Important Information: The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment has transitioned to a fully remote model of engagement. Assistance will continue uninterrupted via email, phone, and our secure document uploads. For more information see our message about continuing operations remotely

We encourage you to review our Fall 2020 Semester FAQ for the most up to date information about financial aid. For more information specific to the impact of coronavirus across the University, please view Cornell's Coronavirus FAQ

Please be mindful of phishing attempts regarding CARES Act Funding and Student Employment opportunities. To verify phishing attempts, please reference the Cornell IT Security Phish Bowl. Cornell employers will not send electronic payroll checks by email and will not ask students to make gift card purchases on their behalf.

Cornell’s Commitment to Access and Affordability

Over the past 20 years, Cornell has tripled its annual spending on grant aid. As a result, for most students receiving financial aid, Cornell is more affordable today than it was in 1997.

We awarded nearly $267 million in grants in 2018/19, defraying tuition and living costs for undergraduate students with financial need. The average Cornell grant award for a first-year student in the Class of 2021 was $40,686, and as high as $76,997.

Cornell offers financial aid to all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens and has a limited amount of aid for international students. The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment is available to provide guidance, support and information for students and families interested in the financial aid process.

Of 14,907 full-time undergraduate students enrolled during the 2016-17 academic year:
  • Aid went to all students who demonstrate need
  • 7,751 (52%) received financial aid of any type
  • 6,598 (44%) received Cornell grant aid
  • 2,416 Pell Grants
  • 5,318 Federal Work-Study 

Evaluating Peer Need-Based Offers

Want to attend Cornell, but received a more favorable financial aid offer from another Ivy League institution, MIT, Duke or Stanford?

Cornell will strive to calculate the same eligibility based on the information provided.  The components that we will evaluate are the parent contribution, student contribution, and initial offers of loan and work.

Please submit a copy of the official aid offer from the other institution directly to the Financial Aid Office. 

Cornell is unable to consider evaluating scholarship offers that are not from another Ivy League institution, Stanford, Duke or MIT or offers based on athletics and/or merit.

Low Debt Burden

Cornell guarantees that any family with a total income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution and no loans.

Loans may be necessary for some families. Cornell caps the amount of loans a student can have based on their family’s income. The mean debt at graduation among Cornell students who borrow is less than $24,000 – substantially lower than the mean debt of $32,600 for all private college graduates.

In addition, the mean starting salary for 2015 Cornell graduates was $62,980 – that is nearly $10,000 higher than the U.S. median income in 2014. Low debt burden, excellent job placement and strong starting salaries help our students build a solid foundation for their future.

For students who began studies at Cornell before Fall 2018

Total Family Income Maximum Loan in Aid Package Each Year
Under $60,000 annually $0
Between $60,001 and $75,000 annually $2,500
Between $75,001 and $120,000 annually $5,000
Above $120,000 annually $7,500

For students who began studies at Cornell in Fall 2018 or after

Total Family Income Maximum Loan in Aid Package Each Year
Under $60,000 annually $0
Between $60,001 and $85,000 annually $2,500
Between $85,001 and $135,000 annually $5,000
Above $135,000 annually $7,500