Costs & Affordability

A shared investment

Our bottom line is this: if you and Cornell are a good fit for one another, we'll invest in you. Through our attractive merit scholarship and need-based financial assistance programs, we remain confident that we can make it financially feasible for any qualified student to enroll at Cornell.

But to allow us to offer the kinds of experiences that mark a true investment in your future, we also ask for a full commitment from your family, according to their resources. And expect that we'll ask for a commitment from you, as well, to pursue campus employment opportunities or reasonable loans, if necessary.

We believe that this shared investment will provide incalculable returns many times over the initial cost.

How do our costs compare?

Measured against other institutions offering a similar quality of education, we believe our costs compare quite well. We also hear from many families who initially believed a private liberal arts education was out of their reach. After factoring in financial assistance and the fact that 93 percent of Cornell graduates complete their degrees in four years, many find Cornell in line with their less-expensive options. We encourage you to use our Net Price Calculator to estimate the cost for you to attend Cornell and to contact us if you have any questions.

In addition, Cornell has been ranked highly for its overall value by a number of national ratings organizations:

  • The 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges named Cornell one of the 20 "Best Buy Schools" among private colleges. Cornell has received this honor in four of the past five editions.
  • Kiplinger placed Cornell on their "Best Values in Private Colleges" 2011-2012 list.
  • U.S. News and World Report included Cornell in its 2011 "Great Schools, Great Prices" list.

Financial Assistance Office

To apply for financial assistance or learn more about ways to make your Cornell education more affordable, please visit our Financial Assistance Office website.