Affordability Initiatives

Cornell meets eligible undergraduate students' full demonstrated financial need (total estimated cost of attendance minus expected family contribution) with a package of aid that includes Cornell grants, Pell grants or NY State grants (when eligible), an annual work-study award, and reasonable student loans depending on total family income.

Zero Parent Contribution for Families with Total Annual Income up to $60,000.

Families with a total family income of up to $60,000, and typical assets for this income range are assigned a $0 parent contribution for the purposes of determining demonstrated financial need. A $0 parent contribution increases Cornell grant aid in annual aid offers and eliminates the need to borrow to finance parent contribution.

Total family income equals adjusted gross income for the tax year used for financial aid purposes, plus any business or other losses, as well as any untaxed income. In cases of divorce or separation, we calculate total family income for each parent and add them together.

No, Low, or Reasonable Student Debt for all Families

For families with total annual income up to $75,000, initial annual aid offers include grants and work-study only - no student loans. This is true for both in-state and out-of-state students.

For families with total annual income above $75,000, initial annual aid offers include grants, work-study, and reasonable student loans, depending on total family income. The maximum annual student loan offered is $6,000.

For other families, loan offers in initial aid packages are limited based on total family income:


(UPDATED FOR 2023-24)
Under $75,000 annually $0
Between $75,001 and $125,000 annually $2,000
Between $125,001 and $175,000 annually $4,000
Above $175,000 annually $6,000

Additional loan options are available for families who may wish to finance a portion of their expected family contribution.

Meeting Full Demonstrated Need for Undocumented Undergraduate Students

All admitted aid applicants who graduate from a U.S. high school - despite lacking citizenship, residency, or visa status - are evaluated as part of Cornell’s need-blind admission review alongside their U.S. peers.

All undergraduate students who attended and graduated from a US high school without U.S. citizenship, residency, or visa status are eligible for an annual Cornell financial aid offer that meets full demonstrated financial need.