Ithaca College - Comments and Student Experiences|
The town is basic (Its like a less-lively, humble version of a city)
The curriculum is basic (Liberal Arts classes are just about mediocre. Thankfully, its grad school that matters, right?)
The campus is basic (and by that I mean the buildings look like subsidised housing)
The nightlife/weekend activities are basic (highlights include a sketchy gay bar, wegmans [grocery store], hit-or-miss campus and off campus parties.)
Life at Ithaca College is pretty basic, and if you are a basic kind of person, you could happily settle.
But if you are looking for a place with personality and life, search elsewhere. Dont visit Cornell if u plan on attending or already attend Ithaca. You will feel deprived, lacking, and inferior.
BASICS FIRST: Little security on campus. There are NO security desks anywhere, and all the doors are locked but ALWAYS propped open. People walked around with alcohol all the time. Weed use is pretty prevalent. Dining hall is suprisingly good for college. And its MUCH better than many other schools. No guest policy so invite your friends!
Ok the juicy parts. GOOD: Simply put, I met my best friends there in that one short year. Friends that I love, and bonded with so much. That is IC's biggest plus. Because its so small you will run into the same people all the time and because of the constant exposure to IC's small 6,000 population you will meet SOOO many friends. I was never popular in HS, but at IC I was a king (I'm sorry that sounds like bragging, and it is, but it was pretty true) So IC kids are SUPER friendly. This "snobby" comment that some accuse IC of is true, in that kids are rich and jewish and concerned about looks but its a northeast private college thing. Some people are tools, but most are not and like I said its so easy to meet people because of constant exposure. I'm from the midwest where the pace is way different but I had no problems I loved the social scene. Tho I now prefer a small school to a huge one, sometimes the small environment can bother you bc you want to see new faces. However its totally worth it in the smaller environment.
Concerning alcohol and drugs: If you don't like to drink and/or smoke DO NOT COME HERE!!! Almost everyone does, and talks about it all the time. Some school traditions are getting wasted @ 9 AM for the big football game and staying drunk all day, and going drunk to class on the last day. Some may find this offensive but its the truth, IC kids arent poor and they buy alcohol and weed. The 3 clubs in Ithaca are very sketchy and run down. The off-campus IC parties are fun in a ghetto college kinda way but I had great times @ them. Cornell Univ also provides an outlet for great parties, and you will develop contacts who can tell you about them. What's important to remember about all this substance abuse is that, in Ithaca there is nothing else to do. This leads me into the bad area....
I attended IC for my freshman yr. as a Park major (What the Communications school is called) specifically I was in film. I utterly hated the COM school. It is so concerned with its great reputation, but NEWS FLASH, its not that great. Take a class there and see how High Schoolish the teaching level is. Film A and A, Media A and A, not to mention names but a certain photo teacher with the weirdest, like, interesting, like curls ever. The teachers are just not good @ their jobs, no suprise because IC is way overated (thankfully their rep is declining bc people are realizing this)
Now in fairness there is something called the Park Scholarship, which many of my friends enjoy. Its not very publisized, but if you earn it, you get a free ride and the school gives you something like 500-1000 dollars to spend on books. So these Park Scholars get a free ride and free money, which the school hopes they will earn right back from the book sales. Most of these scholars have "done" something in HS to merit the scholarship and the school is trying to convince good students to come to IC. Well while the school is bribing these students with free rides they shaft everyone else out of any finanicial aid. And where do you think the "book money" comes from--our tuition. I know a girl who financed part of her car with my and many other equally hard working students' money. I don't hate the students, they took a good offer. I hate the school for offering such biased(to minorities) and unequal offers. So thats how the school handles its financial aid.
Back to Park teachers, they are concerned with their rep but most have no real touch with reality anymore because they are trapped atop the south hill(IC's location). The other teachers were also almost all awful. Either they didn't know their material and/or horrible teachers. Every teacher in the spanish department is awful, ask anyone. The bussiness school is a joke as well, as their credits aren't accredited. Some teachers will have you doing enormous ammounts of difficult and tedious work. Bottom line, the education value blows. No prof. wants to work in Ithaca for weather, location, and presitige.
With the sole exceptions of a decent theatre, human sciences program, and best of all the music school everything else is awful. And even those programs are only OK at best. Students in them complain and dislike their teachers. So many other schools have those same programs and much better ones. Park is deceiving as I have explained above.
Concerning Ithaca as a town. First IC is on a hill and to get to town you have to walk along the curb of a highway for part and down a winding hill for 25 min. Its simply not feasible or practical. Parking a car is suprisingly cheap tho, 250 dollars, and despite students whining VERY close parking in comparison with other schools. I mean what do you expect your own space outside your dorm?, parking a car is VERY cheap and easy. Yet back to the town, the Commons, Ithaca's center(the commonds) at the base of the hill offers a few interesting shops, restaurants, and such but this gets tiring VERY quickly. The mall is 15 minute drive via car and how often do you wanna go to a medicore mall? Ithaca does have a few interesting unique places like the falls, gorges, indie movie places, some cornell attractions. But you MUST have a car or a very easy friend, or wonderful wife, with one.
Lemme try and wrap it up: My mother went to SUNY-stony brook a school similar to IC. She sat around and did nothing but hang out with her friends. That was 30 yrs ago. Don't penalize yourself and do the same thing 30 yrs later when the college world has advanced so much at Ithaca College. Its not hell on earth, but you can do better. For some strange reason IC's admissions is competitive (esp park, theatre, human sci., music) but what you get is ridicoulous for 21,000 on just tuiton.
You will be bored, UNLESS you are content to just chill and drink with friends ALL and i mean 97 percent of the time. Some friends of mine seem content with that, I could have but I wanted more. I regret leaving sometimes because of my friends but there is no pursuit of becoming a citizen in the world and learning about yourself. You may like me enjoy the best friends of your life, but at what expense? Little academic gains, and spending 4 yrs in a place that offers no opportunity for you to become a real person. Almost every school drinks a lot, but its bad when its your substitution for life.
I transfered to Boston University, and while not a utopia it certainly has things that Ithaca College lacks. If you want to take a lesson from me, 1. Find a small school bc you will make the best friends that way. 2. A school with quality academics in a field you are passionate about. 3. A city that will offer you something that involves being a citizen. Good Luck on your choice, I hope my ramblings are useful to someone out there.
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