Columbia Vs Cornell: Which University to Choose?
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Columbia Vs Cornell: Which University to Choose?

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 08 Jan 2018

Columbia University and the Cornell University have reserved top positions for themselves in the list of the IVY league institutions.

Hence the question of choosing one which is right for you has always been a difficult one. Which one to choose? Columbia? Or Cornell? Let’s try to find some possible ways that you can come to a conclusion:



While both Columbia and Cornell lie the state of New York, the locational difference are stark. The differences of the setting and the atmosphere around massively impacts the campus life within the institutions. While Columbia University lies in the middle of the happening city-life of the New York City, Cornell lies in a rather quiet location in Ithaca distinctly away from the mayhem of urban noises amidst nature. If you’re not a city-life person, don’t choose Columbia. If nightlife is your life, skip Cornell!


Acceptance Rates, Tuition and Financial Aid

It is slightly more difficult to get into Columbia than into Cornell (if statistics were to be considered) with acceptance rates being 6.6% for Columbia against 15.1% for Cornell. However, the tuition fees at Cornell is comparatively lower than that of Columbia and Freshman Financial Aid at Cornell fares slightly better than it’s opponent (61% vs. 58% of Eligible Freshmen Receive Aid in the two institutions). However, getting into any of those would be very difficult as both universities tend to be extremely selective. Cornell, on account of its sub-urban setting has a slightly lower cost of living compared to Columbia but pretty much in all other parameters, both universities stack up evenly.


Class size, Faculty staff and Library

Columbia has slightly smaller class size as compared to Cornell with a student to teacher ratio at Columbia being 6:1 as opposed to 9:1 at Cornell. While the faculty in both the institutions is, without question, among the finest globally, the number of Nobel Laureates at Columbia far surpass that at Cornell. The library of both the institutions defines the reasons for them being listed among the premier institutions but the collection, numerically, is way bulkier at Cornell.


Core Curriculum and Majors

Columbia is considered by many to have a very good undergraduate core curriculum. Both the institutions offer a range of courses but if you want to study sciences such as Physics, Biology, Computer Science, etc., the general belief says that you’ll be better off at Cornell. If you want to study Business or Law, Columbia is probably a shade better. Either ways, the differences are minor and if you are getting admit from one or the other, you shall be among the selected few to get into the world’s best educational institutions.


Campus Life

Campus life at Columbia is quintessentially New York – you live in flats outside the campus; you go to a city campus and spend the time in between in the hustle-bustle of NY city. You also have access to the finest financial minds and the business environment of the city. On the other hand, Cornell is based out of Ithaca – a typical New England town out of a picture book. You are part of a huge student body and would live on the campus. Dorms, libraries, sports facilities and the entire academic block is part of one sprawling campus. You are in one big university-town and at least 4 hours away from NY City!

Overall, between the two institutions, which of them is better is a question that is more contextual than complex. It’s more about which one’s better for ‘you’ instead of which is the better one. Depending upon what you want, you may want to analyze each of the universities from your own perspective and make a choice! Either ways, you will not be making a mistake!

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