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Articles / Applying to College / Help ... I applied to the wrong college at Cornell!

Help ... I applied to the wrong college at Cornell!

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Dec. 11, 2012

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)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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