Admitted Class of '21 sets new application, diversity records

Cornell has received the highest number of applications in university history for freshman admission for the second consecutive year. There were 47,038 applicants for admission to the Class of 2021; the previous record was 44,965 applicants for the Class of 2020.

A total of 5,889 new applicants have been admitted, and Cornell has offered another 5,713 students a place on the wait list. The selection status of high school seniors who applied to enter Cornell was released March 30 at 5 p.m.

For the third consecutive year, Cornell’s prospective freshman class includes a record number of students who self-identify as an underrepresented minority – 1,777, or 30.2 percent of the class.

Students of color, which include underrepresented minority and Asian-American students, are 52.5 percent of the newly admitted class; they comprised 49 percent of admitted freshmen last year.

International students are almost 9 percent of the admitted class. Based on citizenship, they hail from 96 nations outside the U.S., with Canada, China, India, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom among the countries most represented.

Students admitted to the Class of 2021 include more than 700 first-generation college students and more than 200 recruited athletes.

Cornell selected 12.5 percent of all applicants for admission, including early decision and regular decision candidates. Admitted students have until May 1 to accept Cornell’s offer of admission.

“This year’s admitted class continues to raise the bar on what it means to be outstanding,” said Shawn Felton, director of undergraduate admissions. “I am pleased that we are, once again, well on our way toward our goals to broaden and diversify the incoming class.”

The number and diversity of applicants reflect the desirability of a Cornell education, said Jason Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment.

“We have admitted an extraordinarily gifted and accomplished class of scholars,” Locke said. “We look forward to showcasing Cornell’s exceptional academic offerings and vibrant student experience during our many admitted student events in April.”

Admitted students reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and in 69 countries outside the United States. Outside of New York, the states most represented among admitted freshmen include California, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas.

It is anticipated that approximately 1,800 students will visit campus between April 13-24 for Cornell Days, the annual visitation program for admitted students. More than 400 underrepresented students are expected during Diversity Hosting Month activities, April 11-27.

An additional 60 freshmen anticipated to enroll in January 2018 have been admitted in the First-Year Spring Admission (FYSA) program, established in 2015 to expand access to a Cornell education. The university’s second FYSA class enrolled this semester in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.

More than 1,000 early decision students have joined the CU on the Hill peer-to-peer social network, and newly admitted students are invited to join March 31. During CU on the Hill Days, April 8 and 22, Cornell alumni and current student ambassadors will join in welcoming the Class of 2021 in virtual open houses.

In-person events for newly admitted students to be held around the world in April include a reception for new Tata scholars, April 9 in Mumbai, India.

Media Contact

John Carberry