2 points that you might want to consider: At Cornell you'll get 2000 dols a month after tax. Its much more that what you need.Cornell campus facilities are really nice (its really great for sport).I do understand that you want to leave in the city but think about it twice: you'll be poor for the next 4-6 years.Especially if you have to pay for any extra activities that you want to do.I'm from a big city myself and when I went to Cornell for the first time I thought wtf! I'm not gonna spent 4 years here ... i spend the whole first semester in the city visiting all my friends working in IB. I enjoyed the night life etc ... but after a while, I got tired of going out all the time, spending my week ends hangover in the village. So I started to explore the life in Ithaca and I fell in love. First, I transform myself into a nature lover. But I also realize that Ithaca has one of the largest communities of grad student.I spent the last summer in the city doing an internship and I hated it (this place is a zoo, loud, aggressive etc). In conclusion, first 6 month in Ithaca are tough but after a while you'll discover a life that you will never have again: I assume that you'll get a job in a bank and then you'll live in NYC, London, etc ... So why not spending the next 4 years in beautiful environment? You can always spend your summers in the city!