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Brown vs. Cornell: Which one should I choose?

I've been researching universities lately and narrowed down my top choices to Brown and Cornell. Can anyone share their insights or experiences on the differences between these two schools, especially in terms of academic culture, social life, campus vibe, and opportunities around? I'm feeling a bit stressed about making the decision, so I would appreciate any help!

7 months ago

Congratulations on narrowing down your top choices to Brown and Cornell! Both schools are prestigious institutions, but there are definitely some notable differences between them that you may want to consider.

Academic Culture: Brown is known for its open curriculum, which means there are minimal general education requirements. This allows for more freedom and flexibility in choosing your classes. Students often take classes purely out of interest, leading to a more collaborative and less competitive environment. On the other hand, Cornell has more structured programs with specific requirements for each major, and is known for having a more competitive, somewhat pre-professional atmosphere.

Social Life: Brown is frequently regarded as having a laid-back and inclusive social scene. With a diverse student body, various events and clubs are available, to align with students' various interests and foster an open-minded environment. Meanwhile, Cornell is fairly large and decentralized. It consists of several colleges, each with its own distinct culture. Social life can vary depending on the college you're in, but overall, there is a wide range of activities and organizations to choose from, and also a more vibrant off-campus social scene than you might find at Brown, as many students live off campus as early as their sophomore year.

Campus Vibe: Brown's campus is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which has a charming, historic yet urban feel. The campus is relatively compact, which makes it easy to navigate and creates a tight-knit community. Cornell's campus is in Ithaca, New York, which is more rural and boasts stunning natural surroundings like gorges and lakes. The campus is quite large and spans a significant area, so getting around can be a hike and lead you developing the famous "Cornell Calves," but it gives students access to beautiful outdoor spaces.

Opportunities: Both Brown and Cornell offer outstanding resources for their students. Brown's open curriculum allows students more freedom to explore different paths and possibly combine disciplines, enabling creativity and innovation. Because Cornell is larger, though, it might provide more opportunities in terms of research, internships, and networks. Additionally, if you're looking into specific programs, Cornell is particularly strong in engineering, architecture, and hotel management, while Brown is strong in liberal arts.

Ultimately, you should think about your personality and what kind of academic and social environment you prefer. Both Brown and Cornell have their unique qualities, and understanding what matters most to you may help you make the best decision. Visiting the campuses and connecting with current students can also give you valuable insights that could aid in your decision-making.

Good luck, and trust that you'll make the best choice for yourself!

7 months ago

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