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How is financial need determined?
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Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid


The amount of financial assistance a family needs each year is determined by the following formula:


Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need


Estimated costs include:


  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing (standard double-room rate)
  • Dining (Bear Traditional meal plan)
  • Books and supplies
  • Health-related expenses
  • Travel and miscellaneous


Income, assets, family size, and the number of undergraduate children in college are all considered when calculating the amount a family can contribute. If parents are separated or not married, Cornell reviews each one’s financial information. Usually, each parent is expected to contribute, and that expectation continues throughout the student's undergraduate years.


After deducting what the family can pay from the total cost to attend, a student's financial need is determined. Financial need may be met with a combination of work, loan, and grant.


The video below provides an overview of Cornell's need-based financial aid program.

Cornell Financial Aid Overview

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