Frequently Asked Questions About International Financial Aid

  • Students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and those who do not have refugee/asylee status, or who are not undocumented residents are considered international students.
  • U.S. undocumented residents are considered domestic students for financial aid purposes.
  • Applicants who have dual U.S. citizenship are not considered international students for financial aid purposes.

Cornell University provides need‐based financial aid to admitted international students who have applied for financial aid and have demonstrated financial need. We do not offer merit, athletic, or talent-based aid to students.

Admissions decisions for international applicants are need-aware. This means that applications from international students will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs.

Students who are admitted and have applied for financial aid and have demonstrated financial need will receive a financial aid package that meets 100% of their demonstrated financial need. Cornell does not provide partial financial aid awards.

Some candidates who apply for financial aid do not demonstrate need and may be admitted without a financial aid offer. Other candidates whom we would like to admit will be declined because we have exhausted our financial aid budget. Accuracy and completeness of the information you provide during the financial aid application process is of the utmost importance, as we will not be able to honor an appeal for international students who do not receive financial aid.

We cannot reevaluate your case once a final decision has been made.

All financial aid is need‐based. We do not offer merit or athletic scholarships.

There are no loans offered through the University. You may be able to apply for a loan through a private lender. We cannot recommend any particular lender, but our website has a list of lenders that Cornell undergraduates have used in the past. 

The Cornell Installment Plan (CIP), also known as the Full-Service Payment Plan, administered by Cashnet, enables students and their families to make monthly installments to cover each semester's tuition and expenses. You must self-enroll each semester. Enrollment must be completed online via the Cornell Installment Plan website.

If you received a need-based financial aid offer from another Ivy League institution, Stanford, Duke, or MIT, we 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 loans and work. Please submit a copy of the official aid offer from the other institution directly to the Financial Aid Office. International students who have not received financial aid from Cornell are not eligible for the initiative. 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.

Yes, international students who received financial aid and want to appeal the decision should email

All financial aid applicants must reapply for financial aid each year. If your family’s economic situation remains constant, you will receive a financial aid award that is comparable to the award that you received your first year.

International applicants who do not apply for international financial aid when they apply for admission (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time after enrolling as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for aid when they apply for admission.