cornell cals acceptance rate

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Cornell’s acceptance rate is an invitation to join a diverse student body of more than 20,000 students from over 100 countries. As the lead private land grant university in New York State, Cornell provides students with a world-class education in an environment with roots in agriculture and the arts. Create your legacy with a Cornell degree. We have a longstanding reputation for academic rigor and innovative teaching techniques, so you’ll learn from faculty who know how to get the best out of you. A Cornell education will set you on the path to achieving your dreams, whether that means being an entrepreneur, a doctor, a journalist, a musician, or something else entirely. All of our undergraduate students are awarded scholarships based on extraordinary academic achievement and/or financial need. Explore below to learn more about why Cornell is right for you.

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Our Education Impact | CALS

Cornell Acceptance Rate (Class of 2023)

So, you’re thinking about applying to Cornell, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores.

Test Type

SATACTSAT Score: 1600GPA: 4
Percent change to get into :100 percent
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With an acceptance rate of 10.6%, admission to Cornell is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to have a GPA of 3.9 or above and have an SAT score of close to 1550, or an ACT score of 34 or above.

cornell cals acceptance rate 2019

 Acceptance Rate 10.6%
 Total Applicants 49,118
 Total Admissions 5,183
 Average GPA 3.9

Cornell ACT Average Score And Percentile Score

 ACT Average Score 32
 25th Percentile Score 30
 75th Percentile Score 34

Cornell SAT Average Score and percentile scores

 SAT Average Score 1550
 25th Percentile Score 1390
 75th Percentile Score 1570

If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score compensates for a lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements.

As we said, admission to Cornell is very competitive. With a perfect ACT score of 36 and a 4.0 GPA, your chances are about 43%.

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at Cornell’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.

Cornell Cals admission requirements

Here’s a full list of the application requirements:

Fill out the Common Application and answer Cornell’s supplementary questions
Pay the $80 application fee (or apply for a fee waiver) 
Submit your ACT or SAT Score Reports
Submit your high school transcript and a school report
Submit 2 Letters of Recommendations from teachers
Submit 1 Letter of Recommendation from a guidance counselor
Submit a mid-year report (if you’re a Regular Decision Applicant)
Two SAT Subject Test scores (for some undergraduate schools)
Interview (for some undergraduate schools)

Cornell cals application deadlines class of 2023

Here are the deadlines you should be aware of:

 Early Decision November 1st
 Regular Decision January 5th
 Early Decision Financial Aid November 22nd
 Regular Decision Financial Aid February 15th

Early Decision notifications are released mid-December, and Regular Decision applicants find out their fates in early April.

Sometime in early January is the reply date for admitted Early Decision applicants. May 1 is the reply date for Regular Decision admitted students.

Have you been admitted to Cornell? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.

cornell early decision

Cornell Admitted students profile: class of 2023

If you matriculate at Cornell, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • 90% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class
  • 63% graduated from public schools, 19% graduated from private or parochial schools, and 18% graduated from charter schools, were homeschooled, or otherwise
  • 13% are first-generation college students
  • 55% are female and 45% are male
  • 12% are international
  • 54% are students of color
  • 32% self-identified as underrepresented minorities

Cornell students come from all regions of the U.S.:

  • New York: 29%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 18%
  • International: 12%
  • West: 11%
  • New England: 9%
  • Midwest: 9%
  • South/Southeast: 7%
  • Southwest/Mountain: 5%

What do these admitted students plan to study? Cornell offers over 4000+ courses, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of Cornell’s programs:

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Hotel Administration
  • Human Ecology
  • Industrial and Labor Relations

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

Cornell Researchers Deem Reopening Campus Safer Than Online Classes

Cornell Tuition

At $70,321, Cornell’s cost of attendance is astronomical. With an average need-based grant of $28,600, the typical student will pay much less.

Here’s a fuller look at Cornell tuition and financial aid:

  • Total budget: $70,321
  • Average financial aid package: $28,600
  • Some grant awards cover up to 90% of the cost of attendance
  • 28% of those receiving aid come from families earning less than $48,000 per year
  • 42% of students receiving aid come from families earning between $74,000 and $114,000

Now, what is life like at Cornell? Let’s take a look.

Cornell Location

Cornell’s main campus is on East Hill in Ithaca, New York.

The rural campus has an eclectic layout, and a variety of architectural styles, including Collegiate Gothic, Victorian, and Neoclassical buildings.

Cornell freshmen can live in residence halls or program houses, which are themed residence halls celebrating a special interest or cultural background.

Remember, you’re going to Cornell for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.

Cornell Academics

Cornell has dozens of majors.

Students are required to take 34 courses over eight semesters to graduate, including classes in their major and liberal arts and language requirements.

There’s also a swimming test and two courses in physical education. So get active!

Some of Cornell’s more interesting majors:

  • Applied Economics and Management
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Policy Analysis and Management
  • Viticulture and Enology

Cornell’s academic year begins on August 23 and ends on May 23.

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at Cornell.

Student life at Cornell

Cornell hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of Cornell student groups:

  • Fashion Collective
  • Figure Skating Club
  • Swing Dance Club
  • Writer’s Block
  • Biotechnology Club
  • China Club
  • Computer Animation Club
  • Dressage Club
  • Fishing Club
  • Impact Dance Troupe
  • Juggling Club

Are you an athlete? Cornell’s got plenty of options for you.

Cornell Club of Boston: New Student Send-Off 2018 | Alumni, parents, and  friends | Cornell University

Cornell Athletics

Cornell is in the NCAA Division I Ivy League and competes in 36 intercollegiate sports. Cornell also has plenty of club and intramural offerings, for both men and women. 

Cornell’s intercollegiate teams include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Heavyweight Crew
  • Lightweight Crew
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Golf
  • Alpine Skiing

Who might you become with a Cornell degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:

cornell notable alums

Cornell has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • Bill Maher, comedian, and host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO
  • Jane Lynch, actress
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • Keith Olbermann, sportscaster
  • Huey Lewis, rock musician of Huey Lewis and the News fame
  • E.B. White, author
  • Novelist Tea Obrit
  • Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer
  • Pearl S. Buck, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Oscar G. Mayer Jr., Chairman of Oscar Mayer
  • Ruther Bader Ginsburg, Associate Supreme Court Justice
  • Edmund Muskie, former presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of State

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into Cornell is extremely competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no.

If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the Ivy League schools.

And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.

For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

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