Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.69
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 8, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Cornell University
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Lynette Chappell-Williams
Associate VP
Workforce Diversity & Inclusion
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

The Public Service Center currently has federal TRIO program with Upward Bound.
http://www.cornell.edu/outreach/programs/program view.cfm?ProgramID=1421

The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives also has a TRIO program.

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

The University provides what is known as need-based aid. This means that a calculation based on the information from FASFA and the CSS Profile is used to create a financial aid award for students. The University also has a policy for parent contributions based on assets and income. If a family has income below $60,000 and assets less than $100,000, that student can receive a package without a parent contribution and without a loan in the package. If the income is slightly higher, $75,000 and assets valued at more than $100,000, that family may be required to provide a parent contribution, but there will still be no loan in the package. And if the family income is between $75,000 and $125,000, the loan is capped at $3,000 in the package. All of these options make Cornell a very affordable institution for our neediest students.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

One program that works with low-income students to prepare for college is the Pre-Freshman Summer program. While not every student enrolled in the program is from a low-income background many of the students are. This program is designed to be a bridge program for students to aid in the preparation and transition and from High School to College. This is a requirement for students enrolled in Cornell through the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) for low-income NYS residents. These two programs are administered in conjunction with the seven undergraduate colleges and schools through the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives. NYS residents from low-income backgrounds who are considered academically underprepared are selected for the program and through financial and academic support are given admission to Cornell. The Prefreshmen Summer Program helps to prepare them for the academic year.

We have conducted financial aid application workshops in NYC the last 2 years, and have plans for travel to California in the fall of 2011.

http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/types-aid, http://www.sce.cornell.edu/ss/programs.php?v=PREFRESH&s=Overview
http://www.cornell.edu/outreach/programs/program view.cfm?ProgramID=1421

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:


Cornell has made the commitment to students who demonstrate financial need by meeting that need with one or more financial aid components. Each aid application is carefully reviewed and a specific aid package is designed to meet each students' particular need.

Building on a long history of providing opportunity and access to students regardless of economic circumstances, Cornell also has several financial aid initiatives to help ease the financial burden for undergraduate students and their parents.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:


Cornell has implemented several financial initiatives as part of our commitment to provide need-based aid and make Cornell affordable for admitted students.

Parent Contribution Initiative
Families with a total family income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution. Total family income equals adjusted gross income for the most recent tax year, plus any business or other losses, as well as any untaxed income. In cases of divorce or separation, we calculate total family income for each parent and add them together.

Loan Initiatives
Cornell is committed to keeping your student loans at a reasonable level. Need-based loans included in aid packages are capped based on total family income. Our loan initiatives are outlined in the chart below.

Total family income Loan in aid package
Under $75,000 annually

Between $75,000 and $120,000 annually

Above $120,000 annually

Total family income equals adjusted gross income for the most recent tax year, plus any business or other losses, as well as any untaxed income. In cases of divorce or separation, we calculate total family income for each parent and add them together.

Award Match Initiative
To improve Cornell’s competitiveness in recruiting and enrolling undergraduate students, Cornell will commit to increasing grant aid by matching the family contribution components and lower loan level of financial aid offers from other Ivy schools. We will also strive to match the family contribution components and lower loan levels of financial aid offers from Stanford, Duke, and MIT.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Through the NYS Opportunity Programs (EOP/HEOP), the Director travels across NYS recruiting at college fairs and high school visits discussing these programs with prospective high school students. The office works collaboratively with the Undergraduate Admissions Office to coordinate trips, materials, and outreach across the state.


A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:


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

Total Cost to Attend
Estimated costs include:

Tuition and fees
Housing (standard double-room rate)
Dining (Bear Traditional meal plan)
Books and supplies
Travel and miscellaneous
For the most current costs, click here.

Family Contribution
Income, assets, family size, and the number of children in college are all considered when calculating the amount your 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 your undergraduate years.

Cornell may make exceptions to this if a family has special circumstances.

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

We try hard to be consistent in the way we consider financial circumstances from year to year. If a family's financial circumstances remain relatively unchanged throughout your time at Cornell, a predictable financial aid package each year can be expected.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.