A World-Class, Ivy League Education Within Reach
Ezra Cornell’s founding vision – a university where “any person can find instruction in any study” – holds true today.
More students than ever are able to graduate from Cornell with little to no debt, and about half of all undergraduate students receive substantial financial aid in the form of Cornell grants – this is free money that does not need to be repaid.
After factoring in funding awarded through grants and work-study programs, the cost of a Cornell education may be less than you would expect. And, in many cases, families qualify for no or reduced loans, too.
We encourage you to explore all available aid options at Cornell. Our admissions and financial aid counselors are available to help you on your way to becoming part of the Big Red family.
News and Resources
Our unique financial aid initiatives exemplify our commitment to providing need-based aid and making Cornell affordable for admitted students. To learn more, view all of our financial aid initiatives.
Undocumented Undergraduate Applicant Initiative
As of fall 2021, all current and future enrolled undergraduate students who attended and graduated from a US high school without US citizenship, residency, or visa status are eligible for a Cornell financial aid package that matches their demonstrated financial need. All applicants attending and expecting to graduate from a US high school despite lacking citizenship, residency, or visa status will be evaluated as part of Cornell’s need-blind admission review alongside their US peers.
Parent Contribution Initiative
Families with a total family income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution. Total family income equals adjusted gross income for the tax year that we are looking at for financial aid purposes, plus any business or other losses, as well as any untaxed income. In cases of divorce or separation, we calculate total family income for each parent and add them together.
Low Debt Burden
Cornell guarantees that any family with a total income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution and no loans in the initial aid package.
Loans may be necessary for some families. Cornell makes initial offers of loan to a student based on their family’s income. The mean debt at graduation among Cornell students who borrow is less than $24,000 – substantially lower than the mean debt of $32,600 for all private college graduates.
Evaluating Peer Need-Based Offers
If you have received a financial aid offer from another Ivy League institution, MIT, Duke, or Stanford, Cornell will strive to calculate the same eligibility based on the information provided. The components that we will evaluate are the parent contribution, student contribution, and initial offers of loan and work. We are unable to consider evaluating scholarship offers that are from schools other than the Ivy League, Stanford, Duke or MIT or offers based on athletics and/or merit scholarships. Assessments can only be made for the applicants who received the offer. It will not be applied to other siblings at Cornell.
Please submit a copy of the official aid offer from the other institution directly to the Financial Aid Office.
Learning to manage your money is a critical life skill. Your college years should be a time when you are mastering the art of budgeting and preparing for the years to come when you can save and invest for your future.