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Cornell has one of the highest rates of employability in the United States with more than 23,000 students and 250,000 alumni. S. More than 60 Nobel laureates, Turing Award winners, and numerous Olympians attended the school.
Translation: you can’t do much better than Cornell University.
Numerous prospective students from around the world submit applications to Ivy League schools each year, and while the majority of them are rejected, Cornell University has one of the highest acceptance rates in the league.
However, just because Cornell accepts more students than other Ivy League institutions does not imply that admission is straightforward.
This guide covers all the information you need to know regarding how to get into Cornell, including the minimum GPA and test scores required, the Cornell application process, Cornell’s acceptance rate, and more.
About Cornell University
Before we talk about how to get into Cornell university, let’s explore precisely why so many prospective students want to study there
Cornell University was founded in 1865, and it’s a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York
Don’t make the mistake of confusing Cornell University with Cornell College, which is a small private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Interestingly, however, the founders of both Cornell University and Cornell College were related.
One of the many reasons Cornell University is exceptional is that it is one of the few private land-grant universities in the United States. S.
But what is a land grant university?
An American higher education institution known as a land grant university is one that received federal land to build agricultural or mechanical colleges in the 1800s. The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 made these donations possible, and beneficiaries included Kansas State University and Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Since then, many land grant universities have transformed into public research institutions. But a few institutions like Cornell have remained private.
However, Cornell’s distinction goes beyond its location on a special piece of land and the laws that helped establish it.
A total of over 23,000 students attend Cornell University. Of those, approximately 14,700 are undergraduates and 6,200 are graduates.
The student body of Cornell is divided among seven undergraduate colleges and schools. Unlike some large Ivy League institutions, each college and school at Cornell maintains its own curriculum, admissions standards, and faculty.
But each graduate receives a degree from Cornell University regardless of their college of choice.
Cornell University has two satellite campuses in addition to its expansive, Ivy League campus in Ithaca, New York.
One satellite campus is based in New York City. The other satellite campus is located in Education City, Qatar, where several successful international campuses of western universities are currently operating.
Cornell also has history and a distinguished past if you’re looking for that.
61 Nobel laureates, four recipients of the Turing Award, and one Fields Medalist are among Cornell University’s impressive alumni list.
Additionally, the university conferred the first journalism degree in history, the U S. ‘s first veterinary medicine degree and the first electrical and industrial engineering doctorates, respectively
Undergraduate application requirements
One of the top universities in the U.S. is Cornell University. S. therefore, it should be obvious that Cornell admissions are fairly selective.
You must meet a number of prerequisites and requirements in order to be eligible to enroll at Cornell as an undergraduate student.
That being said, it’s also worth noting that Cornell has one of the highest undergraduate acceptance rates of anywhere in the Ivy League
To help give you a rough idea of what you’ve got to achieve to get into Cornell, let’s delve into the school’s 2020 admissions figures.
Cornell Tuition and Fees
The tuition you’ll pay at Cornell varies depending on whether you’re a resident of New York state. Undergraduate residents pay $41,958 compared to $62,456 for non-residents. Along with tuition, every student has to pay the following fees:
- Student activity fee: $310
- Health fee: $434
In addition to these expenses, students living on-campus also pay:
Students must pay additional costs associated with their studies, such as those for books, educational supplies, and transportation, in addition to those that the university charges.
As a result, the estimated total cost for an undergraduate student at Cornell, which includes tuition and all other costs, is as follows:
Cornell Total Cost
New York Resident
Non-New York Resident
Cornell Scholarships and Financial Aid
These costs may seem steep, but you can reduce this considerably with the help of Cornell scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. A first-year student at Cornell receives an average grant of $43,250. Cornell scholarships and grants are purely need-based: the university does not have any provision to offer scholarships or aid based on merit, athletic achievements, or other qualifications.
For students who previously received aid from another Ivy League institution, Cornell strives to provide aid based on similar terms.
The types of financial aid that Cornell students may receive include:
- Cornell’s scholarships and grants are funded by gifts from alumni and university endowments in addition to general fund. When Cornell students apply for financial aid, they are automatically eligible for scholarships and grants. In accordance with the students’ outside funds, loans, and work-study benefits, the university then grants aid.
- Various federal and state grants and scholarships are available, each with specific eligibility requirements. These include the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, the Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship, the New York State Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA) Program, the NYS Excelsior Program, the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and the Senator’s Scholarship.
- Scholarships from Non-Profit Organizations: The university also assists students in finding external scholarships from non-profit organizations.
- Veterans are eligible for a variety of education and training benefits, as well as those for their spouses and families.
- Federal Work-Study (FWS): Students can work part-time jobs while they are in school to help pay for a portion of their educational costs. Work-study is typically expected to earn around $2,600 and is funded by the FWS program and Cornell. Unlike most institutions, Cornell also offers a summer work-study option.
- Loans: Students from families with annual incomes under $60,000 are exempt from taking out loans to cover their financial aid obligations. The loan obligation for every other student must be based on their yearly income.
What is Cornell’s acceptance rate?
Universities like Cornell determine their annual acceptance rates by totaling the admitted students, dividing that number by the total number of applicants, and averaging the results.
Cornell’s acceptance rate varies each year. Let’s look at the 2021 Cornell admissions data the university published for its “Class of 2025” to give you an idea of your odds of acceptance.
A total of 67,380 people applied to attend Cornell for the 2021–2022 academic year. Of that applicant pool, only 8. 7% of students were accepted — and only 5. 6% of applicants ultimately enrolled for the fall semester.
While 8. 7% may seem low, it%E2%80%99s actually a pretty generous acceptance rate if you look at some of Cornell%E2%80%99s Ivy League competitors
What do you need to get into Cornell?
Your grade point average (GPA) is the first indicator of performance you should take into account when applying to a university like Cornell. The grade point average (GPA) measures your overall performance across all of your previous classes.
Cornell is extremely competitive in terms of the GPA requirements for undergraduate admissions, as is obvious. But it’s crucial to remember that there isn’t a set GPA requirement to enroll.
That being said, you do need to shoot high. As a point of reference, 83. 7% of the students who enrolled at Cornell for the 2020%E2%80%9321 academic year finished high school in the top 10% of their class
As a result, anything below a GPA of around 3. 8 will probably be a long shot.
In the event that your GPA is a little bit lower, don’t let that deter you from applying. However, you’ll need to make up for the performance in other areas on your application, such as in standardized test scores, if you didn’t perform well in some of your high school classes.
What SAT score is needed for Cornell?
There is no published minimum SAT score that applicants must achieve in order to get into Cornell, similar to the GPA requirement.
However, with an acceptance rate of around 8.5%, you’ll need to show a high GPA and SAT/ACT scores. According to the US News & World Report, 50% of students accepted into Cornell have an SAT score of 1400-1540 or an ACT score of 32-35.
But if you want a rough idea of the SAT scores you’ll need to get in, all you need to do is comb through Cornell’s 202 admissions data.
A new Cornell student’s overall average SAT score was 1,510 last year. The average math score for incoming freshmen at Cornell was 780. The typical accepted scores in the evidence-based reading and writing section were around 730.
It’s interesting to note that 72 percent of applicants submit SAT scores, which may influence your decision. 6% of last year%E2%80%99s freshman class sent in SAT scores either on their own or in addition to ACT scores
What ACT score is needed for Cornell?
Last year, 35. 8% of accepted applicants opted to send in their ACT scores either in addition to SAT scores or on their own The admissions officers at Cornell, however, do not prefer one type of test over another. Both the SAT and ACT are treated equally.
If you’re thinking about including an ACT score with your undergraduate application, Cornell’s most recent accepted class had an average ACT score between 32 and 35.
Cornell wants to reiterate that there are no cutoff scores for standardized tests.
Your ACT or SAT score won’t always determine whether you get into Cornell because the undergraduate admissions committee is interested in applications from a variety of backgrounds and interests.
However, try to aim for high standardized test scores to increase your chances of acceptance.
Who Gets into Cornell?
Despite having the highest acceptance rate of any Ivy League institution, Cornell is not a guarantee for admission. As we’ve seen, the application process is extremely competitive, so you’ll need to have high SAT, ACT, and/or GPA scores.
There is no hard and fast rule, though, as a quarter of Cornell applicants who were accepted had GPAs and/or SAT/ACT scores outside of this range. Cornell considers applicants’ character and other qualities in addition to academic achievement when making decisions about them.
The primary attributes that Cornell looks for are:
- Intellect: Cornell seeks students who push themselves academically and exhibit a passion for learning
- Characteristics such as honesty, empathy, initiative, and open-mindedness should be clearly expressed in your personal essay because employers value these traits.
- The school also looks for applicants who have a history of leadership, extracurricular interest, and community involvement.
- Last but not least, the selection committee looks for applicants who can articulate why Cornell is the best university for them and how it will advance their careers.
Geographically, students from the following regions make up Cornell’s student cohort, based on the class of 2025:
- New York: 31.7%
- Mid-Atlantic States: 18.6%
- Western States: 12.2%
- New England States: 9.7%
- Midwestern States: 6.5%
- Southeastern States: 6.2%
- Southwestern States: 4.4%
- International: 10.5%
The student body’s ethnic composition is as follows:
- White: 50.5%
- Asian American: 30%
- African American: 13.7%
- American Indian: 2.2%
- Hispanic: 17.4%
Among the class of 2025, 27. 9% belong to underrepresented minorities and 53. 1% are students of color. The male-female proportion of the students is 45:55.
How do you apply to Cornell?
The procedure is simple if you want to apply to Cornell as a prospective undergraduate student.
First, you’ll need to complete and submit the Common Application. You must submit your school report, a counselor recommendation, and two teacher evaluations with the Common Application.
Once your midterm grades are available, you must submit a midyear report and an official high school transcript.
You must pay the $80 undergraduate application fee to Cornell at the time of submission.
Last but not least, you must complete the Cornell University Questions and Writing Supplement as well as any additional requirements set forth by the specific undergraduate institution you are applying to.
For instance, you might need to submit a portfolio, submit a particular design, or do well in an interview.
It’s critical that you adhere to the application process precisely and make sure you submit everything on time if you’re serious about getting into Cornell.
If Cornell is your top choice for a college, you should submit an early decision application.
Applications for early decision are evaluated in the fall, and those who are selected are typically notified by mid-December. By November 1st, if you want to apply for an early decision, you must.
How Do You Know if Your Child Should Apply to Cornell Early?
Cornell offers an Early Decision option for admission, with an early decision application deadline of November 1, much earlier than the regular admissions application date. At Cornell, an early decision is binding, so once you pursue this option, you cannot apply to other universities. Furthermore, once your early decision application is rejected, you cannot apply for regular admission.
As a result, you should only apply for early admission if you have thoroughly researched all of your college options and are certain that Cornell is your top choice. Be sure to start preparing early if early decision is something you’re interested in.
Cornell Application Deadlines 2022-23
Cornell University’s application deadlines for first-year students for the 2022-23 school year are:
- Early Decision 2022-23: November 1, 2022
(Result announcement: December)
- Regular Decision 2022-23: January 2, 2023
(Result announcement: April)
- Transfer admission – Spring semester: October 15, 2022
(Result announcement: November)
- Transfer admission – Fall semester: March 15, 2023
(Result announcement: May/ June)
What are Cornell Supplemental Essays?
Most universities ask you to submit an essay as part of your application, which typically discusses why you want to attend the school and how it aligns with your long-term objectives. However, some colleges, like Cornell, require an additional supplemental essay in which you must state why you selected that particular institution and why you believe you are a good fit.
Each college at Cornell University, which spans a number of academic disciplines, has a unique supplemental essay prompt. The purpose of the essay is to show how well you are familiar with the institution and why you are a worthy applicant. The supplemental essay is used by the selection committee to assess your intellect, creativity, enthusiasm, character, interest in the major, prior experience, and commitment to the field.
What kind of a business student are you, and how can Cornell’s business school help you achieve your goals based on your interests and aspirations? is an example of a prompt from the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell. Cornell’s college of business has two schools: one that focuses on economics and management, and the other that focuses on hotel management.
In essence, your essay must persuade the admissions committee that you are the best candidate for the Cornell University business management program.
A strong essay could:
- Show that you have been interested in business and management since a young age. Use concrete examples, such as participation in extracurricular activities, attendance at events, or work with the family business, and be sure to detail your actions and the outcomes.
- List the activities you actively engaged in in the discipline, the difficulties you encountered, how you overcame them, and your accomplishments.
- Indicate your particular interest in any particular branch of study, such as international business management, and any related activities you are currently engaged in.
- Show that you are knowledgeable about Cornell’s business school, its amenities, and how you think attending it will help you achieve your career goals.
A strong supplemental essay is necessary to convince the admissions committee that you are the ideal candidate for the institution, and it can help make up for a subpar GPA or SAT score.
Graduate Application Requirements
After discussing how to enter Cornell as an undergraduate student, let’s discuss how to enter Cornell as a graduate student and the GPA requirements for Cornell’s graduate school.
If you want to get into Cornell University Graduate School to pursue a master’s degree or a PhD, the application process you’ll need to follow is different
However, the Cornell university graduate school acceptance rate is similar to that for undergrads, with a Cornell phd acceptance rate of around 10%, so you’ll need to put together a strong application in order to be successful.
We’ll break down each step of the graduate application process as well as all of Cornell’s colleges and schools that grant graduate degrees to assist you in getting started.
Standardized testing requirements
Standardized test scores aren’t just an undergraduate admissions requirement. Additionally, students must submit their standardized test results as part of the application process for a variety of graduate programs at Cornell.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the test that applicants most frequently need to take in order to be admitted to Cornell University’s graduate program.
Conversely, some graduate programs substitute the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for the GRE.
A variety of degree programs accept either the GRE or the GMAT. Real estate, labor relations, and policy analysis are a few of these. You can choose whichever exam you want to take if you’re applying for a course in one of these fields.
The cutoff GRE or GMAT score for Cornell is not made public, similar to the ACT and SAT results. Any test scores you submit will be taken into account as part of your overall application, so it’s acceptable if you don’t get a perfect GRE score.
However, due to the low acceptance rate for the Cornell master’s program, you will undoubtedly need to perform well on the GRE or the GMAT if you want to enroll in Cornell as a graduate student.
How do you apply to a graduate program at Cornell?
Although Cornell’s graduate application procedure differs from its undergraduate application procedure, it is just as simple.
You must submit Cornell’s online application form to apply as a graduate. This application must contain information about the standardized test results that your program requires, letters of recommendation, and an academic statement of purpose.
Some programs demand a personal statement in addition to your academic statement.
You’ll also need to enclose all of your transcripts.
You may need to submit the results of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language to demonstrate that you meet the course’s language requirements, depending on where you’re from and how you were educated.
Last but not least, graduate applications must include a $105 application fee.
Let’s examine some particular Cornell colleges and the application process for them.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) offers research-focused degrees in 30 fields of study ranging from agriculture and food production to applied economics.
You must send your application to the Cornell University Graduate School directly if you want to enroll as a master’s student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. You can’t apply directly to CALS for graduate programs.
College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) offers degrees across a wide range of specializations.
The Cornell grad school oversees the majority of the master’s programs at Cornell AAP. Therefore, prospective applicants must send their applications to the Cornell University Graduate School directly.
Having said that, there are three distinct departments within the AAP, each of which has its own distinct requirements and deadlines for applications. Architecture, the arts, and city and regional planning (CRP) are among these departments.
College of Arts and Sciences
Cornell College of Arts & Sciences offers more than 40 majors to choose from, and the college’s impressive list of alumni includes over 50 Nobel laureates.
Like the majority of Cornell’s graduate programs, prospective students are unable to submit their applications directly to the institution. Instead, you must submit your application to the graduate program directly.
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business was founded in 1946, and it’s responsible for awarding all of Cornell’s business-focused degrees.
58 full-time faculty members work at the college, which has an endowment worth more than $210 million.
You must send your application to Cornell’s graduate school centrally if you want to be considered for admission to the SC Johnson College of Business.
College of Engineering
Founded in 1870, Cornell’s College of Engineering is consistently named one of the world’s leading engineering and technical institutions.
Applications to the Cornell College of Engineering need to be submitted directly to the Cornell University Graduate School. If you’re wondering how hard it is to get into Cornell engineering, you can find the full application requirements for first-year applicants to the school here.
College of Human Ecology
Graduate degrees in areas like human development, nutritional sciences, clothing design, public affairs, and more are available from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.
The college is also the location of the Sloan Program in Health Administration and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs.
As with Cornell’s other graduate programs, prospective students for human ecology must submit their applications centrally rather than directly to the college.
School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Founded in 1945 as the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), the ILR offers degrees in subjects like human resource management, labor management, conflict resolution, and social statistics.
If you want to apply for a master’s or doctoral program at the ILR D. student, you must submit your application to the Cornell University Graduate School in person.
Bonus Tips for Getting into Cornell
If you want to be accepted to Cornell, you should take the time to prepare a strong application because the admissions process there is competitive.
The following advice may assist you in succeeding:
- To ensure you have enough time to get everything in order, begin preparing early by checking and double-checking the application guidelines and necessary requirements well in advance of the deadline.
- Make a decision regarding early admission, which can be a smart move if you have your heart set on Cornell and are reasonably confident that your application will be accepted. Keep in mind that the deadline for early admission for the academic year 2022–2023 is November 1, 2022.
- Pay close attention to the personal essay and the supplemental essay because they are crucial for getting into Cornell. The institution itself advises that you write essays that are sincere and genuine. Instead of providing the response you believe the university wants to hear, let your distinct qualities come through.
Fun Facts about Cornell University
The following are some intriguing but little-known facts about Cornell University:
- Cornell professor Robert Baker created the chicken nugget.
- The “Wilder Brain Collection” at Cornell houses the preserved brains of famous people.
- There is an underground tunnel in Cornell.
- There are many plants in Cornell’s garden that are poisonous to animals.
- Ezra Cornell’s socks, who founded the university, have traveled to space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although your GPA is an important element of your application to Cornell, the university has neither stipulated a GPA cut-off, nor has it published the average GPA of students who are admitted. Having said that, having a GPA of 3.9, along with meeting other eligibility criteria, can improve your chances of getting into Cornell.
Is Cornell really hard to get into?
Cornell has an approximate acceptance rate of 10%. Although this is the highest acceptance rate of any Ivy League university, it’s still pretty competitive. You’ll need to put together a strong application, have decent GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and write compelling essays in order to be accepted.
What majors is Cornell known for?
Numerous colleges and schools, including those in engineering, the arts, business, science, and agricultural studies, are part of Cornell University.
The most popular majors at Cornell are:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Environmental Science
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
What is the lowest GPA Cornell has accepted?
We cannot be certain of the lowest accepted GPA because Cornell does not publish the GPA of accepted students. The average GPA of accepted students, though, is 3. We do know this, though. 8 or more. Therefore, if you’re unsure about your ability to attend Cornell with a 3 7 GPA, the likelihood is high, provided the rest of your application is convincing.
With an undergraduate acceptance rate of more than 10%, Cornell has one of the Ivy League%E2%80%99s highest acceptance rates %E2%80%94 but that doesn%E2%80%99t mean getting into Cornell is easy
If you want to be taken into consideration for a position at Cornell, you must put in a lot of effort, conduct thorough research, and ensure that you meet all application requirements.
Want to see real-time grad admissions results to Cornell University? Check them out on GradCafe and add your results too!
COLLEGE DECISION REACTION 2022: Grad School – Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Cornell, & UMich
Is Cornell grad school hard to get into?
Acceptance Rate at Cornell Graduate School The level of competition to get into this prestigious school is at an all-time high and has only increased over the past few years. Only 4,800 of the 20,805 applicants who submitted applications to Cornell Graduate School for the Class of 2021–2022 were accepted.
What GPA do you need to get into Cornell grad school?
What grade point average must you have to get into Cornell University? Cornell University does not require a specific GPA for admission. The average GPA of the admitted students is 4. 07 on a 4. 0 scale (97-100%).
What is the hardest school to get into in Cornell?
- College of Arts & Sciences.
- College of Engineering.
- College of Architecture, Art & Planning.
How do you get into Cornell for Masters?
- Take required tests.
- Request recommendations.
- Write a statement of purpose.
- Prepare transcripts.
- Admissions review considering COVID-19 disruptions.
- Admission and admitted students FAQ.