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Boston University vs Cornell: Which University is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A female student thinking intently while writing

Boston University vs Cornell: Which University is Right for You?

Are you considering attending either Boston University or Cornell? Both universities offer a unique college experience and education. It’s important to compare the two and determine which one is the best fit for you. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know when choosing between Boston University vs Cornell.

Admissions Requirements: Boston University vs Cornell

When considering which university to attend, the admissions requirements are a crucial factor. Boston University and Cornell have similar admissions requirements, but there are some differences.

Boston University looks for well-rounded students with strong academic records, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT, are also important. BU has a 14% acceptance rate, and the average SAT score of admitted students is 1460.

Admissions process for applying to universities

Cornell also values a strong academic record, but they place a particular emphasis on leadership skills, community involvement, and personal accomplishments. Standardized test scores are important, and they typically have an ACT score range of 33-35 and an SAT range of 1460-1570. Cornell has a lower acceptance rate of 7%.

It is important to note that both universities also consider essays and letters of recommendation as part of the application process. These documents provide insight into the student’s personality, character, and potential fit for the university. Boston University requires one essay and one letter of recommendation, while Cornell requires two essays and two letters of recommendation.

Another difference between the two universities is their approach to interviews. Boston University offers optional interviews, which can be conducted on-campus or through Skype.

Cornell, on the other hand, requires interviews for some applicants and offers them to others on a voluntary basis. These interviews are conducted by alumni or admissions officers and provide an opportunity for the applicant to showcase their personality and interest in the university.

Location Matters: Boston vs. Ithaca

Location is another factor to consider when choosing between Boston University and Cornell. BU’s campus is located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, a bustling city known for its arts, culture, and history. Cornell’s campus is located in the college town of Ithaca, New York, in the Finger Lakes region, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities.

BU’s location in Boston provides students with a vibrant urban experience. Many students take advantage of the city’s opportunities, including internships, research positions, and cultural events. Cornell, on the other hand, offers a more rural experience for students who enjoy outdoor activities and a slower pace of life.

Additionally, Boston is home to many prestigious universities and research institutions, providing students with access to a diverse academic community. This can lead to opportunities for collaboration and networking with professionals in various fields. In contrast, while Ithaca is home to Cornell University, there are fewer opportunities for students to connect with professionals outside of the university.

Campus Culture and Student Life: Boston University vs Cornell

The campus culture and student life at both universities are unique and different. BU is known for having a diverse student body, with students from all over the world. The campus has many student organizations and clubs catering to a wide range of interests. Socially, Boston offers a lot to do, with many bars, restaurants, and venues for concerts and cultural events.

Two students talking to each other.

Cornell has a more traditional, East Coast college feel. The campus is known for its strong Greek life presence, with many fraternity and sorority houses. The school also has a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. Socially, Ithaca is more laid back, with students enjoying outdoor activities and active lifestyles.

One notable aspect of BU’s campus culture is its emphasis on community service and social justice. Many student organizations and clubs are dedicated to volunteering and making a positive impact on the local and global community. The university also offers many opportunities for students to get involved in research and internships, allowing them to gain valuable experience and make meaningful contributions to their fields of interest.

 

Academic Programs and Majors Offered: Boston University vs Cornell

Another factor to consider when choosing between Boston University and Cornell is the academic programs and majors offered. Both universities have a wide range of programs and majors, but they differ in their areas of specialization.

BU has a strong focus on business, communications, and health sciences. The university’s healthcare and medical programs are highly regarded. Cornell, on the other hand, has strong programs in agriculture, engineering, and natural sciences. The school is also known for its law, veterinary medicine, and hotel administration programs.

 

It is important to note that both universities offer interdisciplinary programs that allow students to combine different fields of study. For example, BU offers a program in Health Science and Liberal Arts, which combines courses in health sciences with courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Cornell offers a program in Information Science, which combines computer science, social sciences, and design. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a unique and well-rounded education that prepares them for a variety of careers.

Class Size and Student-to-Faculty Ratio: Boston University vs Cornell

Class size and student-to-faculty ratio are important factors to consider when choosing between Boston University and Cornell. Both universities have a wide range of class sizes, but Cornell’s classes tend to be smaller.

At BU, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, and the average class size is 27. Cornell’s student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1, and the average class size is 21.

However, it’s important to note that class size and student-to-faculty ratio are not the only factors that impact the quality of education. BU has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for internships, co-ops, and research projects. Cornell, on the other hand, has a reputation for rigorous academic programs and a focus on theoretical knowledge.

Another factor to consider is the diversity of the student body. BU has a larger international student population, with students from over 130 countries. Cornell, on the other hand, has a more diverse range of academic programs, with a strong emphasis on agriculture, engineering, and veterinary medicine.

Alumni Network and Career Services: Boston University vs Cornell

One factor to consider when choosing between Boston University and Cornell is the size and quality of their alumni networks and the employment opportunities available after graduation. Both universities have robust alumni networks and career services programs.

BU’s alumni network is extensive, with over 300,000 alumni worldwide. The university’s career services department is highly regarded, offering students help with everything from resume writing to interview preparation.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Cornell’s alumni network is similarly extensive, with over 250,000 alumni worldwide. The university also has an excellent career services department, offering students networking opportunities and employment referrals.

However, there is a notable difference between the two universities when it comes to the industries in which their alumni are employed. Boston University has a strong presence in the fields of media, communications, and the arts, with many of its alumni working in these industries.

On the other hand, Cornell has a reputation for producing graduates who excel in fields such as engineering, agriculture, and business. This may be an important consideration for students who have a specific career path in mind.

Campus Facilities and Resources Available to Students: Boston University vs Cornell

The campus facilities and resources available to students at both universities are important to consider when choosing which one to attend. Both universities have excellent facilities and resources available to students.

BU has state-of-the-art facilities, including research labs, athletic facilities, and modern dorms. The university also offers robust academic resources, including libraries, study spaces, and academic counseling services. Cornell’s facilities and resources are similarly impressive, with world-class research facilities, excellent libraries, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. BU has over 450 student organizations, ranging from academic clubs to cultural organizations to sports teams.

Cornell also has a wide range of student organizations, including a strong Greek life presence, music groups, and community service organizations. These extracurricular activities provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, make new friends, and develop leadership skills outside of the classroom.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Room and Board, and Financial Aid Options

The cost of attendance is an important consideration when choosing a university. Both Boston University and Cornell are expensive universities, so financial aid and scholarships are crucial.

BU’s annual tuition and fees are $65,168, and room and board costs $18,110. The university offers generous financial aid packages, but it is still a financially demanding institution. Cornell’s annual tuition and fees are $66,014, and room and board costs $18,554. The university also offers significant financial aid packages to students in need.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance is not just limited to tuition, room, and board. Other expenses, such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses can add up quickly. It is important for students to budget and plan accordingly to avoid financial strain during their college years.

Both Boston University and Cornell offer resources and support to help students manage their finances and make informed decisions about their education.

Athletics Programs and Opportunities for Student Athletes: Boston University vs Cornell

Another factor to consider when choosing between Boston University and Cornell is their athletics programs and opportunities for student-athletes. Both universities have excellent athletics programs, but they differ in their areas of focus.

View of sports equipments stacked together.

BU offers a range of athletics programs, including a highly regarded men’s hockey team and a strong rowing team. The university also offers opportunities for students to participate in intramural sports. Cornell’s athletics programs are similarly strong, with an emphasis on Ivy League sports like football, lacrosse, and wrestling. The university also has a nationally ranked-men’s hockey team.

Additionally, Boston University has a well-established women’s soccer team that has consistently performed well in the Patriot League. The university also offers a variety of fitness classes and facilities for students who want to stay active but may not be interested in competitive sports.

On the other hand, Cornell has a renowned equestrian team that has won multiple national championships. The university also offers opportunities for students to participate in outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and rock climbing through their Outdoor Education program.

Study Abroad Options and International Opportunities: Boston University vs Cornell

One significant benefit of attending a university is the opportunity to study abroad and gain international experience. Both Boston University and Cornell offer fantastic study-abroad opportunities.

BU offers over 90 study-abroad programs in over 30 countries. The university has partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America, offering students a wide range of international experiences. Cornell also has a robust study abroad program, offering programs in over 50 countries.

Studying abroad not only provides students with the opportunity to gain international experience but it also allows them to immerse themselves in a new culture and learn a new language. Many universities offer language immersion programs, where students can take intensive language courses and practice their language skills with native speakers.

In addition to study abroad programs, universities also offer international internship opportunities. These internships allow students to gain professional experience in a global setting and make valuable connections with professionals in their field.

Research Opportunities and Resources Available to Students: Boston University vs Cornell

A significant draw for both Boston University and Cornell is the research opportunities and resources available to students. Both universities have world-class research facilities and offer students the chance to work with world-renowned professors and researchers.

BU is home to a range of research centers and institutes, including the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and the Infectious Diseases Institute. The university also offers many research opportunities for undergraduate students. Cornell has similarly impressive research facilities, including the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. The university offers research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Additionally, both universities have extensive libraries and databases that provide students with access to a wealth of research materials. BU’s Mugar Memorial Library has over 2.2 million volumes, while Cornell’s Olin Library has over 8 million volumes. Both libraries also offer access to numerous online databases and journals, making it easy for students to conduct research from anywhere.

Faculty Members and Teaching Styles: Boston University vs Cornell

The faculty members and teaching styles at Boston University and Cornell are important factors to consider when choosing a university. Both universities have world-class faculty members, but they differ in their teaching styles.

BU’s faculty members are known for their research and academic expertise. The university also offers a range of teaching styles, including traditional lectures, seminars, and hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Cornell’s faculty members are similarly renowned, with an emphasis on mentorship and hands-on learning opportunities.

View of a female student talking in front of two people.

Another important aspect to consider is the size of the classes. At Boston University, classes tend to be larger, with some lecture halls accommodating up to 300 students. This can be beneficial for students who thrive in a more independent learning environment.

However, at Cornell, classes tend to be smaller, with an average class size of 20 students. This allows for more personalized attention from professors and a greater opportunity for class discussion and participation.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. At Boston University, students can participate in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which pairs students with faculty members to conduct research in a variety of fields.

At Cornell, students can participate in the Cornell Research Program, which offers similar opportunities for research collaboration with faculty members. These programs provide valuable hands-on experience and can be a great way for students to build relationships with faculty members in their field of study.

Student Organizations, Clubs, and Extracurricular Activities: Boston University vs Cornell

Finally, it’s important to consider the extracurricular activities and student organizations available at Boston University and Cornell. Both universities offer a wide range of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.

BU has over 450 student organizations, including honor societies, service groups, and cultural clubs. The university also offers a robust intramural sports program. Cornell has over 1,000 student organizations, including academic societies, cultural clubs, and community service groups.

Additionally, both universities have a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. BU has the BUild Lab, a space for students to develop and launch their own startups, as well as the BU Spark! Program, which provides funding and resources for student-led projects.

Cornell has the eLab, a program that supports student entrepreneurs with mentorship, funding, and workspace, as well as the Cornell Tech campus in New York City, which focuses on technology and entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, both universities offer opportunities for students to engage in research and creative projects outside of the classroom. BU has the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which allows students to work with faculty on research projects, as well as the BU Arts Initiative, which provides funding and resources for students to pursue creative projects.

Cornell has the Cornell Research Program, which offers research opportunities in a variety of fields, as well as the Cornell Council for the Arts, which supports student-led arts projects and performances.

University students talking in front of a laptop.

Conclusion

When choosing between Boston University and Cornell, there are many factors to consider. Both universities offer unique experiences and educational opportunities. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preferences, strengths, and goals.

Do you prefer urban or rural living? Do you want a strong focus on business or agriculture? Do you want a liberal arts education or a specialized program? Consider these factors carefully and choose the university that is the best fit for you.

It is important to note that both Boston University and Cornell have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and opportunities after graduation. Additionally, both universities have a diverse student body, allowing for a rich cultural experience and exposure to different perspectives.

When it comes to extracurricular activities, Boston University offers a wide range of options, including over 500 student organizations and a strong athletics program. Cornell, on the other hand, has a strong focus on sustainability and offers opportunities for students to get involved in environmental initiatives and research.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.

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