Cornell University Visit Report by mathmomvt
Information Session: Yes - We visited during Cornell days so there was a general welcome, engineering information session, financial aid session, parents panel, residence life session.
Campus Tour: Yes - Engineering tour, freshmen dorms and the generic campus tour. The general tour includes a sit-down Q&A so parents can catch their breath as it is a big campus (and they don't even really cove
Classroom Visit: Yes - We were given a list of long classes that students were invited to attend. S attended 2 classes without me.
Campus Visit Notes for Cornell University
This was our first and only visit to Cornell, after my S had been admitted to the college of engineering. We visited during "Cornell Days" which is an admitted student event (several days long, but most days nearly identical to one another). This is a LONG report, but I'll tell you up front that my S ended up choosing Cornell so you know that overall it was a good experience.
For Cornell Days, they had a ton of tours, info sessions, etc. planned, both general and within each college. They also had a very substantial list of classes the kids could attend. S picked out intro to CS using Java, and Intro Chemistry.
We checked in up near the freshman dorms (RPCC), and then S walked a mile he will be walking an awful lot next year, down to the engineering quad for the CS class. Then he walked half mile back up to the Chemistry class, and then back down to Engineering for the Engineering info session, tour and lunch with student ambassadors. He said later that the classes were both good. In the Chemistry class they were doing something he was already familiar with and said the prof was explaining it much better than his teacher. He said there were over 100 kids in the chemistry lecture, and that CS was in a lecture hall but had only about 30 kids in it. While he was going to classes, I went to the general welcome (information session) financial aid session and parents' panel, then I hiked down to Engineering and met S in the engineering info session (which I missed part of due to overlap in the schedules and the 20-minute walk). The engineering session was followed by a tour of the engineering buildings/quad. Everyone did talk about how much work it was, but also that they managed to do other things they loved as well. We hiked over to West campus with our tour guide for lunch with him and a few other "engineering ambassadors". The food was quite good and was on an "all you care to eat" plan.
Next we did the general campus tour. We had a fabulous and funny tour guide (with a loud voice, thankfully, after straining to hear the engineering tour the whole time). The campus is gorgeous and huge. We learned (among other things) that their largest lecture is psych 101 with 1300 students at a time!! Then we went for the residence info session and tour. (I'm not sure if this is the same as the "freshman experience tour" that others have mentioned.) The residence tour was kind of not-so-great as a number of the rooms on the list the guides had of rooms available to be shown, when we got there, there was no one there. But we did see a double in one dorm and a single in another. The dorms were just ok, IMO. They house all 3500 freshmen in North campus, and most of the dorms are huge and packed tight, and most of them are fairly old. But nothing bad enough to want to avoid, just not particularly nice. By this time we were exhausted! Wings over Ithaca had left a flyer on our windshield, and that worked on us. We went back to the hotel and ordered in wings (quite good).
We had planned for S to go to a rock wall climbing event from 9:30 to midnight. We were pretty wiped out, so I didn't know if he would still want to go or not, but he did. He called around 11:30 to say he and another kid were walking back across campus to go to the DDR event that was also going on that night, and could I pick him up there instead. When I got there and called him to say I was there, he figured out that they had gone to the wrong building, which was why they had not found the DDR thing, and so (luckily I had brought the campus map in the car) and went to find him. When I was driving around campus at midnight, it gave me a lot of peace of mind as a parent that it seemed quite safe. When he got in the car (totally physically exhausted and barely able to move) he said "I think this is the place."
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
We stayed at the Super 8 in Ithaca and it was basic & inexpensive, had a fridge and microwave in the room, and free breakfast was included. Rooms on 2nd floor smell of smoke but first floor was f
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
First night we got dinner from Wegmans next door to the hotel (many hot food items sold by weight salad-bar style). Second night we got great wings from Wings over Ithaca. Lunch on campus was good.