How to Pay for Cornell

With many highly ranked programs and 14 colleges and schools in the United States and in Qatar, this Ivy League has been welcoming talented students since 1868. If you have your sights set on Cornell, think about not only how to woo the admissions committee, but also how to pay for your degree, whether it’s an undergraduate degree or one from one of Cornell’s various graduate programs, from business to medicine.

How much does it cost to attend Cornell?

Given many of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges receive funding from New York State, the tuition you pay will depend on whether or not you’re from New York. For the 2015-2016 school year, resident students paid $32,976 while non-residents paid $49,116. With nearly $20,000 in additional expenses estimates, resident students can expect a total yearly cost of close to $49,354 ($65,494 for non-residents).

Students in advanced degree programs don’t see these tuition differences. Law students paid $59,900 for 2015-2016 tuition and an estimated total of $80,132 for the year. Johnson Business School at Cornell charged $59,500 for tuition, and total expenses were estimated to be $84,960.

Similar to many other medical schools in the U.S., first and second-year students at Weill Cornell pay a bit less in total costs. For the 2016-2017 school year, all years will pay $52,50 in tuition. With additional expenses, however, first and second-year students pay closer to $80,000, while third and fourth-year students (whose school year is 11 or 12 months, as opposed to 10 months for underclassmen) pay closer to $90,000. These differences have to do mostly with additional living costs associated with paying living expenses for one or two more months.

What kind of financial aid does Cornell offer?

Cornell undergraduates with demonstrated financial need will be considered for grants and named scholarships awarded by the University. In the 2014-2015 school year, 96% of aid applicants received a Cornell University Grant, and students need not submit anything beyond their financial aid application to be considered.

Those students eligible for a Cornell University Grant will also be considered for an Endowed Scholarship. Similarly, students are considered automatically with their financial aid application, but Cornell encourages submission of the Endowed Scholarship Questionnaire.

In addition to federal grant programs, resident students will be considered for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program is their family taxable income is less than $80,001 and residents of New York. Those students studying STEM subjects at Cornell’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences or College of Human Ecology should consider applying for the New York State STEM Incentive Program, which requires a separate application.

Cornell law students can apply to be considered for Institutional Scholarships, which are awarded to nearly 50% of students. The law school also encourages students to research external scholarships offered by various agencies and industry groups to secure additional funding. For the remaining expenses of becoming a lawyer, students can look to federal and private student loans.

Johnson MBA students will be considered for a portion of the $1.5 million in merit-based funding that Johnson awards each year to nearly 30% of students. In addition to merit scholarships, students may also apply to the Park Leadership Fellows Program. Twenty-five Park Fellows are selected each year and receive not only a full-tuition fellowship but also partake in a two-year leadership development program.

Weill Cornell students will be considered for various scholarships and grants only if they demonstrate financial need, and the college reports that 77% of students receive financial aid.

What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at Cornell?

Students at Weill Cornell Medical College will think about this much differently that those in other programs, as Cornell’s medical school is located in the center of Manhattan – a much different environment than Ithaca, New York, where the main campus is located.

If you’re at the medical school, chances are you’ll save on expenses such as car ownership (most will tell you not to bother with a car on the Upper East Side), but likely spend more on rent and discretionary costs like dining out and entertainment.

If you’re an undergraduate, business, or law student, on the other hand, you might be spending more money on weekend escapes, given Ithaca’s relative isolation if you’re used to a bigger city. On-campus parking is limited and expensive, but available if you really want a car. Whether or not you plan to bring a car, consider how you might spend your weekends and whether that deserves an extra line item in your annual budget.

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