Prospective First Year Students

This is certainly an exciting time - the next chapter in your educational and personal development lies ahead, with all of the opportunities and challenges that will help you become a strong and passionate leader, a critical and analytical thinker, and an active and engaged citizen in a global community. As our world becomes smaller and, at the same time, more complex, Human Ecology faculty and staff strive to educate and train our students to make a difference.

We hope the following information will help you get organized and feel more comfortable about the admissions process.  In addition, you can also flip through the Human Ecology Viewbook or request that one be sent to you.

Perhaps one of the most important tips is to take a moment to step back and learn more about yourself - your strengths and weaknesses, what engages you, what environments will stretch you.  A college search is not just a way to find an undergraduate education, but a way to find an undergraduate experience.  Knowing yourself will help you narrow your choices.

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Why the College of Human Ecology?
  • Small college with the resources and benefits of a large Ivy League institution

  • Collection of unique academic programs, unmatched in their areas for quality, depth and opportunity

  • Majors relate to contemporary issues, are adaptable and highly interdisciplinary

  • Establish a strong liberal arts foundation that supports career specific preparation

  • Students develop deep analytical skills, are self-directed yet team-oriented, and appreciate the world as complex, multicultural and dynamic.

First-Year Selection Factors

Earning a place in Human Ecology is about more than just numbers. It is also about what makes you an individual. And what you will bring to the college and university communities.

There are a number of key pieces that the Admissions Committee considers when reviewing freshmen applications including

  • Fit/match with the College of Human Ecology and at least one of its programs

  • Essays (personal, short answer and Cornell University supplement essays)

  • Four year high school transcript – including GPA and rank, if provided

  • Standardized exams - All first-year applicants are required to submit SAT I or ACT with writing component) test results. 

  • Life experiences and background – including volunteer, extracurricular and work activities

  • Letters of reference

  • Portfolios and design indices for our FSAD and DEA applicants

Successful candidates usually have a combination of a strong academic record in challenging courses and a class average of 90 or higher. Approximately 90 percent of our freshmen candidates rank in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

We are especially interested in the connection between a student's aspirations and academic interests and the college's misson.  We also consider the full range of a student's talents and life experiences.  Students who have successfully balanced school and community activities are of interest to us.

Essays matter.  The committee looks for evidence of a student's ability to clearly and persuasively discuss an academic and personal match with the college.  Compelling essays reveal something about the applicant; they don't just report.

The College of Human Ecology practices selective admissions and we thoroughly review and carefully consider every application that we receive.  There is no formula used in the selection process

We often receive questions from prospective students and their families about our minimum/average SAT score or GPA, how many activities they should have on their resume, and how many letters of recommendation they should submit.

We typically have room for about 25-30 percent of the many qualified first year applicants each year.  Students who are not accepted as freshmen often consider tranferring to Human Ecology as sophomores or juniors.

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First-Year Application Tips

We know that when the college search and application process are done thoughtfully and efficiently, it can be an exciting time of self-discovery and life changing opportunity. Please consider our First Year Application Tips as you prepare to submit your application.

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