Per the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, scoring 700 or higher in math puts you in top 1% of AAs (class of 2016) and the same for 700 or higher in verbal (not composite, but one test or the other). Scoring 650 or higher = top 2% in math and same for verbal (not composite, but separate scores). Therefore, if you can bump up your scores to the 650 range for both CR and M, you should be a very competitive candidate for the top schools, including Cornell. Good luck!
I feel like this thread will invariably lead to a debate over Affirmative Action.
To answer the question, I know people who have been AA or Hispanic who have gotten into Ivy's with 1800-1900 SAT scores.
@Gracetone: I'm going to take one shot at perhaps, ameliorating your feelings here.
Cornell will have unofficial target goals for various sub groups every year. For institutional purposes, they've already set aside X number for recruited athletes, Y number for less-than-stellar development admits, Z number for internationals, etc. Whatever that number for African Americans, one can only guess. And these are flexible goals too.
If an applicant happens to fall under one of the sub-group categories, he/she will be evaluated in that context. For example, let's say there are 5 womens soccer recruits of similar skill and utility to the team next year. Coach has 3 actual slots available. 1 recruit has stellar stats. No brainer. She's in. Of the remaining four, one is slightly ahead of the other three who are equal. She gets in. For the remaining three, their stats are about the 20th percentile of Cornell freshmen. Coin flip. One gets an offer, the other two don't stand out in comparision with the RD pool and are eventually rejected.
This same scenario plays out with every sub-group. Musicians, Internationals, celebrities, minority groups, legacies, etc.
The fact is, these slots were NEVER available to you to begin with. Who does the "mediocre" stat African American kid who is accepted push out? Another African American applicant who is less desirable. Just like the soccer player takes the place of less desirable soccer players.
I'll leave Affirmative Action to others to mull -- but for applicants who don't fall under these sub-categories -- the relative statistical strength within those groups doesn't really affect you.
If you feel slighted at the avg statistics of any particular sub-group, consider how the 2380 SAT rejected kid from Singapore feels when she looks at the avg accepted American white kids' avg stats. Shouldn't she feel the limited slots available to the ridiculously competitive International applicant pool is terribly unfair?
I'd go even farther, T26E4--I don't think the Ivies are able to fill up whatever rough number of setasides for URMs they have, because they won't go below some (unknown) stats cutoff. So URMs aren't even getting their "share" of what the Ivies want to give them.