Cornell University Essay Questions 2012

  1. When is the regular decision deadline?
    The regular decision deadline is January 2, 2013 at midnight EST.
  2. What are the application requirements?
    Here is a checklist of the freshman application requirements: The Freshman Admissions Requirements chart lists the requirements for the Cornell colleges and schools, including SAT Subject Tests, coursework, and special requirements for select programs such as portfolios and interviews.
  3. Will my application be disqualified if some of my supporting documents arrive after the deadline?
    As long as you submit the Common Application and Cornell Supplement 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.
  4. Will January scores be considered with my regular decision application?
    Your official scores should arrive by the application deadline. Taking your SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or ACTs in January is permissible, as long as all other required application items are on file. Registering for the January SAT may delay the sending of your scores-please check with the College Board to make sure that any current scores are sent by January 2.
  5. How do I apply using a fee waiver?
    Please see #8 Application Fee under Admissions Requirements.
  6. I have taken a college course and I want to send an official electronic transcript from the school. What email address should I send it to?
    If you have taken any college level courses and have an official college transcript, please send the official eTranscript to:
  7. How do I schedule an interview?
    Interviews are only required (and offered) for applicants to hotel administration, architecture, and fine arts (optional). Please see #9 Interviews on the Admissions Requirements webpage for more information.
  8. Does Cornell welcome supplemental submissions and forms?
    Common Application arts and athletic supplemental forms are not accepted by Cornell University, and we do not recommend that you submit these additional forms with your Cornell materials. Information for submitting supplemental materials for evaluation by Cornell’s music department can be found at Cornell will not accept supplemental materials after February 15.
  9. Is it okay to send an additional letter of recommendation?  How should it be sent?
    You are able to send in additional letters, but please keep these to one or two: the quality of the content is more important than the quantity of letters. The letter should include your full name and date of birth and be sent directly from the recommender to the address listed on our Application Mailing Instructions.
  10. I am an international student. Do I apply using the freshman or international application?
    International applicants should complete and submit all regular application requirements and materials. International applicants should read the International Students section of the admissions website prior to completing their application for instructions and information.
  11. I am an international student. Do I need to provide a TOEFL score to be considered for admission?
    International* students for whom English is not the first language are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. The recommended minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores are as follows:
    TOEFL: 100 (Internet‐based Exam) and 600 (Paper Exam)
    IELTS: 7
    We will waive the TOEFL and/or IELTS requirement for students who have achieved a score of 670 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. To request a TOEFL waiver, please visit
    *International is defined as applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
  12. How do I know if my application is complete?
    You can check the status of your application via your online application status account at If you need your Applicant ID and activation codes resent, please go to the following website: You must use the same email address that was listed on your application.
  13. Why aren’t all of my application materials appearing on my application status?
    We are in the midst of receiving several thousand applications, each of which includes multiple pages of supporting documentation. Although we wish the process were immediate, it does take time to enter all of the information. We ask that you continue to monitor your online status account. If we are missing any materials in mid-February, we will contact you directly via email.
  14. Did Cornell receive my teacher recommendations?
    We estimate that Cornell receives more than 75,000 teacher recommendations each year. Unfortunately, due to this volume, we are unable to answer questions about specific recommendation letters. We suggest that you confirm with individual teachers who you have asked to write on your behalf.
  15. How do I apply for financial aid?
    Find the answers to your financial aid questions here.


The “Why Us” supplemental essay is one of the trickiest college application essays to write. Applying to Cornell? Here are 5 successful Why Cornell essay excerpts. 

Cornell University only requires one additional writing supplement—the “Why Cornell” supplemental essay. Applicants are asked to share why they are interested in studying at Cornell and are asked to respond to the specific essay prompt from the undergraduate college or school they are applying to. Cornell University has a total of 8 undergraduate colleges/schools: 

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cornell SC College of Business: Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Cornell SC College of Business: School of Hotel Administration 
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations 

Each of the colleges/schools listed above have a unique supplemental essay prompt. Here are 5 examples for 4 of the schools listed above: 


Cornell University ‘21

For the School of Industrial and Labor Relations:

Like the Strait, I’m a fluid connective body, but instead of serving as natural barrier or political divide, I seek to reconcile strained relations. Given my strong interests in cross-cultural mediation, inclination to manage disputes, coursework in interdisciplinary social sciences, and leadership and employment positions, I seek “to solve human problems [and] manage and resolve conflicts” within Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). Read his full “Why Cornell” supplemental essay!


Cornell University ‘20

For the College of Engineering:

I must have wanted to be an engineer long before I knew what the word meant. On almost every fork we own, the middle two prongs are pulled half an inch back, a homage to a time before I became strong enough to open a soda can and resorted to making a lever with a fork. I tore through thousands of plastic bags, searching for the perfect cut that would allow me to parachute off a self-made cliff of couch cushions and pillows. Unlock her full successful Cornell application file. 


Cornell University ‘21

For the College of Engineering:

People in my community believe the only way to be successful is to pursue medicine or engineering and arts are looked down upon here.I have a science background but am also interested in the deeper questions of existence, such as one encounters in philosophy. I don’t want to let go of my passions. Instead, I want to study at Cornell, where, far from being looked down upon, interdisciplinary study that includes the liberal arts are treasured through its unique independent study option, independent major, and distributional requirement system which will give me freedom in designing my curriculum and will let me explore a wide range of fields, from philosophy to literature. Continue reading his Why Cornell supplemental essay. 


Cornell University ‘21

For the School of Hotel Administration:

I am an anomaly among my peers. While many of them wrestle with the uncertainty of not knowing what they want to do or be in the future, I have always known. Even in elementary school, when the popular options were superhero or sports legend, I had altogether different aspirations. If you had asked me then, my answer would be the same as it is today: I want to work in the hospitality industry. Unlock his full successful Cornell application file. 


Cornell University ‘20

For the College of Arts and Sciences:

I am interested in working with the UN to give researchers in developing countries access to a uniform and politically acceptable set of translation and ethical guidelines. This ensures that work conducted in developing or recently industrialized countries will not be dismissed due to doubts about the way it was conducted or a language barrier. To accomplish my goals of bringing the international scientific community closer together, I will need to study my intellectual interests of biology, foreign languages, and international relations. I am confident that Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences will be the perfect place to pursue my goals.


Interested in reading successful essay examples that got students accepted into the Cornell University? Unlock all of them in one go with our curated package.

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About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.

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