So, you’re thinking about applying to Cornell, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.
With an acceptance rate of 16%, admission to Cornell is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to have a GPA of 3.9 or above, and have an SAT score of close to 1550, or an ACT score of 34 or above.
Not quite there? You still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Want to better your SAT score? Take our SAT prep course to better your chances on acceptance. Let’s take a closer look at Cornell admission statistics.
Cornell Admissions Statistics
Cornell’s acceptance rate in 2016 was 16%. For students applying to the class of 2020, out of 37,812 applicants, Cornell admitted 6,123. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.9, the average ACT score was 32, and the average SAT score was 1550.
For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 30, and the 75th percentile ACT score was 34.
For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1390. The 75th percentile score was 1570.
If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.
Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
As we said, admission to Cornell is very competitive. However, with a perfect SAT score of 1600 and a GPA of 4.0, your chances of admission are very good. With a perfect ACT score of 36 and a 4.0 GPA, your chances are about 43%. Still, if Cornell is your dream school, you’ll want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.
OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at Cornell’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.
Cornell Application Requirements
To apply to Cornell, you’ll need to fill out the Common App and the Cornell supplement, submit an ACT or SAT score, two SAT Subject Test scores (for some undergraduate schools), a school report, two letters of recommendation from your teachers, a recommendation from your school counselor, and a mid-year report. Everything should be submitted by November 1 for Early Decision and January 2 for Regular Decision applicants.
Here’s a full list of the application requirements:
- Fill out the Common Application, answer Cornell’s supplementary questions, and pay an application fee of $80 (or apply for a fee waiver)
- Submit an ACT or SAT score
- Submit your high school transcript and a school report
- Submit two letters of recommendation from your teachers, and one from your guidance counselor
- Submit a mid-year report (if you’re a Regular Decision Applicant)>
- Two SAT Subject Test scores (for some undergraduate schools)
- Some undergraduate schools require an interview
The application deadline is November 1 for Early Decision, and January 5 for Regular Decision. November 22 is the Early Decision financial aid application deadline, and February 15 is the Regular Decision financial aid application deadline. Early Decision notifications are released mid-December, and Regular Decision applicants find out their fates in early April. Sometime in early January is the reply date for admitted Early Decision applicants. May 1 is the reply date for Regular Decision admitted students.
Have you been admitted to Cornell? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse at what your classmates will be like.
Cornell Admitted Students Profile
If you matriculate at Cornell, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.
Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:
- 90% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class
- 63% graduated from public schools, 19% graduated from private or parochial schools, and 18% graduated from charter schools, were homeschooled, or otherwise
- 11% are first-generation college students
- 53% are female and 47% are male
- 12% are international
Cornell students come from all regions of the U.S.:
- New York: 29%
- Mid-Atlantic: 18%
- International: 12%
- West: 11%
- New England: 9%
- Midwest: 9%
- South/Southeast: 7%
- Southwest/Mountain: 5%
What do these admitted students plan to study? Cornell offers over 4000+ courses, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of Cornell’s programs:
- Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Architecture, Art and Planning
- Arts and Sciences
- Hotel Administration
- Human Ecology
- Industrial and Labor Relations
Now, how are you going to pay for this?
Cornell Tuition Figures
At $70,321, Cornell’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! With an average need-based grant of $28,600, the typical student will pay much less, and the university reports that 64% of students received a financial aid package.
Here’s a fuller look at Cornell tuition and financial aid in 2017:
- Total budget: $70,321
- Average financial aid package: $28,600
- Some grant awards cover up to 90% of the cost of attendance
- 28% of those receiving aid come from families earning less than $48,000 per year
- 42% of students receiving aid come from families earning between $74,000 and $114,000
Now, what is life like at Cornell? Let’s take a look.
Cornell’s main campus is on East Hill in Ithaca, New York. The rural campus has an eclectic layout, and a variety of architectural styles, including Collegiate Gothic, Victorian, and Neoclassical buildings.
Cornell freshmen can live in residence halls or program houses, which are themed residence halls celebrating a special interest or cultural background.
Remember, you’re going to Cornell for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.
Cornell has dozens of majors. Students are required to take 34 courses over eight semesters to graduate, including classes in their major and liberal arts and language requirements. There’s also a swimming test and two courses in physical education. So get active!
Some of Cornell’s more interesting majors:
- Applied Economics and Management
- Atmospheric Science
- Policy Analysis and Management
- Viticulture and Enology
Cornell’s academic year begins on August 23 and ends on May 23.
Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at Cornell.
Student Life at Cornell
Cornell hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.
Here’s a sampling of Cornell student groups:
- Fashion Collective
- Figure Skating Club
- Swing Dance Club
- Writer’s Bloc
- Biotechnology Club
- China Club
- Computer Animation Club
- Dressage Club
- Fishing Club
- Impact Dance Troupe
- Juggling Club
Are you an athlete? Cornell’s got plenty of options for you.
Cornell is in the NCAA Division I Ivy League, and competes in 36 intercollegiate sports. Cornell also has plenty of club and intramural offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.
Cornell’s intercollegiate teams include:
- Ice Hockey
- Heavyweight Crew
- Lightweight Crew
- Alpine Skiing
Who might you become with a Cornell degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:
Notable Cornell Alums
Cornell has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.
Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:
- Bill Maher, comedian, liberal firebrand, and host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO
- Jane Lynch, actress best known for her role on Glee
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Keith Olbermann, sportscaster and former host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC
- Huey Lewis, rock musician of Huey Lewis and the News fame
- E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web and The Elements of Style
- Novelist Tea Obrit
- Junot Diaz, Pulitizer Prize-winning short story writer
- Pearl S. Buck, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
- Oscar G. Mayer Jr., Chairman of Oscar Mayer
- Ruther Bader Ginsburg, Associate Supreme Court Justice
- Edmund Muskie, former presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of State
And this is only a partial list!
Getting into Cornell is extremely competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the Ivy League schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.
Best of luck with your applications and go check out Prep Expert!