Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York, is a private, Ivy League research institution. As with other Ivy League schools, Cornell University costs can be quite high, although four of its schools, like the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, are part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. That means that New York residents can qualify for lower Cornell University tuition in those programs.
There’s more to the cost of attendance than the advertised tuition rates, and students looking at Cornell should take into account costs like on-campus housing, meal plans, and an allowance for books. Keep reading to find out more about Cornell University costs.
Cornell University Rankings and Profile
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education
- Acceptance Rate: 9%
- Graduation Rate: 94%
- US News & World Report Ranking: #17
- Times Higher Education Ranking: #22
Cornell University is considered one of the best schools in the United States. It is known for its rigorous academic programs, competitive admissions, and high-quality research. Cornell students can study a wide range of subjects, including agriculture, engineering, and architecture, and in its prestigious grad schools like Cornell Law School and Weill Cornell Medicine.
While Cornell University is an excellent school, it is also a very expensive university to attend. This is due to its private, Ivy League status and its location in Ithaca, New York, where the cost of living is relatively high. Students who are interested in attending Cornell should be prepared to pay high tuition costs or seek out need-based financial aid, merit scholarships, or other financial aid packages.
How Much Does Cornell University Cost?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the total cost of attendance at Cornell University was $80,287 for the 2021-2022 academic year. These annual costs include $61,015 for tuition, $1000 for books and supplies, and accommodation, with on-campus and off-campus housing both costing $16,396.
Cornell university Tuition, Fees, and Other Expenses
|Expense||Cornell University Cost|
|Cornell University Undergraduate In-State Tuition and Fees||$61,015|
|Cornell University Undergraduate Out-of-State Tuition and Fees||$61,015|
|Cornell Unviersity Undergraduate In-State Tuition and Fees (State Contract Colleges)||$41,958|
|Cornell University Graduate In-State Tuition and Fees||$30,006|
|Cornell University Graduate Out-of-State Tuition and Fees||$30,006|
|Cornell University Books and Supplies||$1,000|
Cornell University’s tuition rate at its endowed colleges is higher than many other colleges and universities in the US. Undergraduate students enrolled in one of Cornell’s state contract schools benefit from lower annual costs. These schools include the Cornell SC Johnson College of Buisness, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Financial aid opportunities can help reduce the cost of attendance, and prospective students from low-income families can qualify for substantial need-based financial aid through state and federal grants.
Cornell University Living Expenses
|Expenses||Cornell University Cost|
|Cornell University On-Campus Room and Board||$16,396|
|Cornell University Off-Campus Room and Board||$16,396|
The cost of living at Cornell University is higher than at some other schools because it is located in Ithaca, New York. The state and city are both relatively expensive, and this affects the living expenses at Cornell University. On-campus housing is expensive because the university is private, but an off-campus apartment is not any cheaper.
Cost of Living in Ithaca, New York
Because Ithaca is in New York state, one of the most expensive states in the US, living there is costly. The city of Ithaca is a desirable place to live, situated between two college campuses, home to a number of waterfalls and gorges, and full of eclectic stores and restaurants. Education, healthcare, and retail trade are the top three industries in Ithaca.
According to PayScale, the median rent in Ithaca is $1,216 per month, which is at the national average. The cost of food is six percent less than the national average, but utilities and medical expenses are five and nine percent higher, respectively. Overall, living costs in Ithaca are one percent more expensive than the national average.
Cornell University Financial Aid Statistics
Cornell University students can qualify for various types of financial aid, such as federal and state grants, work-studies, loans, and scholarships. Cornell Grants are institutional grants that are available to eligible undergraduate students. Additionally, many private individuals and organizations also offer need- and merit-based scholarships to Cornell students. Students can also finance their education through private or federal student loans.
According to NCES, 1,872 incoming first-year students received an average of $52,674 each in grant or scholarship aid in the 2021-2022 academic year. Institutional grants averaging $50,341 were given to 1,569 students. This means that 50 percent of first-year students received grants and scholarships.
Aside from grants and scholarships, 881 incoming undergraduate students were private or federal loan recipients. These 881 students represent 27 percent of their class, and they received an average of $8,585 in student loans each.
Does Cornell University Accept FAFSA?
Yes, Cornell University accepts FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is used to apply for federal and state grants, as well as other need-based scholarship applications. FAFSA can also help lenders determine your eligibility for federal or private student loan funds. US citizens and certain non-citizens can get federal grants if they meet the financial aid eligibility criteria, like demonstrating need.
Does Cornell University Accept GI Bill Benefits?
Yes, Cornell University accepts GI Bill benefits. The GI Bill was first introduced in 1944 as a way to help veterans of World War II pay for their education. The program has since been expanded to include veterans of other wars and their spouses and children. The Post-9/11 GI Bill funds veteran education depending on the amount of time they served.
Is Cornell University a Yellow Ribbon School?
Yes, Cornell University is a Yellow Ribbon school. The Yellow Ribbon program is a federal initiative that helps veterans and their families pay for college. Participating schools agree to provide financial assistance to eligible students, to cover the gap between the full tuition cost and what is covered by the GI Bill.
Cornell University Scholarships and Grants
- Cornell University Grant. Students who qualify for financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment may receive Cornell Grants. There is no established income range or family contribution, and the amount of money awarded depends on each student’s situation.
- Endowed Scholarships. These scholarships have been created through the generosity of Cornell alumni and friends. Each scholarship has its own eligibility requirements, which are determined by the donor, and students will need to fill out an application form for each individual scholarship.
- Office of Academic Diversity Initiative (OADI) Funding. The Office of Academic Diversity Initiative (OADI) provides funding to low-income individuals for a variety of programs and activities that promote diversity and academic excellence at Cornell.
- Humanities Scholars Program. Two post-doctoral associate positions, which are one-year programs, are available in the Humanities Scholar program for Cornell PhD students who are working in the humanities. The salary given to the recipients is $58,000.
- Laidlaw Scholars Program at Cornell. The Laidlaw Scholars Program at Cornell is for outstanding undergraduate students who want to pursue public service careers. This program is administered by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Relations.
Cornell University Average Net Price by Income
|Family Income||Cornell University Net Price|
|$0 to $30,000||$1,862|
|$30,001 to $48,000||$1,953|
|$48,001 to $75,000||$4,035|
|$75,001 to $110,000||$20,449|
|$110,001 and up||$48,400|
Net price is the cost of attendance minus the amount of financial aid you receive. Cost of attendance reflects tuition, fees, books, materials, room, and other routine costs. To calculate net price, subtract any scholarships, grants, or other financial aid you receive from this cost. The result will be your net price, or out-of-pocket cost.
How to Calculate Cornell University Cost
The cost of attending Cornell University includes the estimated total cost of everything a full-time student will need to live and study on campus for one academic year. This includes tuition, fees, books, room, meals, transportation, and personal expenses. Health insurance is not included in the cost of attendance.
To calculate the Cornell University cost, add together the amounts for tuition, books, fees, housing, meals, commuting, and miscellaneous expenses. This will give you the total cost. Subtract any funding sources that you are eligible for, including grants, scholarships, and private and federal student loans. The final result will be your actual cost for attending Cornell.
Is the Cost of College Too High?
Yes, attending college in the United States is incredibly expensive, and Cornell University is no different, as the total cost of attendance for the 2022-2023 academic year is $80,287. However, like most schools, there are many financial aid funding sources available, so you may only need to pay a fraction of sticker price. You should check the net price table above and do your research to determine your financial aid eligibility.
Cornell University Student Debt
- Students Receiving Federal Loans: 38%
- Median Debt After Graduation: $14,500
- Average Monthly Loan Payment: $145
If you are considering a federal or private loan to finance your education at Cornell University, you should first consider whether you will be able to afford the monthly loan payments after graduation. Cornell graduates with student debt pay an average of $145 per month, which can add up when you consider the expenses you’ll encounter with full-time employment, like rent, a car payment, and medical expenses.
The median debt for Cornell graduates is $14,500, which is lower than the national average of $36,667. Still, any amount of student debt can be a burden, especially as interest grows, so it is important to consider whether you will be able to afford monthly loan payments. Ideally, you should aim to accrue less student loan debt that your anticipated entry-level job salary.
Cornell University Tuition Payment Plans
Cornell University offers several tuition payment options to assist students and their families in paying for school. The plans allow you to divide the annual payment for tuition into monthly payments instead. The bursar’s office accepts a variety of payment options, including electronic payments, wire transfers for international students, and checks.
Cornell University Graduate Salaries and Outcomes
The median salary for Cornell University graduates is $91,176, which is higher than the national average of $47,891. Salaries will, of course, depending on a student’s course of study, but enrolling in a prestigious school like Cornell can come with great networking opportunities. Cornell boasts a 95 percent graduation rate, which is much higher than the national average.
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How to Save Money in College
- Apply for financial aid. First, make sure to apply for financial aid. If you are eligible for financial aid, you can save a significant amount of money on your Cornell University costs. Be sure to do your research and apply for everything you qualify for.
- Live off-campus. If you live off-campus, you can save money on room and board. Living with two or three companions will proportionally reduce your living expenses. Look for shared apartments and affordable housing. You can also save money–and eat a more balanced diet–by cooking your own meals instead of getting a meal plan.
- Buy used textbooks. Book cost can really break the bank, especially in textbook-heavy subjects like the sciences. You can save a lot of money by buying used books online or at campus and used bookstores. You might also be able to borrow copies of textbooks from the library or friends.
- Get a part-time job. You can offset some of your university costs by working a part-time job. You can search for a part-time job at a private establishment or check with the financial aid office to see if you are eligible to work on campus.
- Take advantage of discounts. Student discounts are one of the most fun parts of being a college student. With your student ID, you can get discounts at campus establishments, local businesses, and big online vendors. Many travel agencies and websites also offer special airfare rates for students.
Is Cornell University Affordable?
No, Cornell University is not affordable without financial aid. The good news is that nearly half of all Cornell students are eligible for financial aid, whether through scholarships, grants, or loans. Overall, Cornell University is an excellent school that offers its students a world-class education and good career outcomes. The high cost of attendance can be a deterrent, but it’s worth it to see if tehre’s a financial aid package to make the school affordable for you.
Cornell University Cost FAQ
Cornell was the first university in the United States to award a doctorate in electrical and industrial engineering. It was also the world’s first institution to grant degrees in journalism, and the faculty includes 50 Nobel laureates. Cornell’s College of Agriculture is also considered one of the best agriculture schools in the country.
The student-to-faculty ratio at Cornell University is 9:1. It means that Cornell University is offering its students ample opportunity for one-on-one interactions with top minds in their field. This personal attention allows students to get the most out of their education and achieve their full potential.
At Cornell University, first-time bachelor’s degree students have a graduation rate of 94 percent. This means that the University does a good job of keeping its students enrolled, successful, and on track to graduate.
Yes, Cornell University can be considered a rich kid school. Although the university does not consider financial need when making admissions decisions, the annual median earnings of Cornell student families is over $150,000. This figure shows that the large portion of the students at Cornell University come from very rich families, although this number is balanced in part by the fact that nearly half of all Cornell students receive financial aid to attend.
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