Frequently Asked Questions About International Financial Aid

Am I considered an international student?

  • Students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and those who do not have refugee/asylee status, or who are not undocumented residents are considered international students.
  • U.S. undocumented residents are considered domestic students for financial aid purposes.
  • Applicants who have dual U.S. citizenship are not considered international students for financial aid purposes.

Is financial aid available to international students?

  • Cornell University provides need‐based financial aid to admitted international students who have applied for financial aid and have demonstrated financial need. We do not offer merit, athletic, or talent-based aid to students.

Is Cornell need‐blind for admission for international students?

  • Beginning with the class enrolling in fall 2017, admissions decisions for international applicants will be need-aware. This means that they will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs.

What is the selection process for international financial aid?

  • Beginning with the class enrolling in fall 2017, students who are admitted and have applied for financial aid and have demonstrated financial need will receive a financial aid package that meets 100% of their demonstrated financial need (Cornell University does not provide partial financial aid awards).

If I apply for financial aid as an international student, will Cornell offer me admission without extending a financial aid offer?

  • Some candidates who apply for financial aid do not demonstrate need and may be admitted without a financial aid offer. Other candidates whom we would like to admit will be declined because we have exhausted our financial aid budget. Accuracy and completeness of the information you provide during the financial aid application process is of the utmost importance, as we will not be able to honor an appeal for international students who do not receive financial aid.

If I apply for financial aid but my family does possess the financial resources to finance my education, will Cornell reconsider or reevaluate my admission application if I am not admitted?

  • We cannot reevaluate your case once a final decision has been made.

Can I receive a merit or athletic scholarship?

  • All financial aid is need‐based. We do not offer merit or athletic scholarships.

Are there loans available for international students?

Can I pay my bill in monthly installments?

Does the evaluating peer need-based offers initiative apply to international students?

  • If you received a need-based financial aid offer from another Ivy League institution, Stanford, Duke or MIT we 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. Please submit a copy of the official aid offer from the other institution directly to the Financial Aid Office. International students who have not received financial aid from Cornell are not eligible for the initiative.  Cornell is unable to consider evaluating scholarship offers that are not from another Ivy League institution, Stanford, Duke or MIT or offers based on athletics and/or merit.

Can I appeal my financial aid decision?

  • Yes, international students who received financial aid and want to appeal the decision should email

If I receive financial aid as a new student, am I guaranteed financial aid during my entire time at Cornell?

  • All financial aid applicants must reapply for financial aid each year. If your family’s economic situation remains constant, you will receive a financial aid award that is comparable to the award that you received your first year.

If I don’t receive financial aid when I am admitted, can I apply again once I am enrolled?

  • International applicants who do not apply for international financial aid when they apply for admission (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time after enrolling as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for aid when they apply for admission.