Admission Revocation Policy
Cornell University reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission under certain circumstances, and at any time, including after a student is in attendance at the university. The Vice Provost for Enrollment provides leadership and support to university officials acting under this policy’s procedures, including consulting with and providing guidance to deans and their designees, in order to support consistent and fair application of this policy across the university.
Admitted applicant: An applicant to whom the university has offered admission to one or more of its degree programs.
Applicant: An individual who applies for admission to one or more of the university’s degree programs.
In attendance: A new student is considered in attendance on the first day of the semester/term for which they were admitted; on the first day of their classes; on their first day residing in a university residence hall; on the first day of a university-sponsored pre-orientation trip, activity, or academic program in which they are participating; or on the first day of a graduate assistantship for the first semester/term for which they were admitted, whichever is earliest.
Revocation (of admission): Where the university withdraws an offer of admission to one or more of its degree programs.
Student: An admitted applicant who has accepted the university’s offer of admission to one or more the university’s degree programs and has commenced attendance at the university.
Bases for Revocation
When applying to Cornell University degree programs, applicants certify that the information they submit during the admission process is their own work, factually true, and honestly presented. The University relies on the integrity of that information. The university reserves the right to revoke admission should the information an applicant certified prove to be materially incomplete or false, and applicants expressly acknowledge that revocation right when they apply to the university.
In addition, each offer of admission is contingent on the admitted applicant satisfactorily completing any schoolwork in progress at the time the offer is extended and on their continuing to uphold high standards of character in activities outside the classroom. The university therefore reserves the right to revoke admission if an admitted applicant fails to meet those conditions, including but not limited to the following circumstances: (1) a significant drop in academic performance; (2) failure to graduate from the academic program in progress at the time of admission; or, (3) if the university learns that an admitted applicant has engaged in behavior prior to attendance that indicates a significant lack of judgement, integrity, or moral character.
Note: Submitting materially incomplete or false application information can also be a basis for degree revocation separate from this policy.
Some other offers of admission may be contingent on additional, fact-specific conditions, including but not limited to completion of required coursework or attendance at and successful completion of a university-sponsored pre-orientation academic program. Such conditions will be conveyed clearly and in writing at the time an offer of admission is made.
Timing of Revocation
The university may revoke an offer of admission on any of the above bases at any time, including after an admitted applicant has commenced attendance at the university.
Effect of Revocation
When the university revokes admission it is withdrawing the offer of admission it made to an applicant. If the applicant has already accepted the offer of admission, admission is rescinded as a result of the revocation. Therefore, the applicant is no longer permitted to enroll in the degree program(s) to which they applied.
Depending on the length of time that has passed between the university’s initial offer of admission and a subsequent revocation, an admitted applicant may have commenced attendance at the university. In such instances, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the university and not permitted to reenroll. In addition, the university may at its discretion void any course credit and grades reflected on the student’s official transcript and note the transcript to reflect the revocation. The student’s official transcript will be marked and amended accordingly.
A student who has been administratively withdrawn as a result of admission revocation may be eligible for a prorated tuition refund for the semester in which they were administratively withdrawn pursuant to the university’s Tuition Adjustment Schedule for Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence. The student will not be eligible for any other refund or adjustment, regardless of how long the student has been in attendance at the university.
The student may also be responsible for returning to the university any institutional scholarship, grant or fellowship funds previously awarded.
Note: The University may disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education records, including that a student has been administratively withdrawn as a result of an admission revocation, to university officials not acting under the policy and to certain third parties consistent with the university’s Student Record Privacy Statement and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The decision to revoke admission, and any subsequent determination to void course credit or grades and note the student’s official transcript, pursuant to this policy is an academic determination that resides with the college or, in the case of Cornell Tech, campus into which the applicant was admitted. (Withdrawal of the university’s offer of admission for non-payment of a deposit rests with the unit responsible for receiving that deposit, e.g. Undergraduate Admission Office, the Graduate School, a professional school.) Academic and non-academic misconduct by an applicant or an admitted student occurring prior to commencement of attendance is not subject to the Cornell University Campus Code of Conduct, University Policy 6.4, and the Code of Academic Integrity. Therefore, those student conduct codes and procedures do not apply in such instances.
1. Appropriate university officials will be notified of the reported information.
- 1.1. If the applicant has been admitted into an undergraduate academic program, those officials include the vice provost for enrollment, director of undergraduate admissions, the senior admissions official for the college into which the applicant was admitted, and any other appropriate college or university officials (e.g. an associate dean).
- 1.2. If the applicant has been admitted into a graduate program, those officials include the vice provost for enrollment, the senior admissions official for at the Graduate School or, where the applicant has been admitted to a Cornell Tech-based graduate program, the senior admissions official at Cornell Tech, and any other appropriate university officials (e.g. an associate dean, director of graduate of graduate study).
- 1.3. If the applicant has been admitted into a professional school (the Law School, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management), those officials include the vice provost for enrollment, the senior admissions official at the professional school or, where the applicant has been admitted to a Cornell Tech- based professional program, the senior admissions official at Cornell Tech, and any other appropriate university officials (e.g. an associate dean).
Any one of these officials other than the vice provost for enrollment may lead the response to the reported information consistent with college, school, or campus practice.
2. If the reported information implicates a basis for revocation, the university official leading the response will take immediate steps to verify the reported information to the extent reasonably possible. (If no basis for revocation is implicated, the matter is concluded for the purposes of this policy.)
3. If the university official determines that the report is credible, the official will:
3.1. Notify the admitted applicant that the university’s offer of admission is being reconsidered and the reason(s) why. The admitted applicant will be given the opportunity to explain their perspective or offer additional information. The official may exercise their discretion in conducting this discussion, and any follow-up communications or inquiries, with the admitted applicant.
3.2. Provide the admitted applicant with written notification of all the information the university has received regarding the alleged misconduct or failure to meet a condition of admission and allow the admitted applicant an opportunity to respond in writing. Generally, written responses shall be due within (5) five business days of the university providing the applicant with such written notification, however the university official may establish an alternative reasonable timeframe.
3.3. Provide a summary of the matter, including the admitted student’s written response (if any), to the university officials described in (1) above for consultation.
3.4. If the group determines a basis for revocation has been met, the matter will be referred to either the dean of the college to which the student was admitted or, if the applicant was admitted to a Cornell Tech-based program, to the dean of Cornell Tech, or any such dean’s designee, for a final determination on revocation as further detailed in (4) and (5) below. The dean’s designee may be a university official described in (1) above.
4. Where the admitted applicant is not yet in attendance at the university:
- 4.1. In consultation with the vice provost for enrollment, the dean or designee may reaffirm the offer of admission, revoke the offer of admission or, in the alternative, instead impose additional conditions and/or requirements on the offer of admission including but not limited to delayed enrollment, educational programming, or directed study.
- 4.2. The dean or designee or, in the case of undergraduate admitted applicants, the vice provost for enrollment must provide written notice of the decision to the admitted applicant, which shall be final.
- Note: At the discretion of thevice provost for enrollment, a high school guidance counselor or similar school official may be contacted prior to delivering written notification to the admitted applicant in order to ensure counseling and/or support services are available.
5. Where the admitted applicant is in attendance at the university:
5.1. The matter must be referred to a designee of the dean of the college or, if the applicant was admitted to a Cornell Tech-based program, to the dean of Cornell Tech to which the student was admitted.
5.2. The designee will offer the admitted applicant the opportunity to meet promptly following the referral.
5.3. In consultation with the vice provost for enrollment, the designee may reaffirm the offer of admission or revoke the offer of admission. If admission is revoked, the designee may, in consultation with the vice provost for enrollment and other appropriate university officials, determine whether any or all course credit and/or grades reflected on the student’s official transcript shall be voided as a result of the revocation.
5.4. The designee or, in the case of undergraduate admitted applicants, the vice provost for enrollment must provide written notice of the decision to the admitted applicant, which shall include instructions for appealing the decision.
5.5. The admitted applicant may appeal any aspect of the decision by submitting a written appeal to the dean of the college into which they were admitted. Generally, written appeals shall be due within (5) five business days of receipt of the designee’s decision, however the dean may establish an alternative reasonable timeframe.
5.6. The dean may affirm the decision of the designee or reverse the decision in whole or in part.
5.7. The dean must provide written notice of the appeal decision to the admitted applicant. The decision of the dean is final.
5.8. The admitted applicant’s transcript shall be revised and marked in accordance with the dean’s final written decision.