Cornell University is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. The Ivy League college is situated in Ithaca and boasts one of the finest campuses anywhere, set in an area of stunning natural beauty in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The university believes in fostering initiative, integrity and excellence and has a mission to “discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge; and promote a culture of broad inquiry.”
From the time of its founding in 1865 Cornell has welcomed diversity amongst its students. It operates a need-blind admission policy. It is committed to admitting students with intellectual potential, strength of character and love of learning, regardless of financial background. To this end it offers a very generous financial aid package with individualized financial aid packages offered to students with demonstrable financial need.
Financial need is assessed as the difference between the costs of attending Cornell, and the expected family contribution. There is no requirement for any student from a family with an income below $75,000 to take out student loans. Additionally those with family incomes of between $75,000 and $120,000 have annual student loan caps set at $3000. Cornell has even eliminated the need for any parental contribution for students whose families have an income below $60,000 and net assets of less than $100,000.
Family contribution levels are assessed based on a variety of things which include the size of the family, the number of other children pursuing undergraduate studies, income, assets and unique circumstances. Students are also expected to contribute to the cost of their education through self help. Summer earnings of $2370 are expected from freshman, with the amount rising each academic year. Students who have their own assets which were not provided by parents are expected to contribute 25%.
Financial aid packages are made up of federal and state grants, federal work study, opportunities offered businesses, Cornell grants, and Cornell scholarships. If the student has an outside scholarship this will be first used to reduce the student self help contribution and work study program, and any loans. In keeping with other Ivy League schools Cornell does not offer merit or athletic based scholarships, preferring to concentrate resources on needs based aid.
Cornell University offers a financial aid package that allows the college to open its doors to any student with the academic talent to gain admittance. Those from low income backgrounds have the opportunity to graduate with either no debt or low student debt, thus making it a more affordable option than many less expensive colleges.