Cornell Sets Record Low with 12.5% Acceptance Rate

March 31, 2017

Cornell University set a record-high of 47,038 applications for the class of 2021, and also a record-low acceptance rate of 12.5%.

Cornell University broke the record set by the Class of 2020 with a 4.6% increase in the number of applications. Out of the 47,038 applications received this year, 5,889 were accepted including both early and regular applicants. This marks a 1.5% drop from last year’s acceptance rate, with only 12.5% of this year’s applicants getting an offer. Another 5,713 students were offered a spot on the waitlist.

Cornell filled 42% of its incoming freshmen class through the binding Early Decision program. The university saw a 10.3% increase in the number of early applications, a total of 5,384, and admitted 1,378 students. The admissions office credits the targeted recruitment process as the reason for the drastic application increase. The university also reported that 23.3% of early admits are legacy students, while another 13.4% are student-athletes.

This new Class of 2021 includes 30.2% of underrepresented minority students, 9% international students, and 700 first-generation students.

Cornell has also admitted 60 freshmen to its Freshman Year Spring Admits (FYSA) Program, which started in 2015, to expand education opportunities for students at Cornell. This last semester was the second enrolled class in the College of Agriculture & Life Science and College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations to the Cornell Class of 2021! To those still waiting on results, good luck! Check out our list of major admission decision release dates here.

College Students:
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Sources: Cornell Daily Sun

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


Browse Successful Application Files

Cornell ‘20

Accepted to Cornell, Macalester, UC Berkeley, Holyoke, Stony Brook, UC Merced, UCSB, UCSC

I'm a future MD/PhD student who will start attending Cornell University as a Freshman in the fall. I love dancing, and hope to make Cornell's cheer squad next year. I also like helping my community, and I'm basically addicted to tea.
Cornell ‘17

Accepted to Cornell, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSB, UCSC

Junior majoring in Econ and minoring in Information Science.
Cornell ‘18

Accepted to Cornell, BC, RPI, Pitt, Miami, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Oxford, Columbia

Current student at Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (transfer from University of Miami)
Cornell ‘17

Accepted to Cornell, Georgetown, McGill, UToronto, Western Ontario

Cornell 2017 January grad - Ask me about econ, working on campus, being an international student, early graduation, and anything else :)

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