The 5,139 admitted students will bring with them a variety of lived experiences that will enrich the vitality and innovation of Cornell’s intellectual community.

Admitted Class of 2028 personifies Cornell’s founding principles

As an EMT in high school, Kimia Shahriyar had seen more than her share of overdoses. She wanted to attend a university where she could better understand the complex problem of addiction by studying health care, advocacy and policy. But Shahriyar found few universities offered that – until she met a Cornell alumna who touted the university’s interdisciplinary approach.

“I wanted to be in an environment where I could truly thrive with those who understand the intersections that I’m going for,” said Shahriyar, who will major in health care policy at the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. “This is exactly what I want to pursue with a group of people that I just can’t imagine not joining.”

A dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, she’s also looking forward to participating in the Persian Students Organization. “I do hold my heritage and my culture very dearly,” Shahriyar said.

She is among the 5,139 students admitted to the Class of 2028. Regular decision students were notified March 28, the official notification date for the Ivy League.

The Class of 2028 is full of students who personify Cornell’s founding principles, said Lisa Nishii, vice provost for undergraduate education and interim vice provost for enrollment.

“The variety of lived experiences that these students bring with them will enrich the vitality and innovative nature of our intellectual community,” Nishii said. “I look forward to seeing how they work across boundaries to solve the challenges of tomorrow.”

Yanna Mei '28 is co-captain of her high school fencing team in Brooklyn and plans to continue to fence at Cornell.

They include Yanna Mei of Brooklyn, whose three-hour round-trip commute to high school sparked her interest in transportation. “It got me thinking that maybe I should try to fix it and make public transportation something that people talk about positively,” said Mei, who will major in urban and regional studies at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP). As the co-captain of her school’s fencing team, she is looking forward to continuing that sport at Cornell.

Mei is among the 16.5% of the admitted class who are first-generation students – the first in their families to go to college. In terms of geographic diversity, admitted students reside in 50 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C., Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico, as well as 93 countries. Based on citizenship, admitted students represent 107 countries outside the United States.

Levko Danyliv, a painter from Miami, Florida, was attracted to the interdisciplinary approach in AAP, where he’ll major in fine art. “You can pick any class to help reflect one’s art practice,” he said. And as a native speaker of Ukrainian, he is excited to join Cornell’s Ukrainian Club. “For Ukrainians to be represented in a student club is really awesome. I’m excited to meet all those people.”

Emma Bromley, a soccer player from Forest Hills, New York, was drawn to Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, where she participated in a Young Birders event in summer 2023.

“The birding and ornithology opportunities at Cornell are unmatched by any other university,” said Bromley, who will major in environment and sustainability in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The professors were very passionate about their interest in ornithology but also about helping students and getting them interested and involved.”

Emma Bromley ’28 of Forest Hills, shown here birding in the Rockaways, Queens, was drawn to Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

This year, the admissions office added a new question to the Common Application. It asked applicants to explain how their life experiences as part of a community would inform their contributions to Cornell’s learning community devoted to “… any person … any study.”

The university’s ethos “really is our North Star,” said Pamela Tan, director of undergraduate admissions.

“My colleagues across the undergrad admissions community and I have worked really hard to reach talented students from across the United States and around the world, including those students who may have considered Cornell inaccessible,” she said. “And I really believe that the university is just going to be better as a result. These students will benefit from Cornell, and Cornell itself will benefit from the incredible range of experiences that these new students will bring to the Big Red community. It’s a vital part of who we are, what makes us special, and what makes us vibrant as a community. And that’s something that we think a lot about in the admission process.”

Austin McBride of New York City was drawn to the College of Human Ecology’s major in design and environmental analysis.

“Design is a way for me to utilize my creativity while also creating change in people’s lives; it’s just something that fascinates me so much,” McBride said.

She visited the Ithaca campus in October. “I just fell in love,” she said. “I saw the studios, and everyone was so kind. And I was like, ‘OK, this is the place for me.’”

Students have until May 1 to accept Cornell’s offer.

They can connect with staff and current students in myriad ways, including CUontheHill, a virtual community where admitted students can talk to Big Red Ambassadors and current students, learn about admitted student events, find other admitted students in their cities and potential roommates, make friends before Orientation, and find answers to frequently asked questions. Admitted students will be invited to join shortly after they get word of their acceptance.

Admitted students are also invited to visit campus during Cornell Days, April 13, 14 and 21. During this one-day visit option, admitted students and their families can connect with their college or school, tour campus and share a meal in one of the dining halls. Registration is required; more information about events for admitted students can be found at the university’s admitted student webpage.

Big Red Ambassador Paloma Galdo ’24 said although a lot of universities have a diverse body of students, Cornell is different.

“Not only are Cornell students from across the whole world, but they’re incredibly passionate about what they’re studying,” said Galdo, a dual major in psychology and biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “They genuinely want to do something beyond Cornell that will really have a great impact on the community. I think that was really impressive. I found a lot of inspiration from people around me.”

Students who are unable to visit campus in person can take a self-guided campus tour and participate in virtual admitted student events available through CUontheHill. They can also use the Office of Undergraduate Admissions’ virtual visit resources.

For parents who have questions, a text line run by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will be available from April 1 to May 1 during business hours, staffed by student ambassadors and admissions staff. Parents will receive information about the text line via email.

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub