This is one of the most overlooked reasons as
to why Cornell is such a great education and other
schools falter. Cornell has the 12th largest research library
in the US with 19 libraries with millions of volumes
and microforms, as well as subscriptions to a substantial amount
of academic journals, sound recordings, maps, theses, etc. Cornell's
library system makes student research more accessible than most schools.
This is the academic factor that I never thought
of in high school, but has made all the difference
now that I look at my own work and the
work of my high school friends who had smaller collections
at their schools.
That and Uris Library is now open
24/7. Score. (in a weird, nerdy way)
that, some other things of note. Cornell is a
large school so it's difficult to get anything from it's
administration, and class lectures (mostly at the intro level) are
often monstrously larger than they should be. Upper-level courses
make up for this with smaller class sizes, and so
does Cornell's total course offerings (something like 4,000 courses? whatever
it is, there will always be more courses that you
want to take than what you can).
Cornell's size also
makes its social scene. It's size allows for a
diversity of people, but it also makes it 'clique-ish', the
dreaded word from college reviews. However, 'cliques' are actually
a way to get a smaller, family-like setting with such
a large school. I've never gone greek but I
have participated in similar activities, and that sort of smaller
social setting makes behemoth Cornell more personal. There are
plenty of extracurricular activities and program houses that help supply
smaller communities if greek life does not appeal to you.