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)

Which Colleges at Cornell University are State Schools?

It often comes as a surprise to students that Cornell University, part of the famed Ivy League, actually consists of some colleges that are state schools. This means that New York state residents who enroll at these specific colleges under the Cornell umbrella are entitled to in-state tuition rates, and may stand to save tens of thousands of dollars. 


Sound like a good deal? Keep reading to find out. 


How Much Does it Cost to Attend Cornell University?


As we report in our post How Much Does it Really Cost to Attend Cornell University?, the list price for in- and out-of-state students who attend Cornell’s private colleges is $67,613, including tuition, room, and board. 


Cornell actually consists of nine privately endowed and four publicly supported “statutory colleges” though, and students attending the state schools who are New York residents can expect to pay less. 


For example, students who attend a privately endowed college at Cornell can expect a tuition price of $56,550 (not including room and board). This is the same price for tuition to the public, state schools if you are a non-resident. If you’re lucky enough to be a resident though, the state school tuition comes down to $37,880. That’s a savings of nearly $20,000 per year.


Keep in mind that these costs reflect the price of tuition only. They do not include housing or meal plans. 

What are the State Schools at Cornell?


There are four publicly funded state schools at Cornell. Below, we’ll give a breakdown of each, including average SAT scores, acceptance rates, and more. 



1. The New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences



Acceptance Rate: 8.78%

Middle 50% SAT: 1240-1430

Enrollment: 3,390


The New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the largest of Cornell’s publicly funded schools and is the only college of agriculture and life sciences in the Ivy League. According to its website, the college offers over “20 majors, all focusing on the four College priorities: Life Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Agriculture and Food.” Research opportunities and experiential learning opportunities are all available here. 


2. College of Human Ecology


Acceptance Rate: 18.34%

Middle 50% SAT: 1370 – 1500

Enrollment: 1,220


The College of Human Ecology aims to study human life from a scientific, social and aesthetic perspective. Students study broad liberal disciplines ranging from biology and chemistry to design and nutrition. Students also have the chance to participate in research and engage with their community. This is the right place for students interested in careers in business, education, communications, or other fields of health and human services. 


3. School of Industrial and Labor Relations


Acceptance Rate: 15.89%

Middle 50% SAT: 1340 – 1500

Enrollment: 977


The School of Industrial and Labor Relations is a social science school aimed at understanding people in the workplace. Among other subjects, students study economics, sociology, psychology, and history. They also have the chance to explore specific areas of interest, like human resources, dispute resolution, and international labor rights. Students here often prepare for leadership positions in business, law, politics, social justice, and public policy.


4. College of Veterinary Medicine (graduate school)


Acceptance Rate: 15.35%

Median GRE: Verbal – 83%, Quantitative – 70%

Annual admits: 120


The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell is the top veterinary graduate school in the northeast. It is widely recognized as a leader in public health, biomedical research and veterinary medical education. The degree program takes four years and includes veterinary medical curriculum in both the classroom, and laboratory instruction and clinical rotations in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. 


Can You Transfer From One of Cornell’s Public Colleges to a Private One?


Some students may wonder if it’s possible to get accepted to one of the public colleges at Cornell, and then transfer internally to a private college. Perhaps you think this may be the easiest route to a Cornell acceptance, and while it is indeed possible, it’s far from a simple or guaranteed process. 


First of all, keep in mind that that most majors and colleges require that you have completed, or are taking certain courses, when you apply to transfer. You’ll need to ensure that your GPA in those courses, and your cumulative GPA at Cornell, are both up to par. In addition, transfer applications from juniors are only rarely accepted, and seniors are not eligible. 


Also, you should know that each college has its own transfer requirements and procedures. For example, to transfer to the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, you must be a current Cornell freshman or sophomore, and must not have transferred to Cornell from another university. To apply, you need a minimum GPA of 2.75, but most successful applicants have at least a 3.3 GPA. You may only apply to transfer for fall admission, and applications are due on the final day of the spring term. You can learn more about the transfer process on the Internal Transfer Requirements by College page. 


In general, it’s not a good idea to apply to a college with a higher acceptance rate with the thinking that you can then try to later transfer to another one with a lower acceptance rate. If you’re a prospective engineering student, your background and interests should show that. It would then confuse admissions officers if you applied to the College of Human Ecology, simply because the acceptance rate was higher. 


Most competitive colleges also have rigorous internal transfer requirements, and it’s not any easier to get in by internally transferring than by applying as a first year. With regards to the example above, engineering programs tend to be among the most academically rigorous on campus, and often have the highest academic standard for incoming freshmen; universities want to maintain that. It won’t be any easier transferring in midway through your studies—in fact, it could end up being even more difficult. 


Final Thoughts


For students interested in pursuing a world class education at a fraction of the normal cost, Cornell University may offer some cost-effective options for New York residents. For more information about attending or applying to Cornell, check out these CollegeVine posts:


How to Write the Cornell University Essays 2019-2020

What Does It Really Cost to Attend Cornell?

What Is Cornell’s Acceptance Rate & Admissions Requirements?


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.