Cornell University Admits 5,139 Students to Class of 2028

13/05/202415 minute read
Cornell University Admits 5,139 Students to Class of 2028

Cornell has withheld the number of applicants for the Class of 2028 for the time being, only announcing the number of admitted applicants.

While the full numbers haven’t been released, the application numbers and acceptance rates for both regular and early decision admissions have seen noticeable trends in recent years, indicating the increasing competitiveness of Cornell’s admissions process. Using a series of projections based on past trends, our strategists estimate Cornell has accepted ~7.5% of applicants to its Class of 2028.

Cornell’s Class of 2028 Acceptance Rate

Cornell University announced that it admitted 5,139 students to the class of 2028, a 4% increase from last year’s 4,994.

The university has not yet disclosed how many total applications it received, or how many of the admitted students were Early Decision applicants. But based on past figures and trends, our strategists have made some estimates of the overall, Early Decision, and Regular Decision acceptance rates for Cornell's Class of 2028.

With Cornell admitting 5,139 students this year (for the Fall of 2024), and based on an estimated ~68,000 applicants, our strategists are projecting a ~7.5% overall acceptance rate for Cornell's Clas of 2028, similar to last year's 7.36% rate.

Cornell University Overall Acceptance Rate
Number of First-Year ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate
Class of 202451,4855,49610.67%
Class of 202567,3805,8528.69%
Class of 202671,1644,9086.90%
Class of 202767,8464,9947.36%
Class of 202868,000*5,1397.5%*


A look at the overall acceptance rate spotlights an increasingly competitive admissions landscape at Cornell, similar to trends seen at other top schools during the past several years.

The overall acceptance rate at Cornell is down from 10.5% five years ago, to 6.9% two years ago, and to an estimated 7.5% for the Class of 2028.

However, it's important to remember that the overall acceptance rate tells only part of the story...

If you apply to Cornell during the Regular Decision round, you'll be contending with an admission rate closer to 5%, while students who apply Early Decision can benefit from an acceptance rate closer to 17% or higher!

Students aspiring to get into Cornell will want to think about these differences as they decide on a strategy that best fits their personal goals and circumstances.

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Class of 2028 Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

For Cornell's Class of 2028, our strategists estimate total RD round applications of ~58,500 (up just slightly from 58,331 last year), and total RD admits of ~3,400 (up 2% from last year).

Using these projections, we estimate an RD acceptance rate of 5.8% at Cornell this year, compared to last year's 5.7%.

This makes the RD acceptance about 30% lower than the estimated overall rate of 7.5%, providing a more accurate reflection of the real level of competition you face when applying RD.

For the past three years, the RD acceptance rate has hovered between 5% and 7%.

Cornell's Regular Decision Acceptance Statistics
Class of RD ApplicantsRD AcceptedRD Acceptance Rate


Class of 2028 Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Cornell’s Early Decision acceptance rate has consistently declined every year over the past 4 years.

During the same four years, the number of ED applicants has risen from ~1,500 to a range between 1,900 and 1,700, a roughly 20% increase.

For Cornell's Class of 2028, our strategists project about 9,520 ED applications (compared to last year's 9,515 ED applicants) and 1,736 admits (slightly higher than last year's 1,670 ED admits, but lower than the number admitted two and three years ago).

With these estimates in mind, the estimated ED acceptance rate for Cornell's Class of 2028 is 18%, compared to last year's 17.55%.

Compared to the estimated 5.8% RD acceptance rate, students applying to Cornell in the ED round enjoyed an acceptance rate ~3x higher.

Cornell's Early Decision Acceptance Statistics
Class of ED ApplicantsED AcceptedED Acceptance Rate


Clearly, applying to Cornell in the early round offers you a chance to compete in a much smaller applicant pool and benefit from a higher acceptance rate, compared to RD round applicants.

That said, applying ED entails a considerable commitment to attending Cornell, to the exclusion of other offers you might receive, along with the challenges of applying early. Therefore, it's important to consider all of your larger goals and circumstances before deciding on the best strategy, including whether to apply to Cornell Regular Decision vs. Early Decision.

What Kind of Student Gets into Cornell?

It's clear that to gain admission to Cornell, students need to present a truly exceptional profile that extends beyond standardized test scores and academic records.

How Crimson Can Help You Stand Out

Cornell’s decreasing acceptance rates and the broader trends in elite admissions highlight how challenging it has become to gain entry into top universities. In this highly competitive landscape, seeking guidance from experienced college admissions advisors can be a significant advantage. Advisors offer personalized support throughout the complex application process, helping you:

  • Craft a Compelling Narrative: They work with you to identify your unique strengths, passions, and experiences. This helps shape a cohesive application that showcases your potential to contribute to the Cornell community.
  • Navigate Strategic Choices: Advisors can provide insights on application timing (early vs. regular), test score submission, and highlight areas where you can further boost your profile.
  • Excel in Every Aspect: From essay coaching to interview preparation, advisors ensure each application component is polished and demonstrates your preparedness for Cornell’s rigorous academic environment.

Proven Success in a Competitive Landscape

Crimson Education has a track record of helping students achieve their admissions goals. Our personalized approach and expertise in selective admissions have led to impressive results. This year alone, over 200 Crimson students were accepted to top US universities in the early round. Here's a breakdown of our early-round numbers:

  • 126 offers to the Ivy League.
  • 280+ offers to the US Top 20, including offers to Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, and University of Notre Dame.
  • 15% of Ivy League and 27% of top 20 early round applicants received offers to their dream schools.
  • 1280+ offers to the US Top 50, including offers to NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • 1000+ offers to each student’s first choice school.
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