How to read Cornell's financial aid summary
Reading your financial aid summary
Financial aid summaries are mailed to admitted students starting in mid-December. To make sure you get the best information possible, be sure to complete the FAFSA anytime after October 1st so we have a complete picture of what need-based aid is available to you. Our FAFSA code is 001856.
To view your financial aid online, or determine if we are missing information required to create your financial aid log in to your admitted student portal.
Your financial aid summary is based on the information we have in your application and your FAFSA. It will look like this:
The information contained in your financial aid summary includes
- Customized for you. If any of your application or FAFSA information changes we will send you a revised summary.
- Estimated Total Direct Cost. These are the charges that we consider as a part of your student bill. It does not consider costs like travel, books, and personal expenses that you will pay as they come up.
- Grant and Scholarship Eligibility. These are the awards that help you pay for your tuition and will be subtracted from (2) above automatically by our billing office.
- Direct Net Cost. This is the total of (2) - (3) and is what you will pay the college out of pocket if you do not choose to take out any loans to pay for college.
- Estimated Student Loan Eligibility. This details the optional loans you can choose to take out based on the need identified in your FAFSA. Whether you accept the loans or not is your choice, but it's important to let us know if you choose to decline your loans. If you complete and submit the loan paperwork, the net loan amount will be subtracted from (2) above automatically by our billing office and be reflected on your student bill.
- Estimated Out of Pocket Cost (including loans). This is the amount we expect you will need to pay directly. You may choose to use personal or family savings to cover this cost or work while you're going to school to pay this amount.
- Work-Study Estimate. Depending on your need you may be eligible for federal work-study. This allows you to work at a job on campus. Your earnings are based on the number of hours you work up to the award amount and this money is paid directly to you through bank transfer to a personal account. You are responsible for applying it to whatever bills you have.
- Evaluate Your Costs. Sometimes it's helpful to look at things another way—this section of your summary re-frames the information already provided by semester terms.
- Paying for Cornell. There are a variety of options for how to pay your college bill. This section is meant to give you as much information as possible to help you make plans and budget. Our office is also available to help answer any questions that you have about your bill.