Statement of Educational Purpose

As part of Federal Student Aid, some students are selected for verification. This isn't an indication that anything is wrong with your application, it is just a requirement that selected students have for Federal Student Aid. The federal verification process can include verification of your identity and a requirement that you attest to your educational purpose. If you see this requirement on your Cornell financial aid to do list you must provide information to our office to confirm your eligibility for Federal Student Aid. This can be completed in person or through mailing a notarized form with a copy of the identification you presented to the notary to our office.

How to Complete the Requirement in Person:

Please visit the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment and bring an unexpired valid government-issued photo ID. We will provide you with a form to fill out at our front desk. A list of valid government-issued IDs can be found at the bottom of this page.

How to Complete the Requirement with a Notary:

If you are unable to come to our office in person, you may complete the Statement of Educational Purpose in the presence of a notary public and mail the original document to our office with a copy of your unexpired valid government-issued photo ID. Please use the address listed on the form below, and be sure to include a copy of the ID you presented to the notary. You may also drop off the document and ID copy at our office.

Select the proper form for your aid year:

If the notary statement appears on a separate page than the Statement of Educational Purpose, there must be a clear indication that the Statement of Educational Purpose was the document notarized.

If choosing to complete the document with a notary public, the notary public must be an approved U.S. Notary Public. We are unable to accept documents that are completed with the use of a foreign equivalent of a notary public. In these instances, students may be able to visit a U.S. embassy or consulate that is close to the student's or study abroad location to see if a U.S. notary service is available.

Information on Acceptable Identification:

A valid unexpired government-issued photo identification (photo ID) can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • U.S. Passport;
  • Driver’s license;
  • Non-driver’s identification card;
  • Other state-issued ID;
  • Permanent Resident Card or Resident Alien Card (I-551, can be photocopied for Title IV purposes);
  • Certificate of Naturalization if it contains a recognizable photo (even though it does not have an expiration date);
  • Inmate ID from a government facility (even if it does not have an expiration date); or
  • State-issued voter ID (even if it does not have an expiration date).

If you have any questions about acceptable identification, or anything else about this requirement please contact our office and we will assist you.