Cornell’s Commitment to Access and Affordability

Our founding principles – “to do the greatest good” and “…any person… any study.” – underpin Cornell University’s commitments to undergraduate financial aid. Cornell students come from culturally, geographically, and socio-economically diverse backgrounds and our financial aid programs are designed to ensure Cornell is accessible to all, at an affordable cost. Cornell provides annual financial aid packages that meet full financial need to all admitted and eligible undergraduate aid applicants.

For the 2023-24 academic year, we anticipate offering in excess of $365 million in need-based grant aid – which does not have to be repaid – to more than seven thousand undergraduate students.

Cornell grant aid – including scholarships provided by generous Cornell alumni and friends – puts Cornell’s transformative educational opportunities within reach. Most students receiving aid pay less to attend Cornell today, than they would have 20 years ago.

At Cornell, financial aid packages typically consist of:

  • Cornell grants and scholarships
  • Grants and scholarships from the government
  • Student employment (work-study)
  • Student loans

Comparing Aid Offers from Peer Institutions

Financial Aid offers may vary from one institution to another, and we understand affordability is a key factor in your college choice. If you receive an aid offer from one of Cornell's peers listed below, we will strive to make a comparable evaluation of your family's financial need as well as re-evaluate initial offers of grant aid, loans, and student employment (work-study).

  • other Ivy League institutions
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Duke University
  • Stanford University

For consideration, please submit a copy of your official aid offer from the peer institution to the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment using our secure document portal.

Minimizing Student Debt

For families with total income less than $60,000 and typical assets for this income range, Cornell guarantees:

  • $0 parent contribution
  • $0 student loans offered in initial aid package

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

Total Family Income Maximum Loan OFFER Each Year

(UPDATED FOR 2023-24)
Under $60,000 annually $0
Between $60,001 and $85,000 annually $2,000
Between $85,001 and $135,000 annually $4,000
Above $135,000 annually $6,000