Cornell Early Decision Acceptance Rate [2023-2026]

Cornell University was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. It is the youngest Ivy League school and the only Ivy League established after the American Revolution. The school was founded in 1865 but started enrolling students in 1868.

Out of all the Ivy League schools, Cornell University’s acceptance rate is the highest, which made it earn the reputation that it is “easy” to get admitted into the University.

Cornell University is a very competitive school for all applicants. The acceptance rate is one of the essential aspects to consider whenever you want to apply for admission to your school of choice.

It helps tell you your possibility of securing space with the school which in turn will help you to prepare well in advance. In this article, you will know the 2025 Early Decision acceptance rate of Cornell University.

Cornell Ed 2025 acceptance rate

Cornell University’s early decision acceptance rate is 21.4%. 

The early decision acceptance rate is higher than the general acceptance rate which is 8.7%. This means that you have a higher and stronger chance of getting admitted if you apply early.

Why does Cornell University’s early decision have a higher acceptance rate?

Applying to any college, especially an Ivy League school like Cornell University requires much endeavor and preparation. Those who manage to complete that endeavor at a high level and very early must be among the most committed and focused.

This doesn’t mean that those who apply at the regular deadline are somehow relaxed, unfit, or unprepared.  However, the Early Decision deadline tends to have a higher percentage of top-level students, while those not suitable for Cornell are more likely to apply at the regular deadline.

Don’t bother that the competition in Early Decision applications is too high or that you’ll be perceived as lazy if you use the regular decision deadline. In nearly every case, your application will stand on its own, regardless of when you apply.

Give it your best and let it speak for you.

Cornell University Colleges

  1. College of Agriculture and Life Science
  2. College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  3. College of Arts and Sciences
  4. Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management)
  5. College of Engineering
  6. College of Human Ecology
  7. School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR)

Different from most undergraduate universities, Cornell offers pre-professional programs such as the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). These colleges are highly rated and recognized for building authorities, experts, and trailblazers in their respective fields.

Students can learn almost any subject at Cornell as the university offers a multifaceted education, including niche disciplines ranging from agriculture to human ecology.

Cornell University admissions requirements 

The followings are required for admission into Cornell University:

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Class Rank
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • Essays

Cornell University SAT and ACT required scores

The Cornell University SAT score range required for students to meet is 1450 – 1540.

The required ACT range is 33-35.  

Cornell University Majors

The education offered by Cornell University manages to be both extraordinary and remarkable as it offers a wide range of majors and studies not available in many undergraduate colleges.

For example, it has a discipline in hotel administration and management that is not taught at any other Ivy League school. 

Some of Cornell University Majors include:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Biometric and statistics
  • Food Science
  • Engineering Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Architecture
  • Urban and Regional studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Information science, system, and technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Materials Science Engineering

How does Cornell rate applicants?

Unlike many other highly-selective institutions, undergraduate applications to Cornell are not examined by a central admissions officer.

Instead, they are directed to the specific college within the university that the student has applied to. From there, applications undergo a “first review” which looks at whether or not the applicant possesses the minimum academic credentials for serious deliberation. Most of the applicants who pass this stage are usually enrolled.

In the next round of review, admissions officers look at the rigor of an applicant’s high school coursework and carefully read their supplemental essay about their interest in studying a given discipline at Cornell University.

They also want to see evidence of a desire to become passionately committed to the Cornell student community. This can best be demonstrated through extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters.

There are eight factors that Cornell ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process, they include: 

  • The rigor of secondary school records
  • GPA
  • Standardized test scores
  • The essay
  • Recommendations
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. 

Standing out in all of these areas increases your chances of gaining acceptance to this prestigious Ivy League school.

What kind of students is Cornell University looking for?

Cornell is looking for genuine excellence in one or more activities. They want students who can be academically sound and at the same time do competently in sports.

4 types of students that have a higher chance at Cornell University 

Students who have intellectual potential

Cornell University is seeking students who are creative, smart, and intelligent. One of the most important aspects of the Cornell application is the difficulty of coursework.

Students are encouraged to partake in local community college courses, demonstrating their passion for learning.  Challenging oneself academically is surely suggested as Cornell looks to see if the student can handle the instruction and work at a top-level university.

Character is also Important

Cornell University wants students with excellent character, who will go on to do remarkable things and show genuine care and compassion for people around them. One of the biggest opportunities for students to showcase their values and merit is in essays and recommendation letters.

Therefore, students should make sure to obtain recommendations from teachers who have good and specific things to say about them. For the essays, students should focus on communicating their biggest, favorable attributes, naturally and truthfully.

Many students fall into the trap of bragging about their accomplishments, making it a turnoff for the people reviewing their applications.

On the contrary, applicants should also be careful with talking about their weaknesses. If you want to talk about hardship or flaw, it must be a story centered on how you overcame, not struggled with, the so-called difficulty

Getting involved is an important factor in Cornell Admissions

Cornell seeks students who are involved in their communities or fields of interest, whether that is through extracurricular activities, community participation, workplace experience, or leadership roles. Common examples of extracurricular activities include sports, debates, or playing an instrument.

It may also be more beneficial for students to partake in more unique and meaningful extracurricular activities such as starting their own business or creating large social media followings committed to empowering or teaching others, so the student can stand out from the tens of thousands of applicants.

Cornell University wants to make sure you’re a good fit. 

The most tricky and oftentimes overlooked part of the application is the student’s fit with Cornell University. Cornell admissions officers look for not just any student but a student with “Cornell potential.”

This means that the best applicants are the ones that look like they will belong and fit right in with the Cornell community. Even the most amazing applicant that has done everything they were told to do can be rejected from Cornell for lacking “fit.”

The best way for students to display their compatibility with Cornell University is through the school-specific Cornell supplemental essay, where students write about why they chose their academic interests and how they’ll utilize the education and resources of Cornell University to fulfill their goals. 


The Cornell University admission requirements have proven to be extremely challenging but it isn’t a reason not to try. In terms of size, Cornell is the biggest Ivy League university, possessing an undergraduate population of about 15,000 students.

Cornell’s campus life is quite balanced with students managing academic achievement and social activities to the best of their abilities. 

In the end, your Cornell application is a conclusion and reflection of all the work you’ve done throughout your years of high school, displaying your skills and character. Every applicant puts forward a satisfactory version of themselves, so to differentiate yourself, you have to go the extra mile by preparing early and smoothing the application as many times as possible.

Finally, a Cornell student is not born overnight. A successful application requires you to achieve most, if not all, of the parts you’ve read in this article. 

I hope this article has opened your eyes to so many insightful things about Cornell University. If yes, drop a comment. You can also find acceptance rates for other colleges and universities here.