December 20, 2012

Students Accepted Early to Cornell Express Elation, Relief

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High school seniors around the world screamed, cried and even tweeted exclamations of elation on Dec. 13 when accepted early to Cornell’s Class of 2017.

This year, Cornell received 4,193 early decision applications and accepted 1,237 students, according to Claudia Wheatley, director of University press relations. The University received almost 600 more applications for the Class of 2017 than the Class of 2016, and its early acceptance rate dipped from the Class of 2016’s 32.7 percent to 29.5 percent.

Celebrations were in order from New York to Singapore for accepted students, who described their relief, the nerve-wracking wait for the results and their excitement to cheer for the Big Red in the fall.

One accepted student summed up her reaction in 30 characters.

“I’M GOING TO CORNELL NEXT YEAR!” tweeted Ruth, whose Twitter account did not give her last name.

Others detailed the exhausting, almost unbearable wait for the University’s admissions results.

For the “entire week” leading up to his acceptance, Noah Bloem ’17 was able to think about little other than Cornell, he said.

“I barely slept last night, and I spent most of the last week calculating the number of hours left until the decision was announced,” said Bloem, a student from the Netherlands attending the Dwight School in New York City.

When Bloem got home after school on Dec. 13, he tried watching the production diaries of The Hobbit to distract himself while waiting for the results.

“That didn’t work very well, as my concentration was far from Middle Earth,” he said.

By the time his phone alarm went off at 4:59 p.m., letting him know it was time to check his admissions results online, Bloem said he was in a daze.

“I didn’t even think it through at that point. I had been thinking about and dreading the thought of rejection from the moment I sent in the application, but I just mindlessly pressed the ‘Click here to view your decision’ button. It then took me about 15 seconds to process the fact that the word ‘acceptance’ was displayed on my screen. At that point, I just felt a gigantic flurry of relief and happiness punching me in the stomach. I was just overwhelmed and wildly excited,” he said.

Bloem will be joined in Ithaca in the fall by Hanna Ramsden, a senior at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City.

Ramsden, whose sister, Sydney Ramsden ’14, is the dining editor of The Sun, said she has dreamed of attending Cornell for years.

After spending hours feeling “extremely nervous” waiting for her admissions results, Ramsden said she feels “so happy and relieved” to know she is a part of Cornell’s Class of 2017.

“To be honest, I still can’t believe it,” Ramsden said.

Thousands of miles away, the sun had not even risen yet when Stephanie Slaven, a senior at the Singapore American School, received her acceptance to Cornell.

Slaven, who will attend the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in Fall 2013, said that once she read the “Congratulations” on her computer screen, she “screamed and then just started bawling.”

“My sister, [Lindsay Slaven ’13], is four years older than me, and so like a lot of people who idolize their older siblings, attending Cornell became a dream for me and was a key motivator for me throughout high school. Getting into my dream school? It’s actually quite indescribable,” she said.

Emotions ran high for every member of the Slaven household that morning. At 5:45 a.m. on the day Cornell released its decisions, Slaven said she was joined by her mother, father and Cornellian sister in her bed to count down the minutes.

“I think everyone cried when I got in … even my dad,” Slaven said.

Although Slaven and her peers will get their first taste of college when they arrive in Ithaca next fall, other accepted students will arrive at Cornell having taken a much longer path to get to The Hill.

Take Paul Tarpey. A 39-year-old student who is currently attending community college in Chicago, Tarpey was accepted to transfer to Cornell from Harold Washington College only after facing a series of disappointments — receiving acceptances from some colleges that did not offer him a large enough financial aid package to transfer, according to Harold Washington College’s transfer center.

Now Cornell-bound, Tarpey has his eye set on pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in statistical science and economics and a Bachelor of Science in operations research and information engineering.

According to the college’s transfer center, Tarpey’s “biggest takeaways” from his journey to Cornell are “to be persistent and to never sell oneself short.”

Original Author: Akane Otani