Fundraising Campaign Focuses on Affordability


True to its groundbreaking founding mission of “… any person … any study”, Cornell is launching a radical new initiative to make his education even more accessible, to ensure that the most talented students from all backgrounds are are fully equipped to lead and prosper. and meet the greatest challenges of their generation.

The initiative is a key part of “To Do the Greatest Good,” the new five-year, $ 5 billion fundraising campaign launched on October 21.

“Ezra Cornell understood something that was as true then as it is today: the education of one student reaches generations of others,” said President Martha E. Pollack in the campaign launch video. “He understood that the impact of a community seeking truth for itself and knowledge for public purposes, would go far beyond those who were directly part of that community. And he realized that the best way to build a better world was to invest in people with the potential to build it. “

To this end, Cornell seeks to:

  • Increase the number of low- and middle-income undergraduate students assisted by 1,000;
  • Reduce the student debt of middle-income undergraduate students by 25%, or an average of $ 5,000 per student; and
  • Forgo the one-summer earnings wait – part of the expected student contribution – for low-income undergraduates, replacing it with an additional Cornell grant allowing them to pursue summer internships or low-paid or unpaid research experiences.

The accessibility initiative builds on Cornell’s commitment to ensuring that the university is accessible and affordable for all. Cornell’s total annual institutional financial support has more than tripled over the past 20 years. In fiscal 2021, Cornell awarded $ 297 million in grants; $ 322 million is budgeted for grants for fiscal year 2022.

With an undergraduate population of over 15,000, the university already educates more low- and middle-income students than any other Ivy League institution – and has more students receiving financial aid than the aggregate. students from some smaller universities. Cornell offers blind admissions for domestic students and scholarship, loan, and professional study packages that cover the estimated total cost of attendance, including room and board. With the campaign, Cornell recognizes the need to do even more.

“Our commitment to be a place for ‘everyone’ is at the heart not only of our institutional identity, but also of our ability to be a world-class university: a university that attracts the best students at all levels,” said Pollack. “In order for us to stay true to our Cornell mission and competitive with our peers, we must do more to deliver on this commitment.”

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