Navigatio on the Road: Cornell University

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York prides themself on being “both elite and egalitarian.” They are proud of the fact that they educate students of every race and gender with a wide variety of economic status. There about 15k students on campus, with roughly 8000 of them undergrads.

Cornell is looking for students who know exactly why they want to go to Cornell, what college they want to study in and precisely how they will take advantage of all that Cornell has to offer. Wanting to go there with a passion isn’t enough. Having killer grades isn’t enough either. Cornell appreciates students who delve deeply into their various colleges understanding what they offer. In other words, how will a student take advantage of Cornell’s unique opportunities?

Speaking of opportunities, Cornell has a lot of special ones. Interested in studying industry and labor relations? How about the hospitality business with hands-on experiences? They have them both! City planning and architecture are exceptional programs and all architecture students study in Rome. Human Ecology is explored deeply and focuses heavily on problem solving. Engineering majors are filled with 50% female students in their 14 majors at Cornell University making it an excellent place for strong female engineering candidates to apply. There are so many programs available at Cornell – so it’s crucial that students fully research the programs so you can articulate “why” effectively on your application. Cornell doesn’t read applications by geographic region as many schools do – they read them by colleges. So know your particular college!

Cornell’s professors serve as academic advisors and most live nearby so access is good and community is strong. The intramural league at Cornell is the largest in the country so it’s a great place for sports-minded and outdoorsy types. A club that piqued our interest was Cornell Minds Matter, a club dedicated to promoting good mental health on campus. There are over 1200 clubs at Cornell actually, including a squirrel watching club. Another hint about Cornell – public service and volunteerism are integral to Cornell’s mission so emphasize your work in this area if you have it in your history.

Cornell receives over 51,000 applications a year, so don’t bother applying just to chase another Ivy. If you see a program at Cornell that grabs your attention and you can connect it to what you have done and who you are interested in becoming, then Cornell is a great application for you!