An advisor might be the first person to whom a student turns to with concerns about his or her upcoming courses or GPA earned.  Quite often the student's concern might be linked to financial matters.  If a student came to Cornell on financial assistance, he or she may become stressed if they fear losing that support.

Here are some basic answers to common questions and resources to which you can direct the student.  Remember, calling ahead to help the student set up an appointment or to find out if someone is in their office is a nice step to take to assist your advisee.

1. The first resource to use is the link to financial support Cornell has available to offer students.  This may help your students learn more about their own scholarship or other ones they might be able to receive.

2. If the student he/she is required to maintain X GPA to maintain a certain scholarship, consult this list.

a. Decisions about whether a student remains eligible for a certain scholarship are made at the end of each year.  So, if a student's GPA falls below that point in the middle of year, assure the student that he/she has the rest of the year to bring it back up.  He/she should remain focused on their current block.  "One day at a time".  If the student can raise the GPA by the end of the year,the student will be able to keep his/her current scholarship.

b. If the GPA does not get back to the level required for initial scholarship, but is within .25 of that required GPA, the student is given ONE probationary year to raise it.  So, a first-year student who is within .25 GPA of the required GPA has until the end of his/her sophomore year to raise it back to required level before he/she will lose the scholarship.

c. If at the end of the probationary year, or the 2nd time the student falls below the required GPA at the end of a year, the financial aid office will often try to offer a scholarship one level down (3.25 GPA instead of 3.5 GPA).  This may be for a slightly reduced amount of financial assistance.  The financial aid office can then meet individually with the student to tell him/her whether any other type of aid (loans, work study,etc.) might be available to make up the difference.  

d. If the GPA is substantially below the required GPA and is not likely to reach a level appropriate to receive any scholarship, then the student will want to meet with financial aid right away to discuss options.   Again, there may be other options such as work-study hours, loans, outside scholarships,etc.  He/she could also consult with resources at home (churches, organizations to which parents belong,etc.).

3.  If the student says he/she is required to be X major to receive a scholarship and the student no longer wish to be that major, consult this list.

a.  Explore the reasons for no longer wanting that major.  Can the student double-major?  Is it difficulty with advisor and would switching an advisor in that department help the student? 

b.  Does the major to which they would like to switch have a similar scholarship?  Example: switching from art to theatre; is there any chance the student could get theatre scholarship to replace art scholarship?


If the student is asking about the number of courses they need to be considered full-time, this involves a variety of areas.

For the purposes of billing tuition:  Cornell will bill the students for an entire semester if he/she is enrolled in either 3 or 4 courses.  This is because THREE courses are considered full-time in terms of enrollment status.  

If the student is enrolled in one course (block) only, he/she will be billed 1/3 of a semester's worth of tuition.  The student will be billed 2/3 semester if he/she is enrolled in 2 courses

For residence halls and billing purposes:  if the student lives in the hall for even one block of a semester, he/she will be charged room and board for the entire semester. If there are questions about living in the halls after that one course is completed, have the student contact the Residence Life office to discuss options.  Of course if they are attending only one block, they may prefer to live off campus.

There are some cases in which a student will receive a refund or proration on their board (food/dining) if they are traveling with a Cornell course off-campus, but the student should check with the office of International & Off-Campus Studies to clarify this.

For the purposes of billing tuition:  Cornell will bill the students for an entire semester if he/she is enrolled in either 3 or 4 courses.  This is because THREE courses are considered .

For the purposes of receiving federal financial aid:  the student needs to be enrolled in at least TWO courses to be eligible to receive federal financial aid loans.  Grants may be received for only one course.

** If a student wishes to enroll for fewer than SEVEN courses, the student needs to petition the Academic Standings Committee.