Jing Jiang / Sun Senior Photographer

Cornell offered admission to students from the waitlist before the May 1 commitment day this year to bolster student enrollment numbers.

May 13, 2020

Cornell Receives ‘Higher Than Target’ Admissions Acceptances for Class of 2024

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As health concerns and financial burdens reach record highs, high school seniors across the country are reconsidering how they want to spend the next four years.

Incoming first-year students were admitted off the waitlist before May 1 this year because, as the Cornell admissions office tracked responses in April, they knew accepted admissions offers were lower than desired, so “there was no reason to wait,” Jonathan Burdick, vice provost for enrollment, told The Sun.

Responses from admitted waitlisted students in April were “very positive,” Burdick said, balancing out enrollment numbers.

By the official May 1 commitment day, Cornell received acceptances from 3,344 first-year students, a number that is “higher than our target,” Burdick said.

Burdick said he authorized 164 admits from the waitlist, which is in line with the typical rate of 4 to 5 percent of the incoming class. With enrollment marked by uncertainty, Burdick told The Sun in March that the admissions office invited more students to the waitlist this year than in 2019.

As usual, the admissions office expects some admitted students will change their plans over the summer, Burdick said, requiring the University to revisit the waitlist to fill up spots. However, besides these few potential admits, Burdick said Cornell has no plans to admit more students at this time.

In 2019, 3,218 students entered the Class of 2023 out of 49,114 applicants and 5,330 offers of admission. The class saw an acceptance rate of approximately 10.9 percent and a yield rate of 60.2 percent.

Cornell announced in March that it would no longer release admissions data after regular decision acceptances to reduce “metric mania,” becoming the only Ivy League college to do so.

It is currently unknown how many students applied to the Class of 2024, but the data will be released in the summer, as universities are required to report admissions and financial aid data under federal law through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.