Cornell University is one of the most prestigious colleges in the country and one of the select colleges known as an Ivy League school. Founded in 1865, its name comes from Ezra Cornell, who donated the land for the new college and gave the school several hundred thousand dollars. From its early days until the modern era, Cornell encouraged alumni to give back through mentoring new students and advising its Board of Trustees. Though it started as a land-grant university, it now has several colleges and departments that are endowed schools.

The main campus of Cornell is in Ithaca, New York, but it also operates two campuses in New York City and one in Qatar. Students can also participate in study abroad programs and study on shared campuses in other foreign countries. Cornell ranks among the top 30 colleges in the country, according to Business Insider, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly. It also has high ratings and rankings for its programs in architecture, business, finance, investment banking and management. Organizations that ranked Cornell University within the top 20 of all colleges around the world include ARWU, Times and QS.

Cornell University Accreditation Details

Cornell University has both regional accreditation and specialty accreditation. Regional accreditation means that it has approval from an education organization that lets it grant degrees. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the organization responsible for granting the university regional accreditation. This also allows you to file the FAFSA and seek financial aid from the federal government. Cornell also has specialty accreditation from 10 different groups for a number of its degree programs like those in civil engineering and chemical engineering. Organizations that granted Cornell this type of accreditation include:

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Liaison Committee on Medical Education

Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology

Council for Interior Design Accreditation

American Veterinary Medical Association

Cornell University Application Requirements

As Cornell accepts just 14% of the applications it receives every year, it’s important that you understand the application process. Cornell looks at students who are smart and have interests outside of school. The application asks questions about your extracurricular interests and whether you joined any clubs or did any activities in high school. You will need to apply via the Common Application or the Universal College Application. Both give you the chance to apply to one or more other schools besides Cornell.

Each application lets you upload electronic versions of the records and documents that the university requires. You need to submit both an official transcript and a school report. The transcript shows that you are a current high school student and lists the classes you previously took and those you currently take. The school report must come from an official in your high school like a guidance counselor and show that you are a current student in good standing. You also need a written letter from your guidance counselor that serves as a recommendation.

Cornell asks for at least two teacher recommendations too. These recommendations can come from current or past teachers, but the letters must explain why those teachers think you should attend Cornell. The university also asks for a midyear school report. This report should show the grades you received in your last classes and the classes you signed up for in the coming semester. You’ll also need to request that the testing board mail Cornell your ACT or SAT score and complete an essay. The prompt for that essay is available on both the Universal College Application and the Common Application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending Cornell University depends on whether you enroll in an endowed college and whether you are a New York resident. A New York resident is someone who permanently lives in the state. If you are under the age of 21, your custodial parent must be a permanent resident of the state. The cost of tuition and fees for residents is around $34,200 a year. The cost for nonresidents is close to $51,000 a year. The same tuition rates apply for both residents and nonresidents enrolling in one of the endowed colleges. Endowed schools include engineering, hotel administration, arts and sciences and architecture. Cornell estimates that students spend more than $14,000 a year on room and board.

When you fill out the FAFSA, Cornell looks at ways to bring down your costs. If your family makes less than $60,000 a year, the university can design a financial aid package that does not include any student loans. Even those who come from wealthier families can get aid beyond loans. Cornell grants can cover all of your tuition and other costs. The university also recommends that students take advantage of the federal work-study program to make money during the school year.

CS Major

The bachelor’s degree in computer science offered by Cornell is the CS Major. You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the College of Engineering or earn a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the College of Arts and Sciences. The BS degree requires more math and science classes than the BA program does. When you enroll, you must agree to follow the university’s code of conduct, which essentially states that you will not use any of the computers or resources available to you in an illegal or unethical manner.

Required courses include calculus, an introduction to computer programming and five classes within the computer science core. You can also take electives that focus on specific areas of CS such as artificial intelligence, databases, computer networks or computer graphics. Many students design and create their own apps and programs while at Cornell. Cornell also requires that all CS students take at least three technical classes above the 3000 level.

Before you graduate with a CS degree, you must also take at least one final project class, though the university does let you take more of these classes as electives. This class lets you use your knowledge and skills to create a project that shows you are worthy of your degree. Cornell University students often take these classes in their final years and spend time working on a new computer game, piece of software or an app designed for phones and tablets.

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