Jessie Guillen/Sun Contributor

March 29, 2024

Cornell Admits 5,139 Students to Class of 2028

Print More

As the ground begins to thaw and students on campus grow excited by a taste of spring, newly accepted students celebrate their soon-to-be migration to Ithaca.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, regular decision applicants anxiously rushed to open the decisions from Cornell, joining accepted students from the early decision round. The highly-anticipated final Thursday of March is dubbed Ivy Day, referring to the release of regular decision results from all Ivy League colleges.

Cornell cumulatively offered admission to 5,139 students to the Class of 2028, a four percent increase to last year’s 4,994 acceptances. Students hail from all 50 states and all corners of the globe, and 16.5 percent of this year’s admits are first-generation students.

Accepted students described emotional reactions to seeing they would spend their next few years on the Hill.

“When I opened the letter, it took me about 30 seconds of just staring at my phone screen, and I didn’t even realize that confetti went off,” said Johanna Troelstra, an accepted student to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from Queensbury, New York. “I ran back into the school and told all my friends because I was so excited.” 

Troelstra was not alone in sharing her excitement. Hannah Elfenbein, an accepted student to the Nolan School of Hospitality from Crested Butte, Colorado, recalled how, when opening her decision, she and her family showed their Cornell pride with their choice of clothing. 

“I had made all my parents wear red and we FaceTimed my sister.” Elfenbein shared. “After opening the letter and hearing the song play, all four of us cried.”

Many students said their acceptance manifested from years of dedication to academic and extracurricular pursuits and represents the realization of a lifelong dream.

“Cornell was my dream school since I was a kid,” said Audriana Varner, an accepted student to the College of Engineering from Indiana. “I always kept Cornell in the back of my mind as my ultimate goal. It was very shocking to have finally reached that moment.”

The only thing that new admits appear to be more excited about than getting accepted is their upcoming four years. 

“What initially drew me to Cornell was mainly the campus,” Varner said. “I really wanted to consider the environment I would be living in because that can have a large impact on my health.”

In addition to the infamous gorges the campus offers, the school boasts its ranking as the 12th-best university nationally.

Admitted students said they were excited by the University’s academic opportunities.

“[Something] that drew me to Cornell was the opportunities in engineering with project teams,” Varner said. “The engineering program is amazing, and the project teams would allow me to get an idea of being in the field and give me experience while I’m still in college.”

The engineering college facilitates 34 project teams, where students gain hands-on experience including engineering an opioid withdrawal treatment and coding autonomous underwater vehicles.

Accepted students are also eager to partake in Cornell’s traditions and campus life. 

“I’m so excited to be able to have the college experience at Cornell,” Elfenbein said. “I can’t wait to go to hockey games and Slope Day, to meet new people and [to] go to the classes at Nolan.”

And waiting for these new recruits to the Hill stand current Cornellians, ready to pass along the torch. 

“My biggest piece of advice pertains to a theme of ‘jumping in,’” said Caroline Park ’27. “Jump into the uncharted waters of new experiences. For me, despite having never backpacked before, my 6-day trip to the Catskills through Outdoor Odyssey was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Outdoor Odyssey and other pre-orientation programs are offered to incoming students in the days leading up to move-in, alongside several admitted student events and resources.  

Accepted students have until May 1 to accept their admissions offers.

“Jump into the things you love to do, and do things you’re passionate about to ground yourself,” Park emphasized in her advice for admitted students. “Because although college can feel scary at first, having some familiar experiences to fall back onto can make Cornell feel like home.”