Cornell University

33 Fun Facts About Colleges

Our favorite YA author John Green has "33 Fun Facts about Colleges" in this YouTube video from Mental Floss. 

Did you know, for example, that Villanova students manage the Pope's social media?

Or that Cornell might have been in Syracuse, but Ezra Cornell was once robbed there?

Or that Rice University has a puppy room set up during finals to help students cope with stress. Awww... We want one of those!

See the whole thing here.

Hat tip: Anne Edmunds of Webster University via Facebook


Cornell University President on Finding the Best Value College


In a recent piece on CNN, Cornell University President David Skorton offered some excellent and easy to follow advice for students about evaluating colleges -- advice that applies to both juniors who are starting their college search and seniors who are trying to decide where to attend. "A substantial part of college choice must belong to the student, " says Skorton in the article. "It must encompass facts, but also the 'feel' of the college and the fit with the student’s background, personality and interests." Read on here for more about the specifics to consider when deciding which colleges are the right ones for you. Special thanks to reader Carol MacCorkle for sending this to us. 

Developing a New Kind of Relationship with Your College-Bound Teen

Educational psychologist Jane McClure joins us this month to recommend a book that will arm you with advice about getting the best possible results when communicating with your college-bound teenager. Think of it this way: We all want to continueto be part of our children's lives and the problem-solving that continues through college and beyond. Read on to find out more about how to make sure that happens and what to do when it does…


A few years ago, I read a wonderful book titled, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Moneyby Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller.  It is filled with so much wisdom and useful advice, I find myself re-reading sections from time to time, whenever thorny issues between students and parents arise and I’m trying to figure out how to advise them.  I highly recommend it to any parent whose son or daughter is about to go off to college.  You will love the humorous anecdotes which will make you laugh but at the same time teach you a new style of communication that will be incredibly helpful as you form a new kind of relationship.  Here are a few of the key concepts presented in the book.


Lee Melvin, Cornell University, Answers Six Questions

I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study. Cornell University's motto

Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, Cornell University has been called "the first American university." The tradition of egalitarianism reflected in its motto -- Cornell began as a non-sectarian and coeducational institution, admitting students regardless of race, sex or religion -- continues today with the school's diverse student population of more than 14,0000 undergraduates, representing every state and 120 countries.

A research university organized into seven undergraduate (and four graduate) colleges, Cornell is also one of two private land-grant universities in the country, dedicated to its land-grant mission of outreach and public service. It established the first four-year programs of hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine and awarded the world's first journalism degree and the nation's first doctorates in electrical and industrial engineering.

Nancy Meislahn, Wesleyan University, Answers Five Questions

Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, at Wesleyan University of Middletown, Connecticut, joins us this month and graciously answers -- not five -- but six questions.

 Wesleyan was founded in 1831 by leaders of the Methodist Episcopal Church and began with 48 students (all men); the president; three professors; and one tutor. Tuition was $36 per year.

Today, Wesleyan’s 316-acre campus located in central Connecticut hosts about 2,900 full-time undergraduates – both men and women -- who choose among more than 900 courses offered in 40 departments and 44 major fields of study, taught by 375 faculty members. Its student/faculty ratio remains at 9 to 1, with two-thirds of classes enrolling fewer than 20 students.

Named for John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, the college was never a seminary, but offered a liberal arts program from its inception. Unlike most college curriculums at the time of its founding which were steeped in the classics, Wesleyan set out to put modern languages, literature, and the natural sciences on equal footing.  That orientation continues today with students pursuing a self-directed curriculum, numerous undergraduate interdisciplinary programs, and broad research opportunities.

The College Road Trip Gourmet Guide


If you're headed out this fall to visit college campuses, make sure you check out our Gourmet Guide. We've got recommendations for where to dine -- fine restaurants to food trucks.  We've asked admission staff, alumni and current students for their best bets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  From pancakes in Nashville and pies in Pasadena  to Belgian bistros in Bryn Mawr and ice cream in Ithaca -- we've got you covered.  Organized state-by-state and by campus, the guide will help you find the perfect cup of coffee, vegan sandwich or best bagel so you can relax and recharge before the next stop at the next campus.

Also, don't forget to check back in with the Guide -- soon to come are recommendations for Duke University in North Carolina, Creighton University in Nebraska, University of Virginia, and Purchase College in New York.  

The College Road Trip

Many of you are heading out on your first college road trips. Here coauthor Christine VanDeVelde remembers her first college visits with her daughter: A few years ago, my daughter and I ventured forth on a short tour.  We managed to walk the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, Tennessee, in the middle of what they call a “dogwood winter” – the trees are blossoming as temperatures plummet. We then flew north to Chicago, just in time for an epic snowstorm that closed O’Hare for a day and a half. After trudging along the campus on the edge of Lake Michigan in ballet flats, we holed up in an Evanston hotel, bundled in our new Northwestern sweats watching Pay-per-View movies. My husband took the next trip that summer – Lehigh, Yale, Boston University, Dartmouth, and Cornell -- where they had to buy new shoes to accommodate  the amount of walking they did but enjoyed much better weather and a side trip to Legally Blonde on Broadway. Despite blisters, traffic jams and inclement weather, we found these road trips to be peak parenting experiences – some of the most memorable and enjoyable times we have spent with our daughter.

Diversity: My "Aha" Moment

The role diversity plays in college admission is complex, sometimes divisive, and often not well understood by students and parents. It is receiving renewed attention in the wake of the Supreme Court’s agreement to hear a case challenging the University of Texas’ admission policy, which will effectively consider whether affirmative action should be eliminated.

Why do colleges value diversity? Is it a worthwhile goal? What are its implications – pro and con?

Today, we begin a new series bringing you stories of what diversity has meant to deans of admission, educators, public figures and others – their personal “aha” moments with the subject.

Jarrid Whitney, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at California Institute of Technology, begins this exploration, touching on a moment in his own undergraduate experience that addresses a side of this issue many students of color may experience as they progress through their college careers. We think his personal and poignant response will resonate with students and families of all races and on all sides of the issue of affirmative action.  Here is his response: