Admitted Class of 2019 is most diverse in Cornell history

Cornell’s newly admitted class of freshmen is the most diverse and international in its 150-year history, with prospective undergraduates representing 100 nations from around the world, based on citizenship.

Cornell received 41,907 applications for admission to the Class of 2019, the second highest applicant pool in university history. A total of 6,234 applicants were admitted, and 3,590 were offered a place on a wait list.

New spring admission program

Cornell begins a new admission option this year, the First-Year Spring Admission program. A small number of students were notified March 31 that they had been admitted for entry in January 2016. Cornell anticipates enrolling 125 new students in this inaugural class, as freshmen in the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Human Ecology; and the School of Hotel Administration.

“During a time when we are turning away tens of thousands of applicants, the First-Year Spring Admission program will allow us to expand access to a Cornell education,” said Locke.

The selection status of high school seniors who applied to enter Cornell was released online March 31 at 5 p.m.

A record number of admitted students this year – 1,605, or 25.7 percent of the admitted freshman class – self-identify as underrepresented minorities. In addition, Cornell has admitted its highest-ever percentages of students of color (48 percent), which includes Asian-Americans (more than 21 percent).

“The extraordinary talent and diversity found in the Class of 2019 leaves little doubt that we are attracting the best students from around the world,” said Jason Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment. “In this year of sesquicentennial celebrations, I am heartened to know that we are admitting a community of scholars that exemplifies Ezra Cornell’s founding principle ‘any person, any study.’”

The admitted students are 53 percent female and reside in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – and in 79 countries outside the United States. Besides New York, the home states most represented are California, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The class also includes more than 700 first-generation students, more than 800 Cornell legacies and more than 200 recruited athletes.

“During my tenure, each admitted class has become more extraordinary, and admission candidates continue to raise the bar on what it means to be outstanding,” said Shawn Felton, director of undergraduate admissions. “When I look at the incredible student of color diversity alongside large numbers of first-generation students and the variety of places from which our admitted students come, it’s hard not to feel proud of what Cornell is about and what we are all working to achieve here.”

The overall admit rate (among both early decision and regular decision candidates selected for admission) was 14.9 percent of applicants. Admitted students have until May 1 to decide whether to accept Cornell’s offer of admission.

To help students in their decision, the university is hosting a new virtual yield event, CUontheHill – an online hub and social network starting April 1 for newly admitted students to learn more about Cornell from selected current students and alumni ambassadors. CUontheHill Day, an online event April 11, will include alumni from around the world.

Cornell’s traditional yield activities in April include Cornell Days, April 9-20, when nearly 1,500 admitted students are expected to visit the campus; and Diversity Hosting Month, April 8-27, which draws about 400 underrepresented minority students each year. Off-campus, yield events around the world include a reception April 5 in Mumbai, India, for newly admitted Tata Scholars.

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz