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Early Decision

One of the reasons I started this blog was to provide the information that you are looking for and to answer all of the FAQs we receive in admissions. Many of the current questions have to do with early decision. So I thought, “why not?” and I made it this week’s blog topic. Here’s what I have to say about what you’re asking:

What’s the difference between early decision, early action, or single-choice early action?
I’ll start by explaining how they are alike. What they have in common is an earlier deadline than regular decision. College Board offers a nice explanation of the differences between early decision, early action and single choice early action.

Does Cornell offer an early option?
Cornell offers an early decision application option for freshman. Our early decision application deadline is November 1 and applicants are notified by mid-December of Cornell’s decision.

Is early decision binding at Cornell?
Yes, it is important to remember that an early decision application is a commitment. You may apply early decision to only one college or university.  Early decision applicants may apply to other non-binding early admissions programs, but if they are admitted to Cornell, they must withdraw any applications they have filed at other colleges or universities and send their acceptance deposit by mid-January.

How many first-year students apply early decision?
About a third of recent freshman classes have been admitted to Cornell early.

If I am denied admission early decision, can I apply for regular decision at Cornell?
No. If you have been denied admission as an early decision applicant, you may not apply to Cornell University as a regular decision applicant.

When should I plan to take my SAT, Subject Tests, or ACTs so that my scores can be considered with my early decision application?
You should plan to take the SAT before November of your senior year, or the ACT no later than October. Early decision applicants are strongly urged to take the SAT Subjects Tests (if required) no later than October, because the scores are used in the selection process.

Do I need to complete any additional forms if I apply early decision?
You need to complete all of the required items for your application. On the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application, look for the question “(a)re you applying under Cornell’s” and make sure you check the box next to “early-decision program (November 1 deadline).” Cornell does not accept the early decision agreement form provided by the commonapp.org site.

Are you ready to apply? You can learn more and find all of the necessary forms on our website!

223 thoughts on “Early Decision

  1. Hello,
    Till what date my teachers should send the evaluation letters. I have requested the letters from my counselors and teachers a month ago but they haven’t done it yet. Will there be any problem?

    Yours sincerely,
    Havish B. Vyas

  2. Hi, I got defer status for my early decision and would like to know what percent of those get defer be accepted to Cornell. Thanks

  3. I am an early decision applicant and was offered admission . However my request for financial aid was denied! Am i allowed to enroll myself in Cornell but still apply regular decision to a few colleges for financial aid since cornell has the policy of meeting the financial aid packages of other ivy’s and MIT, Duke and Stanford?

  4. Shan93, no, you are not able to apply to another Cornell college or school for regular decision if you are denied early decision admission. The decision you are given is final.

  5. If I apply early decision to one college at Cornell and I am denied, can I apply regular decision to a different college? For example, if I am denied early decision acceptance to Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, can I still apply to Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences regular decision?

  6. Alex, if you have applied for financial aid and submitted all the required materials then, should you be admitted, you will receive your aid notification just after your decision.

  7. Sorry I know this my not sound reasonable a question but would it be helpful to submit my TOEFL if it is already waived.

  8. Hello,
    I have already submitted my Early Decision application. I was wondering, if I were to be accepted, will Cornell send an award letter with the letter of acceptance? Or will I have to wait after I have withdrawn applications from other colleges in order to know how much aid I will be receiving?

  9. On the applicant ID website, it says my application is complete and has been submitted to the committee for review. 1st quarter grades were just released at my high school, and my counselor said she is uploading the 1st quarter grades to the common app website early next week. Will my 1st quarter grades still be a part of my application even though the Applicant ID site says my application has been submitted?

  10. Stelagmd, all colleges and schools at Cornell are looking for students who are the best fit regardless of state residency. It is also important to note that Cornell is need-blind, your ability to pay is not a consideration in the selection process. Your son’s best scores will be used by the selection committee, you did the right thing by sending ALL scores.

  11. Czhang, early decision applicants will be notified in mid-December. Check your email and admissions.cornell.edu in early December for more information.

  12. Terry, our busiest time for the blog is actually in December and January…early decision is just a warm-up! Please feel free to keep checking back for more information about Cornell!

  13. 2 questions–there has been discussion on some websites that the contract colleges give preference to out of state students to get the higher tuition,—-and my soon did well on act, one relatively low score on a sat I test, well on sat II he preferred not to send sat I but was told should send all–will his much better act be used and not be penalized for the sat I ?

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