Student Contribution

<p>My student contribution is $2440, and Cornell indicated that this is 'a combination of summer savings expectations and a student contribution from assets'. Do they expect this money to be paid upfront, before the start of the semester?</p>

<p>I thought that the student contribution would be covered by Federal work study, but that program runs DURING the school year.</p>

<p>And in the case that I am unable to find work during the summer, how do they expect me to pay $2440 out of my own pocket? I don't have that much money saved up.</p>

<p>The letter that accompanied the financial aid package said you could take out loans to cover that cost, but who really wants to do that :(</p>

<p>Did you guys get your financial aid packages with your admissions or were they separate (envelopes)?</p>

<p>^ the financial aid package comes separately. It came a day after my admissions package.</p>

<p>Thank you, that is a relieve. I will probably get it Monday then (the admissions came yesterday, but nothing today :confused: )</p>

<p>And to answer your concern, $2240 is not too much money. You can take out a federal loan, such as Stafford, that is subsidized and will not accrue interest until after graduation. This first summer, it will be difficult to find good paying work; however, in subsequent years it will become much easier and it will be advantageous to have work experience in your field. Odds are that you can find work that will pay the contributions in the future. Even if you don’t, then you will have ~10K in debt which is almost nothing. It can be easily be paid off in a year in certain high-paying fields, and in a few years for others. This will not be much of a burden and may even be helpful if you use it to develop a credit history.</p>

<p>Also, note that almost all schools include a student contribution and very few schools (only ones I can think of are Princeton and UPenn) allow you to use outside scholarships to reduce the student contribution to 0. This is honestly very generous and you should rejoice.</p>

<p>^ Thank you for this; it’s really helpful and clear.</p>

<p>On another note: How do I pay the federal work study part ($2000) of the financial aid package? I know that everything else is paid with grants, but the grants don’t cover all my expenses (tuition and room/board). But with work study, I won’t get paid until I actually have a job and get bi-weekly paychecks, correct? So am I supposed to pay the $2000 upfront at the beginning of the semester and then pocket my salaries for w/e else?</p>

<p>The way it works is if the total cost is 55,000, and you are required to contribute 2500, then Cornell would transfer 52500 to pay for your tuition, room and board, whatever is left over is your responsibility. It is up to you if you want to work or not. If you don’t want to work then you will need to take out a loan. I know plenty of students at Cornell on FA who do not work on campus. </p>

<p>You pay for expenses in the beginning of each semester, so you wouldn’t need to come up with $2000 right away.</p>

<p>^Also, the vast majority of the student contribution actually covers books/misc expenses. Very little, if any (I haven’t gotten mine yet, so I can’t say for sure), is going to go to the uni (tuition, room/board). So, you will need this money in an account for you to buy stuff, not to send to the uni. Living frugally and saving money will easily reduce this number. My best advice in this regard is to never buy new books and always buy used.</p>

<p>I mentioned Stafford loans in my post, and I want to note that eligibility for those loans is based on need. You will need to contact Cornell to set them up; however, since I suspect that you only have to pay the student contribution, you are, in fact, needy. Nevertheless, if Cornell is your final choice, I would e-mail their fin aid office to ensure your eligibility because subsidized federal loans are the best ones (they don’t accrue interest until after you graduate, whereas private ones accrue interest throughout your undergrad time).</p>