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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

The information on this site pertains to the Summer College 2018 program. If you would like to be notified when 2019 information and applications are available, please join the Summer College announcement list. We also invite you to become a fan of our Summer College Facebook Page.


As a Summer College student, you'll be housed in a single or double room, or share a triple, in one of our residence halls on North Campus.

The buildings contain study areas, laundry rooms, piano lounges, and main lounges for studying and large gatherings. Men and women live in separate units or floors with close supervision by residential staff. The staff-to-student ratio is approximmately 1:25.

Please note that the residence halls are not air conditioned.

Students who need accessible housing accommodations (i.e., single room, strobe fire alarms, an air conditioning unit installed) due to a documented disability or chronic health condition must submit this request no later than Friday, May 25. See Students with disabilities for additional information and instructions.

Residence halls open at 9 a.m. on the date your program starts. (For closing times and dates, see the final exam schedule.) Requests for early arrival and late departure must be made in advance by e-mail at Approvals for early arrival and late departure are made on a case-by-case basis.

Students approved for early arrival may arrive no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the day before their program opens. Students approved for late departure must depart by 9:00 a.m. the day after their program closes. The fee for the extra night includes only housing accommodations.

Each student will receive a Summer College housing and dining guide on Opening Day.


Summer College students are required to live on campus with other Summer College participants. Exceptions are made only for students who live locally with a parent/guardian.

We believe that living in the same room, hall, or residence with someone from a different part of the world or section of the country can be one of the best learning experiences at Cornell.

Please note that you may not request a roommate. Room and roommate assignments will be given to you when you arrive.

We work closely with our students to assist them in adjusting to different interests and lifestyles. Room changes are only granted in extreme situations.

How to make the most of your roommate experience

While having and being a roommate can have its challenges, it can also be one of the best parts of your Summer College experience. Through communication, courtesy, and mutual respect you and your roommate(s) can live together in harmony, and may even become lifelong friends!

Whether you grew up with siblings, or this is the first time you've shared your living space with someone, here are some tips for getting along with your roomie(s):

  1. Get to know one another
    One of best ways for you and your new roommate(s) to ease into sharing a living space is to take some time early on to get to know one another. Even if it feels awkward, take the initiative to ask some friendly questions, such as "Where are you from?" "What program(s) are you in?" or "What do you like to do for fun?" Consider doing something together during the first few days to get to know one another better, like sharing a meal or exploring the campus. Discovering what you have in common and also ways you're different helps create the foundation for a happy roommate relationship.
  2. Establish ground rules
    Once you've moved into your dorm room, sit down with your roommate(s) and establish some ground rules. Talk about things like keeping the room tidy, having friends over, and sharing—or not sharing—your stuff. Communicating clearly, letting one another know your needs, preferences, and quirks are excellent ways to make sure your joint living experience is a good one.
  3. Respect one another's personal space
    Being a good roommate comes down to courtesy and respect. This is especially important when you're sharing a small living space with others. Practicing good habits early on, such as tidying up your side of the room, being courteous of others' sleeping habits (i.e., keeping the noise and lights low after your roommate goes to bed), and always asking before borrowing anything, even if you think your roommate(s) won't mind, will help you to get along.
  4. Talk about problems
    Expressing your feelings goes a long way toward achieving good roommate relations. When problems come up, it's better to talk them through with your roommate(s) right away instead of ignoring them and allowing them to get worse. Whatever you do, don't discuss the problems you're having with your roommates behind their backs! If you feel uncomfortable addressing the issue alone, you can get assistance from your residence community advisor (RCA) or head resident (HR).
  5. Stay flexible and prepared to compromise
    You may find that one of the most important skills you gain this summer is how to share a living space with others. The key is staying flexible and open to change throughout the summer and being prepared to compromise. Not everyone has the same ideas about day-to-day living as you. But compromise does not have to mean sacrifice. When issues arise, take some time to address them together, and, ideally, find a solution that works well for everyone. Learning the art of good communication and give and take will serve you well long after Summer College is over.

These tips, along with a large dose of good humor, will go far in helping you make the most of your Summer College roommate experience and the best summer of your life!

Residential staff

Residential community advisors (RCAs) also live in the residence halls with you, providing supervision and guidance. As Cornell students, RCAs may know your professors and may have taken the same courses you're taking. They'll share their college experiences with you and may have suggestions about choosing a college and major. Most importantly, they'll work hard to ensure that your experience in the residence hall is a good one.

Residence hall rules

Nightly check-in

Nightly check-in times are 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Residence staff members will conduct an evening check to be sure you are in your building.

Residents wishing to go to bed earlier than night check should make arrangements by contacting the RCA on call up to one hour before Nightly Check.

On-call RCAs can be contacted through the RCA on-call number posted on your floor. RCAs must be contacted by 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday for early night check.

Residents are expected to be in their rooms and in bed (sleeping) if they request an early bed check.

After night check, RCAs will go to the rooms of students who turned in early to ensure they are in bed.

Other regulations

For detailed information about smoking, noise, guest, cooking, and decorating restrictions, consult the Campus Life Brochure you will receive upon arrival at Summer College.

Dorm rooms

Your room comes furnished with:

  • a lamp
  • a fan
  • a bed for each resident
  • a desk for each resident
  • a bureau for each resident
  • bookcases and chairs
  • pillows, bed linens, and blankets

Your room does not have air conditioning. The North Campus residence halls are among the earliest buildings on the Cornell campus and were built before central air conditioning was prevalent. We do have a number of very hot days every summer when the dorm rooms can become uncomfortably warm.

To cope with the heat, we suggest you bring an additional desk or window fan, and/or rent a fan from the local rental agency (call Lewis Freedman at 607.539.6673). If you have a documented disability related medical need for air conditioning, please review the process for registering with Student Disability Services at:

What to bring to Summer College

Below is a list of items recommended by some of our Summer College alums. Watch out, though—you'll need a big suitcase to fit in everything on this list.

If you want to change your bed linens more often than once a week, consider bringing an extra set of long twin sheets (also known as dorm-size sheets) and a bed pad. Visit our to-do list if you are interested in renting a refrigerator or extra fan for your room.

  • computer (and charger) (optional)
  • writing supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, etc.)
  • backpack
  • cell phone (and charger) or prepaid phone card and your address book (There are no landline phones in students' rooms.)
  • ATM card (The banks on the Cornell campus do not cash money orders, traveler's checks, or personal checks.)
  • $$$ for books, printer services, laundry, additional snacks, and entertainment
  • water bottle
  • laundry basket and laundry soap
  • clothes hangers
  • clothes for a variety of weather conditions
  • towels
  • swimsuit
  • rain gear and umbrella
  • comfy shoes
  • one "business casual" outfit, for one of the Summer College special events and class presentations
  • shampoo, soap, and other personal supplies—and a basket to carry toiletries into the bathroom
  • your favorite pillow (Cornell provides one, but is one ever enough?) and favorite comforter
  • extra lamp (Cornell provides one in each room. Bulbs for halogen lamps must be no more than 150 watts. Spider lamps are prohibited.)
  • radio, MP3 player or iPod
  • alarm clock
  • power strips
  • flashlight
  • musical instrument
  • bike (Ithaca has been voted a top place to ride bikes, especially if you love hills), a strong bike lock, and bike helmet
  • tennis racket and other athletic equipment
  • camera

What not to bring

Don't bring everything you own. Definitely don't bring

  • a television or an air conditioner, because you won't be able to use them;
  • pets of any kind (only service animals are allowed); or
  • an automobile, motorcycle, scooter, or motorbike, none of which you are permitted to have on campus—nor may you ride in other people's cars or motorized conveyances on or off campus. (Written permission to ride in a private car may be granted for certain restricted occasions. Public transportation can take you to most places.)

Cash / ATMs

Students frequently ask us how much spending money they should bring. This is really an individual decision. All your meals and most of your other activities are included in the cost of the program. Students attending the three-week program will probably need about $100 to $150 for books and supplies. Six-week students will need about $150 to $200—unless you're taking an art or architecture course, in which case supplies will be more expensive.

Neither the university nor anyone on the residence staff can hold money for you, and leaving it in your room or carrying a large amount of cash with you is not a great idea. We suggest that you use the bank machines located in Appel Commons, Robert Purcell Community Center, Willard Straight Hall, or the Cornell Store. These ATMs have global access hookups. Or, you may want to talk with your home bank to get some suggestions for how to keep money on campus. Six-week students may choose to open a savings account in an on-campus bank branch. Campus banks do not cash traveler's checks, money orders, or personal checks. You can, however, bring traveler's checks to purchase items or use a bank debit card.


You'll find washers and dryers in each residence hall. We take care of your bed linens at the weekly linen exchange; all other laundering is up to you.

You can use the washers and dryers by "swiping" your Cornell ID card. Each wash cycle is $1.75 and each dry cycle is $1.30 (fees are subject to change). If you need to add laundry money to your Cornell ID card during the program, you can do so--after you arrive--by credit card. This can be done at

NOTE: This is a use or lose account, so we recommend that you are conservative with the amount of money you add to the account. Funds are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Postal addresses

Please give your correspondents the following mailing address:

Balch Hall

[Student's name]
Cornell University
Summer College Programs
Robert Purcell Community Center
[Student's room number, building, and NetID]
Ithaca, NY 14853

Clara Dickson Hall

[Student's name]
Cornell University
Summer College Programs
Robert Purcell Community Center
[Student's room number, building, and NetID]
Ithaca, NY 14853

Jameson Hall

[Student's name]
Cornell University
Summer College Programs
Robert Purcell Community Center
[Student's room number, building, and NetID]
Ithaca, NY 14853

Risley Hall

[Student's name]
Cornell University
Summer College Programs
Robert Purcell Community Center
[Student's room number, building, and NetID]
Ithaca, NY 14853

After you arrive on campus and find out your room number, tell your correspondents to add the building and room number to your address; mail addressed with a room number will arrive more quickly.

Clearly mark your packages with "Summer College" so the staff will know to hold the packages. Try to time the arrival of the packages with your own arrival to avoid confusion.

Please do not have your mail or packages sent to the Summer College Academic Advising office at B20 Day Hall. It will slow down the delivery of your mail.