Before they’ve taken their first class, Cornell’s 3,325 incoming freshmen could fill a book – or several – with their accomplishments, experiences and interests.
First-year students arriving on campus on Move-In Day, Aug. 17, are entrepreneurs, medical investigators, international aid workers and nonprofit founders, performers and beekeepers.
The Class of 2022 includes a nationally ranked squash player, a lobster fisherman, a novelist, a professional harpist, a magician, a vegan baker, a weather forecaster and a 2017 national rodeo champion.
Many come prepared with extensive research experience, such as the student who made a 3D-printed hand for a little girl, led a research team in bioinformatics and designed her own research into germicidal ultraviolet irradiation. Medical research by incoming freshmen also has included studies of the human immune system, spinal cord injuries, brain cancer, epilepsy and antibiotics.
One student did a variety of research on three continents during her gap year, in Mexico, Montana, Antarctica and France. Another has volunteered with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, teaching nutrition to women. Others have logged fieldwork ranging from wolf behavior in New York to groundwater in Nepal.
The environment, marine life and bugs are among students’ interests. One freshman co-founded with her siblings an organization devoted to sea turtle restoration in Costa Rica. At least three students have tended oyster beds, and another did field research on eels in the Hudson River. Back on dry land, at least five new students are beekeepers, one with an apiary of 40,000 producing a ton of honey annually. One student cataloged specimens and published research as an entomology museum intern. Another keeps a roach colony, a food source for pet birds, reptiles and such.
Students enrolling at Cornell as freshmen reside in 47 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. The new students represent 43 nations, based on citizenship.
The Class of 2022 is 54 percent female, and students of color represent 48 percent of the freshman class. The class includes 456 students who are the first in their families to attend college, close to 14 percent of the incoming class, and nearly one-fifth of the 687 transfer students entering this fall also identify as first-generation.
In January 2019, 60 additional students will join freshmen in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Arts and Sciences, as part of the First-Year Spring Admission program, now in its fourth year.
Gaining entry to Cornell continues to be competitive. The Class of 2022 had the largest applicant pool in university history, with 51,324 applications for freshman admission.
The university admitted 5,448 applicants, and of those offered admission, 61 percent accepted and chose Cornell. That overall yield percentage, 4.4 percent higher than in 2017, “is the highest it has been since at least 1980,” said Jason Locke, interim vice provost for enrollment.
“Students and families recognize the value of a Cornell education and are choosing to enroll at an increasingly higher rate,” Locke said. “We look forward to welcoming the very accomplished Class of 2022 to campus.”