What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying to Cornell

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Mariana Goldlust in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.


What’s Covered:



Want to learn more about admissions at Cornell University? In this article, we will address some of the frequently asked questions when students are applying to Cornell University


Applications and Essays


In our essays, what kind of personal experiences is Cornell looking for? 


Personal experiences in these essays don’t necessarily have to be from your personal life. They can also apply to your academic life, such as social interaction within group projects, or even a work experience. Your discussion of personal experiences should show why you’re a good fit for Cornell, and for the specific school to which you’re applying. 


“Personal experience” can really mean whatever you want as long as you convey your ideas effectively as they apply to your potential place at the school.


Additionally, if you’re looking for more guidance on Cornell’s supplemental essays, check out this article about how to write the Cornell University essays.


Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has two optional essays. Is it recommended to complete both of these in addition to the standard essay?


If you’re able to write all three essays without sacrificing the quality of any of them, you should. Doing this communicates a sincere and specific interest in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Skipping one or both of the optional essays may convey that you’re less interested in the school, but that’s assuming you’re able to achieve the quality threshold you’re looking to reach with all three.


If an optional essay asks about a specific circumstance that doesn’t apply to you, however, that’s a different story. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to write them all as long as you can do so effectively.


Cornell Admissions


Between Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Business school, which one is more competitive to get into?


There is a lot of overlap between the economics majors at the Dyson School and the College of Arts & Sciences. The Dyson School is one of the most competitive colleges at Cornell; it’s actually very common for economics majors to transfer into Dyson from the College of Arts & Sciences. Statistically, the College of Arts & Sciences has a higher admissions acceptance rate. That being said, if your business interests align with it, the Nolan School of Hotel Administration has an acceptance rate that is closer to that of the College of Arts & Sciences. 


Do freshman year grades have a significant effect on admissions?


They are not trivial, and they do play a role. If you have an overarching upward trend, where you have very strong grades in your sophomore, junior, and senior years, then freshman year grades can certainly be overcome. However they do have an effect on admissions.


Pre-Med at Cornell


Which Cornell school is best for students pursuing a pre-med track?


Pre-med students can be found in almost all of the colleges, including the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, but they are most typically seen in the College of Arts & Sciences studying majors such as biology, chemistry, or psychology and taking the typical pre-med courses.


However, pre-med students are also seen in the College of Human Ecology, which has a number of different medicine-related majors, such as healthcare policy. Students on this track still complete the required pre-med courses.


Along with these two schools, the other most common college for pre-med students is the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.