Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions about International Financial Aid

Am I considered an international student?

  • Students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, do not have refugee/asylee status, or who are undocumented residents without DACA status are considered international students.

  • U.S. undocumented residents with DACA status are considered domestic students for financial aid purposes.

  • Applicants who have dual U.S. citizenship are not considered international students for financial aid purposes.

Is financial aid available to international students?

  • Cornell University provides needbased financial aid on a limited basis to a selected number of admitted international students who have applied for financial aid. We do not offer merit, athletic, or talent based aid to students.

What is the selection process for international financial aid?

  • Students entering Fall 2016: The process is need based, but in selecting which students will receive international aid, we also review again the admission application, including personal statement and college interest essays, and activities/honors listing. Thus international aid selection is a need-based process that also takes into consideration demographic and school information, as well as involvement, leadership, character, etc.

  • Students entering Fall 2017: Students who are admitted and demonstrate financial need will receive a financial aid package that meets 100% of their demonstrated financial need (Cornell University does not provide partial financial aid awards).

Is Cornell needblind for admission for international students?

  • Students entering Fall 2016: Admission consideration is need-blind, meaning that your ability to finance your education does not impact your admissions decision. Admitted students who have applied for international aid and have demonstrated financial need will be considered for any available funds.

  • Students entering Fall 2017: Admissions decisions for international applicants and undocumented applicants without DACA status will be need-aware. This means that they will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs.

Can I receive a merit or athletic scholarship?

  • All financial aid is needbased. We do not offer merit or athletic scholarships.

Are there loans available for international students?

  • 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.

Can I pay my bill in monthly installments?

  • The Cornell Installment Plan (CIP), is available to international students. The plan is administered by Higher One and enables students and their families to make interest‐free, monthly installments to cover each semester's tuition and expenses. You must self‐enroll each academic year. Enrollment must be done electronically at

Does the award match initiative apply to international students?

  • If you have been awarded financial aid by Cornell, we will commit to matching the award offered by another Ivy school, as well as need-based offers from Stanford, MIT, and Duke. International students who have not received financial aid from Cornell are not eligible for the award match.

Can I appeal my financial aid decision?

  • There is no appeal process for international applicants.

If I receive financial aid as a new student, am I guaranteed financial aid during my entire time at Cornell?

  • 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.

If I don’t receive financial aid when I am admitted, can I apply again once I am enrolled?

  • International applicants and undocumented applicants without DACA status who indicate on their applications that they will not be applying for financial aid (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who need financial assistance must apply for aid when they apply for admission.

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