Emergency Funds

Emergencies happen. If you find that you have expenses due to an unforeseen emergency, there may be campus resources that can assist you depending on your relationship with the university, individual need, and availability of funds.  Below is a list of resources that may be available to you and a brief description of the resources that are available.

 

Undergraduate Students
The Students Helping Students fund is the most prominent fund for undergraduate student emergencies. Visit the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment in 203 Day Hall or email finaid@cornell.edu if you have questions about the application process or to submit an application. This office also has access to other funding available to undergraduate students should you not qualify for Students Helping Students.

 

Graduate Students
The Graduate School will make emergency funds available to students based on individual need and availability of funds.

You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Be a registered graduate student in the Graduate School,
  • Have no bursar holds on your account,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the United States,
  • and be requesting assistance for a non-medical emergency.

The maximum grant amount from the Graduate School fund is $1,000. Each request for funding requires a new application and signatures.  If you believe you are eligible for assistance, please contact Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs (jan.allen@cornell.edu) or Janna Lamey, Assistant Dean for Student Life (janna.lamey@cornell.edu) for assistance.  After review by the Dean, or Dean’s designee, an appointment may be scheduled for you to discuss your financial needs.

International graduate students should inquire about funding with the International Students and Scholars Office.

All students seeking assistance with medical bills should contact Jo Ann Molnar-Kieffer (jb58@cornell.edu) at the Cornell Office of Student Health Benefits.  Special financial support may be available for qualifying medical costs.

 

Professional School Students
Each professional school has a different process for emergency funds.

Cornell Law School students should contact Bryan Vliet (bv25@cornell.edu) or contact the Law School by phone at (607) 255-5141.

Veterinary Medicine students have emergency financial support available when they are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship.   The fund, in the form of a non-interest bearing loan, is designated to off-set a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. If you need assistance please visit the Office of Student and Academic Services or email vetfinaid@cornell.edu.

Johnson School of Management students should contact Amanda Soule Shaw (afs6@cornell.edu) or contact the Johnson School Student Services office by phone at (607) 255-7541.

 

Saving at Cornell

You may find yourself in a position to save money while you are a student. If you would like to be in a position to save, but don’t have money left over after paying for  your essential educational expenses, you’ll want to revisit your budget plan and possibly talk with financial aid staff to help you revise your plan. Whether your savings is $50 or $2,000, you should congratulate yourself that you are able to set aside money.

We have created a Financial Planner form to help you plan for your expenses. If you regularly have money left, check out our section on saving money.

Ithaca Fun
There is a wealth of entertainment in Ithaca that won’t break your budget. Take advantage of living in our vibrant community! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

Avoid the Common Pitfall$

  • Make a budget plan. Revise it if you find that it’s not accurate.
  • Anticipate future expenses.
    Will you need to purchase a ticket to travel for Winter Break?
    Will your January rent be due before you receive your spring funding?
    Are you excited to take a class that involves travel?
  • Make a habit of healthy spending!

Living Off-Campus

Most students will live off-campus at some point in the course of their studies at Cornell.  The financial aspect of living off-campus is significant, and will provide you a new financial learning experience. You will have at least one additional bill to pay (your rent), and you may need to pay rent on a schedule that is different from the bursar schedule. Some landlords will charge monthly, while others charge quarterly or biannually. You may also need to pay utilities, trash fees, internet, or other bills.

Managing your finances while living off-campus will require that you plan a few months into the future. The Off-Campus Living Office provides information and services, including a budget worksheet.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate your finances while living off-campus.

  • If you receive undergraduate financial aid, you’ll want to understand how your bursar bill will change and how your family contribution and financial aid will help you to pay for off-campus housing.
  • Be sure that your rent is paid on time. Paying late may result in late charges, and can jeopardize your housing.
  • If you have others helping you with any of your payments, be sure that you are sending relevant information to them about bills/charges.

Student Employment

Working part-time while you are a student can help make your education affordable, and can reduce your student loan burden. Students are paid for their hours worked either by check or direct deposit.

If you are working and being paid, you will need to decide how to use your earnings. Do you owe to your bursar bill or Cornell Card account? Do you have other debts or living expenses that need to be paid? Consider your wants and needs, anticipate future expenses (such as travel home at the end of the semester), and allocate your earnings accordingly.

Check out our video to learn more about finding campus employment.

 

Undergraduate

Take the time to learn about your financial aid award and how your aid award will interact with your bursar bill. Here are a few questions that can assist you as you review your aid award.

  • Are there charges that you anticipate having that either won’t be covered by financial aid, or aren’t included in the Cost of Attendance? How will you pay for these expenses?
  • When will you need to pay the Parent Contribution and Student Contribution? Will these full amounts be paid to the bursar bill, or will some amount be used for out-of-pocket or off-campus expenses?
  • How will your family finance any portion of the family contribution that they aren’t able to pay out of pocket?

Students can request loan for additional expenses, but remember that student loans will need to be repaid once enrollment ceases.

 

Financial Aid

Financial aid can help you fund your educational expenses, but it is a limited resource. You’ll want to consider your needs and wants carefully while you are enrolled. If you are receiving your semester living expenses in the form of a refund or a stipend, plan your spending and anticipate your expenses.

Undergraduate Students
Take the time to learn about your financial aid award and how your aid award will interact with your bursar bill. Here are a few questions that can assist you as you review your aid award.

  • Are there charges that you anticipate having that either won’t be covered by financial aid, or aren’t included in the Cost of Attendance? How will you pay for these expenses?
  • When will you need to pay the Parent Contribution and Student Contribution? Will these full amounts be paid to the bursar bill, or will some amount be used for out-of-pocket or off-campus expenses?
  • How will your family finance any portion of the family contribution that they aren’t able to pay out of pocket?

Students can request loan for additional expenses, but remember that student loans will need to be repaid once enrollment ceases.

Graduate Students
Graduate students may receive fellowships, assistantships, grants, or student loans. Remember that student loans will need to be repaid once enrollment ceases.

There are many particulars around assistantships and fellowships that graduate students should be aware of. Please visit the Graduate School site to learn more, and ask questions about anything that is unclear.

Professional Students
Professional degree programs at Cornell provide limited financial assistance. The terms of the awards may vary according to the program. For more information, contact your individual program.

Bursar

The Office of the Bursar is the office that handles student accounts and billing for the university. It is important to understand the university billing system and anticipate future charges.

If you want to estimate your bill and expenses, see our Financial Planner.

Understanding Your Bill
The Office of the Bursar sends monthly electronic billing statements via CASHNet to the student’s  Cornell email address. You can sign up additional email addresses to receive this monthly notification, and you are responsible for setting up parents and others as authorized payers on your CASHNet account.

Your bursar statement includes charges on your Bursar and Cornellcard accounts, which are two separate accounts. The bursar account has university charges and the CornellCard is a service that allows you to make purchases by presenting your Cornell student ID card.  This service can help you manage your day-to-day expenses without having to carry large amounts of cash.

Here are a few tips for managing your student accounts:

  • Read your CASHNet statement every month.
  • Talk with staff in the Office of the Bursar if there is something that you don’t understand about your billing statement.
  • Fully pay your balance to avoid finance charges (1.25% per month can really add up!)
  • Remember that your fall charges must be paid by August 7 and spring charges must be paid by January 7 so that you don’t have a bursar hold preventing your registration.

To learn more about reading your CASHNet statement, check out our video!

 

Paying Your Bill
You can pay your bursar bill online, by mail, or in person. Payment is due on the 7th of each month. The bursar will assess a late penalty of 1.25% on any unpaid balance.

To get a sense of what 1.25% looks like, let’s look at an example.

If endowed tuition, the undergraduate student activity fee, and the student health fee were charged to your account (we’re assuming you’re living and eating off campus), you would be charged $25,026.00. If you fail to pay this amount on time, you will owe $25,338.83. You will pay $312.00 more than if you paid your bill on time. 

Direct Deposit
You may receive a refund from the bursar if the total of your credits exceeds the total of your  charges. You may be an undergraduate with a significant amount of aid living off campus, a graduate student with a stipend, or a student who accidentally overpaid their bill.

Sign up for direct deposit or your refund will be issued automatically via a paper check to be picked up at the Cashier’s window in 260 Day Hall. A checking or savings account in your (the student’s) name can be used for the direct deposit service.

1098 Forms
The Office of the Bursar produces the 1098-T Form for students in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. The 1098-E Form is produced by the Bursar Student Loan Office.

Money at Cornell

Financing your education involves a lot more than simply paying tuition. From learning how the bill and financial aid work to balancing multiple bills and anticipating future expenses, we want to help you navigate the various parts of your financial life at Cornell.

This section will explore your campus bills and financial aid options, guiding you to the resources that Cornell offers to help you manage your money while you are a student.