Admission criteria

Each year our goal is to assemble a dynamic and diverse incoming class, while paying attention to the merits of each individual applicant. We look for evidence of academic ability and preparedness, personal character, and meaningful extracurricular involvement. We will provide a thoughtful and holistic review of all your application materials, and your admission counselor is always available to answer your questions. 


When you apply to Cornell, you will automatically be considered for merit scholarships with no additional application required. We also offer attractive fine arts scholarships, which do require a separate application.

Application information for:

Required materials for first-year students

Cornell requires a completed Common Application for all candidates for admission, and all application materials can be submitted via this online system. The application fee is waived for candidates who complete the application online.

  1. Common Application with essay
  2. Secondary School Report Form (submit via the Common Application)
  3. Official high school transcript, including all coursework to date
  4. ACT or SAT scores (SAT IIs are optional)
  5. Teacher recommendations are optional but encouraged (submit via the Common Application)