Cornell University Grants and Scholarships
There are a number of grants and scholarships available to Cornell undergraduate students. Keep in mind that:
- No merit aid or athletic scholarships are awarded at Cornell; all grant aid is need-based.
- There is no minimum or maximum amount of gift aid that can be awarded.
- Outside scholarships replace loan or work components of the aid package, but do not reduce the parent contribution.
- A FAFSA financial aid form must be completed to be eligible for federal grants.
Cornell University Grant
Cornell Grants are available to students with financial need, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment. The aid comes from several sources – university endowments, alumni gifts, and a general fund. Things to keep in mind:
- There is no minimum or maximum amount of grant awarded.
- There is no standard “income bracket” or cut-off for grant aid recipients; eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- University grants are awarded after non-university funds, work-study, and loans.
- You are automatically considered for these funds when you apply for financial aid; there is no separate application process.
Students who are eligible for Cornell University Grants may also be eligible to receive a named endowed scholarship. Especially meaningful, these scholarships are established by individuals who care deeply about Cornell and its students. Some donors are Cornell alumni, who were themselves the beneficiaries of student aid. An endowed scholarship can establish a direct connection between you and the donor; most donors welcome the opportunity to meet or correspond with the students who receive their awards. Note that:
- A named endowed scholarship does not change the total amount of financial aid awarded.
- Funds awarded through endowed scholarships replace the amount of any Cornell grant or self-help component (loans and work-study) on a dollar-for-dollar basis based on fund restrictions.
- Scholarships are awarded to students who meet the criteria specific to each fund.
- You are automatically considered for these funds when you apply for financial aid. Selection is based on a student’s match with a donor’s criteria. There is no separate application process, however, we encourage you to complete our Endowed Scholarship Questionnaire in order to help match students with donors’ criteria. Note that in order to complete the questionnaire you must be currently enrolled, or newly matriculated, and have a valid NetID and 7-digit Cornell ID number.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens who demonstrate exceptional financial need. The maximum Pell Grant award for 2017-18 is $5,920.
To apply, students must submit the FAFSA application and complete Cornell’s Financial Aid application process. For more information about the Federal Pell Grant, visit the Department of Education’s website.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG Grant is available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens who demonstrate exceptional financial need, and who are also eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. For 2017-18, the maximum FSEOG award amount at Cornell is $4,000.
New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
To apply for TAP funds, students must be New York state residents, be attending college full-time, and have a family taxable income (New York State) of less than $80,001. TAP funds are awarded based on a family’s income, and awards range from $500 – $5,165 for new TAP grant recipients. To apply:
- Submit the FAFSA application (look for state aid application on the confirmation page of FAFSA)
- Complete Cornell’s Financial Aid application process
- Complete the TAP Application, available from:
- The confirmation page upon completion of your FAFSA OR
- The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website – use your PIN (personal identification number) provided by HESC when filling out the TAP application.
- HESC Endowed code: 0175, HESC State code: 0174
Review the TAP policy for satisfactory academic progress to be sure you’re on track.
NYS Excelsior Program
The Excelsior Scholarship will provide free tuition, up to $6,470 in 2017-18 (up to $5,500 paid by the state and any difference paid by the university), for undergraduates who are New York state residents and U.S. citizens attending New York state’s public colleges and universities. At Cornell, this includes the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (including the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, a shared school with the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business), the College of Human Ecology, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Any aid a student receives from other sources (e.g. TAP, Pell, scholarships, and Cornell grant aid) will first be deducted from the Excelsior Scholarship maximum award, with the student receiving any remaining award funds.
Eligibility includes New York state residency, income eligibility, and course-load requirements while enrolled. Students must graduate on time and live and work in New York state after graduation for as many years as they receive the award or the Excelsior award amount will revert to a loan that must be repaid. Students interested in the Excelsior Scholarship should read all of the eligibility criteria and post-graduation requirements posted here.
The deadline to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship for 2017-18 was July 21, 2017. You can contact the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Scholarship Unit at 888.697.4372 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the Excelsior Scholarship.
New York State Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA) Program
The Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA) Program will provide reduced tuition (up to $6,000, including the TAP award) to New York State residents who are U.S. citizens enrolled in undergraduate studies in a private college or university in New York state. At Cornell this includes the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, and the School of Hotel Administration at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Cornell has opted to participate in the ETA Program.
As a scholarship whose funding is from outside the university, the NYS ETA award will reduce the self-help component (loans and work-study) of your financial aid package before reducing the family contribution. HESC determines the amount of the ETA award, and if the cap of state funding is exceeded, a lottery or other system will be established to determine who receives awards, with preference being given to already enrolled students.
Eligibility includes New York state residency, income eligibility, and course-load requirements. Students must graduate on time and live and work in New York state after graduation for as many years as they receive the award or the ETA award amount will revert to a loan that must be repaid. Students interested in the ETA program should read all of the eligibility criteria and post-graduation requirements posted here.
You can contact the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Scholarship Unit at 888.697.4372 or email@example.com with questions about ETA.
NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program
As a partner of the State University of New York, undergraduate students who are New York State residents enrolled in STEM fields in one of Cornell University’s two participating New York State contract colleges (College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and College of Human Ecology) are eligible to participate in the NYS STEM Incentive Program.
Applicants must complete and submit the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program Web Supplement by August 15. Eligible students must have been admitted and submitted an enrollment deposit to begin study at a participating school in Fall 2015.
To be eligible for the NYS STEM tuition scholarship, you must enroll beginning with the fall term following your high school graduation.
How much is the award?
Recipients shall receive an annual award for full-time study equal to the annual tuition charged to NYS resident students attending an undergraduate program at the State University of New York (for 2016-17: $6,470), or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. The STEM award will be reduced by the amount of any other tuition-only assistance awards received.
I am eligible for need-based financial aid at Cornell. How will the NYS STEM Incentive Program scholarship affect my financial aid package from Cornell?
As a scholarship whose funding is from outside the university, the NYS STEM tuition scholarship will reduce the self-help component (loans and work-study) of your financial aid package, but will not reduce the family contribution. If all the self-help support in your award is cancelled, in some cases, the Cornell grant aid may need to be reduced or cancelled as well.
For additional information, please review the NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program website for details about the program. Students can also contact the Scholarship Unit at 888.697.4372 with questions about the scholarship.
Scholarships or tuition benefits from outside private and non-profit institutions or organizations are another way to help finance your undergraduate education.
Important to Note:
Outside scholarships or tuition benefits will reduce the self-help component (loans and work component) of your financial aid package, but will not reduce the family contribution. If all the self-help support in your award is cancelled, in some cases, the Cornell grant aid may need to be reduced or cancelled as well. However, if your Cornell grant is reduced due to an outside scholarship, we can reimburse some or all of these funds if you have additional education expenses that would otherwise be awarded in loan. Review the Outside Award Grant Reimbursement Request for requirements.
Any resources raised through crowdsourcing will be treated as outside scholarship funds and will not reduce the family contribution.
Scholarship checks received by our office will be divided equally between fall and spring semesters, unless otherwise indicated in writing by the donor. It’s important to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment of any outside scholarships you receive, so the appropriate adjustments can be made.
Scholarship checks should be sent to:
Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment
P.O. Box 752
Ithaca, NY 14851
Please do not send photocopies of checks to this address.
The list below can help you start your search for outside scholarships:
- Career One Stop
- Educators for Fair Consideration – Scholarship list for immigrant/undocumented students
- My Documented Life – scholarships and information for undocumented students
- School Soup
- ROTC : Air Force , Navy , Army
If you will be receiving VA benefits, we will need to receive a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. Please submit it to our office via Secure Online Upload or fax to 607.255.6329.
Current students receiving 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon benefits do not need to resubmit the Yellow Ribbon application or Certificate of Eligibility to apply for benefits each year. The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment will contact you via email in early spring to request information regarding your VA benefit eligibility for the following academic year.
Important Note about Billing:
All VA benefits that you are receiving will appear in your financial aid summary. Note that VA benefits paid directly to Cornell will appear as pending credit on the student’s bursar bill. VA benefits paid directly to the student will not appear as pending credit, even though they appear in the financial aid summary. Contact Ginger Guidi with any questions or if this creates a hardship.
Detailed information on the following federal veteran programs can be found at:http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/
- Post-9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33
- Yellow Ribbon Program – Supplement to Post-9/11 (read the below section)
- Montgomery GI Bill – Chapter 30
- Survivors & Dependents Assistance Program – Chapter 35
- Montgomery GI Bill – Selective Reserves – Chapter 1606
- Montgomery GI Bill – Reserves Educational Assistance Program – Chapter 1607
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Veteran’s Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
New York State offers a variety of scholarships to veterans, which can be found at:https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/nys-grants-scholarships-awards/veterans-tuition-awards.html
- Veterans Tuition Awards
- Military Service Recognition Scholarship
- NYS Regents Award for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans
- Recruitment Incentive & Retention Program
Yellow Ribbon Benefits
The undergraduate and graduate degree-granting colleges of Cornell University participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the supplement to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefit. Under the program, Cornell and the VA will combine to provide the difference between the student’s Cornell tuition and the national cap on the benefit ($22,805.34 as of 8/1/2017).
Fall semester tuition in Arts & Sciences = $26,306
Fall Post-9/11 Tuition Benefits = $22,805.34
Fall Yellow Ribbon Benefits from Cornell = $1,750.33
Fall Yellow Ribbon Benefits from VA = $1,750.33
Spring semester tuition Arts & Sciences = $26,306
Spring Post-9/11 Tuition Benefits = $0
Spring Yellow Ribbon Benefits from Cornell = $13,153
Spring Yellow Ribbon Benefits from VA = $13,153
The tuition funds are sent directly to the school.
In addition, the VA will provide a monthly housing allowance for approximately 8 full months (spread out over 10 months). The benefit is paid at the rate of the Basic Housing Allowance for the zip code 14850, E-5 with dependent.
The VA also provides a book and supplies stipend of up to $1,000.
The housing allowance and the book stipend are sent directly to the student.
Important Note: All VA benefits that you are receiving will appear in your financial aid summary. VA benefits paid directly to Cornell will appear as pending credit on the student’s bursar bill. VA benefits paid directly to the student will not appear as pending credit, even though they appear in the financial aid summary. Contact Ginger Guidi with any questions or if this creates a hardship.
To apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program for undergraduates:
- Complete the Yellow Ribbon Program application
- Veterans who will be using their own benefits (not benefits transferred from a parent) must submit a copy of their DD214, Member 4.
- Submit materials along with a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to our office via Secure Online Upload or fax to 607.255.6329.
Source : finaid.cornell.edu
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