Cornell University Requirements and Campus Guide

School Name: Cornell University

School Location: Ithaca, NY

School Type: Liberal Arts/Ivy League

Class of 2025

  • Regular Applications: Unreleased
  • Regular Admitted: 5,836
  • Regular Acceptance Rate: Unreleased

General Info


  • 25th Percentile/75th Percentile
    • **SAT ERW 750
    • **SAT Math 790
    • ACT Composite 35


  • High Reach


  • Restrictive Early Action: November 16
  • Early Results: Mid-December
  • Regular Deadline: January 2
  • Regular Results: Early April

School Info

  • Schedule: 4-1-4
  • Curriculum Type: General Education
  • Greek Life: Yes
  • Athletics: D1 – Ivy League

Cornell University Requirements and Campus Guide  
Here’s everything you should know before you apply to Cornell University:

Cornell University is an Ivy League university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865, it is one of only ten private Land Grant universities in the U.S. Cornell has the largest undergraduate population of any Ivy League university with over 15,000 students. Here’s everything else you need to know about Cornell!

Where is Cornell?

Cornell’s main campus is in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is a classic college town in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Ithaca boasts a lively farmers market and nationally-ranked restaurants as well as a nearby lake and forest trails. If you’re more of a city person, attending Cornell doesn’t mean you’ll be required to spend all your time in a woodsy, quiet town for four years; the bustling city of Syracuse is just an hour’s drive away.

Cornell also has satellite campuses all around the world— medical schools in Manhattan and Qatar and an agricultural technology school in Geneva, NY. Through the Cornell in Rome program, students can spend a semester or entire year studying architecture, visual arts, art history; urban studies, and Italian all while going on field trips throughout Italy. While not a Cornell requirement, the university also offers programs and internships all throughout New York City and through Cornell Washington DC,

What is Cornell’s student body like?

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Cornell University enrolled 24,027 students, 15,182 of whom are undergraduates. As of 2019, Cornell students represented most regions of the US, 25% of students coming from New York, 12% from middle states, 7% from New England, 8% from the South, 3% from the Southwest, and 11% from the West Coast. 24% of Cornell students are international.

In terms of racial diversity, the class of 2023 is 35.6% caucasian, 20.1% Asian, 15.8% Hispanic, 6.7 black, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander and 16% “not reported or other.” Like most colleges, Cornell has a slight gender gap: their student body is 54% female and 46% male. 13.4% of this year’s freshmen are first-generation college students, and 45.2% of freshmen are receiving financial aid.

How do I apply?

Before you apply, you should consider what the current climate for admissions at Cornell is like. For the class of 2023, the early decision acceptance rate was 22.68% and the regular decision acceptance rate was 9.15%. Even though the ED acceptance rate is significantly higher, you should keep in mind that early decision is a binding application, meaning that if you get accepted early to Cornell, you must withdraw all of your other applications. The 75th percentile SAT math score was 800, ERW 760 for English Reading and Writing, and 35 for the ACT.
Applying to Cornell requires the following items:

  • Common Application or Universal Application
  • Your school report and transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A midyear report
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for international students only)
  • Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (if applying with the Common App) or the Cornell Supplement (if applying with the Universal Application)

Interviews are required for students applying to the architecture program and optional for applicants to The School of Hotel Administration. All other students do not have the option to interview. Subject tests are not required at any of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges but are slightly more encouraged for applicants to the College of Engineering. The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning requires portfolios that showcase a student’s artistic abilities, but all other colleges discourage art supplements.

What can I study at Cornell?

With seven undergraduate colleges, Cornell is an environment where all students can develop expertise in the field they’re passionate about. Cornell University is made up of the following schools and colleges:

Cornell students can choose from 80 majors and 122 minors, as well as intellectually rigorous dual-degree programs, an independent major, and an interdisciplinary major. Students can study minors in other colleges or departments, so that students committed to engineering can still pursue their interest in agriculture, art, or literature at one of the other undergraduate colleges.

What is living on Cornell’s campus like?

Many top schools require their first-year students to live on campus to foster a sense of community early on. At Cornell, freshmen find their homes on North Campus. The first-year residences are also home to Faculty Fellows and residential advisors who help students adjust to life at Cornell. First-year students can live in residence halls or themed program houses. After their first year, Cornell students have the choice to stay on North Campus in a program house, move to West Campus, live in a co-op, or move in with their fraternity or sorority.

A big part of feeling at home is having the comforts of home—namely, good food. At Cornell, whether you’re vegan, kosher, gluten-free, or simply an omnivore, you’ll find foods you love in one of their 30 dining facilities. They strive to create a cozy, comfortable environment in each of the dining rooms, cafes, and food courts across campus.

How much does Cornell cost?

Some of Cornell’s colleges receive funding from New York state in order to ensure the continued economic and social well-being of New York. That means that certain schools at Cornell are cheaper for New York residents. The total estimated cost of attending Cornell for the 2019-2020 school year was $75,288 for the endowed colleges ( privately funded colleges and schools that do not receive direct funding from New York State) and $56,618 for NY residents at contract colleges. The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business-School of Hotel Administration are all endowed colleges/schools, whereas the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business-Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations are all contract colleges/schools. Both of those prices include tuition, room and board, a health fee, and other expected miscellaneous fees and school-related purchases like books.

Cornell offers need-based aid, rather than merit-based aid or athletic scholarships. In the class of 2023, 92% of students who applied for aid received financial aid. Of the 1,454 freshmen receiving financial aid, 1,387 are receiving scholarships and grants (as opposed to work-study and/or student loans). The average need-based scholarship/grant award was $43,122.