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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 04/11/2010

College Tour '10: Cornell University

By Valerie Strauss

ITHACA, NY
Cornell University
From a parent

My daughter liked it more than I did. Aside from the temperature, which was cold, I thought it was a very cold place. There seemed to me to be a feeling of ‘We’re Cornell and it’s really hard to get in so don’t expect to.’

The school is part public and part private, and that seemed odd.

It has seven undergraduate colleges but you have to apply separately. If you want to study engineering, you have to go into the engineering college and then if you want to change your major, you have to apply to switch into another college.

Some other schools are like that, too, but it seems like it might be difficult for someone who doesn’t really know exactly what they want to do when they start college.

We had a 1 1/2 hour walking tour. It’s a big spread-out campus. It seemed long.



This is one in a series of reports that parents and students are contributing about their campus tours this spring. If you have visited a school and would like to participate, email me a brief report at theanswersheet@washpost.com. You can find out more about College Tour ’10 and how to write about your college visit here.

Go to http://timespace.washingtonpost.com/project/college-2010/ to see more college posts in the series and a map displaying them all.

By Valerie Strauss  | April 11, 2010; 12:28 PM ET
Categories:  College Tour '10  | Tags:  College Tour '10, Cornell University, Ithaca, Ivy League schools, campus visits, visiting Cornell  
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Next: College Tour '10: Skidmore College

Comments

The parent writes ... "My daughter liked it more than I did. Aside from the temperature, which was cold, I thought it was a very cold place. There seemed to me to be a feeling of ‘We’re Cornell and it’s really hard to get in so don’t expect to.' "

WOW! Cornell's different Colleges all have very specific requirements for graduation (credits in different subject areas), but also require significant exposure classes in the School of Arts & Sciences or other schools to support broad educational goals. Ezra Cornell coined the school motto; "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

Yes, Cornell is not easy to get into, but many of its colleges are far less a long shot than other Ivy League schools. The real problem for students is not getting in, but getting out with a diploma in hand. Cornell’s schools generally have an extremely high flunkout rate compared to other notable schools, and because of this, their graduates have a reputation for sensible hard work that is valued highly in business and other schools that accept Cornellians into their graduate programs.

To put it another way, President George W. Bush graduated from both Yale (undergrad) and Harvard (MBA); he probably would have never made it out of Cornell, no matter how important his legacy. This could have saved our nation eight years of hell; just ask Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher… but don’t ask Ann Coulter or Michelle Rhee; all graduates of Cornell. As Ezra Cornell said, “any person … in any study”.


Posted by: AGAAIA | April 12, 2010 4:05 AM | Report abuse

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