Wait List Information

Thank you for visiting our wait list page. The Engineering Admissions Office will be making a small number of offers of admission to applicants on the College of Engineering's wait list. If you selected to remain on our wait list you should have received an email from us with the next steps. Please follow the directions in the email, there is no need to contact our office unless you did not receive an email.




Frequently Asked Questions

How large is the wait list?

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The College of Engineering offered a place on the wait list to approximately 2,000 candidates this year. This number sounds like a lot, but in truth, it is not the operative number. Of the 2,000 candidates offered a space on the wait list, approximately half will ask to remain on the wait list. Of those individuals who want to remain on the wait list, some percentage will drift away over April and May. They will develop ties to the college or university where they have deposited and their interest in Cornell Engineering will diminish over time. So in actuality, the operative number is much smaller than 2,000.

The wait list is not ranked. If the University asks us to make offers of admission to our wait list engineering candidates, we look carefully at the candidates who have told us that they want to remain on our wait list. We use initial reviews of applications and the brief topical paragraph to determine which students we will select from the wait list.

When should I hear if I will be offered admission from the wait list?

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Although we make every effort to notify students as soon as possible after the May 2 response deadline, we will not know if we will make admission offers to our wait list candidates until mid-May at the earliest. In some years, we have made wait list offers as late as mid-June. If we are able to make an offer of admission to you, you will receive an email message from an Engineering Admissions staff member asking if you are interested in receiving an official offer of admission from the College of Engineering. Your parents/guardians and high school guidance or college counselor will be copied on the email message. The email addresses we will use to reach you are the addresses listed on your application for admission. You will have 24 hours from the delivery date and time of our email message to you to let us know whether you would like to receive an official offer of admission.

Should I accept an offer of admission from another college/university and make a deposit there?

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Yes, you should do whatever is necessary, including making a deposit, to secure a spot at one of the institutions to which you have been admitted. We often do not know if we will go the wait list until after the deposit deadline. If you are offered a spot off the Cornell Engineering wait list, you will have a short window of time (usually five days from when you receive the official offer of admission or, if you have applied for financial aid, five days from the electronic receipt of your financial aid award) to make your decision. If you choose to accept the offer of admission from Cornell you may forfeit the deposit that you had previously made at the other institution. Some colleges/university will refund your deposit, others may not.

If I am offered admission from the wait list, will financial aid still be available?

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Yes, if you are offered admission from the wait list, your application for financial aid will be reviewed as all others are reviewed to determine the amount of need. An aid package will be put together, and you will receive official correspondence from the Financial Aid Office soon thereafter. You must have submitted all financial aid documents in order to be considered for financial aid. If you have applied for financial aid, we recommend that you check your financial aid checklist to ensure all documents have been submitted. If you have not completed your paperwork, please do so immediately.  

If I am offered a spot, will housing still be available?

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Yes. All first-year students live in on-campus housing, so housing will be available to you if you are offered a spot from the wait list. On-campus housing is available to all incoming first-year students.

If I am offered admission from the wait list, may I take a gap year?

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If you are offered admission from the pool of wait-listed applicants, you must enroll in the fall. We cannot grant deferrals for students admitted from the wait list.