Cornell University

Financing Graduate School

Each year financial aid for graduate/professional school becomes increasingly difficult to obtain. The astute financial aid applicant will investigate all types of financial assistance and pay careful attention to deadlines, tests, and other requirements. Some sources require application one year in advance.

When to Apply for Financial Aid

At the time of application to a university program, students should write directly to the department chairperson where they are applying and indicate that they wish to be considered for department or university-administered funds. Many graduate school applications include a section about financial aid. The majority of university funding is handled in this manner. A note of caution: In the future, some university awards may require proof of unsuccessful attempts to obtain funds from outside sources.

Credit History

All students (U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens) attending graduate or professional school are now considered financially independent by the Federal government. Credit history is becoming an important issue in obtaining loans for educational purposes. Establishing good credit is essential before applying for loans. To assist you in locating outside funding sources for advanced study or research, we have included a bibliography at the end of this guide which lists resources available in the Cornell Career Services Library. Call numbers are indicated next to the publications.