How to get admission in Cornell university for Indian students

Cornell University Admission

Cornеll Univеrsity, locatеd in Ithaca, Nеw York, is a mеmbеr of thе prеstigious Ivy Lеaguе. Its rеputation as onе of thе top еducational institutions in thе world makеs it a sought-aftеr choicе for many intеrnational studеnts, including thosе from India. Thе application procеss for Indian studеnts is rigorous, but with thе right guidancе, dеdication, and prеparation, sеcuring a placе is achiеvablе. Hеrе’s a comprеhеnsivе guidе on how to navigatе this journеy.

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How can an Indian student get admission in Cornell University

Here’s how can an Indian student get into Cornell University:

Understand Cornell’s Admission Requirements

Before embarking on the application journey, it’s essential to understand what Cornell expects from its applicants:

Academic Records: Cornell expects students to excel academically. For Indian students, this usually means securing high percentages in their Board Examinations (CBSE, ICSE, State Boards, etc.) or other international qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge A-levels.

Standardised Tests: Depending on the programme, Cornell might require the SAT or ACT for undergraduate courses. Additionally, non-native English speakers will need to prove their English proficiency through tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.

Extracurricular Activities: Being an all-rounder can benefit your application. Cornell values students who show leadership, commitment, and passion in their extracurricular endeavours.

Start Early

The earlier you begin, the better. It allows ample time for:

Research: Understand the specific requirements of the course you’re interested in. Each college within Cornell may have varying criteria or preferences.

Test Preparation: Allocate plenty of time for SAT/ACT and TOEFL/IELTS preparation. Remember, high scores can significantly enhance your chances of admission.

Building a Profile: Engage in activities, internships, or projects related to your chosen field of study. This demonstrates dedication and genuine interest.

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Choose the Right Programme

Cornell has multiple colleges, including Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Art and Planning, and others. Each college offers distinct programmes. It’s paramount to pick a programme that aligns with your interests and strengths.

Write a Compelling Essay

The college essay is your chance to shine, offering insights into your personality, aspirations, and the reasons behind choosing Cornell:

Be Genuine: Authenticity trumps grandiosity. Speak your truth and share genuine experiences or aspirations.

Answer the Prompt: Ensure you answer the essay prompt directly, showcasing clarity in your thoughts.

Showcase Your Fit: Highlight why Cornell’s ethos, programmes, and culture are an ideal fit for you.

Letters of Recommendation

Cornell requires recommendation letters. Choose teachers or mentors who know you well and can provide a comprehensive and positive assessment:

Choose Wisely: Pick recommenders who are familiar with your academic and personal achievements.

Guidance: While the letter should be unbiased, it’s okay to guide your recommenders about specific projects or achievements they might include.

Financial Considerations

All financial aid awarded by Cornell is based on financial need. They do not offer merit, athletic, or talent-based aid to students. Cornell University admissions decisions for international applicants are need-aware. This means that they will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs.

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Interviews and Supplementary Materials

Some courses at Cornell might require additional materials or interviews:

Prepare Thoroughly: If an interview is part of the admission process, practise answering potential questions. It’s an opportunity to further showcase your passion for the course and Cornell.

Portfolios: For courses like architecture or art, a portfolio showcasing your best work could be pivotal.

Understand the Visa Process

Once admitted, you’ll need to secure an F-1 student visa:

Documentation: Ensure all documents, including the I-20 form from Cornell, financial proofs, and other necessary details, are in order.

Interview: Prepare for the visa interview at the U.S. Consulate, focusing on your intent to study and return to India upon course completion.

Stay Updated and Engaged

Universities often host information sessions, webinars, or campus tours. Participate in these to gain deeper insights and make informed choices. Reaching out to current students or alumni can also provide valuable first-hand information about the campus life and academic culture.

Application Submission

Ensure that you meet all application deadlines. Cornell, like many U.S. universities, uses the Common Application for undergraduate admissions. For graduate programmes, applications are generally submitted through department-specific portals. Double-check all your materials, pay the application fee, and submit.


Once you’ve submitted your application, be patient. While waiting, prepare for potential visa applications and interviews. If admitted, you’ll need to complete formalities related to student visas, financial documentation, and other prerequisites for international students.

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Tata Scholarship for Students from India

The Tata Scholarship Fund facilitates the academic journey of roughly 20 scholars at any given moment, ensuring that elite Indian students can attend Cornell irrespective of their financial backgrounds. These scholarships are bestowed annually by Cornell, and the beneficiaries enjoy the financial support throughout their undergraduate tenure at the university.

Ratan Tata, a distinguished alumnus from the classes of ’59 and B. Arch ’62, holds the position of trustee at Cornell and chairs Tata Sons, which is the umbrella entity of the esteemed Tata Group, a renowned and historic business powerhouse in India. Globally venerated as a business luminary, Tata’s contributions in the professional realm and philanthropy have earned him an array of eminent accolades.

Securing admission at Cornell University for Indian students is a challenging yet rewarding journey. While academic excellence is fundamental, a holistic profile that includes extracurricular achievements, compelling essays, and a clear sense of purpose can distinguish your application. Remember, it’s not just about showcasing how brilliant you are but also about how you’d fit into, and contribute to, Cornell’s diverse and global community. Good luck!

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EuroSchool emphasises global curriculum, cultural understanding, critical thinking, language proficiency, and experiential learning, priming students for international academic pursuits.

The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. We highly recommend that students and other readers always refer to the official website of the respective college or institution for the most current and accurate details. Decisions made based on the information provided in this blog are at the reader’s discretion only.

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