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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!

Comments

223 Responses to “ Early Decision ”

  • XYZ

    I am an international student wanting to apply to Early Decision to Cornell this fall.
    I have given all my Standardized tests except SAT Subject Tests, which I intend to give on the 5th November date.
    Will my scores reach Cornell in time?

  • tw34

    Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your scores from the November test date will arrive in time to be considered with your early decision application.

  • ABC

    If you are accepted under early decision, but are financially unable to attend the university without numerous loans are you able to opt out your acceptance?

  • rsp

    I don’t understand this quote from the last question on this page: “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).”

    Does this mean that I simply have to mark the spot for “early decision program” on the common app supplement? No additional agreement is needed?

  • Wert34

    How does early decision interact with financial aid? Deadlines don’t overlap well.

  • tw34

    If you are admitted early decision and find yourself in this situation, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

  • tw34

    The financial aid deadlines for early decision applicants are the same as admission deadlines for early decision so that admitted students can receive an estimated financial aid package before their deposit is due. The FAFSA must be filed in February, after it is made available.

  • SWW

    Is it possible to apply to two colleges within Cornell for early decision….for example, Engineering and CALS?

  • tw34

    You are able to apply to a primary and alternate choice college for early decision. Learn more at: http://admissions.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/PrimaryAlternateAdmission.pdf.

  • AAA

    Okay, let’s say you apply early decision and you get into Cornell, but after doing everything you can you cannot pay for it so you are released from the early decision contract..

    did the contract already pull out your other applications from other colleges?

    and if it did, and now your not going to cornell, how are you supposed to apply to other colleges if it is past their deadlines for admissions?

  • bingo

    I did my SAT subject tests on the 1st of October and plan to do my SAT this November 5th. I plan on applying for Early Decision. Will my November test date be a problem?

  • DRD

    What is and how much is the Early Decision deposit?

  • tw34

    Since I am not familiar with your family’s situation, I suggest that you talk with your college or guidance counselor before you make the choice to apply early decision. Your counselor can help you decide what makes the most sense for you academically and financially.

  • tw34

    If you have taken your SAT and SAT Subject Tests prior to November, please make sure that those scores are sent to Cornell University before the November test date. If you are taking the SAT for the first time in November, your scores may or may not be received by Cornell in time for your application to be completed for early decision review.

  • tw34

    Students who are admitted early decision will be asked to send their non-refundable $400 deposit in mid-January.

  • 1912D

    Are ACT scores okay for admission? What happens if it is taken in October?

  • MAH

    Can you give us a link to the Cornell documents describing the terms of the Early Decision commitment? I want to see what the University has in writing about the affordability/insufficient financial aid issue. Many of us have the same concern: If I’m admitted Early Decision and discover that I can’t afford Cornell…then what? Suggestions to talk to the Admissions Office or your high school guidance counselor are helpful but without knowledge of the policies I don’t know what we would talk about.

    Perhaps an answer to another question would give all of us some guidance and comfort regarding this affordability issue: What percentage of Early Decision freshmen return to Cornell for their sophomore and junior years, and is this percentage significantly different for students admitted through Regular Decision?

    Thanks!

  • tw34

    We require applicants to submit either the SAT with writing or the ACT with writing. Scores from October tests dates will arrive to Cornell in time to be considered for early decision or regular decision.

  • tw34

    The Cornell early decision details are outlined under “basic requirements” on this page: http://admissions.cornell.edu/apply/first-year-applicants/admission-requirements. We do not have a statistic for the percent of enrolled early decision applicants returning for subsequent years. We do know, however, that 96% of first-year students return for their second year.

  • A12

    Say, I apply to Cornell with a fixed amount of scholarship money. If i don’t get the desired scholarship, am I allowed to retract my application?

  • tokui

    I am applying for Early Decision. I am taking Nov 5 Subject Tests. If my scores do not arrive on time, can I retract my Early Decision application, and be converted to Regular Application?

  • HA94

    Earlier posts stated that SAT scores should be sent no later than Nov 5. However, I wanted to know when Cornell actually needs the scores. In other words, When do I have to request College Board to send scores, in order that Cornell recieve the scores for Early Decision.

  • CAP

    My daughter had to take the ACT twice because of test interruptions that adversely impacted her score during her first sitting. ACT investigated the matter, sent her an apology letter, and waived the cost of the 2nd sitting. The letter states that she may provide a copy of their letter to any institution receiving her score report. During the 2nd sitting, she did not retake the writing portion as there were no interruptions during the 1st sitting for this portion of the test. Because of this, she needs to send in her scores from both sittings. How should she go about submitting the letter from ACT substantiating the testing problems? Thank you in advance for your advice.

  • tw34

    If you are admitted early decision and you have applied for financial aid, we do allow you to withdraw your application if your financial aid award is not sufficient for your family. However, you do need to work closely with the Office of Financial Aid and the Admissions Office if you have concerns about your aid award.

  • tw34

    Yes, if your scores do not arrive in time for you application to be considered for early decision then your application can be considered for regular decision.

  • tw34

    The Cornell deadline for all early decision application materials is November 1. If scores are sent after November 1, there is no guarantee that they will be received and reviewed for early decision.

  • tw34

    You daughter can ask her college counselor to include it with the school report or it can be sent directly to our office: http://admissions.cornell.edu/contact/application-mailing-instructions.

  • GTR

    Does Cornell University receive College board scores through print or electronically?

  • tw34

    Cornell receives scores electronically from College Board.

  • Linda

    Hi,
    For ED, there is no special form to sign. We just need to indicate on the cornell supplement correct.

  • tw34

    Correct! A student needs to check the box on the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application indicating their intent to apply early decision. Cornell doesn’t require, or accept, a separate early decision agreement form.

  • Y

    This may be a stretch but if I applied early decision to Cornell, took the SAT 1 in December, paid a rush fee and alerted the Cornell admissions office would they be able to take my score into account before they send out their final decisions?

    Thank you!

  • Z26

    Although there are many majors other than “Agriculture” in the “College of Agriculture and Life Science” the requirement states: “strong demonstrated interest in agriculture and the environment”

    What if a prospective freshman demonstrated his/her interest in Development Sociology or Communications and not agriculture and the environment?

    Thanks!

  • tw34

    December scores will not be received by Cornell in time to be considered for early decision.

  • tw34

    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), does state that they value a strong demonstrated interest in agriculture and the environment. However, every applicant has different interests and related experiences to share with the section committee. My advice is to prepare a thoughtful response to the CALS essay on the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application: “How have your interests and related experiences influenced your selection of major?” This essay is a great way to describe to the selection committee why you are a good fit for the major you have chosen.

  • L

    I’m applying early decision to Cornell and have already taken two SAT subject tests, but I was hoping to raise my score on one of the tests by taking it again on the November 5 test date. When I apply, should I send in the two subject test scores I have already and then later send in my score for the November test if it has improved? Or should I go about this in a different way?
    Thanks!

  • J

    Hi, I intend to apply to CALS via Early Decision. May I know if the admissions officer reviewing my application will consider my November SAT scores if I state that I will be taking the SAT Subject Tests in November in my application? Otherwise, may I know if my chances of being admitted will be lower if my November SAT Subject test scores are not received in time for Early Decision, as compared to applying via Regular Decision? Thanks a lot!

  • J

    Also, may I know whether AP scores should be sent out before the application deadline or after receiving the offer of admission (if any)?

  • tw34

    Laz, I recommend sending in the scores that you have by the November 1 deadline. There is no guarantee that scores from the November test date will arrive in time to be considered with your application. If you want to try to have your November scores sent in time for review, you need to send them immediately. If you wait to see your scores before sending them, they will not arrive in time for early decision review.

  • tw34

    Jerlin93, SAT Subject Tests are not required by CALS. Your application will be reviewed the same way whether or not your November scores are received in time for the selection committee to review early decision. If you apply regular decision, your application will be reviewed the same way as it would be if you apply early decision.

  • tw34

    Official AP scores can be sent to be reviewed with your application. If you are admitted, you need to make sure an official score report is sent after all your AP exams are complete so that your scores can be evaluated for credit.

  • Linda

    October SAT scores were released today. Do I have to rush these scores to be considered for Early Decision on time.

  • tw34

    There is no need to rush the scores if you send them in the next few days.

  • Bob

    I am interested in doing Rotary Exchange next year. However, I would also like to secure my college acceptance. Would Cornell allow me to defer for a year, if accepted?

  • Tee

    If I take the October 22nd ACT test, should I rush my score or wait till I receive the score to send it to Cornell? (I am applying ED to Cornell ILR).

    Thank you!

  • tw34

    Bob, if you are admitted and interested in a deferral, you need to contact the college or school to which you were accepted directly and appeal to them. Each college makes decisions about deferrals on an individual basis.

  • tw34

    Tee, as with October SATs, there is no need to rush your ACT scores as long as you request them to be sent as soon as possible.

  • Jay

    I am applying for Early Decision. Does Cornell require early decision candidate to fill out Financial Aid forms even though the student does not require any aid? Please let me know. Thanks.

  • Linda

    Do I have to send my first quarter report card? I think I saw that somewhere on the report card.

  • Linda

    Do I have to send my first quarter report card? I think I saw that somewhere on the website.
    *sorry typo

  • Justyna

    Do you have to send an official score report of your AP scores now, or can you self-report now and send an official report after you are admitted to receive credits?

    Also, are we allowed to call the admissions office a few days after submitting our application to make sure everything was sent?

  • tw34

    Jay, the financial aid and admissions processes are separate here at Cornell. You only need to apply for financial aid if you are interested in being considered for aid.

  • tw34

    Linda, it is very helpful for the selection committee to have your most recent grades. Please have your report card sent by your school as soon as it is available.

  • tw34

    Justyna, self-reported AP scores are acceptable with your application. Instead of calling, please check your online application status account (http://admissions.cornell.edu/apply/first-year-applicants/check-application-status) for the most up-to-date information about your application materials. I will be posting a blog about this topic later this week!

  • Douglas

    My friend Jose is applying to Cornell Admission, but will the fact that he is undocumented hurt his chances?

  • tw34

    Douglas, we will email you information to share with Jose.

  • anna

    Question about 2010 income tax as part of ED submission. Does it have to be mailed in or can it be sent electronically as scanned document?
    Is it required before or after Nov 1st for ED?

  • Cathryn Quackenbush

    Hi. I’m a guidance counselor trying to advise a student of mine who is applying to Cornell early decision. We see here that you do not accept the common application’s early decision agreement form. Is there another early decision agreement form that I should send in? I’m not able to find one on the website.

    Thank you for your time!
    Cathy Quackenbush

  • tw34

    Anna, that is a great question for our Office of Financial Aid! Feel free to email them at finaid@cornell.edu and visit them at http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/.

  • tw34

    Cathryn, you are correct, Cornell doesn’t require the Common Application’s early decision agreement form. All your student needs to do, is check the box on the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application that indicates he/she is applying for the “early-decision program.”

  • YP

    Hi there,
    I am applying under ED and taking the november 5th SAT test.
    In order to send this score immediately to Cornell, can I write the score recipient at the test center, on the test paper? or is it better to do it online under rush condition?
    Thank you very much for your help!!

  • tw34

    YP, please add Cornell as a recipient before, or when, the test is offered. It is not necessary (or quicker) to rush the scores.

  • Par

    Hello,
    I am applying for Cornell ED.
    I am registered for Nov Physics subject test, however, I am going to change the test to SAT I at the test center. At the moment, on my collegeboard account, i am registered for physics, but as I am going to take the SAT I and send that score to Cornell, how should I send the score?
    Also, you have already said in the earlier comments that there is no guarentee that november test can be considered, but if i specify that I am taking the Nov 2011 SAT, will the admission officer look at my score?
    And I saw some comments in some cornell blogs written by admission officers that THEY DO look at the november SAT score for ED. So, how likely is it that my Nov score will be considred for ED?

    Thank you for your time.

  • Frances

    Hello,

    I am applying to Cornell under the Early Decision agreement and I’m wondering if the application is due October 31st at 11:59 pm or on November 1st at 11:59 pm because one of my teachers has not started her recommendation and it’s making me very anxious.

  • Yong

    I’m planning to apply to Cornell ED, but it says
    “Do NOT submit ED agreement” and
    “Do NOT submit Certificat​ion of Finances”
    Why do I not need to send ED agreement form and Certification of Finances?
    Can I just send them in case?
    I’ve already sent certification of finances. Is it ok?

  • tw34

    Par, as I’ve answered previously in this blog, if you are taking a November test then you must add Cornell as a recipient of your scores prior to, or on, the test date for there to be any chance that the scores will arrive in time to be considered for early decision. If you indicate in your application that you will be taking a November test, the selection committee may or may not review those scores with your application.

  • tw34

    Frances, Cornell considers the deadline met as long as you have submitted the Common Application, Cornell Supplement, and your fee (or fee waiver). Your application will not be considered complete without two teacher recommendations, so it is important to make sure they are submitted as soon as possible. A strategy that I have seen work well is to give your teacher a “thank you” note for completing your recommendation. This serves as gentle reminder that the recommendation needs to be submitted while also acknowledging your appreciation for their support.

  • tw34

    Yong, please do not send forms that we do not require. If you apply early decision, all you need to do is indicate this on the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application. Cornell doesn’t consider a student’s ability to afford Cornell when making an admission decision, so international students are only asked for financial information if they have applied for financial aid or if they are admitted. Supplemental forms will not be considered in the selection process.

  • PZ

    Sorry to bother you, but I am still not clear about the ED agreement arrangement at Cornell.
    I’ve sent my application online and I see you’ve downloaded it, but I didn’t see ED agreement at the end of the commonapp…. You say on the website that “Cornell does not accept the early decision agreement form provided by the commonapp.com site”
    Does it mean that you have a distinct form requiring such agreement and I have to find it myself on your website? Or you just simply do not require ED agreement anywhere?

    Thanks for your time!

  • tw34

    PZ, all you need to do is check the box on the Cornell Supplement to the Common Application indicating that you are applying early decision. No additional forms are needed when you apply early decision.

  • Linda

    Is the 500 word limit for the supplement strict?

  • Henry Chuang

    If I were to take a required SAT subject test on the November test date, but have all of the other tests sent on time, would that be OK?

  • Jinney

    Hi,
    I was wondering, does my high school have to send any other forms with the 1rst quarter report card?

  • tw34

    Linda, see my response on the Application Questions and Answers post.

  • tw34

    Henry, yes, that would be ok. However, as I’ve answered previously, there is not guarantee that November scores will be received in time to be reviewed for early decision.

  • tw34

    Jinny, as long as your school has already sent the School Report form, all that they need to send is the report card.

  • Linda

    Are the only two decisions for ED acceptance, or reject? Is waitlist a possibility?

  • Amanda

    I heard that last year early decisions were released on Dec. 9. What is the date this year?

  • tw34

    Linda, as we share on our website: You can be admitted or denied during early decision as well as postponed to regular decision. Students whose applications are postponed to regular decision are no longer subject to the early decision binding commitment.

  • tw34

    Amanda, early decision applicants will be notified of their decision in mid-December. You can expect an email in early December with instructions for accessing your decision online.

  • abc

    I have applied ED to Cornell.
    I have given my SAT 1 earlier but gave mt SAT Subject Tests on 5th.
    Since the website says to give SAT 2 on or before October, does rush reporting of SAT 2 scores help?

  • tw34

    Abc, rush reporting of your scores won’t make a significant difference.

  • Annie

    How will we be notified whether or not our Novemeber SAT scores have reached Cornell?

  • tw34

    If the scores were need to complete your application, you can check your online application status at: http://admissions.cornell.edu/apply/first-year-applicants/check-application-status.

  • Rachel

    On my online application status, it is indicated that my “materials have been received” and my “application has been forwarded to the admissions staff for review.” I retook the November SAT (as indicated on my Common App), and I would like to know when/if Cornell receives my scores. I understand it is not guaranteed, but will I find out whether or not the scores are considered?

  • tw34

    Rachel, your application status can only tell you what materials are needed to complete your application. Supplemental information and individual scores will not appear in your status.

  • abc

    @tw34: I checked my application status. It looks like only my SAT Subject Tests that I gave in November haven’t reached the admission office. Since they are compulsory for the college that I have applied to, it says that within a week all the documents should arrive i.e by 22nd.
    Now the result for the SAT Subject Tests will be available on 22nd itself. I will send the scores through the 4 free scores that the College Board offers which is the fastest way to send scores(I assume by sending through this the score is available to Cornell a couple of days earlier than 22nd). So will the admission office get the scores just before.
    What will happen if they still don’t get it then?

  • tw34

    Abc, we expect to receive November scores early next week. If you indicated Cornell as a recipient before, or at, the exam, your scores will appear in your application status early next week.

  • Rachel

    I understand that supplemental information and individual scores will not appear in my status, but will November scores be included in my ED application even though my application has already been “forwarded to the admissions staff for review”? I indicated Cornell as a recipient before the exam.

  • tw34

    Rachel, it really depends on when the selection committee reviews your application and when your scores arrive. If you shared the test date on your Common Application, the selection committee will be aware that November scores may be available for review.

  • Annie

    Do the admission committees look at the SAT writing section AT ALL, or is it completely disregarded?

  • tw34

    Annie, the extent to which the writing score is used in the selection process varies depending on the Cornell college or school you apply to.

  • qwerty

    How much does Cornell College of Engineering look into the writing score?

  • AAA

    When I log in with my Applicant Id to check my status, it says that all materials have been received and forwarded to the admission staff for review.
    But then when I check the Financial to-do-list it says that CSS Profile is still due, while in the College Board site it says that Cornell University dowloaded the CSS Profile on 31st October.
    What should I do?

  • xyz

    When I log in with my Applicant Id to check my status, it says that all materials have been received and forwarded to the admission staff for review.
    But then when I check the Financial to-do-list it says that CSS Profile is still due, while in the College Board site it says that Cornell University dowloaded the CSS Profile on 31st October.
    What should I do?

  • Chad Crowley

    My school counselor said she sends the first semester grades with the mid-term report, but does not send first quarter grades. If I am applying ED, do I need to send the first quarter grades? I have received conflicting information. My account says my application is complete. Does that mean you have all the grades you need?

  • tw34

    Qwerty, Engineering is going to look most closely at math and science strengths when they review your application.

  • tw34

    AAA (xyz), The admissions checklist is a separate list from the financial aid To Do List. If you have questions about financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial aid at finaid@cornell.edu or 607.255.5145.

  • tw34

    Chad, it is helpful (but not required) for the selection committee to have your first quarter grades. Your counselor can mail them (http://admissions.cornell.edu/contact/application-mailing-instructions) or email them to admissions@cornell.edu.

  • qwerty

    So you mean that Engineering doesn’t pay attention to English SAT scores(Critical Reading + Writing) that much as compared to SAT II score(Maths + Science)

  • xyz

    I emailed them a couple of times. No reply.
    And now my Financial-to-Do list is even showing more items due. Can you please give me the email of some specific officer at the Financial Aid office.

  • qwerrty

    So you mean to say that College of Engineering puts more emphasis on SATII (Maths and Science) scores over SATI(Critical Reading and Writing) scores.

  • Ragha Narasimhan

    Is it true that Early Decision results are available on Dec 8, 2011?

  • tw34

    Qwerty, the selection committee “pays attention” to all required application materials, however, Engineering does place an emphasis on math and science abilities.

  • tw34

    Xyz, please call the Office of Financial Aid at 607.255.5145.

  • stiwi

    Is it true that Early Decision results are available on Dec 8, 2011?

  • Yunhee

    I have indicated on my common application that I will take the November SAT test and I have sent the score under rush reporting when the score was releasted by Collegeboard. I have also sent an email to inform the admission officer that I have sent the available score.

    Because I took the standby test in November, I was unable to put down Cornell as a recipient before the test.

    Will my november SAT score still be considered?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  • tw34

    Stiwi, yes, that is true – check out our News section at admissions.cornell.edu.

  • tw34

    Yunhee, if the scores have not yet been received by Cornell, then they will not arrive in time to be considered for early decision. If you applied regular decision, as long as the scores arrive by early January, they will be reviewed with your application.

  • James

    I am applying ED to COE. Just wanted to say hi and wish everyone good luck!!

  • casablanca

    When do we receive our financial aid package if we got accepted early decision?

  • lnc

    I completed my CSS Profile late (11/21). Will that affect my chance to be considered for early decision?

  • tw34

    Casablanca, admitted early decision students will receive their financial aid award letter early next week if they have submitted all required documents: http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/apply-aid/prospective-applicants/early-decision-applicants.

  • tw34

    Inc, this will have no impact on your admissions decision.

  • ml

    Is there a difference between deferred and postponed to regular decision? Thanks.

  • Max

    I applied ED to College of Engineering and got deferred.

    I want to submit additional documents now. How should I do that-mail, fax, e-mail?

    I wanted to know what are the acceptance rates of ED Defers? Is it better than that of RD? Any stats?

  • lnc

    I applied early decision to CALS and got deferred. Can I update my application to add a second college (CHE) that I am interested for regular decision or just additional materials to the original application?

  • Mick

    I applied ED to CHE and got deferred.

    I was wondering if I can call the admissions office to find out why I was deferred and what my weakness was so that I might be able to address it and update my information.

    Also, for the defers that got put into the RD applicant pool, when the colleges reassess us, will they know we were deferred or just see us as the same as the other RD applicants?

  • tw34

    Ml, Cornell typically refers to “postponed” when an early decision applicant is reviewed again under regular decision.

  • tw34
  • tw34

    Inc, you are not able to add an alternate choice college after your application has been submitted. Read more about what to do next in this blog post: http://blogs.cornell.edu/admissions/2011/12/13/early-decision-applicants%E2%80%A6what%E2%80%99s-next/.

  • tw34

    Mick, yes you can call for that information. The selection committee will know that your application was postponed from ED to RD, read more in this blog post: http://blogs.cornell.edu/admissions/2011/12/13/early-decision-applicants%E2%80%A6what%E2%80%99s-next/.

  • Kate

    I applied to the hotel school early decision and was deferred. Do you know what percent of kids are accepted early decision? Do you know what percent of deferred students get accepted eventually into hotel? What can I do to improve my chances?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

  • tw34
  • MingXin

    (Hope this blog is still alive…)

    Hi Tara! May I ask if the supplementary essay questions for application remain the same topic each year or is there going to be another different one this year?

  • tw34

    Hi MingXin – yes, this blog is still alive! The essay questions on the 2013 Cornell Supplement to the Common Application will be very similar to those from 2012.

  • Flo

    Hello, I am applying ED and I just want to clarify something. Earlier in this blog you said, “The financial aid deadlines for early decision applicants are the same as admission deadlines for early decision so that admitted students can receive an estimated financial aid package before their deposit is due. The FAFSA must be filed in February, after it is made available.” If the FAFSA cannot be filed until the beginning of 2013, and early decision applications must be done by November 1st of this year, then how does that correlate? What type of financial aid information would Cornell need for the application?

  • tw34

    Flo, early decision applicants apply for financial aid by submitting the information listed here: http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/apply-aid/prospective-applicants/early-decision-applicants.

  • pmb57

    if you apply early decision and get accepted and realize that for other reasons you are not able to accept can you decline by the Jan 4 deposit deadline?

  • tw34

    Pmb57, Cornell’s early decision program is binding, should you be admitted, you are committed to attend. The only reason we release students from this commitment is if they are not financially able to afford Cornell after they have received financial aid notification. The deposit deadline for ED is in mid-January.

  • Jessica

    This year the earliest ACT test date for international students is October 26. If I apply ED to Cornell and take this test will it be sent in time?

  • MacC

    I was wondering if it is possible to apply ED to the Spring Semester the following year. I wanted apply november 2012 for the spring 2014 semester.

  • ling

    Hi, I am applying for Cornell ED at CALs. I know that SAT subject isnt required; however, I signed up for the Nov Subj Test. I was wondering, because as stated above that Nov tests may not 100% be reviewed, will the subject tests strengthen my ED?

    Also as a high school team athlete, will particpating in teams in Cornell help increase my chance for ED? If so, how can I let the school know about it,so I am notified for any future tryouts and such…

    Thanks,

  • Doohyun

    Hi, I’m applying to Cornell ED, and i’d like to know if alternative college choice and essay are required. Do i have to write two supplementary essays one for my primary choice and one for alternative choice? Does it increase my chance of admission?
    Thanks!

  • tw34

    Jessica, tests taken before the Early Decision Deadline of November 1, will typically have scores sent in time to be considered.

  • tw34

    MacC, no this is not possible. ED applicants who apply November 2012 will only be considered for fall 2013 admission and freshman are not able to enroll for spring semester.

  • tw34

    Ling, CALS does not require SAT Subject Tests, so you do not need to worry about when your November Subject Test scores will arrive. If you are interested in learning more about athletics, please visit: http://cornellbigred.com/.

  • tw34

    Doohyun, you are not required to apply to an alternate choice college or school. You can learn more about Primary/Alternate Choice Admission at: http://admissions.cornell.edu/pdf/primary-alternate-admission.

  • CK507

    Dear TW34,

    I am a student who is planning on apply ED to Cornell. Right now I am currently thinking of attending Cornell’s Applied Economics Management Program at CALS. However, I also have a strong interest in the Design and Environmental Analysis major at CHE. My main concern is that, as of yet, I am not sure which one I will want to pursue for 4 years as I have a strong passion for both sides.

    So here are my questions:

    1) I read that you can not transfer before you are admitted to Cornell and that you have to wait for 1 term and then change during the subsequent term.How difficult would it be to try and transfer from one major to another?

    2) Of the two which program is more selective?

    3) If I decided to switch my major halfway, would I still be able to partake in classes that would fulfill the major I’m interested in? (instead of the previous major I applied for)

    4) In the primary and alternative option, if we get denied from the primary school, do we automatically get referred to the alternative? If so how often do students get admitted into their second choice?

    I’m currently at a lost between which major to choose, but I realize that this may be futile if I don’t get into Cornell anyway. Thank you so much for taking your time to answer these questions. I have seen the amount of time you put into answering other dedicated applicants here, and I am truly grateful that you offer your help to us -as applicants- who are often left in the dark.

    Respectfully Yours,

    CK507

  • tw34

    CK507, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, it is wonderful to hear that you have found it helpful. You have asked a series of questions that require more than a quick answer. Please feel free to call the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 607.255.5241 and a counselor can discuss your options with you.

  • havish

    can international student can apply for early action

  • tw34

    Havish, international students are able to apply early decision. Please note that Cornell does not offer early action.

  • Jeeyeon Ryu

    If I am taking the SAT subject tests for the first time in November, Could i still apply early action?

  • katie

    is there early action for cornell?

  • tw34

    Jeeyeon Ryu, there is no guarantee that November scores will arrive in time to be considered with early decision applications.

  • tw34

    Katie, Cornell does not offer early action, however, early decision is an option.

  • Terry

    For athletes applying for early decision, can they attach the standard athlete form to the application. Is there anything else required except listing the sport(s) in the description of Activity field(s). Thank you.

  • Terry

    How does it work to have an alumni interview set up? Do the alumni submit their results to Admissions or some other method?

  • tw34

    Terry, Cornell does not accept the Common Application Athletic Supplement if that is what you are referring to.

  • tw34

    Terry, Cornell does not offer alumni interviews, Check out this post for more information: http://blogs.cornell.edu/admissions/2011/11/10/what-is-a-caaan-contact/.

  • Terry

    If the description field is not large enough to hold the complete description, can an attachment be used and a “see attached” comment be added?

  • Terry

    Are recommendation letters acceptable to add with the ED admissions forms?

  • tw34

    Terry, I suggest providing a description that fits within the space and expand on an activity of your choice where space is provided.

  • tw34

    Terry, letters need to be sent to Cornell directly from the person writing the recommendation.

  • Terry

    Is there a limit to the number of recommendation letters that can be sent to Cornell?

  • Terry

    How should the recommendation letters be sent? US Postal Service? Fedex? Or an attachment to an email? Then how and who matches these with the ED application? They will definitely be received at different times. Also, where do they get sent and to whose attention? Thank you for your help with this.

  • tw34

    Terry, Cornell requires two teacher recommendations.

  • tw34

    Terry, if the recommendations are not submitted online via the Common Application, please follow these instructions: http://admissions.cornell.edu/contact/application-mailing-instructions.

  • Terry

    Is it allowed, in addition to the 2 teachers’ letters, to have an alumni letter and/or a coaches letter (such as an Olympic Development coach that would not be affiliated with the high school attended)?
    Thank you again.

  • Ted

    Do the admission committees look at the SAT writing section at all, or is it completely disregarded if I apply College of Art and Science?

  • Terry

    Is it allowed to send scores from two different ACT test dates to identify the best score in each subject ?
    If the answer is yes, can you still use the highest actual composite score from the two different tests or does the composite score become the average of the four best test scores rounded to the nearest whole number ?

    Thank you.

  • tw34

    Terry, you have asked a lot of questions! It sounds like you would benefit from talking to an admissions counselor. Please feel free to call our office at 607.255.5241.

  • tw34

    Ted, the SAT writing score is required and will be looked at by the selection committee.

  • Katrina

    Hi, I’m applying ED. For ED applicants, is it required to send my first quarter grades? My first quarter ends in mid-October, but by that time, there will be only 2 tests (maximum) for most of first quarter courses… Is it required to send my first quarter grades/transcript?
    Also, how seriously are first quarter grades considered in the admissions?

  • tw34

    Katrina, the selection committee does like to see first quarter grades for early decision applicants. First quarter grades are considered part of your high school transcript, which is comprehensively reviewed with all required application materials.

  • Sammy

    Hi,

    I saw that you saidthat first quarter gradesa re important. however, when i send my transcript in for ED, it will only show my course since my transcript only shows semester grades (so the soonest it will be is in Decemeber). Therefore, how can i send my first-quarter grade?

    Thanks

  • Terry

    The Common Application implies that a resume can be attached. Is this the case for Cornell too? Thank you in advance.

  • Vi Ka

    Hello, I was wondering whether Cornell has an ED2 (early decision 2)? As I am applying to apply during my junior year. Thanks in advance!

  • Aalok

    Hi, I was just wondering if my Oct 27 TOEFL scores would be received in time for my Early Decision Application review.

  • MingXin

    Hello! May I ask if applicants to different colleges are viewed by different department admission officers, or are they all viewed by any general admission office?
    Thank you for your time in reading this.

  • Madelaine Li

    Hello! I was planning on taking SAT reasoning test on November 3rd, and I was wondering if Cornell still accepts that mark for Early Decision? Thank you in advance!

  • tw34

    Sammy, your school is able to send Cornell an updated transcript when it is available.

  • tw34

    Terry, you can include a resume.

  • tw34

    Aalok, October exam scores are received in time to be reviewed with your early decision application.

  • tw34

    MingXin, applications are reviewed by the college or school the student has applied to.

  • tw34

    Madelaine, there is no guarantee that November scores will be received in time to be reviewed with your early decision application.

  • tw34

    Vi Ka, Cornell only offers one early decision option and it is binding.

  • HBV

    Do I need to submit my 9th, 10th and 11th marks-sheet along with my 12th (mid-year report) marks-sheet

  • Adam Giver

    If I took the October SAT and I’m applying ED, do I need to rush report all of my scores to make it on time?

    Also, Cornell receives ACT, SAT, and TOEFL electronically from their respective testing agencies, right?

  • skumar

    I’m applying for Cornell Early Decision. So, can I also apply for non-binding Early Action at other universities like Caltech?

  • Andy

    My son is planning on applying ED next week. I’m working on the CSS application currently. I was wondering if he is accepted and the financial aid is not sufficient, will he be released in time to send out his applications to other institutions by the Jan. 1 deadline via the Common Application? Thanks so much.

  • tw34

    HBV, yes, all marks from 9th-12th grade are required.

  • tw34

    Adam, if you list Cornell as a recipient of your scores when you take the test, there is no need to rush them. Cornell will receive scores electronically.

  • tw34

    Skumar, Cornell asks that you not apply to another binding early decision program.

  • tw34

    Andy, while early decision acceptances to Cornell are binding, students may be eligible to be released from the early decision agreement if the financial aid award does not make a Cornell education affordable for applicants and their families (must have applied for financial aid).

  • MingXin

    Greetings from Singapore!
    My question is that when you say “release from binding if the financial aid provided does not meet the amount needed.” does it mean the student is declining the offer right away, or the student can make the finanal decision in May 1st? Thank you for your time in reading this.

  • Andy

    We will apply for the financial aid via the CSS application. I’m most concerned about when we will hear about the financial aid award (approximate date). If we know that award is not enough to make attending affordable, how quickly is the student released from the ED agreement? Will it be soon enough to apply to other institutions by the Jan.1 dates required by these institutions? Thanks again.

  • Terry

    I am not sure where on the Common Application or other documents required for Early Decision that you enter the colleges (1st Choice and 2nd Choice). Specifically for CALS – Environmental Engineering and the School of Applied Economics and Management. Thank you.

  • Meena

    What will be a safe SAT score for early acceptance?

  • Terry

    I found the location for the College choices. After entering 1st choice (CALS-Management), 2nd choice was entered (CALS-Environmental Engineering). After saving, the 2nd choice disappeared, Should “yes” or “no” be clicked. Are 2 essays required if both are in the same College-CALS?

  • tw34

    MingXie, this decision is made on a case by case basis.

  • tw34

    Andy, this is dependent on when a student submits all of the required financial aid documentation.

  • tw34

    Terry, you are not able to select a second choice major within the same college. Primary Alternate Admission allows you to apply to two colleges or schools.

  • tw34

    Meena, Cornell does not have a minimum score requirement.

  • tw34

    Terry, Cornell does not allow you to select a second major in the same college.

  • Kevin

    If I apply ED to Cornell, am I permitted to apply to another school under their early action program (which is not restrictive/single-choice)?

  • tw34

    Kevin, Cornell only stipulates that you are not permitted to apply to another school under a binding early decision program.

  • skumar

    Is it true that the admission reviewers don’t know if a student has applied for financial aid? And if they do know, then does it reduce one’s chance of getting in?

  • Terry

    tw34,
    Thank you for all your help. Everything is completed and submitted.This is a great blog and I am surprised more people do not use it. Guess you can rest up until next year’s crop of ED questioners.

  • czhang

    When do Early Decisions come out this year?

  • stelagmd

    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 ?

  • tw34

    Skumar, Cornell is need-blind. Your decision to apply for financial aid will NOT be considered by the selection committee.

  • tw34

    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!

  • tw34

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

  • tw34

    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.

  • Mike

    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?

  • Mike

    Also, if I send in more ACT scores this week will they still be received in time for review?

  • tw34

    Mike, yes, your grades will be added to your application and shared with the selection committee.

  • tw34

    Mike, scores sent now may, or may not, be received in time to review with your early decision application.

  • Alex

    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?

  • lelyke

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

  • tw34

    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.

  • tw34

    Lelyke, if your TOEFL is waived then it is not necessary to send that score.

  • Shan93

    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?

  • tw34

    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.

  • abcde

    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?

  • tw34

    Abcde, please contact the Undergraduate Admission Office at 607.255.5241 to discuss your question.

  • Mealaa

    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

  • tw34

    Mealaa, the number of students who are deferred then admitted varies each year.

  • Havish

    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

  • tw34
  • abcde

    Are there any scholarships for enrolled students? departmental scholarships, etc.?

  • tw34

    Abcde, all financial aid at Cornell is need-based. You can learn more at:http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/.

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