Cornell University has the largest undergraduate population in the Ivy League, and it’s supplement is also one of the most complex. Undergraduate students at Cornell are admitted into one of seven schools: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Art, Architecture and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Hotel Administration, College of Human Ecology, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Admission to all divisions of Cornell is competitive, although statistically some divisions are slightly more selective than others.
With so many options, Cornell is searching for students who have made deliberate choices about their intended area of study. The essay questions contained in the Cornell supplement clearly demonstrate a preference for students who have given thought to their college educations. The supplement asks students to write a division specific essay for the college to which they are applying, and a second essay if the student indicates an alternate choice in colleges.
For students who are planning to apply to a number of colleges, writing about your area of academic interest is a common question. For each of these questions, avoid general statements such as “English is my favorite class” and instead focus on the specifics about studying English that appeal to you. Did a specific project excite you? Do you enjoy a particular genre of writing? What are your career goals, and how does your intended major relate to that? If you are writing about extracurricular pursuits, which are particularly relevant to Agriculture and Hotel Administration applicants, again, be specific about your experiences and what you’ve learned from them.
Applicants to Cornell generally demonstrate very high levels of academic achievement in the classroom and on standardized tests. Each undergraduate division at Cornell, however, has slightly different requirements for admission regarding testing and high school curriculum. Double check that you have completed all of the necessary components before submitting your application.
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