At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell University waived SAT and ACT entry exam requirements to first-year applicants across its undergraduate colleges. Since then, the university has maintained its test-optional and score-free undergraduate admissions, looking forward to extending this policy until fall 2024. One question crosses the mind: Is Cornell test optional? Our exam-take experts explain the Cornel test-optional policy and what it means to the university’s current admission numbers and processes. We also offer exam-help services to students hoping to join Cornell University, guaranteeing a 100% chance in gaining admission.
Is Cornell Test Optional?
Yes. Cornell University is currently test optional for first-year undergraduate applicants across the university’s five colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the College of Human Ecology, the College of Engineering, and the Jeb. E. Brooks School of Public Policy. The College of Architecture, Art and Planning, the College of Agriculture and Business, and the S.C. Johnson College of Business do not require admission entry scores.
According to the University’s Vice Provost of Enrollment, Jonathan Burdick, Cornelle College recognizes the continuing risks of COVID-19 transmission and its impact on in-person testing among colleges globally. Thus, they have extended their test-optional policy to the fall 2024 admission cycle, impacting the 2027 and 2028 classes. Jonathan Burdick added that the university will undertake a two-year deliberate experimental admission review to guide future admission policies and testing requirements.
Is Cornell Test Optional for the 2026-2027 Admission Cycle?
Cornell University is secretive about its 2026-2027 admission requirements. However, a look into the historical acceptance rate shows that the university has a 10.7% average acceptance rate, putting it among highly selective universities in the U.S. Students under regular applications have ACT scores between 33-35 and SAT scores between 1470-1550. These scores will likely feature in the 2026-2027 admission cycle.
Is Cornell Test Optional: Its GPA Requirements
Cornell University has the most forgiving acceptance rates among the eight most highly selective universities for the U.S. Ivy League. However, getting into Cornell is still a challenging feat. Thousands of elite students apply to Cornell every admission cycle, making its acceptance highly competitive. In the 2020-2021 admission cycle, 67,380 students applied to the university. Among these, only 5,836 students got accepted into the college, recording a paltry 8.7% acceptance rate.
A breakdown of the Cornell University GPA Requirements shows that the school has two review periods:
Cornell University First Admission Review
In the first Cornell University admission review, the college admission board chooses 80% of applicants to proceed to the next phase. The Cornell Test looks into the applicants’ academic standings from which other admission aspects will be considered. The board reviews the students’ performance based on their school courses to determine whether they have foundational academic aptitude for thriving at Cornell. The Cornell University average academic benchmarks for passing the first admission review include a 4.07 GPA, 1480 SAT, and 35 ACT scores.
Cornell University Second Admission Review
The second admission review looks into intricate admission criteria outlined in Cornell University Undergraduate Admissions Requirements. This phase centers on determining candidates that can easily fit into Cornell University culturally and academically. Primary factors the board reviews include:
- Intellectual Potential: The applicant should be passionate about learning and highly motivated to explore the chosen field. They should demonstrate the ability to engage in research, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary learning.
- Community involvement: Cornell observes the Holistic Undergraduate Admission process, which values volunteer work. Applicants should demonstrate their involvement in community service to stand out among the pool and express their potential to contribute to the campus community.
- Character and Personal Values: Applicants should showcase empathy, initiative, and open-mindedness. These values are critical to Cornell University as they help determine candidates with the most vital personal attributes.
- Other Reasons for Applying: Beyond extracurricular involvement and academic standing, applicants must prove why they believe Cornell University is their best fit. All candidates submit essays with personal statements on what they look forward to at the university. Having a solid letter of recommendation can help a student stand out.
Cornell University regularly invites students for interviews. These interventions can help the board know the students better by asking them questions that align with the university’s missions.
Is Cornell Test Optional: Breaking Down it’s SAT and ACT Requirements
Being SAT and ACT Optional means learners are at will to send their ACT and SAT scores to various Cornell colleges. In the 2021-2022 admission cycle, 63.7 successful applicants sent their SAT scores, while 55.9 sent their ACT scores. SAT acceptance rates for the 25th Percentile across various sections were 690 for evidence-based reading and writing, 700 for math, and 1380 for SAT Total.
The 50th Percentile recorded 730 for evidence-based reading and writing, 760 for math, and 1480 for SAT. The 75th Percentile registered 760 for Evidence-based reading and writing, 790 for math, and 1530 SAT total. Cornell ACT’s admissions range of average was at 31-34. Any score below 31 was considered below average, while a 34 was above average.
Is Cornell Test Optional? The Parting Shot
The question, “Is Cornel test optional?” points toward one answer: YES! The university will maintain its test-optional admission policy until the 2024 spring admissions. Contact our test experts for more clarifications on Cornell University admission requirements and college exam help.