Members of Cornell’s prospective Class of 2027 breathed a sigh of relief after their college admissions process came to an end, each eager to find their place on the hill this coming fall.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, the University, along with each of the seven other Ivy League institutions, released its final round of admissions decisions. Students across the world know this long-standing tradition as “Ivy Day.”
“It was like this, almost sacred, type of thing,” Sam Jacobson ’26 said, recalling his emotions from last year’s Ivy Day. “It’s a lot of suspense, nerves [and] pressure… it’s definitely a hyped-up day for something as mundane as checking a portal, which happens probably in the span of thirty minutes.”
Historically, numerous universities, including the Ivy Leagues, held annual “Ivy Day” ceremonies, which consisted of placing an ivy stone on a university building in honor of academic excellence. At the time, the ceremony was also known as “planting the ivy.”
Today, Ivy League universities and their students honor this tradition by releasing regular admission decisions simultaneously each year. For current students and prospective applicants of these selective institutions, “Ivy Day” continues to bring waves of anticipation.
Jacobson recalls the day he awaited his own acceptance letter.
“I came home [from school] that day at around 3:30, and [the rest of the day] was literally my family and I sitting around waiting for the clock to turn 7… we were checking every minute,” Jacobson said.
Last year, Cornell welcomed a “talented and diverse” Class of 2026, with students hailing from all 50 states and 85 countries. This year, admitted students again represent every U.S. state including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. The class additionally constitutes 87 countries.
“Students in the Class of 2027 had some time to adjust to pandemic disruption during high school,” said Jonathan Burdick, vice provost for enrollment. “True to Cornell’s founding vision, these extraordinary students will bring a diverse range of ideas and experiences to enrich campus life together.”
For the Class of 2027, 4,994 students were admitted in total, with 3,324 being notified on Ivy Day. An additional 1,670 applicants were admitted during the early-decision round in December.
The Class of 2026, with 71,000 applicants and 4,908 admits, had an all-time low acceptance rate of 6.9 percent. Acceptance rates for the Class of 2027 will not be released until the summer.
Prospective students continue to be drawn to Cornell’s vast number of opportunities. For Lucas Macedo ’27, who is from Brazil, Cornell’s unique agricultural sciences program inspired him to apply to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“I knew of all the available resources they have for someone who is interested in agriculture and how I would have access to so many opportunities that I would not have in other institutions,” Macedo said.
Reed Robinson ’27, who is from Portland, Maine, intends to major in Environment and Sustainability due to his interest in conservation. He discovered Cornell in high school after developing a passion for studying birds.
“I had already been using several resources from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and had heard so much about all of the work that is done there,” Robinson said. “While I was able to find a few other schools with ornithology programs, none seemed to match Cornell’s.”
Robinson further emphasized the sense of community he felt before applying to Cornell.
“This past summer I got to visit Cornell and the Lab of Ornithology when I attended [the] Young Birders Event,” Robinson said. “The open and friendly vibe really cemented my dream of Cornell, and from that point on there was no doubt that I would apply early decision to Cornell.”
While the University is known for its unique academic programs and access to vast resources, other prospective students valued Cornell’s balance between rigorous academics and lively student life when choosing where to apply.
Griffin Fitzpatrick ’27, who is from Chicago, Illinois, saw himself fitting in with Cornell’s campus culture and student body.
“I am most excited about the work-hard-play-hard vibe Cornell emits,” Fitzpatrick said. “At Cornell, I found a place where I can achieve academic, athletic and social excellence while surrounded by like-minded peers.”
After months of anticipation, stress and hard work, the day each student opened their admissions decision had finally come. With somewhat low expectations, Macedo was surprised to read “Congratulations” on his computer screen.
“After receiving the decision, it felt like a wave washed over me and took all the bad feelings with it — the worry, the stress, the fear, the anxiety,” Macedo said. “It was a relief knowing that all my hard work paid off and that Cornell was able to see this hard work.”
As a recruited athlete, Fitzpatrick plans to join the Men’s Heavyweight Rowing team in the fall. While his application process may have been different than the average prospective student, he still felt a sense of relief and pride upon receiving his acceptance.
“I realized that my goal of rowing in college and attending a top-tier university was no longer just a goal, but a reality,” Fitzpatrick said. “There is no place I would rather be to realize this goal than at Cornell.”
Admitted students can connect to the Cornell community throughout the month of April through both virtual events and on-campus Cornell Days. Each has until May 1 to accept Cornell’s admission offer.
As another college admissions cycle wraps up the school year, the incoming Class of 2027 anticipates an exciting college experience. Current students look forward to welcoming them to Ithaca in the fall.
“Be in the moment, don’t think about college until the summer and just enjoy yourself,” Jacobson said as a recommendation to recently admitted students. “Congratulations, you made it to Cornell.”