Application Dates & Deadlines
Early Decision: Application: November 1, 2023; Decision: Mid-December 2024
Regular Decision: Application: Jan 2, 2024; Decision: Early April
Application Fee: $75 or fee waiver for those who qualify
Before you get started, be sure that you have completed all of the basic educational requirements outlined in the First-year Applicant Requirements.
You will also need to decide to apply for early or regular decision. If Cornell is your first choice, consider applying under the early decision plan. Early decision applications are reviewed in the fall, and you will be notified in mid-December of Cornell’s decision. Before applying early decision, know that:
*November 1 is the application deadline.
*Early decision is binding. If you’re admitted to Cornell, you are required to withdraw any applications you’ve sent to other schools and send your enrollment deposit to Cornell by early January.
*You can be admitted or denied during early decision as well as postponed to regular decision. Students whose applications are postponed to regular decision are no longer subject to the early decision binding commitment.
*While early decision acceptances to Cornell are binding, students may be eligible to be released from the early decision agreement if the financial aid award does not make a Cornell education affordable for applicants and their families (must have applied for financial aid).
*Cornell University will honor any required commitment to matriculate, which has been made to another college under an Early Decision plan.
Application Supporting Materials
In addition to the application, Cornell requires that you submit the following forms. These forms can be found and submitted online at www.commonapp.org:
The School Report
- Your counselor or designated school official should submit this form (or your school’s own report form) and your official transcript on your behalf.
Counselor Recommendation - Cornell requires a written statement from your guidance counselor or college advisor.
- You are required to submit two teacher recommendations. Be sure to remind individuals writing letters for you to include your name and date of birth on all pages if they are sending them by mail.
- Submit the Midyear Report as soon after the application deadline as possible. We strongly encourage guidance counselors to submit this online too, so we can process your application faster. We understand that some students with schools on trimesters may not have any new grade information to report at the time of submission, and therefore do not need to send a Midyear Report.
For Early Decision applicants, the Early Decision Agreement is incorporated into Cornell University’s application on the Common Application website. Look for the checkbox under Cornell University>Application>Questions>General. Applicants do not need to submit a separate agreement from their counselor.
Cornell University Supplemental Information
The Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (CA) is required of all applicants, as it includes important Cornell-specific questions and required essays. This information helps us match your intellectual goals to the Cornell college or school to which you’re applying.
We require you to submit your official secondary/high school transcript(s) before the application deadline. This should be sent by your school online or can be mailed.
Standardized Test Scores
Cornell has suspended the SAT/ACT testing requirement for fall 2024 applicants.
Students applying to the architecture program are required to participate in an interview as part of the admission process and applicants to the Department of Art or Urban and Regional Studies are encouraged, although not required, to have an interview. Beginning in August, students may visit the undergraduate Architecture page in College of Art, Architecture, and Planning website to schedule an interview.
For all other applicants, there is no interview process and we will not offer interviews for those who request them.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION GUIDELINES
1. Does Cornell have early decision?
First-year applicants to Cornell have a choice of applying for either the early decision or regular decision admission plan. Students should consider applying under the early decision plan if Cornell is their first choice of schools to attend. Early decision applications are reviewed in the fall, and students are notified in mid-December of Cornell’s decision. Before applying early decision, please review the How to Apply website. It is important to note that:
November 1 is the early decision application deadline.
Early decision is binding. Admitted students are required to withdraw any application(s) they've submitted to other colleges or universities, and Cornell enrollment deposits are due by early January.
Students are admitted or denied during early decision or are occasionally postponed to regular decision for further consideration. Students whose applications are postponed to regular decision are released from the early decision binding commitment.
Students who are denied during early decision are not eligible to apply again under regular decision, nor can students apply to another Cornell college or school.
While early decision acceptance to Cornell is binding, students may be eligible to be released from the early decision agreement if their financial aid award does not make a Cornell education affordable for applicants and their families. This applies only to students who have applied for financial aid.
What is Cornell looking for?
There’s no magical formula of grade-point average and standardized test scores that guarantees admission into Cornell. Cornell’s admissions committees review each student's academic transcript, and are interested in the strength of their curriculum and test scores, but there is so much more that is evaluated.
What the admissions team is looking for beyond the numbers is intellectual potential, strength of character, and love of learning. They want to know about each student's ability, achievements, motivation, leadership, diligence, and integrity; their sense of fairness and compassion. All of this and more can be revealed through the required application essays and recommendations, and is reflected in an applicant's extracurricular activities, hobbies, after-school and summer jobs, and volunteer work.
When composing each class, Cornell selects promising applicants from all over the country and the world; from cities, suburbs, and rural areas; and from every imaginable background – social, economic, racial, and national. They’re graduates of public, parochial, college prep, and alternative and home schools.
And this is of critical importance: Cornell vigorously supports equality of opportunity. No one is denied admission because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The result is an incredibly rich mix of humanity that is one of the best things about Cornell.
It’s not easy to get into Cornell - but don’t be discouraged. If you think Cornell is right for you, we encourage you to learn about the university and consider applying.
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Does Cornell require a personal statement?
Students apply to Cornell using the Common Application, which can be completed and submitted online. A personal essay, sometimes referred to as the "personal statement," is part of the application. Cornell also requires students to respond to question(s) that are specific to the Cornell college or school to which they are applying. New this year, Cornell also requires a short essay response to the following prompt:
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.
Does Cornell have a wait list?
In recent years, some of Cornell's colleges/schools have used a wait list. However, it is impossible to predict whether a student on the wait list will receive an offer of admission until all of the accepted students have responded to their admission offers in May. The decision to admit students from the wait list is made by the individual college/school to which a student has applied.
How do I re-apply?
First-year applicants who were denied admission in either the early decision or regular decision cycles may re-apply as first-year students if they have taken a gap year and have not enrolled full-time at another school or institution.
First-year applicants who were denied admission in either the early decision or regular decision cycles and who have enrolled full-time in another school or institution may re-apply to Cornell as a transfer student
Is there an English language requirement?
All Cornell students must have a strong command of the English language to be successful in their engagement in their university studies. If English is not your native language or if you have not attended high school in a country where English is an official language for the four years prior to your planned enrollment at Cornell, you may be asked to submit results from an English language proficiency examination. We will consider and accept dozens of examinations and other qualifications from around the world in meeting the English Language Proficiency requirement.
Does Cornell offer early admission?
Cornell gives serious consideration to applicants who would like to apply after completing only three years of high school. Before submitting an application, however, students must contact the Director of Admissions in the Cornell college or school they are interested in to obtain direct authorization to apply.
Does Cornell require personal interviews?
Personal interviews are not required (or available) for admission to any of Cornell's undergraduate level programs. While not evaluative interviews, first-year applicants to any Cornell college or school may request an informational meeting with an alumni admissions ambassador in their local area. This informal conversation with a member of our Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) is not required, and is offered as an additional way for applicants to learn about Cornell. Applicants can request a CAAAN meeting at the time they apply in the Cornell section of the Common Application. Alternatively, they can request a meeting after applying via their Cornell application status page. Due to time, geographic, and volunteer constraints, not all applicants will be contacted; please be assured that applications are not adversely impacted if an applicant is not contacted or is unable to meet with a CAAAN member.