Cornell University Tuition and Fees

Cornell University Tuition and Fees

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    By Susan Guillory

    (Last Updated – 06/2023)

    Cornell University is a private, not-for-profit Ivy League research university located in Ithaca, New York. Degrees offered range from bachelor’s to doctorates. This post will guide you through Cornell tuition, admissions requirements, Cornell acceptance rate, financial aid statistics, popular majors, and more.

    Total Cost of Attendance

    Founded in 1865, Cornell University has a long list of “firsts”: it had the first professorships in the United States for American history, American literature, and musicology, and the first four-year schools for hotel administration and for industrial and labor relations. Cornell awarded students the first journalism degree and the first veterinary science degree, and much more.

    Cornell University tuition for the 2022-23 academic year was $63,200. That’s up slightly from the year before, as you’ll see from these previous Cornell tuition figures:

    •  2021-2022: $61,015

    •  2020-2021: $59,282

    •  2019-2020: $57,222

    Current on-campus room and board (2022-23): is $16,988 compared to:

    •  2021-2022: $16,396

    •  2020-2021: $15,756

    •  2019-2020: $15,246

    For the 2022-2023 school year, additional expenses are:

    •  Books and supplies: $1,000

    •  Other on-campus expenses: $2,008

    Total expenses, on campus, are $83,196, a 3.6% increase over the previous year.

    Financial Aid

    Cornell University is need blind during the admissions process, which means that a student’s ability to pay is not considered as part of the acceptance process. This can help students from lower- and middle-income families who can’t otherwise afford the cost of Cornell.

    In the 2020-21 academic year, 58% of full-time beginning undergraduates received some sort of financial aid. More specifically:

    •  Grants or scholarship aid: 50% received these funds with the average award being $52,674

    •  Federal grants: 18% received them with an average award of $7,162

    •  Pell grants: 18% received them with an average award of $5,234

    •  Other federal grants: 9% received them with an average award of $3,980

    •  State or local: 14% received them with an average award of $3,540

    •  Institutional: 48% received them with an average award of $50,341

    •  Student loan aid: 27% received aid with an average award of $8,585

    •  Federal student loans: 26% received aid with an average award of $3,924

    •  Other student loans: 16% received aid with an average award of $8,357

    Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.

    The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:

    Recommended: Scholarship Search – College Scholarships Finder Tool

    •  Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.

    •  Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.

    •  Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.

    •  Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.

    Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.

    You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:

    •  US Department of Education – Search for grants from colleges and universities by state

    •  College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) – A global college scholarship application used by select institutions to award financial aid

    Recommended: The Differences Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

    Private Student Loans

    Sixteen percent of Cornell University students received “other” student loans (not federal) with an average amount of $8,357. Cornell provides information about private student loans but does not provide specifics.

    Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.

    What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.

    Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.

    If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.

    Recommended: Guide to Private Student Loans

    Projected 4-Year-Degree Price

    At the 2022-23 tuition of $63,200, four years at Cornell equals $252,800. This does not account for increases in tuition. Total expenses for a student are $83,196. The average for a four-year private institution is currently $57,570, making Cornell 45% more expensive.

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    Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

    Cornell University tuition for the 2022-23 academic year was $63,200 plus:

    •  Books and supplies: $1,000

    •  Other on-campus expenses: $2,008

    Graduate Tuition and Fees

    In the 2022-23 academic year, graduate-level tuition was $29,500 with fees of $519.

    The average graduate school cost is $23,130, putting Cornell University 30% above the average. There are graduate loans available to help with these costs.

    Cost per Credit Hour

    Those who want to earn college credit without enrolling in a degree program can study at Cornell part-time for a cost of $1,680 per credit hour.

    Campus Housing Expenses

    Costs for 2022-23

    Cornell campus housing cost $16,988 in 2022-23. The university provides the names of neighborhoods to consider for apartment living and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,495. A two-bedroom apartment averages $1,850 per month and a studio apartment averages $1,310. It’s important to note that when renting an apartment, the lease will typically be for a full year instead of just the academic year. Check out this resource to learn more about off-campus housing.

    Cornell University Acceptance Rate

    Fall 2022

    In fall 2022, 71,164 students applied with 5,168 accepted. So, the Cornell acceptance rate is 7.3%.

    Admission Requirements

    Along with an undergraduate application, Cornell University requires official transcripts, a counselor recommendation, two teacher recommendations, and a mid-year report. Through 2024, Cornell has suspended SAT/ACT requirements.

    Deadlines for 2022-23 were November 1 for early decisions and January 2 for regular decisions. You can apply to Cornell University here .

    SAT and ACT Scores

    Cornell University has extended its policy of having no SAT/ACT requirements through the 2024 application process. For fall 2022, 43% of first-time undergraduates submitted SAT scores while 17% submitted ACT scores. These are the 25th and 75th percentile scores:


    25th Percentile

    75th Percentile

    SAT Evidence-Based



    SAT Math



    ACT Composite



    Graduation Rate

    Cornell graduation rate for the fall 2016 cohort is follows:

    •  6 years: 95%

    Post-Graduation Median Earnings

    Median earnings for Cornell graduates total $98,321. When compared to the national average of four-year educational institutions of $55,260, Cornell graduates’ earnings are 90% higher.

    Bottom Line

    Cornell University offers an exceptional education and rigorous academic programs that allow graduates to earn significantly more than the national average. Cornell tuition is higher than average, but the university is need blind during the admissions process and provides generous grants and scholarships to about half of the incoming first-year students. Cornell acceptance rates are low, however, so getting in may be the biggest challenge.

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    Photo credit: iStock/Rebecca Todd

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