Strategic priority: Scholarships

Your support preserves Cornell’s need-blind admissions.

Cornell has been steadfast in its commitment to Ezra Cornell’s vision of “an institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” by providing an excellent education to highly qualified students regardless of their background or financial circumstances.

Generations of Cornellians have taken pride in upholding that vision by making gifts to support student scholarships, in good times and bad.

The Cornell Promise

Today, the pandemic has exacerbated economic conditions that are already making the experience of many families far from equitable and far from secure. For every one percent increase in the national unemployment rate, Cornell is anticipating another 275-300 undergraduate students will be added to financial aid rolls, increasing the overall aid budget by at least $7.7 million. The Cornell Promise initiative will help meet this need by raising additional current-use financial aid dollars for fiscal years 2021 through 2023.

Each $25,000 or more Cornell Promise scholarship will be awarded on behalf of the donor or donor family as a “term scholarship.” You can direct your Cornell Promise scholarship to your college, or to the Provost to disburse where needed most.

You can make gifts under $25,000 to the Cornell Promise by supporting the Annual Fund for Undergraduate Scholarships and designating your gift to a specific college or to the general university.


Kristen Ford, associate vice president for colleges and units

Additional featured opportunity

Cornell SC Johnson Challenge: Fueling support for students, faculty, and programs across all three schools of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, this initiative matches new endowment gifts on a 1-to-3 basis. For every three dollars you give, an additional dollar will be added. You could, for example, establish a $250,000 scholarship with a gift of $187,500 or a $4 million professorship with a gift of $3 million.


Kristen Ford, associate vice president for colleges and units

A student watches the sun set from the Uris Library balcony in fall.

Cornell Promise

You can help ensure that currently enrolled undergraduates can complete their education even if their financial situation has changed during the pandemic. A gift for the Cornell Promise campaign provides urgent financial aid relief to the students who need it most.

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