnt. i think that i only liked it because i wanted to like it and decided that i would like it before i even came. Everyone says that the campus is so pretty, oh the finger lakes of new york, you cant get any better. and that part is true, the nature around Ithaca is really pretty, but the actual campus itself is not so great. the building's architecture is outdated, there is a lot of concrete on the buildings which is not nice to look at. Also, I am from Chicago, so I had to fly to ithaca to visit. I actually flew into the Syracuse airport, and airfare was 3x more expensive than it would be to fly to NYC, it ended up being $400 round trip, and to think that i would have had to pay that 5x per year to come home for vacation times... not cool. Ithaca is an expensive college, but its the extra things that the dont list that kills you.
all of the people on campus were really nice, and thats really the reason that i wanted to go to ithaca so badly. there is definitely not a lot of diversity, as everyone mentioned before, but ithaca is not the type of school that attracts diverse people.
everyone at ithaca seemed to be from the east coast which made me feel out of place.
The real reasons that i chose not to go to ithaca is because of the quality and value of the education.
on my visit day, part of the program was to sit in on a sophomore level finance class, and the topics that they were talking about were topics and facts of the stock market that i had learned last year in high school. I felt like i knew all of the material the professor was talking about, and we actually left early because i was bored. I want to be challenged in college, and i didnt feel like that would happen at ithaca. But if you are going into the music program, i am sure that it would be different for you since ithaca is well known for that.
At first going to school in upper New york sounded great, I love snowboarding so i figured that in the winters i would never be bored. and even though the weather up there is miserable (but not much worse than chicago) there are parts of the year that are nice (about 2 weeks), and after visiting i was very concerned about what i would be doing with myself when i wasnt studying. all of the kids there like to party...hard. a lot of students smoke pot and then get completely smashed on the weekends. during the info session i overheard all of the business students giving tours talking about the parties they went to over the weekend. so if you are looking to party, your fine, but if you want to avoid drinking and drugs, you may have a problem being at ithaca. the surrounding town sucks, lets be honest, there are like 5 stores and a few decent restaurants. and the admissions office will tell you that there is lots to do on the weekends, like shows and performances, but come on, its ithaca, new york, not new york city or Chicago with Broadway shows or professional dance shows. i think that the only performances you would be going to are the once at the college itself. which are limited.
lastly, i was concerned that it would be hard for me to find a job or internship in chicago after graduating from ithaca. ithaca does not have the same reputation outside new york, or even in new york of other schools i was considering, like Indiana bloomington or George Washington university. i felt like i would be in trouble and have a hard time finding a job after graduation.
all in all, i decided to go to a different school that has more resources and opportunities for me, one with a better reputation and educational value. and i know that i will have a job after graduation as well as MANY internships from the school i am going to now, which is why i chose not to go to ithaca in the end.
if you have any questions please please email me at
hope that helps!