Cornell's Freeway Scholarship

Following the success of Cornell's Iowa Promise Scholarship, we've expanded our reach to include a guaranteed $30,000 scholarships to students attending Cornell from five surrounding states: those who could hop on a freeway for an easy trip to campus.

The goal of our Freeway Scholarship is to ensure a private college experience is accessible to as many students as possible. Without a lot of experience in how college systems and financial assistance programs work, many families don't realize that a private college experience is within their reach financially.

For students who thrive on personal attention, focused learning, and flexibility, a small private college might be where you will find the most personal success in completing your degree, discovering leadership opportunities, and building a lifelong network of friends and future colleagues. Your success is important to us, so we want to make sure that your best college experience is within reach for you.

Your first week on a campus of tens of thousands of students can be overwhelming. Cornell's first-year experience is dedicated to you, surrounding you with a support team of faculty and peers dedicated to your success. One Course At A Time is a method of learning that builds immediate connections—you get to know your classmates, which our students have termed “block friends,” right away because you’re in a class with no more than 24 other students for three and half weeks. In every class, you'll find that your professor will know your name, and engages with you, by the end of your first day of class. (This happens in every class you take here.) 

Who is eligible for Cornell’s Freeway Scholarship?

Residents of Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Kansas City, Kansas who are admitted to Cornell and attending college as a full-time residential student for the first time.

That’s it. Permanent residency in one of those locations qualifies first-year students for a minimum $30,000 Freeway Scholarship that is renewable for up to 4 years if you maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students transferring into Cornell from another institution qualify for a minimum $25,000 Freeway Scholarship that is also renewable.

Full-time status means that you attend at least three blocks (of four offered) every semester. Residential means that you will be required to live and dine on campus. First-year students are those who are not transferring college credit from another college to Cornell; if you have taken college credit while in high school, you still qualify for the scholarship. Transfer students will be entering Cornell College with 7 or more college credits from an accredited institution that they wish to apply toward their degree completion.

How do the costs compare between Cornell and your flagship state school?

Here’s how attending Cornell College compares to other institutions.

As a qualifying student, you will be awarded Cornell’s Freeway Scholarship upon admission, no other paperwork or testing is required. First-year student scholarships will be a minimum of $30,000. It is possible for high-achieving scholars and students engaging in the fine arts or esports to qualify for more than $30,000 in scholarships. Transfer student scholarships will be a minimum of $25,000 with the same options.

How do we get to our Cost of Attendance? Here's the cost of attendance breakdown. 

  Cornell University of IL, Urbana* University of MN, Twin Cities University of WI, Madison University of MO, Columbia University of NE, Lincoln
Cost of Attendance
$63,135 $35,607 $29,684 $27,530 $30,292 $26,316
Cornell's Freeway Scholarship
- $30,000 - - - - -
Your Cost
$33,135 $35,607 $29,684 $27,530 $30,292 $26,316
*In our cost research, first-year tuition at the University of IL, Urbana could range from $33,060 to $38,154; we used $35,607 as an average.

This puts an education at Cornell within $3250 of the average of these five flagships when you're awarded Cornell's Freeway Scholarship.

Living at Cornell also offers you the safety of a residential campus where your two-person room is within easy walking distance of class, athletics, and social activities. The average daily commute to class? About 5 minutes.

Your final financial aid award package will vary based on your individual need and circumstances. Our financial aid counselors are here to help you with any questions you might have about your financial aid summary.

Ready to find out more?  Email or call 319.895.4267