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Navigating Cornell's Admission Requirements

Hey y'all, I've been eyeing Cornell as my dream school since forever, but I'm kinda unsure about the specific admission requirements. I know that these things can be a mix of academics, test scores, and extracurriculars, but could anyone give me a detailed rundown? Appreciate the help, peeps!

19 days ago

Absolutely, happy to help unravel the specifics around Cornell's admission requirements!

Starting with academics, they'll be looking at your course rigor and grades in high school. Cornell would prefer to see you challenging yourself with a demanding course load, including honors, AP, or IB classes if they're available at your school, and doing well in them.

Regarding your extracurriculars, high-level achievements are valuable. Cornell is looking for students who have shown exceptional levels of leadership or accomplishments. These can be demonstrated in several ways using the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars. For example, leading a club (Tier 3) or even achieving recognition at the state or national level in a competition (Tier 1 or 2).

Aside from academics and extracurriculars, Cornell requires the Common Application, along with their own supplement. The supplement consists of a "Why Cornell" essay where you discuss your reasons for applying to Cornell and your chosen major. This essay should be both specific and thoughtful. It's best to do heavy research into the specifics of what Cornell offers for your major and articulate why you're interested in it.

Additionally, for the 2024-2025 application cycle, Cornell is actually test-optional. This means if you do end up taking the SAT or ACT and feel that your score strengthens your application, you can submit it, but a lack of test scores will not hurt your application. A quick note though, Cornell has announced that for the 2025-2026 application cycle, they will require standardized test scores again.

Remember also, that letters of recommendation are required - one from your school counselor and at least two from teachers. Choose educators who know you well and can speak to your skills, achievements, and character.

So those are the nuts and bolts of the admission requirements. Do remember that while meeting all these requirements is necessary, admission to Cornell, like other Ivy Leagues, is highly competitive, and simply meeting the basic requirements won't guarantee an acceptance. However, putting together a strong, well-rounded application will give you a fighting chance! Best of luck!

19 days ago

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