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cornell admissions Consultants

What Makes Cornell Admissions So Special?

Located in upstate New York, Cornell University has the interesting distinction amongst the Ivy League schools of being both a private and a public university. As the last of the Ivies to be founded in 1865, Cornell was able to receive public land and funding in addition to the original contributions by Ezra Cornell, giving it its split nature.

As a result, some schools within Cornell University receive state funding and are therefore, technically somewhat public.

While this interesting split makes little difference today, of all the Ivies Cornell feels the closest to a traditional public university with a relatively large student body in an out-of-the-way, scenic college-town and without sacrificing the Ivy League-caliber academics or reputation.

Cornell Quick Facts

Location: Ithaca, New York

Year Founded: 1865

US News Ranking: 12

Application Deadline: January 2nd

SAT/ACT scores required by: January 2nd

2023 Acceptance rate: 7%

Applications received (2023-4): 68,000

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Cornell’s campus is HUGE - the main campus covers 745 acres overlooking the town of Ithaca and Cayuga Lake. The university also owns the nearby Cornell Plantations - 4,300 acres of gardens and forest. Cornell also has campuses in New York City and multiple campuses internationally, including a medical campus in Qatar. 

Cornell has the largest student body of all the Ivies and a diverse array of student organizations.  There’s a student organization for anything and everything. Cornell has over 900 student organizations, including the two secret honor societies: Sphinx Head and Quill and Dagger, both of which have existed since the late 1800s. The oldest student organization is the Cornell University Glee Club, founded in 1868.

Prompts for Cornell's 2023-24 Undergrad Supplemental Essays

Via the Common App, Cornell poses Two Essay questions:

The first is the Cornell University Essay Question:

  • In the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, Ezra Cornell wrote, "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." For over 150 years, Cornell University has remained deeply committed to Ezra’s vision. Explain how your life experiences will help inform your contributions to a learning community devoted to “... any person … any study.” We encourage you to think broadly about your life experiences, including how local (e.g., family, school, neighborhood) or global communities you’ve been part of have helped shape your perspective. (350 word limit)

In addition to the above, you'll need to answer an additional question depending on the college or school you are applying to. For these specific questions, visit Cornell's essay prompts page.

Cornell's Programs Ranked

Computer Science: #6

Medical School: #10

Business Program: #8

Quantitative Analysis: #6

Law School: #13

Undergrad Engineering: #10

Biological/Agricultural Engineering: #8

Computer Engineering: #9

(2023-24 Rankings from USNews)

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