Cornell University seems to be late in offering up financial aid packages this year. The day in which admits from the Regular Decision round had to commit to attending Cornell has come and gone, but some admits to the Cornell Class of 2025 had to arrive at their decision not knowing their precise financial aid offer. Of course, students can always plug their numbers into the Net Price Calculator on Cornell’s admissions website, but we understand it’s not the same as actually receiving a financial aid offer directly from the school. It seems logical that Cornell would offer up this information to admits before they had to render their decisions, but if we know anything we know that the 2020-2021 admissions cycle has been anything but typical.
As Jyothsna Bolleddula and Sam Curtis report for The Cornell Daily Sun in a piece entitled “Admitted Students Await Financial Aid Offers Weeks After Commitment Deadlines,” “In an email to the Sun, Jonathan Burdick, vice provost for enrollment, explained that delays in aid this year came from a higher volume of students and changing financial circumstances due to the pandemic. According to Burdick, students who began their application process later were given the opportunity for an extension. But for students who were not given the extension, the responsibility fell on them to keep in contact with the financial aid office…And even when the aid offers did come weeks after their acceptance, some students were asked to take on loans that they felt were excessive for their financial situation.”
Come on, Cornell. Get it together. We get that you had a surge in applications to the Class of 2025. But so too did every other highly selective university. Students admitted to Cornell’s Class of 2025 should not have had to commit to attend — or commit elsewhere — without knowing precisely how much aid you’d be offering them. Cornell’s admissions office didn’t offer them the full picture, which they deserved. Let’s hope Cornell gets it together for next year and that this never happens again.
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