Special Circumstances

Cornell aid offers are purposefully designed with affordability in mind and your demonstrated financial need has been carefully evaluated using the information provided on your aid application(s), right up front.  However, we know some students’ family situations are uncommon and we also understand financial circumstances sometimes change unexpectedly.

How do I appeal for more grant aid?

A financial aid appeal, also known as a special or unusual circumstances appeal, is a request for an adjustment to your expected family contribution (EFC) based on specific changes or challenges that have occurred since you initially applied for financial aid or based on unusual or unique family situations.  Financial aid appeals require supporting documentation and Cornell financial aid professionals make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

If approved, a financial aid appeal results in a reduction to your expected family contribution (EFC) and a corresponding increase to your grant or endowed scholarship aid.

Learn more about Financial Aid Appeals

How do I request additional self-help aid (student loans or work-study)?

All aid applicants are assigned an estimated Cost of Attendance budget (COA) which is used to calculate demonstrated financial need and sets a limit on total aid you can receive for the academic year.  Requests to increase your COA may require documentation and can only be approved for allowable education-related costs that exceed amounts included in your assigned COA.

If approved, cost of attendance increase request results in an increase to your estimated cost of attendance (COA) and a corresponding increase to your student loan or work-study offer (if eligible, per your request/preference).

Learn more about Cost of Attendance Increases

How do I request consideration for an unusual or unique family situation?

Sometimes, unusual or unique family situations impact whether or how much parent financial information is required on your financial aid application(s).  If your family situation is unusual or has changed recently, we encourage you to reach out to a Cornell financial aid professional to discuss your situation confidentially.

Learn more about Unusual or Unique Family Circumstances