We understand that financial aid has its own language and have developed this glossary to assist you as you navigate this process.
Appeal: You can file an appeal to request more financial aid if there is new information that affects your family's ability to meet the expected family contribution, or if you think we may not have understood some aspect of your family's financial circumstances. Additionally, if you receive a need-based aid offer from another Ivy League institution, Stanford, Duke, and/or MIT that is more favorable than Cornell’s, we welcome the opportunity to match their offer of financial aid.
Estimated Cost of Attendance: The total cost of attending Cornell includes tuition, student fees, and expenses for housing and dining, books, supplies and personal items. Your tuition depends on which Cornell undergraduate college you enroll in and whether you are a New York State resident.
Employment Earnings Eligibility: This is the amount that we expect you to earn during the academic year to help with your expenses. These funds are not Federal Work Study funds, but you can get a job on or off campus.
Federal Work Study: This is the amount that we expect you to earn during the academic year to help with your expenses. Federal Work-Study (FWS) means that the employer who hires you is reimbursed by the federal government for the part of the wages you’re paid. This is the only difference between you and students who are not FWS-eligible.
Grants: Grants are a form of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. Your financial aid award may include Cornell University grant, any state or federal grants for which you are eligible, and any outside scholarships you were awarded.
Loans: Student loans are a form of financial aid that will need to be repaid, generally after you graduate.
Outside Scholarships: We use the term "outside scholarships" to refer to scholarships, grants, tuition benefits, crowd-sourced funds, VA benefits, and ROTC scholarships and stipends that are external to Cornell's financial aid resources. At Cornell, these funds reduce the self-help component of your financial aid package (first loans, then work eligibility). If the amount you’re receiving in outside scholarship funding exceeds the amount of work and loan in your aid package, remaining outside scholarship funds will be used to reduce your Cornell grant funding.
Parent Contribution: The Parent Contribution (PC) is the amount we have calculated that your parents can contribute to your education for one academic year.
Student Contribution: The Student Contribution (SC) 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 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.