Prospective Undocumented Applicants

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.

Deadlines:

Spring Transfer 2022:               October 15, 2021

Early Decision 2022-23:            November 21, 2021

Regular Decision 2022-23:       February 15, 2022

Fall Transfer 2022:                     March 15, 2022

Continuing Students:                March 1, 2022

Application Requirements:

Below are the financial aid application requirements for undocumented applicants. Per IRS guidelines, we require parental tax information if your parent's earnings are greater than the minimum filing threshold.

Questions regarding application requirements or the criteria listed above can be directed to the Financial Aid Office: 607-255-5145; finaid@cornell.edu

Click each step below to see detailed instructions.

Step 1: Notify our office of your application

All student applicants must self-identify to our office so that the aid application process is seamless. Please email us after you have completed the CSS Profile.

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

Spring Transfer 2022 applicants should complete the 2021-22 CSS PROFILE and 2021-22 Noncustodial PROFILE (if applicable). All other applicants should complete the 2022-23 CSS Profile.

This online form will help determine your eligibility for Cornell student aid funds.

  • CSS Profile is found at https://student.collegeboard.org/profile
  • Cornell’s undergraduate CSS Code is 2098
  • The registration step has been eliminated; applicant information will be saved from the moment you first interact with the CSS Profile.
  • 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.

College Board has created interactive instructions to assist you.

Step 3: Prepare and submit remaining materials

Please fax to 607-255-6329 or use our secure online upload.

Include the student's name and date of birth on all materials.

  • 2020 Parent Federal Tax Returns (Spring Transfer 2022 applicants should submit 2019 tax documents)
    • 2020 federal tax return(s) for custodial parent(s)
    • 2020 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

Tax Return Requirements:

  • Must be copies* of returns actually filed with the IRS (see Publication 501 for guidance on filing requirements)
  • Must include all schedules, such as A, B, C, C-EZ, E, and/or F
  • Must include business returns
  • Must include all W2 forms
  • 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 submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2020 income tax year. You can request a tax transcript through the IRS website or by calling 1-800-908-9946.

Step 4: Monitor your Cornell To Do List

Applicants have a Cornell To Do List. We communicate our aid application requirements through the Cornell To Do List. Please reference this regularly to see that everything is complete. Items will disappear once they are completed in your financial aid file.

 

Why is our deadline important?

We want you to have all the information you need before making the choice to attend Cornell. Applying for aid by the financial aid deadline will ensure that your financial aid award is available when you receive your admissions decision. If you do not apply by our stated deadline, your award may be delayed.

Federal Withholding Tax

Undocumented students (with and without DACA status) are to be treated, for tax purposes, as any other foreign national student. The Internal Revenue Service classifies grant aid in excess of tuition and mandatory fees as taxable income and requires Cornell to withhold 14% in taxes if you are a non-resident alien and not eligible for exemption from taxes under a tax treaty. If you are deemed to be a "resident alien" based on the amount of time you have been present within the U.S., or if you are from a treaty country that includes a treaty article that would grant an exemption from tax withholding, Cornell would not be required to withhold 14% of excess aid.

In order to evaluate either option for non-withholding, the student will need to complete a Foreign National Questionnaire. Access to the on-line Questionnaire can be gained by emailing cu_fnis@cornell.edu requesting a user name and password.

 

Do you have further questions?

My Undocumented Life provides resources about scholarships for undocumented residents.