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College of Arts and Sciences

Cornell welcomes talented Class of 2023

By: Daniel Aloi,  Cornell Chronicle
August 22, 2019

The 3,218 first-year students arriving on campus Aug. 23-24 bring a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and accomplishments to Cornell.

The Class of 2023 includes researchers and entrepreneurs, athletes and musicians, app creators and dairy princesses, dancers and FFA leaders. They hail from every state but Montana, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. New international students represent 39 countries, based on citizenship.

Many of these new students have extensive research experience and have been honored for numerous pursuits. Among them are the winner of a national math competition, a member of the only female team to win and place two straight years at a world robotics tournament, and an internationally acclaimed percussionist.

Student researchers in the field of medicine have worked in clinical areas from epilepsy and immunology to Alzheimer’s indicators, organ failures and prostate cancer. One helped create a new tuberculosis test; another studied microbe-based therapeutics to treat symptoms of neurological disease; yet another is publishing research on clinical trials in pancreatitis and genetics. They have worked with dogs, horses, egrets, herons, sharks, bees and sea turtles.

Physical accomplishments augment their intellectual pursuits – a speedskater from Croatia, a U.S. figure skater and a synchronized swimmer have all competed at the national level; a juggler is ranked fifth in the U.S.; and one student is a certified taekwondo referee.

“The new undergraduate students arriving on campus this fall are extraordinary in every possible way. They have tremendous talent and ability, and their dreams are bold and limitless. We look forward to supporting their unique individual journeys.”

-Shawn Felton, director of undergraduate admissions

One freshman was part of a National Geographic student expedition to Africa; another is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Student startups range from a small vineyard to a nonprofit supporting artisans in Cambodia and an NGO working on conservation and sustainable development in the United States and Costa Rica.

The Class of 2023 is 55% female; 48.5% of Cornell’s incoming freshmen identify as students of color; and 13.4% – 430 students – are the first in their families to attend college.

Among the 549 transfer students entering this fall, 94 (17.1%) also identify as first-generation. New transfer students are 56.8% female, and 43.4% are students of color.

Cornell had 49,114 applicants for freshman admission this year, of which 5,330 were offered admission. The overall yield – the percentage of students offered admission who enrolled – is 60.4%, among the highest Cornell has seen in decades.

“The new undergraduate students arriving on campus this fall are extraordinary in every possible way,” said Shawn Felton, director of undergraduate admissions. “They have tremendous talent and ability, and their dreams are bold and limitless. We look forward to supporting their unique individual journeys.”

This article originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.