cornell University admissions guidance

What makes Cornell University 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: 14

Application Deadline: January 1st

Must receive SAT/ACT scores by: January 1st

2017 regular decision acceptance rate: 13.5%

Total applications received (2017): 40,006

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 2017-18 Undergrad Supplemental Essays

The primary focus of your college interest essay should be what you intend to study at Cornell.  Respond to the essay question below (maximum of 650 words) that corresponds to the undergraduate college or school to which you are applying:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Why are you drawn to studying the major you have selected? Please discuss how your interests and related experiences have influenced your choice. Specifically, how will an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Cornell University help you achieve your academic goals?

  • College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: Describe two or three of your intellectual interests and why you are excited to pursue them within your chosen major in AAP. What personal experiences, background, or future goals will you bring to your scholarly and artistic pursuits at Cornell?

  • College of Arts and Sciences: Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests?

  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: How have your interests and experiences influenced your decision to study Applied Economics and Management? Describe how you would take advantage of the Dyson School’s unique opportunities, for example, its affiliation with both the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: School of Hotel Administration: The global hospitality industry includes hotel and food service management, real estate, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, technology, and law. Describe what has influenced your decision to study business through the lens of hospitality. What personal qualities make you a good fit for SHA?

  • College of Engineering: Cornell Engineering celebrates innovative problem solving that helps people, communities… the world. Consider your ideas and aspirations and describe how a Cornell Engineering education would allow you to leverage technological problem-solving to improve the world we live in.

  • College of Human Ecology: How have your experiences influenced you to apply to the College of Human Ecology? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?

  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations: Tell us about your intellectual interests, how they sprung from your course, service, work or life experiences, and what makes them exciting to you. Describe how ILR is the right school for you to pursue these interests.
     

Cornell's Programs Ranked

Computer Science Department: #6 (USNews)

Medical School: #18 (USNews)

Physics Department: #7 (USNews)

Business Program: #7 (USNews)

Law School: #13 (USNews)

Undergrad Engineering: #10 (USNews)

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