Admissions Tips from a Freshman at Cornell: Why I applied early decision

February 20, 2014

I toured Cornell University on a whim. Well, I wouldn’t call it a whim, but I certainly didn’t really have a good reasoning behind doing the seven-hour drive with my family other than its location on the US News rankings. That’s how Cornell got on my radar, based on its acceptance rate I knew it would be selective, but it didn’t feel as unreachable as the other Ivies. So in late August before my senior year, I drove to Ithaca without many expectations. After my tour, however, of a barren campus devoid of any students or signs of life – I loved it. Despite the location (five hours from New York City in the farmland of Upstate New York) and a not-so-good first impression of an empty campus in the middle of summer (do not tour in summer fyi), I could honestly see myself there for the next four years.

What I liked about Cornell, and what still keeps me from regretting my choice, is the diversity – not just culturally but intellectually. With the seven-college system (College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hotel Administration, Industrial Labor Relations, Human Ecology, Engineering, and Arts, Architecture & Planning) you are able to meet so many different people with a large range of backgrounds and interests. 

image via
image via

I knew that even though I would be physically isolated, I would have access to so many different kinds of people. In fact, this year I share a hall with multiple engineers, pre-med students in varying biology programs (we have one in almost every college in different forms), and a fashion major with a concentration in fiber science. There is something unpretentious about Cornell with its ties to the Ag School that makes you feel like the work you are doing here is practical and honest.

I decided to apply Early Decision because Cornell – despite reservations about Greek Life and its location that still seemed intimidating – was by far my first choice of my available options and had an increased rate of acceptance through Early Decision. In fact, a large percentage of the class seems to be filled with ED students, the majority of my friends here applied early. In all, I really enjoy Cornell and am happy with the choice I made. So I guess the whim worked out.

The author of this post is a Cornell freshman and AdmitSee intern. You can read her full-length personal statement (a creative story about her family) by unlocking her full profile. We also have dozens of free Cornell profiles containing students’ test scores and application history (the data was supplied by guidance counselors). 

Browse Successful Application Files

NYU ‘19

Accepted to NYU, BC, BU, GWU, Northeastern

I was born and raised in Korea, but I've studied in in U.S. boarding school for 7 years. I love people, building, and cars so I love every cities in the world.
Tufts ‘18

Accepted to CMU, BC, Tufts, Northeastern

Just a rising sophomore trying to help my peers find a school that fits them best! Ask me about engineering, essays, or life in general.
WashU ‘20

Accepted to WashU, CMU, GA Tech, UGA

Aspiring Communication Design and Computer Science student, food lover extraordinaire
Harvard ‘19

Accepted to Harvard, SD State, USD, Yale, Drake

Harvard '19. President's Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. Global Health and Health Policy Concentrator. Legal and political background.

New Posts

Student Advice: Choosing Where to Enroll
Student Advice: Choosing Where to Enroll
March 20, 2018

It’s a great feeling when you get multiple acceptances from the colleges you’ve applied to, but it can also be a challenging time deciding where to enroll! The tables have turned! Now, it’...

Duke Supplemental Essay Prompts & Examples
Duke Supplemental Essay Prompts & Examples
March 16, 2018

Thinking about applying to Duke this Fall? Check out Duke’s supplemental essay prompts and examples from the 2017-2018 application cycle. You can expect similar prompts for the upcoming cycle.Duke Application Prompts1. Short Essay...

Load More Posts