Special Circumstances

Sometimes special circumstances can impact a student’s financial aid situation, including certain living arrangements or family situations that may change during your time at Cornell. This may result in the need to clarify your situation with the Office of Financial Aid, or have adjustments made. Explore the links below for further assistance or specifics that might apply to you.

Unique family circumstances

Circumstances could include an unexpected loss in parental income, or could involve a parent divorce, separation or related matter. Read more.

Independent Students

If you are a non-traditional student, and have been self-supporting for more than five years, you may be eligible to be considered independent.

Living off campus

If you live off campus, your budget and how your financial aid is calculated does not change, but your bursar statement will not reflect your housing expenses, which you will need to pay directly to your landlord as outlined in your lease. View an example.

Residence Hall Positions

Being a Resident Advisor can impact your financial aid, as shown in this sample calculation. These changes also apply if you are a Student Assistant, Language House Native Speaker, or Telluride Scholar.

Changes in Summer Savings Expectation (SSE)

If you were unable to earn and save over the summer as expected, you have options to cover the amount.

Budget Increase Needs

Sometimes when your actual expenses exceed Cornell’s budgeted cost to attend, a budget increase is necessary. Click here for budget increase instructions.

Appealing Your Financial Aid Decision

You have the right to appeal your financial aid decision if you feel there are extenuating circumstances, including receiving a more favorable aid offer from another institution. Read more.