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Transfer FAQs: 2014-2015

1. I have submitted my application materials but don’t know if you have received them. Can you check for me and tell me what I’m missing?

It can take several days from the time of submission for an application to be uploaded into our application database. Once we receive it, we will contact you via email about activating an online application status account to monitor the status of your application materials. This will also serve as confirmation that Cornell has received your application. For more details, please go here.

Please understand that our application processing center is in the midst of receiving thousands of applications, each of which includes multiple pages of supporting documentation. Though we wish the process were immediate, it does take time to enter all of the information.

Once your online application status account is active, we ask that you monitor it for the status of your materials. If we are lacking any supporting documentation -after the deadline, we will contact you directly via email.

2. I am just beginning to explore the possibility of transferring to Cornell. What do I need to do?

The best place to start is on our transfer applicant website.

3. Should I apply as a freshman or transfer applicant?

You are a transfer applicant if you are (or have ever been) enrolled as a full-time college student or you have earned 12 or more credits at another college or university since graduating from high school.

4. How do I get a fee waiver?

You can apply for an application fee waiver by following the instructions on the Common Application or Universal College Application AND submitting a letter from a transfer advisor, the financial aid office at your current college/university, or a representative of a social service/community agency stating that the fee would cause financial hardship.5. I am an international student. Do I apply using the transfer or international application?

International transfer applicants should complete and submit all regular transfer application requirements and materials. International applicants should read the International students section of this website prior to completing their application for instructions and information.

6. I am an international transfer student studying at an American university. Do I need to provide a TOEFL score to be considered for admission?

International students are applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

International students for whom English is not a first language are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. The recommended minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores are as follows:

  • TOEFL: 100
  • IELTS: 7

We will waive the TOEFL and/or IELTS requirement for students who have achieved a score of 670 or above on the Critical Reading section of the SAT or for those who have studied for at least four years in the United States or other nations where English is an official language. For transfer applicants, we will consider both secondary school and college/university attendance. To request a TOEFL waiver, please visit

7. The Mid-Term Report is due, but I have no mid-term grades yet. What should I do? What if my college does not assign mid-term grades?

If mid-term grades are not available to submit with your application, the Mid-Term Report should be submitted as soon as possible when grades are available. If your college does not assign mid-term grades, please speak with your professors and have them record your current grade in class on the form.  Return the completed Mid-Term Report form by fax or email attachment to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office

Attention: Transfer Processor

Cornell University

Fax: 607.255.5452


Subject: Transfer Mid-Term Report

8. Will my application be disqualified if some of my supporting documents arrive after the deadline?

As long as you submit the application and Cornell Questions and Writing Supplement (CA) or Transfer Supplement (UCA)by the published deadline, we will be able to accept supporting documents shortly thereafter. Your application will not be considered complete until all required documents are on file.

9. May I use a high school teacher for the instructor evaluation?

You are welcome to include a recommendation from a high school teacher, but please note that we are assessing your work in college. Thus a high school teacher’s recommendation will not take the place of a recommendation from one of your college instructors.

10. Who should fill out the College Report?

A dean, registrar, advisor, or other college official who has access to your academic record and your disciplinary record must complete the College Report. The official should complete the form to the best of his/her ability, and the sections regarding academic standing and disciplinary record are required. We cannot review your application without a completed College Report.

11. Do I need to submit my high school transcript and the Final Report?

The Final Report Form is not required for transfer applicants. However, we do require an official copy of a high school transcript, and it should be sent to us directly from your high school.

12. Am I required to submit SAT/ACT scores?

If you have previously taken the SAT or ACT, you should request that those scores be sent to Cornell directly from the testing service. If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, you do not need to take them to be considered for admission.

13. Can I send admission materials before my application is submitted?

We encourage you to submit admission materials after you submit your application to Cornell. This will ensure that all subsequently received materials will go immediately into your file.

14. How many semesters must I complete at Cornell to qualify for a degree?

Cornell University requires students to complete at least four semesters of coursework at Cornell to qualify for a degree. Students who have completed coursework beyond the sophomore year are generally discouraged from transferring.

15. How do I apply for financial aid as a transfer student?

Find the answers to your financial aid questions here.

16. Is financial aid available for international transfer students?

As a member of the Ivy League, Cornell is committed to providing need‐based financial aid to eligible students. For international students, the financial aid program is need based, but the aid budget for international students is very limited and awarded on a competitive basis. There is no guarantee that you will be awarded aid. More complete information regarding aid for international transfer students can be found here.

17. What is the application deadline?

The transfer application timetable is available online.

18. Are there specific transfer requirements?

You will find specific transfer requirements online.

19. Will all my courses transfer?

Parallel courses from any accredited college transfer easily to Cornell. Unless the course is not equivalent to a Cornell course or you have received less than a “C” grade, you may assume that credits will be transferred. The credit evaluation you will receive after you are accepted indicates which courses do or do not receive credit at Cornell. This evaluation will also tell you whether a course meets a specific graduation requirement or counts for elective credit only.

20. Does the credit I received by examination at my previous college or university transfer?

Credit awarded by another institution solely on the basis of departmental examination (instead of a course) will not be awarded as transfer credit at Cornell.

21. Will I automatically receive AP or IB credit if it was accepted at my previous institution?

No. Cornell’s Courses of Study catalog provides information about how much AP/IB credit is awarded for various subjects. The rules may be different from those at your former college. You may access this information by checking out our Advanced Placement and International Credentials bulletin.

22. Cornell is on the semester system. At my current institution, the academic year is divided into quarters. How will my quarter hours be converted to semester hours?

Each quarter credit is usually equal to two‐thirds of a semester credit.

23. What should I send you to make credit evaluation easier?

Each undergraduate college at Cornell evaluates credit on a case‐by‐case basis. You need to email course descriptions directly to the Cornell college or school to which you are applying.

24. Does Cornell have articulation agreements with any community colleges?

Yes. Two of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges (Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology) have developed several articulation transfer agreements with two‐year colleges.

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