With a few pandemic-related exceptions, all successful applicants to Cornell University have an “A” average in a demanding high school curriculum, exceptional SAT/ACT scores, and a track record of success in (typically) two or more extracurricular activities. However, these attributes are necessary but often not sufficient, as Cornell rejects 93% of the homogeneous horde of high-achieving candidates who apply each year We will look at the following in addition to the most recent acceptance rate for Cornell University:
The purpose of this article is to thoroughly explain the following subjects to those who are thinking about applying to Cornell University:
|College of Agriculture and Life Sciences||11.5%|
|College of Architecture, Art, and Planning||11.4%|
|College of Arts and Sciences||10.9%|
|Dyson School of Economics & Management||2.9%|
DRIVING FORCES BEHIND CORNELL’S LOW ACCEPTANCE RATES
Due to test-optional pandemic policies, applicants from all over the world threw their hats into previously out-of-reach ring to be considered for admission to elite colleges and universities in the 2021 admissions cycle.
Virtual admissions outreach also spurred application volume at schools like Cornell. As the pandemic closed campus to prospective students for tours and info sessions, Cornell’s website featured a virtual visit hub including videos of campus and housing tours, interviews with students, and information sessions. The upside to campus closures and COVID creativity: students from a wider demographic could reach the Finger Lakes from their living rooms. Of those admitted to the Class of 2025, students hail from every U.S. state but Wyoming; and 34.2% self-identify as underrepresented minorities.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS AT CORNELL
Many applicants to Ivy League schools are overly preoccupied with prestige and neglect to take into account what makes each Ivy unique. However, just because something works at Brown doesn’t mean it will work at Cornell (hint: you won’t want to gush about an open curriculum in your Cornell supplemental essay).
Ezra Cornell and A. D. White established the university in 1865 with the revolutionary goal of establishing an “institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” which would include useful fields like the agricultural sciences that would aid American workers. You might be a great fit for Cornell if you have interests and experience in areas like farming, food sciences, or labor relations. You should definitely mention this in your application essays. One TTA student who was accepted to Cornell wrote an essay relating the income inequality in the US to his summer job working at a steel mill.
You should also be aware that Cornell University, a land-grant institution, has a focus on public service in New York because several of its programs are funded by the state. It is also a significant research organization with connections around the world. You should emphasize any public service or international experiences you have when applying to Cornell. (However, avoid writing the overused essay about how spending two weeks working with content orphans in Costa Rica made you incredibly appreciative of all the blessings in your life; connect with us for essay guidance to stay away from these pitfalls.)
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Cornell’s requirement that students apply directly to one of its eight undergraduate colleges is another way the university differs from the other Ivies. As you prepare to write Cornell’s College Interest Essay, you’ll want to spend time researching the websites of the colleges that interest you. Your choice of college should be based on your track record of scholarly activity in a specific field—in other words, on what you’ve actually done, not what you hope to do. You can write the most passionate essay about how you want to revolutionize rice farming in South Asia to mitigate hunger and greenhouse gas emissions; but unless you have backed this interest with high-level research in sustainable agriculture and work experience on a farm, you won’t be as convincing to admissions readers and should consider a different college that aligns better with your academic experiences.
UNDERSTAND THE NUMBERS
Acceptance rates for Early versus Regular Decision Applications: As we’ve discussed on the TTA blog, students’ chances of admission can significantly increase if they apply Early Decision (ED) at institutions like Cornell that offer a binding Early Decision (ED) plan. Of the 5,836 students admitted to Cornell%E2%80%99s Class of 2025, the university has not yet specified what percentage was admitted in the ED round, but we can get a sense from the class of 2024 data: the Early Decision acceptance rate was ~24%, while Regular Decision was 8 7%.
Because of compensating factors, ED acceptance rates weren’t quite as low in 2020 as one might have anticipated due to anxiety surrounding COVID-19 and schools’ desire to lock in tuition payments as soon as possible. Although it’s likely that ED acceptance rates will “normalize” again now that the pandemic is more under control, binding Early Decision plans will always increase the likelihood of admission. Colleges want to admit students who they are confident will attend in order to protect their yield, the percentage of applicants who accept offers of admission, a crucial indicator for national rankings and luring the best and brightest. To have the best chance of being admitted, you should definitely apply Early Decision if Cornell is on your list of top universities.
Acceptance Rates Across Colleges: Cornell’s general acceptance rate for the class of 2025 was 8.7%, but that doesn’t tell the full story—students have to apply directly to an undergraduate college, where acceptance rates vary. Though we don’t yet have college-specific acceptance rates for the most recent cycle, we can gauge relative selectivity among schools by looking at last year’s data:
Class of 2024 General Acceptance Rate: 10.7%
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 14.7%
- College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: 12.3%
- College of Arts and Sciences: 8.8%
- Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: 8.0%
- College of Engineering: 9.2%
- School of Hotel Administration: 30.1%
- College of Human Ecology: 23.1%
- School of Industrial and Labor Relations: 16.5%
This information is most beneficial if you are a younger student with a limited amount of time left to develop an academic focus in one of these fields and increase your chances of acceptance to that college. The School of Hotel Administration (SHA) has the highest acceptance rate, but choosing to apply there is not as straightforward as doing so: “Students applying to a particular Cornell college or school solely on the basis of its acceptance rate may find that the selection process works against them,” an admissions FAQ response states. “All undergraduate colleges and schools carefully consider the “match” between an applicant’s academic and extracurricular interests and the program to which they are applying during the selection process. A demonstrated passion for pursuing a career in the hospitality industry is what they’re looking for, according to the SHA undergraduate admissions page. We seek candidates with a track record of leadership, a solid work ethic, and an understanding of the difficulties of operating a company in the service sector, typically as evidenced by prior employment in the sector. ”.
The Data on Hooks: 34.2% of students admitted to Cornell’s class of 2025 self-identify as underrepresented minorities (URM), an increase from 33.7% last year. An URM is defined as American Indian (U.S.), Black (U.S), Hawaiian/Pacific Isle (U.S.) or any combination including one or more of these categories. All students of Hispanic ethnicity, regardless of race, are also considered URM. With colleges showing interest in increasing the diversity of their class composition, URM students have an admissions hook: if their test scores, GPA, and class rank are in range of a school, they will have a competitive advantage over other admissible students who do not have an admissions hook.
Nearly 20% of students admitted this year are also first-generation college students, or the first in their family to attend college in the U.S. First gen status is another admissions hook. While Cornell hasn’t specified how many URMs are also first gen, we do know that first gens comprised 15% of admitted students last year—another sign of a trend that makes admissions more competitive for non-hooked students.
As far as other hooks are concerned, Cornell hasn’t yet released this data for the class of 2025, but the class of 2024 contains 6.5% recruited athletes and 14.8% “descendants of Cornell alumni.” And one more hook that we won’t find any numbers on is institutional VIPs: celebrities, children of high-profile faculty or university administrators, and children of major development interest.
It’s not as easy as adding up all of these percentages to determine how many students were admitted without hooks because we don’t know the overlap of these hooks, or which recruited athletes are also URMs or children of alumni. What we do know is that your academic profile (grades, test scores, and class rank) will need to be at the very top of Cornell’s range in order to pass the initial screening and even have your application read if you are a non-URM and better at eSports than dribbling, and if neither of your parents are famous or generous donors to Cornell.
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Academic Profile of Admitted Students: It’s important to understand that students who submitted high test scores in the ’20-’21 cycle were at an advantage at all schools, despite the fact that colleges and universities widely adopted a test-optional admissions policy due to the difficulties of COVID-19 during recent admissions cycles. The middle 50% of the class of 2024 scored 1410-1530 on the SAT and 32-35 on the ACT composite The averages for the class of 2025 are yet to be published, but since this data reflects pre-pandemic testing, they are even higher. Everywhere’s testing averages increased because only those who performed well reported And among students who submitted class rank, 83. 7% graduated in the top ten percent of their class.
Cornell has announced plans to continue test-optional admissions for students applying in both 2021 and 2022, but consider the fine print on their admissions page: “Cornell overall has not planned to adopt a test-optional admission policy permanently. As appears to be true at test-optional colleges and universities, we anticipate that many students who will have had reasonable and uninterrupted opportunities to take the ACT and/or SAT during 2020-2021 administrations will continue to submit results, and those results will continue to demonstrate preparation for college-level work.”
But, here’s an interesting exception. The following colleges “will be score-free and will not use test scores in the admissions process” for the classes of 2021 and 2022:
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
- Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
- School of Hotel Administration
The other four colleges—Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Industrial and Labor Relations—will be “test optional,” according to the Cornell admissions page. The admissions procedure for these “includes a review of the test results they receive. Therefore, it is safe to assume that in order to apply to one of these colleges at Cornell without a hook, you will need to rank in the top ten percent of your class, take the SAT or ACT, and achieve a minimum score of 1550 or 35-36, respectively. However, keep in mind that any easing of testing requirements leads to increased competitiveness, as the last cycle’s explosion in application volume proved, regardless of whether your college of interest is “score free” or “test optional.”
CAPITALIZE ON YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SUMMERS
Jahnay Bryan ’23 cites the summer months as a key time for beefing up your application profile: “Summer enrichment programs can add nuance to your college application and make you stand out…it will directly demonstrate your commitment to a particular field or interest.” At Top Tier Admissions, we guide students in cultivating academic interests and leveraging them for high-impact civic engagement. Summer is a key time for going above and beyond your academic coursework to pursue your own independent learning and then apply that learning in ways that benefit your community.
This is crucial at Cornell because there are seven colleges to which students can apply directly: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Art, and Planning, Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Industrial and Labor Relations Students must exhibit a history of significant engagement and intellectual pursuit in the pertinent field in order to be competitive for any of these specialized fields (and even for the most renowned Arts and Sciences college, demonstrated interest in a specific subject matter, be it Arabic or Art History or Cognitive Science).
Develop an academic focus for your student throughout middle school and into high school by extending their interests outside of the classroom!
The strongest applicants will take advantage of their free time in the summer to demonstrate— through credit-bearing college courses, civic engagement, and competitive academic programs— “the intellectual curiosity and tenacity” that Jahnay Bryan says Cornell students embody. Note to self: illustrate intellectual curiosity and tenacity in the application essays!
Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Info Session Part 1: Introduction
Is it hard to get into Cornell school of Agriculture and Life Sciences?
According to Cornell’s admissions statistics, roughly a third of its freshmen class participated in early decision. Out of 9,017 early decision applicants, Cornell admitted 1,930, for an early decision acceptance rate of 21% in 2021. 4%.
Which college at Cornell is the easiest to get into?
The Hotel School in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is the least competitive with an acceptance rate of 30% The School of Human Ecology has a 23 % acceptance rate, the second-highest acceptance rate of all the schools at Cornell
Is it hard to get into Cornell aap?
Class of 2026 acceptance rate for Cornell University: 4,908 out of over 71,000 applications received for a spot in the freshman class of 2022–2023 were accepted. This means that the Cornell acceptance rate was 6. 9%, the lowest in school history. The Class of 2025 admit rate was 8. 7%.
How hard is it to get into Cornell ILR?
The regular acceptance rate for Cornell is 8. 7%. Given the low acceptance rate, it might be worthwhile to apply to Cornell Early Decision in order to increase your chances of being accepted.