Cornell continues to welcome applicants from all countries

Cornell is continuing to encourage and welcome undergraduate and graduate admissions applicants from all countries who are seeking enrollment in fall 2017, including those from seven nations named in the Trump administration’s Jan. 27 executive order banning entry into the United States.

The university will make every effort to honor its “commitment to ‘any person, any study’ ... and students from any country,” Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Barbara A. Knuth said.

In letters dated Feb. 10, Knuth offered guidelines to address questions about the implications of the travel and immigration ban on admissions for both undergraduate and graduate applicants.

She urged all undergraduate admissions directors and directors of graduate studies “to consider any and all applicants as you normally would, applying a holistic admissions review process that fairly evaluates each applicant based on his or her academic credentials and intellectual potential. Uncertainties regarding the likely ability of any admitted student to enter the U.S. should not be a factor in your admissions decisions.”

The executive order banning entry to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has since been met with federal court actions, and its “legal and constitutional status … may be in flux over the next weeks or months,” Knuth added. “It is not possible to predict what effect those actions will have on freedom of movement for admitted students from these seven countries (or other countries pending future actions by the Trump administration), nor on the interest of admitted international students to attend a U.S. university.”

Should admitted international students seek or be forced to defer or delay entry to a later date due to the ban or related actions, the Undergraduate Admissions Office or the Graduate School will provide flexibility; and if they are offered undergraduate financial aid or awarded Graduate School funding, it will be available when the student is able to enroll. Arrangements can be made “regarding fellowship resources should such students face extended delays or barriers to entry,” Knuth wrote.

The letters were posted on the Global Cornell website, and also were sent to academic deans, the Student Assembly president and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly leaders. Knuth also requested that the graduate admissions letter be forwarded to graduate field faculty.

Global Cornell’s update page on immigration has information for current international students and scholars with urgent needs regarding travel, and for applicants and admitted students with questions about Cornell’s response to the executive order. Admitted students with questions about visa or immigration issues are encouraged to contact the International Students and Scholars Office at

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John Carberry