ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled Saved to Favorites.
Colleges / Cornell University

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate11%
Acceptance Rate11%

Cornell Admissions

If you want to apply to Cornell, the regular decision application deadline is January 2 and the application fee costs $80.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may qualify for for fee waiver for their application.

Cornell Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here's an overiew of some of Cornell's admissions stats.

Cornell 2021 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 83%
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 71%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 41%
Waitlist Yes

Continue reading for more information on Cornell's admissions stats.

Applying Early to Cornell?

Cornell University offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

The early decision acceptance rate at Cornell is 23%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 11%. In 2021, Cornell admitted 1397 of the 6158 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How To Get Into Cornell University

It is extremely difficult to get into Cornell. Cornell evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Cornell accepted 11% of students, around 5,330 of the 49,114 students who applied.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like Cornell, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

It is extremely difficult to be admitted as a transfer student.

In 2021, Cornell waitlisted 4,948 students. Of those, 3,362 eventually got in.

What Does Cornell Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the areas where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Cornell

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Talent/Ability Very Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Class Rank Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
State Residency Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

Cornell 2021-2022 Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Cornell must submit the following items. Double check with Cornell's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Cornell?

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that reflects your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. 4.0. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Out of all students that were admitted, 22% submitted a class rank. At Cornell 83% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 96% were in the top 25% and 99% were in the top 50%.

At Cornell University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 22%

Cornell considers standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Cornell does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 71% of Cornell's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 41% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Cornell?

To be competitive with other Cornell applicants, you should strive to earn between 1420 and 1540 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Cornell 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1540 and 25% of scored lower than 1420, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Cornell students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 680 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Cornell students scored 760 or higher, and 75% scored a 680 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Cornell?

To be most competitive at Cornell, you should strive to earn between 32 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Cornell's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 32 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Cornell students. Only one out of every four students scored below 32.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Cornell University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Cornell.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is March 15. Applicants should hear back by June 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Cornell during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Spring Term

Cornell Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Cornell?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Cornell.

Does Cornell accept transfer credits?

Cornell ✅ accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Cornell accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Cornell accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Cornell?

✅ Cornell is not test optional. You must submit test scores as part of the application.

What is Cornell's acceptance rate?

✅ Cornell's acceptance rate is 11%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Cornell?

✅ Cornell's early decision acceptance rate was 23% in 2021.

What is the early action acceptance rate at Cornell?

❌ Cornell does not offer eary action.

Want To Learn More About Cornell?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Connect with other students, parents, and admissions professionals to learn more about about Cornell in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in New York or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Cornell Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Cornell? Cornell is a selective institution. The Cornell acceptance rate is 11%. This means that the institution accepts 10 out of every 100 applicants.


Cornell Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 2

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Cornell is Jan 2.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Cornell is Mar 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Cornell ACT Scores


ACT Range

32 - 35

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

35 and Above


32 to 35


32 and Less


Stand out on your college application

  • • Qualify for scholarships
  • • Most students who retest improve their score
Sponsored by ACT
Take the Next ACT Test

Cornell SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1420 - 1540


Math SAT Range

720 - 800


Reading SAT Range

680 - 760

Cornell GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 2
Do You Work at a University?

Claim your page to customize your profile and connect with students!

Claim Free Account
Scholarship Tips

Want to find money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back? Access insights and advice on how to search and apply for scholarships!

Find Scholarships
Need Advice or Have a Question About Cornell?

Connect with the world's largest college forum for candid, authentic discussion.

Join the Conversation