Cornell University Scholarships for International Students

Located in the city of Ithaca in New York, Cornell University is a private institution of higher education that is also a member of the prestigious Ivy League of universities in the United States. The university was initially founded in 1865 and has grown to become one of the best universities on the East Coast of the United States. Additionally, the university currently has a student population of more than 24,000 students.

Academically, the university is comprised of seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate schools. Each of these divisions has a degree of autonomy so they have specific admission processes, academic programs as well as different funding systems. Satellite campuses are also operated in New York City as well as in Qatar. With an alumni network of more than 250,000 living individuals, the university receives large amounts of funding from alumni donors. In this article, we present some of the key funding and scholarships by Cornell University for international students.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

Does Cornell University give scholarships to international students?

International students are eligible for numerous scholarship and financial aid opportunities. The financial process consists of a need-aware decision based on the financial requirements of the respective student. Aside from financial aid, students also have access to merit-based scholarships offered by the university.

Are students eligible for a full scholarship to study at Cornell?

Full scholarships are dependent on several factors. Merit-based scholarships very rarely offer 100% scholarships but opportunities are available. In terms of financial aid, full coverage of tuition is offered to applicants who come from adverse financial backgrounds.

How much does it cost to study at Cornell University?

The total cost to study at Cornell is dependent on the background of the student. Tuition fees range from $58,000 with additional living fees between $16 – 20,000. The total cost can therefore go up to around $80,000 although students rarely pay this in entirety due to the availability of scholarships and funding.

Cornell University Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Funding & Scholarships

As mentioned before, Cornell University offers a need-aware admissions process for international students, where admitted students and undocumented students, who demonstrate the need for financial assistance, will receive Cornell University scholarships. Applicants should note that if they anticipate the need for financial aid at any point during their undergraduate studies at Cornell, they should definitely apply during their admission into the university. International students who fail to indicate this need will not be eligible to receive financial aid after gaining admission into the university.

In addition to financial aid, Cornell students who require financial assistance can also receive the Cornell grants, as characterized by the Office for Financial Aid & Employment. Through endowment funds, alumni donors, and general funding, these grants do not have a maximum or minimum amount of funds given for a student, and thus eligible for the program will depend on a case-by-case basis.

Endowed scholarships are also an additional opportunity for specific students. These scholarship programs are organized by trustees and former alumni of the university who are committed to providing opportunities for promising students. The criteria for these scholarships vary depending on the program. An example of an endowed scholarship program is the Tata Scholarship program offered to international students from India who have applied for financial aid and have been confirmed admission into the university.

Various other external Cornell University scholarship opportunities exist for potential students, which are typically offered from private and non-profit institutions and organizations. Further information for various external scholarships can be gained by scrolling down this page and locating different website links such as CollegeNet and FinAid.

Postgraduate Funding & Scholarships

Graduate students have access to numerous different types of Cornell University scholarship options, especially in comparison to undergraduate students. This will also depend largely on the type of graduate degree – doctoral students tend to receive competitive funding packages which cover tuition, living expenses and stipends for research/other. On the other hand, Masters students receive more limited options that depend on the department of study.

Assistantships are an example of the financial support that is specifically awarded for research students. This package includes tuition, a student health plan, and a stipend. Assistantships include either research, teaching, or graduate assistantships and require between 15-20 hours of work per week, which are further academic in nature.

On the other hand, fellowships are more of a merit-based Cornell University scholarship for graduate students that are allocated to students which also includes tuition, student health plan, and a stipend for living expenses. These programs are competitive between students and are more typically offered by organizations outside of Cornell.

Stipends are typically living expenses offered to select students. Compared to most other universities, Cornell is one of the only institutions to directly offer single stipends for students who require assistance in covering their fees for housing, room, supplies, and boarding. There are various types of stipends offered by the university which are explained in depth in the above Graduate Funding page.

Finally, loans present a very feasible funding option for students. As is the case with all US institutions, international students are not eligible to apply for federal state loan programs. Instead, private loan programs can be considered if international students require further financial assistance.

Application Process

Undergraduate Funding:

The university operates financial aid deadlines across the year. Early decision applicants are encouraged to apply by November 16th, 2020 while regular decision applicants are encouraged to apply by January 2nd, 2021. The process requires the completion of a CSS profile and the submission of key documents that are outlined on this page.

In the case of Cornell University scholarships, students are typically not required to submit an alternate application. If funding is requested during the admissions process, then most students are typically allocated into consideration for grants.

In terms of endowed scholarships or external scholarships, the application process tends to differ based on the type of scholarship programs. Students should contact the individual program or browse the relevant website for details of this.

Postgraduate Funding:

In the case of Masters students, prospective applicants are required to directly contact their department of study for information regarding Cornell University scholarships for Masters students. Applications can be made after considering this. Additionally, Masters students can apply for travel grants via their department.

Doctoral students have access to immediate and complete funding after they have gained admission into their respective programs. Therefore, separate applications are not required for the automatic issue of stipends and tuition fee expenses. However, students may be required to apply for specific assistantship programs via their respective department, which is subject to availability and other conditions.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!