Citizens and Permanent Residents

Below are the financial aid application requirements for undergraduate applicants who are applying as U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. If you are going to attend one of the professional schools (Johnson, Law or Vet), please contact their financial aid office directly to discuss your options.

Students wishing to apply for federal financial aid only (no institutional grant consideration) should complete the FAFSA and contact us at to indicate that you wish to apply only for federal financial aid. This email must come from the student directly; parents are not able to make this request.


Spring Transfer 2021:               October 15, 2020

Early Decision 2021-22:            November 21, 2020

Regular Decision 2021-22:       February 15, 2021

Fall Transfer 2021:                     March 15, 2021

Application Requirements:

Click each step below to see detailed instructions.

Early Decision Applicants: You can apply as early as October 1, 2020, but your To Do List may not update until the November 21, 2020 deadline.

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Spring Transfer 2021 applicants should complete the 2020-21 FAFSA. All other applicants should complete the 2021-22 FAFSA.

The 2021-22 FAFSA will be available beginning on October 1, 2020.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for the low-interest Federal Direct Loan as well as federal and state grants. Note that the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution may be different from the Cornell Family Contribution.

  • FAFSA is found at
  • Cornell’s FAFSA code is 002711
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if possible
  • NY residents can complete their state aid application at the end of the FAFSA. Be sure to use the correct HESC code.
    • HESC Endowed code: 0175 (Eng, A&S, AAP, Business-Hotel)
    • HESC State code: 0174 (CALS, HE, ILR, Business-Dyson)
  • If you are selected for federal verification when you complete your FAFSA, complete the IDOC verification worksheet and submit with your IDOC materials

Step 2: Complete the CSS Profile (Custodial and Noncustodial Parents)

Spring Transfer 2021 applicants should complete the 2020-21 CSS PROFILE and 2020-21 Noncustodial PROFILE (if applicable). All other applicants should complete the 2021-22 CSS Profile.

The 2021-22 CSS Profile will be available beginning on October 1, 2020.

This online application, along with your FAFSA information, will help determine your eligibility for Cornell student aid funds.

  • CSS Profile is found at
  • Cornell’s undergraduate CSS Code is 2098
  • If parents are divorced, separated, or were never married, your noncustodial parent will need to complete a separate CSS Profile. Each parent will access their CSS Profile with different College Board log-in credentials.
    • College Board recommends that the student and the custodial parent start the CSS Profile application first. Although the noncustodial parent can start the application at any time, the noncustodial parent will not be able to complete the application until the student selects a college that requires the CSS Profile from the noncustodial parent.
    • To keep financial information private, the student and parents should not share their College Board account passwords with each other.
    • If the whereabouts of your noncustodial parent are unknown, or if you have extenuating circumstances regarding your situation, complete the Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition.

College Board has created interactive instructions to assist you.

Step 3: Prepare and submit your IDOC materials

Spring Transfer 2021 applicants should submit materials to IDOC in the 2020-21 year and all tax documents should be for 2018. All other applicants should submit materials to IDOC in the 2021-22 year.

IDOC is a service that processes aid application materials. Use the IDOC upload for fastest service and DO NOT submit duplicate copies of materials to Cornell.

IDOC will be available beginning on October 1, 2020.

You will only be able to submit materials to IDOC after you have completed your CSS Profile and received an email from the College Board with IDOC submission instructions.

Log in to, complete the requested family information, and follow submission instructions. Providing Social Security Numbers when prompted on the College Board portal assists with accurate and timely processing. SSNs are securely transmitted and used to identify which family member the forms belong to. The following materials should be submitted to IDOC:

  • Federal Verification Documents, while listed as a requirement on IDOC, should be submitted with IDOC materials ONLY IF the student was selected for federal verification following completion of the FAFSA.
  • 2019 signed federal tax return(s) for custodial parent(s)

    If your parent(s) did not file a federal tax return for 2019, complete the IDOC non-filing statement for parents and submit with W2s or 1099s. This form is available through the IDOC Dashboard. Parents earning income outside the US will complete the International IDOC non-filing statement and submit with W2s, 1099s, or a statement from the employer(s).
  • 2019 signed federal tax return(s) for noncustodial parent(s), if parents are divorced, separated, or were never married
    • If the noncustodial parent is re-married, the current spouse’s income information is also required
    • Noncustodial parent taxes may be submitted to Cornell (if not included with the IDOC materials)

Tax Return Requirements:

  • Must be signed copies* of returns actually filed with the IRS
  • Must include all schedules, such as A, B, C, C-EZ, E, and/or F
  • Must include all W2 forms
  • Must include business returns: if either of your parents has an interest in a business or farm, submit the business tax return for each business and/or farm. In the U.S., this refers to the full 1065 Partnership Return, 1120S Corporate Return, and 1120 Corporate Return, along with K-1 Statements
  • Must include trust or estate documents: if you or your parents are the beneficiary of an estate or trust, submit the full Trust Tax Return and a letter explaining the contents of the trust or estate, value, and accessibility
  • Foreign tax filers: please provide us with translated documentation verifying your parents’ annual income for the most recently completed tax year (or the International Parent Non-Filer Statement)

* In place of signed taxes you may:

  • Preferred: The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) that is part of FAFSA.
  • You may also submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2019 income tax year. You can request a tax transcript through the IRS website or by calling 1-800-908-9946.

Step 4: Documentation of Permanent Residency (if applicable)

If you are a non-US citizen but have permanent residency or are an eligible non-citizen:

Eligible non-citizens must provide documentation of permanent residency or citizenship status.  Acceptable forms of original documentation include:

  • Alien Registration Card (I-551)


  • Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) with all endorsements and temporary I-155 stamp that has not expired and I797 (Notice of Action) showing that you have applied for permanent residency

If you are unable to present your citizenship documentation to our office in person, please complete the Citizenship Affidavit, have it notarized, and return it with a copy of your citizenship documentation. If you are an eligible non-citizen, be sure that your FAFSA indicates that you are an eligible non-citizen and has your Alien Registration Number.

When applicable, documentation will be sent to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) for review and determination of eligibility for federal student aid.


Monitor Your To Do List

We communicate our aid application requirements through the Cornell To Do List. Note that this list may be different than the list of requirements on your IDOC Dashboard. Please reference your Cornell To Do List regularly to see that everything is complete. Items will disappear once they are completed in your financial aid file.