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Ivy bound; student shares what earned him admittance to Cornell

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Since the 7th grade, I have wanted to go to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. On December 11th, 2017, that dream was realized after being admitted to the Dyson School of Applied Economic and Management, a school with a 2.9% acceptance rate. This process was years in the making and it was my sole goal in high school, an achievement I worked extremely hard for. There were three main components to my application: grades and standardized test scores, essays, and extracurriculars.

Academically speaking, I took the most rigorous course load possible and earned a 4.0 unweighted GPA (AC does not weight grades). In total, I took eight Advanced Placement courses. I received a 34 composite score on the ACT (36E, 32M, 34R, 33S), but my superscore was a 35 (36E, 34M, 36R, 33S). Although Cornell does not officially recognize superscores, my high subsections on different tests showed my capability on each section. Contrary to popular belief, these scores are absolutely not what gets a person admitted to the Ivy League; a 34 is just above average for admitted students, meaning it doesn’t set you apart.

Essays played an important role in my admission. Cornell requires the Common Application essay and the Cornell Supplement essay. I chose to write my Common App essay about fly fishing and how it connected to my personality and values. My Cornell Supplement showed my fit within the school (a huge part of Cornell’s admissions curriculum) and my love of the University. I truly believe this essay turned the tide of my admissions decision.

Finally, extracurriculars served to show my involvement outside the classroom. In total, I had seven leadership positions, founded a startup, served as an intern, was sponsored by fishing companies across the US, and had a job as a caddy at Flint Hills National. These show I am a complete person, not just some brainiac that studies for hours every night.

I could not be happier to head to Ithaca next year, just as I’ve always wanted. The next chapter of my life will be interesting, as the Ivy League is very different than Andover Central. I’m sure the culture and attitudes of New York will be significantly different than those of Kansas. In the end, this is a dream come true.

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Ivy bound; student shares what earned him admittance to Cornell