Affordable housing is readily available in Ithaca. Ithaca is both small enough that much of the housing is a short walk or bus ride, but large enough that each area has it’s own unique feeling. Please note that much of the housing will rent in the Spring for the following Fall.
Hughes Hall is the dormitory connected to Cornell Law School. As a first-year law student, you have the opportunity to live there, but spaces fill quickly. If you are interested in an on-campus dormitory, please return the housing materials as soon as possible after being admitted.
If you prefer to live in other campus housing, please visit the Graduate and Professional Student Housing (GPSH) for more information.
Local Communities Closest to Campus
Located one block from the Law School, Collegetown is composed of off-campus student housing. Collegetown is convenient to campus and local services, but also features higher rents, a concentration of undergraduate students, and loud weekend nights. Parking, while plentiful in Ithaca, is limited and expensive in Collegetown. If the convenience of being close to the Law School and near many restaurants appeals to you, you may want to consider this area.
The majority of Cornell University graduate students live in Lower Collegetown. This area is quieter, less-expensive, and features more parking spots than Collegetown. It’s located between the Law School and downtown.
Downtown is a diverse area of single family homes and apartments occupied by graduate students, faculty, families, and locals. Compared to Collegetown, rent is more reasonable, parking more plentiful, and entertainment more accessible. Restaurants, cafes, independent bookstores, bars, an independent movie theater, and stores fill the downtown area, which is known locally as the “Commons”. The Law School is an easy, though uphill walk, from downtown, and regular bus service runs frequently from downtown past the Law School. The bus trip takes approximately 5 minutes up the hill.
Other Local Areas
Northeast/Shops at Ithaca Mall is located near the largest shopping area of Ithaca with frequent bus service to the Law School. Most rental housing is in the form of apartment complexes with moderate rents, quiet nights, and free parking. From the Northeast, students bike, drive or take a bus to the Law School.
Cayuga Heights forms the northern border of Cornell University. Many of the large houses in Ithaca’s fanciest neighborhood include small apartments that are rented to graduate students. The best way to find out about these apartments is by word of mouth or in the Ithaca Journal or Craigslist.
West Hill is located on the other side of Ithaca from Cornell University. This is a diverse area with few students and many families.
South Hill is south of Cornell University and home to Ithaca College. Most rental units are filled by Ithaca College undergraduates.
East Hill is located northeast of Collegetown and borders Cornell University. This area is very close to the school with good bus service. Townhomes with moderate to expensive rents comprise much of the East Hill rental housing. Parking tends to be plentiful and free.
Fall Creek comprises the northern part of the downtown area. Most rentals are older homes with multiple bedrooms; although apartments do exist in the larger homes. This residential area, populated by families and some graduate students, is an easy walk to downtown Ithaca.
Moving further out from Ithaca, rents decrease and space increases. Houses with large yards in a rural setting can rent for as little as $1000-$1200 per month. Tompkins County has excellent bus service, and many of the farther out areas have bus service to Cornell University. Some areas that are popular for staff and locals include: Lansing, Dryden, Newfield, Groton, and Trumansburg. Some students have found 9 month lakefront rentals along Cayuga Lake.
Listings and Resources
The following are resources for finding different types of housing.
Cornell Off-Campus Housing List. This searchable site sponsored by Cornell University is an excellent starting place for finding housing.
The Ithaca Journal is the local paper with listings for the Ithaca community. Please note that most housing is rented in Spring for the following Fall.
The Cornell Daily Sun, the student run paper, has listings for mostly Collegetown apartments and some apartments surrounding the University.
- Craigslist is a really good local option for those apartments not owned by large apartment complexes.