Cornell University is a private, land-grant institution heralded as one of the United States Ivy League universities. Together with 8 others, these eastern-board institutions are known for their academic and social prestige.

The university was established in the year 1865 by its namesake Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White to provide education in various fields of knowledge – both theoretical and applied.

Cornell’s beautiful main campus is located in Ithaca, New York. It houses most of the departments, including Agriculture & Life Science, Architecture & Planning, Arts & Science, Business, Graduate Studies, Hotel Administration, Human Ecology, Industrial & Labor Relations, Law, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine.

It also has a Manhattan-based campus named Weill Cornell, which serves as the home base for both Medicine and Medical Sciences. The Cornell Tech department, meanwhile, is located on Roosevelt Island. In this article, we will be looking at Cornell University scholarships for international students.

International Students at Cornell University

Cornell University has more than 23,000 students – a quarter of which are international enrollees. These students, who represent 120 countries, are mostly at the graduate level (47%). International professional students are at 30%, while those at the undergraduate level are at 10%.

This high population is catered by the Office of Global Learning – International Services division. Established as early as 1936, the office has been catering to foreigners for more than 8 decades.

The office offers many academic resources, including access to the Learning Strategies and Math Support centers. English language support is readily provided to those who need it as well.

The office also provides orientation for graduate/professional students – with a unique session for those with spouses.

Cornell Tuition Fee for International Students

As of date, the cost to attend Cornell University for undergraduate students is $58,586. This applies to both endowed colleges (Architecture, Arts & Science, Engineering, and Hotel Administration) and state-contract colleges (Agriculture & Life Science, Human Ecology, Business, and Industrial & Labor Relations).

Graduate school tuition, on the other hand, is cheaper. It ranges from $20,800 to $58,586 a year. Apart from these, fees for grad student activities and absentia also apply.

International Admissions Guide

Learn more about applying to Cornell as an international student here.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Cornell University Application Fee

Applying to Cornell undergraduate schools will cost you $80. This should be paid together with the common application packet. This may be waived if your guidance counselor or college advisor establishes that the fee will be a financial burden on your part.

Application to Graduate School, however, is more expensive. It costs $105 – which is the same rate as that of American students. Again, this may be waived as necessary.

Admissions Requirements at Cornell University for International Students

International students have the same admission process as local undergraduate applicants. The basic requirements include:

  • High School transcripts, with completion of certain units as required by the program
  • SAT or ACT score
  • Proof of English language proficiency

Depending on the program, the applicant may need to submit/undergo the following:

  • Architecture – portfolio, interview
  • Human Ecology – design challenge/case study, portfolio

As for graduate applicants, Cornell university requires the following documents:

  • Transcripts of a baccalaureate degree
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Academic statement of purpose
  • Proof of English proficiency

Cornell University Rankings

As per the World University Rankings, Cornell University is listed as the 19th-best university in the globe. At the same time, it is ranked 9th in terms of US Colleges and 25th with regards to world reputation.

Cornell University is ranked high in the fields of Life Science (15), Physical Science (16), and Clinical/Health Science (17). It’s also ranked 20th for Social Science, 25th for Engineering, and 29th for Arts & Humanities.

Top Universities, on the other hand, puts Cornell a notch higher at 18 for international rankings. However, it is ranked lower (number 10) in the survey’s US college listing.

Despite this, Cornell ranks high in various fields. They include Veterinary Medicine (4), Agriculture & Forestry (5), and Biological Science (12).

US News Report, meanwhile, ranks Cornell significantly lower in its national survey at number 18. Despite this, the university is ranked high in the undergraduate areas of Computer Science (5), Business (7), and Engineering (9).

Cornell University Acceptance Rate

The university places its undergraduate admission rate at about 10%. That’s because out of 51,500 applications, it only accepted 5,514. A total of 3,296 entered the university, giving it a yield rate of 59.8%.

The Cornell Graduate School, on the other hand, has a higher acceptance rate. Estimates put the department’s admission percentage at 15%.

Cornell University Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

1. International Financial Aid

Cornell University provides need-based financial aid to foreigners through its International Financial Aid program. This is usually based on the family’s financial situation.

Application is usually done through your CSS profile. Here, you need to detail the circumstances of your financial need to be qualified for this Cornell University scholarship for international students. You may also need to submit other supporting documents such as tax files as requested by the university.

2. Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship Program

The Laidlaw scholarship program is open to local and foreign students who wish to strengthen his/her leadership and research skills. It involves a summer stint in an internationally-focused research project, as well as leadership training. After this, the scholar will be sent abroad to immerse in the ‘leadership-in-action’ experience.

Requirements for this Cornell University scholarship include a resume, personal leadership statement, transcripts, proposed research plan, and recommendation letters from references.

Cornell scholarships for undergraduate international students are fairly limited. External scholarships serve as the best options for foreigners who wish to study at Cornell for free/at a discounted price.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Teaching Assistantship Program

Apart from fellowships, international graduate students may enjoy full tuition credit through Cornell’s assistantship programs. As a teaching assistant, the student will be given a stipend and health insurance. International applicants whose first language is NOT English will need to undergo an International Teaching Assistant program before deployment.

2. Cornell Fellowship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: One semester or academic year’s tuition

The Cornell Fellowship is a merit-based scholarship given to both local and foreign students. Given to a first-year applicant, this Cornell University scholarship covers one semester or one year’s worth of tuition. Apart from that, it also provides stipends, research funding, and individual health insurance. Summer stipends may also be given as needed.

Approximately 20% of all Ph.D. students are enrolled under the Cornell Fellowship program.

Cornell also has a Thanks to Scandinavia Fellowship, which is open to students from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, or Bulgaria. This Cornell University scholarship for international students is a token of gratitude to the said countries (and their citizens) who protected Jewish refugees during the second world war.

The Thanks to Scandinavia Fellowship covers full tuition, as well as a nine-month stipend and individual health insurance. Application is not required since this fellowship is a nomination-based award.

Another option for foreign graduate students is the Africa Fund, which is awarded to students from African nations. As with most fellowships, it comes with full tuition, a stipend for 9 months, and individual health insurance.


I hope that this article on Cornell University scholarships for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!