Welcome Newly Admitted Students!

Congratulations on your offer of admission - we’re so excited to welcome you to the Big Red family! We also know your financial aid offer is a very important part of your decision-making process and Cornell is proud to offer financial aid packages that meet full financial need to all eligible undergraduate aid applicants.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity, please take a moment to learn more about Cornell’s Commitment to Access and Affordability.

Viewing your Financial Aid Offer

To view your financial aid offer, the status of your financial aid applications, or any outstanding documentation requests, please log into Student Center with your admissions login or Cornell NetID (choose “View Financial Aid” link, under “Finances”).

Occasionally, we may require additional documentation to confirm eligibility for certain types of aid. If you have outstanding requirements, please submit them as soon as possible via your IDOC Student Dashboard.

Types of Financial Aid

Cornell financial aid offers typically consist of gift aid (grants and scholarships which do not need to be repaid) and modest amounts of self-help aid (work-study or student loans). Learn more using the links below:

If you are expecting to receive an outside scholarship from an external organization, please upload a copy of your scholarship award letter to our Secure Document Upload portal.

If you are interested in utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill and/or Yellow Ribbon benefits, please visit our Veterans Education Benefits page.

Other financing options are also available, including Parent PLUS loans and Cornell Installment Plans.

Understanding your Financial Aid Offer

Your financial aid offer consists of three components which are reviewed annually:

  1. Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) – this is an estimate of the total costs we expect a typical student to incur for two semesters in one academic year. Your estimated cost of attendance is specific to your academic program and expected housing plans. Your total COA includes costs billed by Cornell (such as tuition, fees, housing, and food if living on-campus), as well as costs you may incur that are not billed by Cornell (such as books, supplies and personal items).
  2. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – this is a calculated value based on your financial aid application materials. Your EFC consists of a student contribution and a parent contribution. Student and parent contributions include consideration for both income and assets. Eligibility for Cornell aid is determined using an institutional EFC from information you provided on the CSS Profile. Eligibility for federal aid is determined using a federal EFC from information you provided on the FAFSA.
  3. Financial Aid (grants, scholarships, work, and loans) – Cornell is proud to offer financial aid that meets your full financial need. Your financial need equals your total estimated cost of attendance, minus your total expected family contribution. Your financial aid offer includes grants and scholarships (gift aid), work (self-help aid that must be earned), and - depending on your total family income - loans (self-help aid that must be repaid) to meet your total financial need.

If you have experienced unusual circumstances (such as parental abandonment or incarceration, refugee/asylee status), or if your family has experienced special circumstances (such as job loss), please consider using the appropriate appeal process to request a secondary review of your expected family contribution.

Detailed estimated cost of attendance information is available and updated annually subject to approval by the Cornell Board of Trustees or applicable governance bodies. Financial aid offers are updated automatically to include additional Cornell grant aid if total cost of attendance increases.

You may also request adjustments to elements of your estimated cost of attendance, however, additional Cornell grant or scholarship funds are only available in limited circumstances (for example: additional expenses associated with a disability).

Your estimated cost of attendance includes a health fee but does not include the cost of mandatory student health insurance which will be billed to you. If you are not eligible for a health fee waiver or you do not qualify for SHP Plus, you may request an increase to your estimated cost of attendance and student loan funding to cover the cost of SHP.

If you are an international student, please carefully review the Terms of International Scholar Awards. Unless you qualify for an exemption, 14% of grant and scholarship aid in excess of qualified tuition and fees will be withheld per federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax requirements.

Next Steps

  • Accept your Financial Aid Offer
    • Grants and scholarships (gift aid) included in your aid offer do not need to be accepted. However, we request active acceptance of all self-help aid (work or loans) offered. Admitted applicants that submit a deposit will be contacted in the spring with information detailing how to accept or decline their loans, complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes. We’ll be in touch!
  • Discuss your Expected Family Contribution
    • You'll want to talk with your family about how your family contribution will be paid or financed. Fall semester charges are billed in early July (due in early August) and spring semester charges are billed in early January (due in early February) each academic year.
  • Watch for emails from us
    • We communicate primarily with you (the student) via email to your Cornell email address or, while an applicant, to the email supplied on your admissions/ FAFSA application. Common items for us to email students about include verifying sibling(s) enrollment in college, loan promissory notes and entrance counseling, and reapplying for aid for future years.

Have Questions? We’re Here to Help!

If you have any questions, additional helpful information is available from our FAQ page, our Glossary page, and from financial aid staff by email at finaid@cornell.edu (include your name and student ID number), or by phone by phone at 607-255-5145.

Further Resources

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Glossary of Terms


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Video Tutorials