Cornell is now what you can call a “Public Ivy”?

Its a stupid term but to be fair, Cornell has more in common with UT or UVA than with Princeton or Yale.

By the way, what is the reason for their applications going down when every top 20 school recieved record breaking numbers of applicants?

If you go that route and I agree with it to some degree then it has a lot more in common with Penn.

The pervasive but superficial focus on acceptance rates as an indicator of a school’s quality makes me crazy, and, unfortunately, at times seems to warp some admissions-offices’ behavior. Don’t place too much stock in such numbers – they are easy to manipulate, if that’s a school’s goal (which, unfortunately, it sometimes rationally might be, because potential applicants and ranking groups do look at those numbers).

Imagine, for example, a school with (just to keep the math simple) 20,000 applicants (including 2,000 early-decision applicants), seeking to fill a freshman class of 2,000, and a 50% yield rate (meaning 50% of those accepted choose to enroll). To fill those 2,000 spots the school could admit 4,000 of the 20,000 applicants, which generates an acceptance rate of 20%. Or it could admit 1,000 ED to fill 1,000 spots and fill the remaining 1,000 spots by admitting 2,000 RD. In that scenario they admitted 3,000 / 20,000, or 15%. But it’s not necessarily a better class or better school. Now let’s say they really want to juice the numbers. They could admit 1,200 ED, fill 600 more slots by admitting 1,200 RD, and then waitlist a bunch of kids, from which they can pull 200 more kids at essentially a 100% yield rate. In that version the school made 2,600 offers, for an admit rate of 13% - but again, there’s no reason to think either the school or the class is “better” than the scenario in which the school has a 20% admit rate.

Add into the mix the tendency of some strong but not elite schools to reject great applicants because they assume they’ll end up going to more prestigious schools and thereby decrease yield (sometimes called “Tufts Syndrome” or “Yield Protection”) and you have today’s somewhat messed-up admissions system, in which more and more spots go to ED applicants, tons of people get waitlisted, and amazing candidates don’t get in to schools they once viewed as targets. (Just as examples, take a look at Rice and WashU St. Louis in recent years.)

I suppose some of the blame belongs to US News & World Report, who almost accidentally got this whole thing rolling. In any event, it would be great if applicants and schools stopped treating acceptance rates – and, in particular, small differences in acceptance rates – as evidence of anything meaningful about a college. I’m not holding my breath, though!

Well… it is private, but it is a NY land grant university, and it operates some of its colleges as public colleges (contract colleges). Those contract colleges have to accept a certain % of New York State students.

Yes, this focus appears to connect with a competitive personality trait among some that probably, for reasons I’ll leave to others’ sense of reasoning, undermines meaningful academics at some of the colleges that have reached ultra-low acceptance levels.

Cornell is a great school and its athletic teams compete in the Ivy League.

@CupCakeMuffins Applications to Cornell were down slightly this year after increasing by 10,000 applications over the prior 3 years from 41,000 in 2015 to 51,000 in 2018. So perhaps just a pause in the climb after three years of huge increases. Meanwhile Cornell’s yield rate has increased from 51% to 61% over those same three years so perhaps more ED admits and more RD admitted kids choosing Cornell over other options.

@cupugu With more public school programs, aid and easier acceptance, yield is bound to increase. That’s a no brainer, not like applicants are picking it over HYPSM etc

@GoodPoint , If not for rankings and acceptance rates as indicators of desirability and excellence of schools, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

They sure are for certain majors! Hotel, ILR, Engineering…

With more public school programs, aid and easier acceptance, yield is bound to increase. That’s a no brainer,

@CupCakeMuffins I’m not sure I follow you. What do you mean by “more public school programs”? Is Cornell giving more financial aid than other comparable schools? And how does a lower acceptance rate at Cornell cause or contribute to Cornell’s yield increasing?

Princeton’s applications dropped by 7%.

@Riversider "This term literally defines today’s Cornell "

From their website - “Cornell University is a private research university”

It literally does not.

SMH. It’s an Ivy. None of the other Ivies are suddenly rumbling about dropping C from the group. The rest is moot.

Regardless of the admissions rate & number of students, Cornell still has the best agriculture school in the entire Ivy League.

Cornell is often ranked top 3 in the country for its agricultural program.

Not sure what the point of calling Cornell a public ivy. Some colleges at Cornell are contracted, others are endowed. Whatever you call it does not make it easier to get in for most students. Try applying to College of Arts and Science, Engineering or Dyson School, you’ll find out.

Cornell University resembles a Big 10 school more so than it does an Ivy. But, don’t take my word for this, google Cornell University Presidents & read the articles & speeches accompanying their selection & appointments.

Spoiler alert: Cornell gets its presidents from the ranks of Big 10 universities. And Cornell trustees explain why Cornell gets its presidents from Big 10 universities.

P.S. I love Cornell & I love the Big 10.

Cornell is not and has never been a SUNY. It is not a “public Ivy”. It is not public. If the OP knew the history of Cornell and/or SUNY he/she would not suggest such a thing. Cornell is as much an IVY as Harvard. And I’m not alluding to the notion that the Ivy League is a sports league (another way some try to degrade the Ivy League schools). No, academically Cornell is as much an Ivy League school as is Harvard or Yale. (also known as find another way to feel superior besides trying to put down Cornell).

The OP is referring to the 4 contract or statutory schools of Cornell. The post reflects the fact that the OP does not really understand what they are and how they are administered. That’s ok. That’s the point of this site right? To educate those who lack information. It is possible the OP intends the post as a way to put down the school that a peer is attending but maybe it is just a knowledge deficit.

I’ll assume the 2nd and try to fill in his/her knowledge gaps. I hope the OP @Riversider reads this:

By the early 1800s the east coast of the US had universities aplenty. In fact, Harvard was closing in on its 200th birthday. And there were tons of others, many of which still exist today. At that time, the students were considerably younger (often 15-18) than they are today; admissions criteria were far from uniform; few students would have been described by their instructors as “scholars” or as being close to “adults”-even at Harvard. But more importantly, then, as now, there was no clear consensus about the purpose of universities.

The early schools had been established (funded by various religious organizations) to train clergy/ministers and by the early 1800’s most were still focused on providing education in the classics-meaning steeped in Greek and latin readings. {In the meantime, European education was looking increasingly like contemporary education}. Yet discontent was escalating; reaching a boiling point. Students and parents called for a gentleman’s education, well rounded and in contemporary languages. This was not so much a debate about liberal arts vs professional training (although you may read other sources that say it was) as it was about maintaining education in the classics vs contemporary liberal arts vs religious training. In 1828 (actually Sept 11 '27) Yale doubled down on education in the classics and produced what would become known (then but rarely ever mentioned now) as The Yale Report. And while the report claimed “to lay the foundation of the superior education”, more apt is “to lay the foundation of education for the superior”.

Not everyone was on-board with Yale’s conclusions. At Harvard, Josiah Quincy’s response was to expand the curriculum to include both a classic and contemporary course of study; something that may have given Harvard the edge from that point onward. Other educators rejected the premises of the Yale Report completely. NYU can trace its roots to those revolting against the conclusions of the Yale Report; yet, the Report impacted Yale education for generations.

In the meantime, outside the Ivy tower, the need for people with science, engineering, and agricultural skills, discussed in the early to mid 1800’s, reached a peak at the end of the civil war; something that was not satisfied by schools teaching Greek and Latin but which eventually lead to (or perhaps more accurately supported) the Morrill Act of 1865. The Morrill Act used federal funds procured via sale of federal land to establish agricultural and mechanical training programs though out the US.

The Morrill Act made western expansion more feasible. Its goals were consistent with Ezra Cornell’s goals for establishing (see https://ezramagazine.cornell.edu/FALL12/CornellHistory.html) “an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” Funds via the Morrill Act were allocated initially for the Agricultural school (but ultimately to 4 statuary college). The statuary schools are not “part of SUNY”. Legally, they are private nonprofit institutions. The state plays a fiduciary role in the statuary schools (but not the others) and has something akin to veto power over (only) certain hiring decisions at Cornell. Employees are private not public employees. Thus, Cornell can’t be a public Ivy cause it is a private Ivy-(aka:Ivy League University).

There are other elite private schools that are also land grant universities. MIT comes to mind as one.

An interesting aspect of the Ivy League schools is that those schools that rejected the premises of the Yale Report soonest ended up developing far better “tech” (STEM) than those that adhered to it longer. And Yale is still bringing up the rear in terms of STEM at IVY League schools. Perhaps unbeknownst to the OP, the roots of a snobby attitude towards Cornell go back to the idea that the noble class keeps their hands clean and does not “work”. Only the working class needs to learn how to “do” things like STEM. Me thinks that is a very dated erroneous concept.

@lostaccount: Does Cornell offer lower tuition rates to residents of New York state at the four contract colleges ?

Is that a leading question? :slight_smile: