cornell acceptance rate
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Acceptance Rate for Cornell – Introduction

Cornell University is an Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York. It ranks #17 in National Universities. With around 15,000 undergrads, the size of the Cornell enrollment makes it one of the largest Ivy League schools. Cornell is a private and highly competitive university. So, the low acceptance rate for Cornell is a factor all applicants should consider. Despite the low Cornell acceptance rate, however, Cornell admissions strives for a diverse and unique student population.

When thinking about how to get into Cornell, you should make sure each part of your application— your GPA, test scores, Cornell interview, and Cornell supplemental essays— is top-notch. This means keeping your GPA high and studying well in advance to ensure strong Cornell SAT scores or ACT scores. Also, build up your extracurriculars if you want to be included in that low Cornell University acceptance rate. 

This Cornell University acceptance rate guide will cover:

  • What is the Cornell acceptance rate? 
  • How Early and Regular Decision admissions deadlines impact the Cornell University acceptance rate
  • How the Cornell acceptance rate compares to other Ivy League acceptance rates
  • Other Cornell admissions statistics to consider
  • And, how to stand out in your Cornell application!

What is the Cornell acceptance rate?

The last officially reported overall Cornell University acceptance rate was 10.85% for the class of 2025. For the class of 2026, the Cornell University acceptance rate has not been officially revealed. But, is likely lower than previous years. This would place the Cornell acceptance rate in line with other Ivy League admissions trends. 

As reported by many news outlets, Ivy League schools are experiencing a record-high number of applications. Accordingly, these schools are also publishing record-low acceptance rates. While Harvard and New York University publicized their acceptance rates, some Ivies, like Princeton University and Cornell admissions, refrained from letting students know how hard it is to get in. 

So, what does that mean? College acceptance rates represent the percentage of applicants the school accepts out of the total number that applied. For example, if 100 students applied to Cornell and 10 got in, the Cornell acceptance rate would be 10%. 

Therefore, the more Cornell applications submitted, the lower the acceptance rate for Cornell will be for that year. Keeping up-to-date with Ivy League acceptance rates, target school and safety school acceptance rates can help clarify your admissions chances. 

Do college acceptance rates matter?

Throughout your college application process, you’ve probably heard teachers, counselors, admissions officers, and fellow students discuss college acceptance rates. But, what are college acceptance rates, and how should you evaluate them as you build your college list?

College acceptance rates can be a helpful factor in weighing your admissions odds at the schools you want to attend. However, they can also be a confusing part of the process. College acceptance rates depend on a number of factors. This includes number of applicants, the number of spots available, GPA requirements, standardized testing policies, and the school’s overall process. In addition, location, tuition, and other factors influence college acceptance rates. 

cornell acceptance rate
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College acceptance rates are most often based on the number of spots available. This means larger schools tend to have more open spots and higher acceptance rates than smaller schools. For example, a larger state school will usually be among the colleges with high acceptance rates. This has no bearing, however, on the quality of education its students receive. Similarly, smaller, private institutions tend to fall into the group of lowest acceptance rate college. Their student bodies are smaller, leaving fewer open places for applicants.

Some factors that go into college acceptance rates are in your control. Others, like an increase in the number of students applying to colleges, are not. It’s important to remember that college acceptance rates matter. However, the numbers aren’t everything! 

Is Cornell a good college?

Are you wondering, “Is Cornell a good college?” The short answer is, yes! As an Ivy League university, Cornell is a very selective school with a diverse student body. The college offers over 100 different areas of study and eight undergraduate schools. 

Award winning faculty

At Cornell, students have the chance to study directly under a world-class faculty, including MacArthur awardees, Nobel laureates, and Pulitzer Prize winners. At the same time, Cornell has a rich extracurricular culture and many events. The university can both work hard and play hard! 

Of its many options for degree programs, Cornell is perhaps most well-known for its programs in the STEM field. For example, the school’s biology and agriculture programs have been ranked in the top ten in the country by U.S. News. 

Are you thinking about the acceptance rate for Cornell and trying to figure out how to get into Cornell? First, it’s important to realize that there is more to Cornell admissions than Cornell GPA requirements and Cornell SAT requirements.

When it comes to Cornell admissions, the Cornell acceptance rate makes it #20 out of the 50 hardest colleges to get into in the U.S. Here at CollegeAdvisor, we give Cornell an overall A+ ranking. In particular, Cornell ranks A+ for academics, diversity, and value; A for campus and party scene; and B+ for athletics. 

Impressive academics

Let’s take a look at some academic statistics as they relate to the Cornell acceptance rate. In particular, high school GPA and test scores are very important if you want to join Cornell enrollment. 

When it comes to Cornell GPA requirements, Cornell admissions officials consider a student’s GPA a very important factor. 84.2% of students who filled out a Cornell application for the class of 2025 ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class.

Although Cornell acceptance rates do not include GPA requirements for Early Decision or Regular Decision, unofficial Cornell GPA requirements are that you have a GPA of at least 4.0. This means that students filling out a Cornell application should have nearly straight A’s in all of their classes. 

cornell acceptance rate

Additionally, to contend with the low acceptance rate for Cornell, students should take AP and IB courses. These classes are weighted out of 5.0 and can help you meet the expected Cornell GPA requirements. For advice on applying when you don’t meet the assumed Cornell GPA requirements, read this article.

If you don’t meet the Cornell GPA requirements, you’ll need a higher SAT or ACT score. This will help you compete against other applicants to stand out to Cornell admissions in your Cornell application.

What about Cornell SAT requirements? Cornell currently has a test-optional admissions policy. This means that scores were not required for Cornell admissions for the class of 2025. However, they were considered if submitted. The middle 50% range for Cornell SAT scores was 1450-1560. One-quarter of students who joined the Cornell enrollment scored above these ranges, and a quarter scored below. 

Comparing Cornell Acceptance Rates: Early Decision vs. Regular Decision

Did you know the Cornell acceptance rate varies based on whether you apply Early Decision or regular decision? 

When you begin your Cornell application, you will have to select your Cornell admissions strategy and application deadline. Early Decision applications are due by November 1, while Regular Decision applications are due by January 2. The choice you make should be based on how committed you are to becoming part of the Cornell acceptance rate, because Early Decision at Cornell is binding. 

More importantly, when it comes to the Cornell acceptance rate, students who apply Early Decision have a significantly greater chance of getting in. Over the past few years, the Cornell University acceptance rate for Early Decision has averaged around 24% – significantly higher than the RD application deadline acceptance rate in the single digits.

So, if you know that Cornell is your dream school, or that you will absolutely enroll if you get in, your chances with the Cornell acceptance rate are best with an Early Decision application. 

Ivy League Acceptance Rates: How does Cornell University measure up?

The Cornell University acceptance rate is the highest Ivy League acceptance rate, with an average acceptance rate of about 11% over the past decade. 

As you research the Cornell acceptance rate and the Cornell admissions process, you may wonder how it compares to other Ivy League acceptance rates. As we explained earlier, a number of Ivies withheld their acceptance rates for 2022 amid record numbers of applicants and historically low acceptance rates. Across the eight Ivies, Ivy League acceptance rates are decreasing. This trend is due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, test-optional policies, more applications per place, and “free” virtual visits. 

Even though the Cornell acceptance rate for the class of 2026 is not public, it has been reported at around 8%. This marks a stark decrease from the 11% Cornell acceptance rate of recent years. Of the Ivies that did report their most recent college acceptance rates, Harvard reported their lowest acceptance rate in history, only accepting 3.19% of its 61,220 applicants. Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Penn, and Brown fell between 3.73%-5%.

In a word, higher-ranked colleges are more selective. However, this is because of a feedback loop in which highly selective criteria influence ranking, meaning more selective colleges are ranked higher, in turn attracting more applicants and decreasing acceptance rates, which makes them even more selective. 

Cornell Admissions: Other Stats to Consider

When you are considering how to get into Cornell, looking at the Cornell University acceptance rate is a good place to start. However, it shouldn’t be your only data point. Let’s look at some other statistics beyond the acceptance rate for Cornell. This will help you make your Cornell application stand out.

Just like an Early Decision application has a much higher Cornell acceptance rate, the Cornell University acceptance rate varies depending on the type of school or department that the student applies to. For example, the Hotel School in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is considered the least competitive, with a higher Cornell acceptance rate than other Cornell schools and an average GPA of 3.0

On the other hand, the selectivity of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management represents the overall Cornell acceptance rate, admitting only 8% of students who apply. 

Cornell is named by Niche as the #1 best college for agricultural sciences in America. In fact, Cornell has the only agricultural school in the Ivy League! Therefore, if you apply to this program, you might be able to stand out beyond academics and beat the low Cornell acceptance rate. 

In addition, Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning is one of the best schools for architecture in the country. As one of the longest-running art programs in the nation, this school has about 550 undergraduates and 390 graduate students. One way that students who may be slightly below GPA average might gain an edge with the Cornell acceptance rate is if they have clear strengths or experience that make them a great fit for this program.

Cornell University Acceptance Rate – Final Thoughts

In this article, we have covered the Cornell acceptance rate so students can prepare their Cornell applications to have the best chance at Cornell admissions. As discussed, the low acceptance rate for Cornell is based on a number of factors. 

The Cornell University acceptance rate is largely based on unofficial Cornell SAT requirements as well as GPA requirements. 

Even though the Cornell acceptance rate makes it a highly competitive school, try not to take the numbers too seriously! The sooner you start planning, the better chance you have of becoming part of the selective acceptance rate of Cornell. 

For more information about how to get into Cornell, check out our guide, watch our recent Cornell University webinar, take a virtual college tour, or read more about student life at Cornell

If you want to learn even more, reach out at CollegeAdvisor.com to speak with one of our college admissions experts! We are here to help you beat the Cornell acceptance rate.

cornell acceptance rate

This guide to the Cornell University acceptance rate was written by D. Lagomarsino. If you want to learn more about Cornell including how to get into Cornell, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes graduates from universities like Cornell. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 576-0953.