Twice a year, at the beginning of each term.
- To ensure that your aid will be processed prior to the Fall tuition bill, please submit your completed FAFSA and a signed application no later than May 1. Do not wait.
- After we receive your FAFSA, application(s), we will send you your student loan notification. This letter outlines the federal loans for which you qualify. (Please note: The Graduate PLUS Loan requires the additional step of a credit check.)
- Once you receive your loan notification you must sign the Master Promissory Note and complete an entrance counseling session. For instructions on this step, Disbursement of Loans below.
- Loans will be paid in two installments, half in the fall and the other half in the spring.
- Tuition bills are sent twice a year. The first will be sent in July, but due in August, and the second will be sent in December, but due in January.
- The bursar will use the first installment of your loan towards your first tuition bill, which covers the fall semester. If the loan exceed the billed amount, the bursar will issue a refund check to you. This refund check will not be available until the first day of class. (This is usually around August 26th.)
- The second installment of your loan will work in the same way. The bursar will use this installment towards your second tuition bill, which covers the spring semester. If the loan exceeds the billed amount, the bursar will issue a refund check to you. This refund will not be available until the first day of spring semester classes, which is around January 20th.
- Important note: You will need to budget your money to last until around January 20th, which is when spring classes begin. That will be when the spring half of your loans should be available to you.
If you have not already done so, you can sign up for direct deposit, which will speed up the refund process. Access the online Direct Deposit form at the Bursar website.
For students accepting the Federal Direct Loan, Cornell University uses an online Master Promissory Note (MPN). Your MPN represents your summer and/or academic year federal direct unsubsidized loan award, as indicated on your financial aid notification(s). If you wish to cancel or reduce the amount of your federal direct loan, you must notify our office by email. Students who will borrow through the Grad PLUS program and who have submitted the required separate application to our office will also complete a separate MPN. First-time borrowers at Cornell University must follow the steps below to complete your MPN and required entrance counseling session. (You will want to allow 30-45 minutes to complete.):
- Sign in to Manage My Direct Loan using your FSA ID. On the far left side of the screen you will see Master Promissory Note.
- Click on Complete MPN
- Select Type of Loan Unsubsidized Grad Plus borrowers will repeat this step and select Graduate PLUS
- Beneath MPN you will see Counseling. Click on Complete Entrance Counseling (note for the school name you will select Cornell University)
Please note: You will need your FSA ID to complete this process. If you do not have a valid FSA ID, please go to the Department of Education FSA ID site at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid. Your loan(s) will not be credited to your tuition bill until the entrance counseling session is complete and MPN(s) are signed. Once you have completed the Entrance Counseling Form, Cornell will disburse the semester’s funds to your bursar account. Continuing borrowers do not need to do anything as you signed a Master Promissory Note in the past.
Getting Turned Down for a Loan:
If you are turned down for a loan, Cornell University cannot secure a loan for you. Cornell does not have an internal lending program. You can be proactive by requesting your credit report from all three credit bureaus. Make sure you review them carefully for errors. Should you find any, make sure you address them appropriately and make sure to keep all documentation of the correction. To contact the credit bureaus, visit the following websites:
*Adverse credit is defined by regulation as 90 days or more delinquent on any debt or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt, during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
The following expenses cannot be covered by education loans:
- Car insurance
- Car payments and repairs
- Credit card debt
- Expenses related to your job search
- Fall, winter and spring break travel or trips
- Moving expenses
- Personal gifts
- Security deposits, first and last month’s rent
- Sport and fitness club fees
Note: Financial aid recipients are expected to budget their money and keep accurate records of monthly expenditures. To justify requests for supplemental relief in unusual circumstances, copies of those records are likely to be required for the financial aid files.