Value of a Cornell Education

A Cornell Education Offers More Than a Degree, It is the Foundation for a Successful Future

By every measure, college is one of the best investments a family can make. A college diploma is the gateway credential to the best jobs with the most potential for advancement and income growth over time.

On average, college graduates earn $1 million more over a lifetime than people without degrees. The mean starting salary for 2015 Cornell graduates was $62,980 – that is nearly $10,000 higher than the U.S. median income in 2014. Plus, Cornell students have some of the highest acceptance rates among those applying to top law and medical schools in the country.

From the moment you decide to come to Cornell, you join the more than 250,000 members of the Big Red family. We are a diverse community of scholars who work, teach and engage in every corner of the world. From expanding your professional network to making connections with like-minded individuals, access to our alumni network starts the second you set foot on campus and lasts a lifetime. 

Upstate. Downstate. One Big Red.

We are a community of scholars known for radical collaborations spanning disciplines, locations and industries and focused on translating ideas into solutions. With deep academic roots in Ithaca and an expanding presence in New York City, our faculty, staff and students have unparalleled opportunities for learning and engagement in a close-knit town, a global city and communities across the state.

Creating, curating and communicating knowledge and providing opportunities for teaching, learning and societal impact is more than just what we do, it is who we are. Our core mission of knowledge with a public purpose is rooted in our founding as both a private, endowed research university and the land-grant institution for New York state.

If you want to define your own journey, to be challenged to think beyond the obvious and to create solutions for problems yet unknown, then you might be a Cornellian. Apply today.

About Cornell:

  • Founded in 1865 and opened in 1868
  • Founding principle: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” 
  • 15 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools and colleges
  • Based in Ithaca, N.Y.: Voted top 100 places to live, a top 10 recreation city, a best green place to live, and one of the “foodiest” towns in America
  • Multiple Cornell campuses and locations in New York City, Geneva, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Portsmouth, N.H. and Rome, Italy.
  • Mascot: Big Red Bear

Student life:

  • Students from all 50 states and 116 different countries
  • 1,000+ clubs and organizations
  • 29 on-campus bistros, cafes and food courts
  • 37 NCAA Division I varsity sports
  • 30 intramural leagues
  • 100+ physical education classes
  • 8,000-square-foot Lindseth Climbing Center
  • 4 fitness centers, a bowling center and 2 recreational centers
  • 100+ of miles of outdoor trails and stunning natural areas
  • 64 fraternities and sororities
  • 649 student startups
  • 25 affiliated chaplaincies, from American Baptist to Zen Buddhist
  • 1 of 13 universities participating in the Warrior-Scholar Project
  • 30,000 hours of volunteer services by 7,500 students at the Public Service Center

Academic experience:

  • 100+ fields of study
  • 4,000+ courses
  • 1,650 faculty
  • 1,020 academic professionals
  • 14,907 undergraduate students
  • 5,605 graduate students
  • 2,504 professional students
  • 8.6:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 58% of classes have fewer than 19 students
  • 350 college-approved study-abroad programs
  • 90% of Cornell undergraduate students graduate on time
  • 97% of first-year students return after their first year
  • 7th best college library (Princeton Review)

Prepared for the future:

  • 8,000 interviews conducted through Career Services annually
  • 390 employers conducted on-campus interviews, and 134 attended a recruiting event or career fair during the 2016-17 academic year
  • 1,080 unique employers hired graduates from the Class of 2017
  • 83% of graduates are employed or start graduate school within six months
  • 17% of graduates go into service work, including in the Peace Corps and Teach for America
  • 250,000 alumni worldwide

Accomplished faculty, students and alumni:

  • 47 Nobel laureates
  • 520 Fulbright Scholars
  • 62 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellows
  • 68 Goldwater Scholars
  • 36 Udall Scholars
  • 33 Marshall Scholars
  • 33 Rhodes Scholars
  • 25 Truman Scholars
  • 21 Churchill Scholars
  • 13 Gates Scholars
  • 1,036 Merrill Presidential Scholars