Graduate Students

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Starting your financial aid application(s) early is a small step that can make a big difference.

How to Apply

At Cornell, university funded financial support for graduate and professional degree programs varies by college or school, field, and degree program:

  • Ninety-nine percent of Cornell’s Ph.D. students are fully funded to pursue their degrees through a combination of competitive internal and external fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. These awards are typically offered by graduate fields and departments at the time of admission - application requirements vary.
  • Research master’s, professional, and executive degree programs offer limited financial assistance. Availability, terms, and application requirements vary - for more information, please contact the individual graduate professional program.
  • All eligible U.S. students* seeking federal student loan funding for graduate or professional degree programs must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Learn More about how to apply.

*U.S. students include U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens with dual citizenship, and certain eligible non-citizens such as refugees or asylees. Undocumented students who attended and graduated from a U.S. high school, with or without DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status are not eligible for federal aid.

 

Graduate Student Loans

Cornell University participates in two federal student loan programs (U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens only), and certifies private education loan eligibility for graduate and professional degree candidates.

The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment processes student loans for most Cornell graduate degree candidates. Student loans for professional degree candidates are processed by professional school financial aid offices (Johnson, Law, VetMed).

To apply for a federal student loan (U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens only), complete the FAFSA form for the appropriate academic year, and:

Federal loan limits and eligibility requirements apply. Federal loan funding is not available to visiting or non-matriculated students or for less-than half-time enrollment (typically, fewer than 6 credits per semester).

Learn More about Federal Loans

To apply for a private education loan, submit a loan application directly to the private lender Bluebetof your choice using the lender’s online application process. Your private lender will then ask Cornell University to certify your eligibility electronically.

  • Eligibility criteria, interest rates, repayment terms, borrowing limits vary.
  • We recommend exhausting your William D. Ford Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility, before considering federal Graduate PLUS Loans or private education loans.
  • Evaluate your private education loan options carefully before applying – Cornell University does not recommend, prefer, or endorse any private lenders or loan products.
Learn More about Private Education Loans
 

Questions?

We’re here to help! If you have questions about student loan funding, please contact the appropriate Cornell University financial aid office:

 

2024-25 Graduate & Professional Estimated Costs of Attendance

Looking for estimated costs of attendance for graduate or professional degree programs? Please refer to the University Bursar’s Office Tuition Rates and Fees page to view current tuition rates for your program, as well as the table below for additional estimated costs of attendance used by your Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility for student loan funding:

Estimated Expense Annual Amount
Billed by Cornell*
Tuition Varies by Degree Program
Mandatory Fees** $660
Sub-Total, Billed BlueBet review
Not billed by Cornell*
Housing $12,296
Food $7,132
Books & Course Materials $2,650
Transportation $3,193
Personal Expenses $2,154
Sub-Total, Non-Billed $27,425
Total, Billed + Non-Billed Varies by Degree Program

* Expenses for housing, food, books, and other supplies may be billed or non-billed costs, depending on university housing plans and academic program.

** Includes a Student Activity Fee ($110) and a Health Fee ($550).

Estimated Expense Annual Amount
Billed by Cornell*
Tuition Varies by Degree Program
Mandatory Fees** $560
Sub-Total, Billed $560
Not billed by Cornell*
Housing $20,400
Food $7,132
Books & Course Materials $2,650
Transportation $1,190
Personal Expenses $2,326
Sub-Total, Non-Billed $33,698
Total, Billed + Non-Billed Varies by Degree Program

* Expenses for housing, food, books, and other supplies may be billed or non-billed costs, depending on university housing plans and academic program.

** Includes a Student Activity Fee ($110) and a Health Fee ($450).

Costs of Attendance Appeals

All graduate and professional students receiving university or student loan funding are assigned an annual estimated Cost of Attendance budget (COA). Your COA is a reasonable estimate of typical costs to attend for one academic year Bluebetand includes, but is not limited to: tuition and fees, books, course materials, supplies, and equipment, transportation, miscellaneous personal expenses, and living expenses (food and housing). Your COA includes both billed and non-billed costs, is used to determine your eligibility for certain types of funding, including federal and private education loans.

In some cases, your actual costs to attend may be greater than your estimated COA. To access additional loan funds, you may need to request a Cost of Attendance Increase (annual loan limits may still apply).

Learn More about Cost of Attendance Appeals