Newly Admitted Students
Now it’s important to receive and understand your financial aid package so that you can confidently accept Cornell’s offer of admission. The information below can help answer some of the questions you might have.
If you are admitted, you will receive one of the following notifications:
- an aid decision outlining your financial aid eligibility, if you completed all financial aid requirements
- an email indicating items are missing from your application for financial aid.
Read this page. By accepting Cornell’s offer of admission, you accept your financial aid offer. We have also created short videos to help explain some of the finer points of financial aid and student employment.
Spring 2017 Transfer students should read the 2016-17 Financial Aid Information Sheet.
Talk with your family: You'll want to talk with your family about how your family contribution will be paid or financed. Explore financing options in one of the below sections. You will be billed your fall charges in July, to be paid by August 7, and you will be billed spring charges in December, to be paid by January 7.
Watch for emails from us: We communicate primarily with you (the student) via email to your Cornell email address.
Click on the headings below to learn more information
Cost of Attendance and Family Contribution
The Estimated Cost of Attendance is the same as the Estimated Financial Aid Budget on your award. We use the on-campus double room rate for housing and the Bear Traditional meal plan rate for dining, regardless of where you are living or eating.
For Early Decision aid applicants, the tuition, student activity fee, and health fee amounts may change, and the amounts for miscellaneous/personal ($1,850) and book expenses ($930/$1,540) are final. We will update your financial aid awards when tuition and fees are finalized in the spring. The Parent Contribution will not change with a change to the Cost of Attendance.
The cost of attendance includes $350 toward health-related costs.
Health insurance is mandatory at Cornell. Students with health insurance meeting Cornell’s standards will be charged a $350 Health Fee. If you do not have health insurance that meets Cornell’s standards, you will be charged for the Student Health Plan (SHP). You may request loan for the difference between the SHP cost and the $350 that is included in your cost of attendance.
The Student Contribution is a combination of a Summer Savings Expectation (SSE) and a Student Contribution from Assets (SCA). The SSE is the amount that Cornell expects you to earn and save during the summer before the academic year. The standard SSE amount for incoming freshman is $2,700. The SCA is a 25% contribution of the assets held in your name that were not earned and saved by you or your parents. In subsequent years, you will be expected to contribute the same amount, as long as your assets do not increase.
The Parent Contribution is the amount we have calculated that your parents can contribute to your education for the 2017-18 academic year (or Spring 2017 for Spring Transfer students). This amount is based on multiple factors, including the number of people in your household, the number of children in your household enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree-seeking program, and your parents’ income and assets as reported on their federal income tax returns, the CSS PROFILE, and Non-Custodial PROFILE (if applicable).
Financial Aid Awarded
Financial Aid Awarded
The financial aid that we have awarded may include a combination of grants, employment, and student loans. Grants may include Cornell University grant, any state or federal grants for which you are eligible, and any outside scholarships you were awarded. These funds do not need to be repaid. Student loans will need to be repaid, generally after you graduate. The employment expectation is what we expect you to earn through work during the academic year and is addressed in more depth below.
If you have loans as part of your financial aid award, you will need to take action prior to the start of school to accept them. You will be receiving an email with further instructions when it is time to sign promissory notes and complete entrance counseling.
You are not required to accept the loans in your financial aid award. If you wish to decline any of your loans, you may do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your Cornell ID number with your response along with which loan(s) you wish to decline. This request must come from the student; parents cannot cancel student loans.
Since outside awards are additional resources which reduce your need, they cannot be used to reduce the parent contribution or other expected family resources. We can adjust your aid package at any time of the year, and we encourage students to seek as many outside awards as possible. Please notify the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment of any outside awards you expect to receive. Find out more here and by watching our video tutorial about Outside Scholarships.
Financial aid appeal process
- The Cornell Installment Plan (CIP): The installment plan allows you to pay your bursar-billed expenses in equal monthly installments. There are no interest or finance charges, but there is a small annual enrollment fee.
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan: The maximum amount first-year students may borrow is $5,500. A portion of this loan may already be included as part of the student's financial aid award. The interest rate will be fixed on July 1, 2017. The loan may be subsidized or unsubsidized, and the student will be awarded with the best possible type of loan based on federal eligibility.
- Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan): Parents wishing to apply for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan) should complete the PLUS application and return it to our office in July 2017.
- Alternative Lenders: Any Cornell undergraduate student may apply for an alternative loan through an outside lender to help cover educational expenses.
Admitted international or undocumented students
Cornell provides need-based financial aid to a limited number of admitted international students and undocumented students without DACA status. Selected students will receive an aid decision letter with their official acceptance packet.
Questions regarding international student financial aid should be directed to email@example.com.
Students with DACA status can find information about applying for aid here.
Speak with a financial aid counselor
In April each year, Cornell hosts admitted students on campus as part of Cornell Days celebrations and Diversity Hosting Month. During this time, our financial aid counselors welcome walk-in meetings (no appointment necessary) with students and families needing more information on their financial aid packages.Our walk-in hours in April are 9:00am - 3:30pm.