Chance my Daughter: Dyson (Cornell)

NYC Private School (A average in intensive course load, 36 ACT, legacy)
Great mix of ECs (sports, academic, social - many with leadership positions)
Good internships

If your daughter attends a private school, it is likely that the school counselors at that school can give you a sense of whether she is a competitive applicant for Cornell.

Simply having all A grades and a perfect ACT score…and being a legacy won’t guarantee acceptance. But it’s a good start.


Make sure she applies early decision.


I would suggest running the net price calculator for an estimate of your net costs to see if Cornell will be affordable for your family. If not, I would rethink ED as it’s supposed to be a binding acceptance…and you won’t be able to compare financial aid offers from other colleges.

Adding…I hope your daughter has a well varied list of colleges to apply to…including ones that are less selective…


unfortunately will not be qualifying for financial aid so that will not be a consideration

thanks - that is her current plan but if a real concern that she won’t get in may not want to “waste” the ED

they say she is competitive but we don’t have an indication of how likely or not

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No one here can say. She sounds like a great candidate, but lots of competitive candidates are rejected every year. Being a legacy will probably help as will coming from a private school that Cornell knows.

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Your D is a strong and accomplished candidate (don’t think you need anyone here to tell you that) but Dyson has such a low acceptance rate (around 6% from what I gather - you can check) that nobody can chance accurately. There will be many more well qualified applicants than spots available.

Your D should work hard on her essays and get the best possible LORs as these factors can help a candidate to stand out. Legacy should be a plus.

Agree that the guidance counselor at the private HS will have the best advice. If Cornell is affordable and is D’s definite top choice, ED is the way to go.

Wishing her luck.


And no one here can give you more definitive info. If Cornell is her top choice, and you are on board with everything about it…she can apply ED and see. That’s really the only advice anyone can give you.


Your ACT score won’t help you as Dyson is test blind.

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ED gives you better odds. It’s not wasted even if you don’t get in. If it’s your top choice and you are willing to spend $400k, then it gives you your best odds. If you don’t get in, it doesn’t mean it’s wasted and there are many fine b schools or Econ programs that don’t even have ED. No one has to ED. ED is not a guarantee - but if Cornell I’d you let top choice and you don’t want to waste it - so you’re going to ED to a school not your top choice? Makes zero sense.

You should ED to a school that is your top choice, that you can afford and that you want to afford - not everyone wants to spend $400k.

And if you really want to ED and it doesn’t work out, you can always ED 2 elsewhere.

But ED is a choice and not necessarily necessary as few overall choose to do.

Good luck.

The key here is to treat a deferral as a rejection and move on.

No one can guarantee anything but I think she has a better shot than most if she EDs. General consensus at our school (with CCs very familiar with Cornell) is that high achieving legacy kids like yours would have gotten in if they had EDed (but were rejected RD). It is generally thought that the legacy boost is only given in the early round.

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Consider applying ED to a top choice business school as well as applying EA to University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

OP: While your daughter is a strong candidate for Cornell Dyson, one of your daughter’s main strengths is her standardized test score so it may be to her advantage to apply to undergraduate business programs which will see and value that top ACT score of 36.

As a full-pay applicant, your daughter may want to be considered for merit scholarships based on her numbers (ACT score & GPA). If so, look for solid undergraduate business programs which offer merit scholarships.

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She has a good shot at any school, not just Dyson.

However, she needs to put out an excellent essay.

After all, she needs a bit luck.

Good luck!

Is the “NYC Private School” one of the elite ones with a dedicated college counseling staff and a high matriculation rate to highly selective colleges and universities? If so, the college counselors will probably have a good idea of how likely the student is to be admitted (a better idea than the typical “Cornell is a reach for everyone” that is the best most people can say).