This section will give you 10 things you need to either know or do to apply. You can then use our checklist for first-year applicants to make sure you have all of the required elements together before submitting your application. Want more detail? Download and print our Freshman Application Instructions.
1. Basic Requirements
You will also need to decide to apply for early or regular decision. If Cornell is your first choice, consider applying under the early decision plan. Early decision applications are reviewed in the fall, and you will be notified in mid-December of Cornell’s decision. Before applying early decision, know that:
- November 1 is the application deadline.
- Early decision is binding. If you’re admitted to Cornell, you are required to withdraw any applications you’ve sent to other schools and send your enrollment deposit to Cornell by early January.
- You can be admitted or denied during early decision as well as postponed to regular decision. Students whose applications are postponed to regular decision are no longer subject to the early decision binding commitment.
- While early decision acceptances to Cornell are binding, students may be eligible to be released from the early decision agreement if the financial aid award does not make a Cornell education affordable for applicants and their families (must have applied for financial aid).
Cornell University will honor any required commitment to matriculate which has been made to another college under an Early Decision plan.
2. Choosing a College
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
- College of Engineering
- College of Human Ecology
- School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Applicants are not permitted to change the college(s) to which they have applied after they have submitted the application. Requests to change colleges will not be honored.
4. Application Supporting Materials
- The School Report - Your counselor or designated school official should submit this form (or your school’s own report form) and your official transcript on your behalf.
- Counselor Recommendation - Cornell requires a written statement from your guidance counselor or college advisor.
- Teacher Evaluations - You are required to submit two teacher recommendations. Be sure to remind individuals writing letters for you to include your name and date of birth on all pages if they are sending them by mail.
- Midyear Report - Submit the Midyear Report as soon after the application deadline as possible. We strongly encourage guidance counselors to submit this online too, so we can process your application faster. We understand that some students with schools on trimesters may not have any new grade information to report at the time of submission, and therefore do not need to send a Midyear Report.
5. Cornell University Supplemental Information
6. Official Transcript
7. Standardized Test Scores
8. Application Fee
* Fee Waiver
Cornell’s application fee is $80, and you are required to submit it with your Common Application. Please note that Cornell cannot process your application without the application fee or a fee waiver. Please follow the Common Application instructions. To apply for a fee waiver, please submit one of the following documents:
- The Common Application fee waiver request completed by your guidance counselor/college advisor as part of the school forms process (online submission available at www.commonapp.org);
- The College Board Request for Waiver of College Application Fee form (obtainable from your guidance counselor/college advisor if you used SAT Reasoning Test or Subject Test fee waivers) or the ACT Fee Waiver Form (obtainable from your guidance counselor/college advisor if you used ACT fee waivers);
- The NACAC Application for Fee Waiver Form completed by your guidance counselor/college advisor;
- A letter from your guidance counselor/college advisor, or representative from a social service or community agency, stating that the fee would cause financial hardship;
If you cannot apply for a fee waiver by one of these methods, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 607.255.5241. Mail fee waiver documentation to: Undergraduate Admissions Office, Application Processing Center, East Hill Plaza, 349 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca, NY 14850-2899.
Formal admission interviews are offered for applicants to The School of Hotel Administration. Details at https://sha.cornell.edu/admissions-programs/undergraduate/how-to-apply/interview/notavailable.html.
For all other applicants, there is no interview process and we will not offer interviews for those who request them.