Living on Campus

Cornell is a residential campus—a place where students live, learn, and play together. Students build close-knit communities in our residence halls, gather several times daily in The Thomas Commons, and enjoy the beautiful, peaceful atmosphere of the Hilltop and Mount Vernon. They also find plenty of ways to explore the diversity of eastern Iowa and beyond during weekends and monthly block breaks.

Live, learn, play

The vast majority of Cornell students live in our residence halls where they enjoy many room options, including singles, doubles, triples, suites, and apartments. As a first-year student, you’ll live on a “first-year floor" with services and programming dedicated to helping you adjust to college life and build relationships. Want to go even deeper? First-year theme floors bring like-minded students together for a journey that emphasizes teamwork, leadership development, and service to the community.

The Thomas Commons: Cornell's town square

The heart of Cornell student life is our Thomas Commons, where students gather three times a day to enjoy meals from our award-winning dining services provider, Bon Appétit. Much more than a place to dine, the Commons is also the place to socialize, organize a late-night event, dance, explore volunteer opportunities, DJ for KRNL, write for The Cornellian, and more. The Commons will soon be better than ever, thanks to a $14 million renovation that will be largely complete by the fall of 2013.

Unapologetically ... orange?

The Orange Carpet is the hub of activity in the Thomas Commons—students gather on the OC for concerts, political speeches, Cornell’s annual Student Symposium, events organized by various student organizations, and a host of impromptu gatherings. Adjacent to the OC is Zamora's Market, a perfect place to study and socialize with overstuffed chairs, wireless Internet, and freshly roasted fair trade coffee.

Block breaks: Pure fun

At Cornell, you’ll get a midyear break and a spring break like all college students. But because of our One Course At A Time curriculum, you also enjoy several “block breaks.” After finishing each block, you take a four-day weekend before starting the next term. Each break can be a celebration, a respite, or an adventure. 

One of the '10 Coolest Small Towns in America'

Fodor's Travel recently named Mount Vernon one of "5 Midwestern Small Towns to Visit Now," and Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel placed Mount Vernon on a "10 coolest small towns in America" list for its mix of creative spirit and historic charm. Mount Vernon’s own Lincoln Café has won raves from O Magazine, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Just 10 minutes down the road you can hike or canoe through the majestic river bluffs of Palisades-Kepler State Park. Or take a short drive to Iowa City (home of the University of Iowa) or Cedar Rapids for access to live bands, street festivals, movies, shopping, and art museums.