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Home > Admissions > Application Process & Requirements > What is Cornell looking for?
What is Cornell looking for?
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There’s no magical formula of grade-point average and standardized test scores that guarantees admission into Cornell. Cornell’s admissions committees review each student's academic transcript, and are interested in the strength of their curriculum and test scores, but there is so much more that is evaluated.


What the admissions team is looking for beyond the numbers is intellectual potential, strength of character, and love of learning. They want to know about each student's ability, achievements, motivation, leadership, diligence, and integrity; their sense of fairness and compassion. All of this and more can be revealed through the required application essays and recommendations, and is reflected in an applicant's extracurricular activities, hobbies, after-school and summer jobs, and volunteer work.


When composing each class, Cornell selects promising applicants from all over the country and the world; from cities, suburbs, and rural areas; and from every imaginable background – social, economic, racial, and national. They’re graduates of public, parochial, college prep, and alternative and home schools.


And this is of critical importance: Cornell vigorously supports equality of opportunity. No one is denied admission because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. The result is an incredibly rich mix of humanity that is one of the best things about Cornell.


It’s not easy to get into Cornell - but don’t be discouraged. If you think Cornell is right for you, we encourage you to learn about the university and consider applying. You can get started by reviewing the How to Apply page and our advice for applicants.

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