Author: Claire Baum


1. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Commonly known as America’s coldest city, this is the sort of place I’ve put on my weather app just to feel a little bit better about going to school in Ithaca. Seriously, it’s that bad. It’s not uncommon for the weather to reach around -50 degrees Fahrenheit at certain points in the Winter. The coldest recorded average was -66 Fahrenheit. Average daily lows are in the negatives in mid-winter.


2. McGill University

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


With record lows of nearly -30 degrees Fahrenheit, this school defines hell frozen over. Not to mention far walks to class and plenty of hills – McGills urban environment doesn’t do much to spare students from the cold. One of my friends who attended the school described her walk to class by saying, “It was so cold that you’d start tearing up, and then you’d worry that your eyes might freeze.” With an even colder climate and fewer class cancellations than Cornell, I applaud anyone who puts up with weather like this.


3. University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota


Weather is certainly not one of North Dakota’s more redeeming features – with average winter lows around -10 Farenheit. On a side note, this school is actually older than Cornell. Who would have thought?


4. Macalester College

St. Paul, Minnesota


Average January temperatures are, on average, nearly 10 degrees colder on in St. Paul than in Ithaca. On the bright side, their campus is smaller, and the flat midwestern landscape leaves no equivalent to the infamous Libe Slope.


5. Middlebury College

Middlebury, Vermont

With average January temperatures in the teens, it’s no wonder this school is located within reasonable driving vicinity of some of Vermont’s greatest ski slopes. At least they have that going for them.