Help … I applied to the wrong college at Cornell!

Question: I made an error on my supplement to Cornell University. I picked the wrong college to which I’m applying (They have 2 different science colleges.) How can I get this corrected?

If you haven’t done so already, call the admission office at Cornell and ask how to proceed. The admission process at Cornell can be especially confusing because of all the different schools (with similar-sounding programs at some) and because of the requirement to apply to a specific major. So I suspect you’re far from the first candidate to make this kind of error.

But this is a question that should go right to Cornell. Don’t worry about “bothering” admission officials (or about outing yourself for screwing up!) You can find out how to make the switch when you call, and you shouldn’t worry that the mistake will have an impact on your admission decision, because it won’t.

However, if you are an Early Decision candidate, it might be a different story. Because those verdicts may be finalized by now, the process could be different for you, if you were aiming for ED. Because each “school” within Cornell has its own admission team, if your application was read by the wrong team, it could be too late to make the change. In that case, your application might have to be moved to the Regular Decision pool. Since acceptance odds are greater during ED, the snafu could have an impact on your outcome. (If the school you applied to in error is less selective than the one you MEANT to apply to, you might want to just stick with your original choice. Maybe you’ll end up loving your program and, if not, you can try for an internal transfer. It’s not a sure-thing but not impossible either.)

So the important thing is that, if you want to make the switch, you should call Cornell right away and explain the mistake.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

(posted 12/10/2012)

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