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Cost to Attend

More Affordable Than You May Think

Whether you are just beginning your search or putting the final touches on your application essay, the journey to college can be overwhelming. Understanding the cost of attendance – and available financial aid options – shouldn’t be.

Cornell’s estimated cost of attendance is based on tuition, fees, housing, dining, books, supplies and personal items for a full-time student attending for both the fall and spring semesters. This cost depends on several factors, including which undergraduate college you apply to and if you are a New York state resident.

Estimated Cost of Attendance Cornell Grants, Gift Aid Work Study and Loans Total Annual Cost for Family
Published cost for attendance for one year Free money that does not need to be repaid Student earns money during the academic year. Loans must be repaid. Parents pay based off their income and assets. Students earn money during the summer.

For many students, applying for financial aid will significantly reduce the amount they will pay each year. An important component of our financial aid packages are Cornell grants, which is free money that does not need to be repaid. The average Cornell grant award for a first-year student in the Class of 2021 was $40,686, and as high as $76,997. The overall price is also reduced through loans and work-study – money students earn during the academic year.

After factoring in Cornell grants, loans and work-study, the remaining portion is the total annual cost for each family. This is a combination of the parent contribution, which is determined by income, assets, family size and number of undergraduates in college, and the student contribution, which is the amount students are asked to contribute to the cost of their education through summer employment and a portion of their savings or trust.

In addition to the estimated budgets below, we encourage you to use the Financial Aid Calculator to estimate your family’s unique cost to attend. You can also review examples of real financial aid packages recently offered to Cornell students and their families.

Estimated Cost of Attendance Before Financial Aid 

Costs to attend Cornell for the 2020-21 academic school year are estimated below and do not include financial aid offered to all students with demonstrated need.

2020-21 Estimated Tuition and Fees

$58,586           Endowed Colleges
$39,244           State Contract Colleges (NY State Resident)
$58,586           State Contract Colleges (Non-NY State Resident)
$274                Student Activity Fee
$456                Health Fee

Housing and Dining

$9,534             Housing
$6,262             Dining

Note: Housing is based on a double occupancy room. Students without health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements and international students are required to purchase additional health insurance.

Off campus housing in Ithaca

Books, Supplies, Miscellaneous

$990                Books & Supplies
$1,850             Miscellaneous

Note: The cost for supplies will be slightly higher for students in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning as well as students in these majors: Landscape Architecture, Design & Environmental Analysis, and Fiber Science & Apparel Design.


Estimated annual costs associated with transportation to and from campus are assessed by region.

Endowed Colleges
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business – School of Hotel Administration

Endowed colleges or schools at Cornell are privately funded and do not receive direct funding from New York state.

State Contract Colleges
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Human Ecology
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Contract colleges or schools at Cornell University were created by an act of the New York State Legislature and receive direct funding from New York state. The mission of the contract units is linked directly to the economic and social wellbeing of New York state. Residents of New York state receive the resident rate tuition.