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Billing Procedures

Each year, the following procedures are provided to students and parents about Bursar and CornellCard accounts, current semester tuition, billing due dates for the academic year, and billing and other procedures relevant to managing the student's account.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact our office.

Bursar Procedures

Tuition Rates and Fees

The current tuition rates and fees are available on our Tuition Rates and Fees page.

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The Bursar E-Bill

The Office of the Bursar bills Cornell students twelve times each year. A single bursar statement combines charges for two separate accounts - the bursar account and the CornellCard account. Charges and credits are added as they arise. Statements from the Bursar are presented electronically via Net.Pay, and are referred to as e-bills.

The current billing schedule is available on our Billing Deadlines page.

The Bursar is the central billing agent for the university, therefore most of the charges a student incurs will appear on the bursar e-bill. Tuition, housing, and dining charges constitute most of what is billed through your bursar account. These charges are billed before each semester commences. Other charges that may appear on your bursar e-bill are the cost of extramural-study or summer-session courses, the cost of medical care by Gannett (Cornell University Health Services), fees for physical-education courses, testing fees, fines for campus traffic violations, and library fines.

CornellCard transactions are separate from bursar transactions and are listed separately on the e-bill. See the CornellCard section below for more details.

The Office of the Bursar conducts all business directly with the student. Monthly transactions, as well as any awards, grants, scholarships, and loans, are listed and billed under the student’s name. Direct deposit refunds and refund checks are also drawn in the name of the student. Cornell is also authorized to offset any credit balances against any debits owed by the student to the university. All Bursar communications and most university communications to students are sent via e-mail. It is important for students to check their Cornell e-mail regularly for important information.

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Billing

Monthly Billing Statements

Electronic billing is Cornell's official method of billing. Paper bills will not be sent. You the student, will be sent an e-mail with the subject line “Your New Cornell E-bill is Now Available,” which will be sent to your official Cornell e-mail address each month notifying you that your new e-bill is available to view. If you are not paying your student bill yourself, you, the student, are responsible for setting up those who are paying it as an authorized payer.

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Set Up Authorized Payers

Only you, the student, can give others access to your bursar e-bill. If your parents or others (not including sponsors) are paying your bill, you must set them up as authorized payers.

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Your E-Bill or Current Statement

Your e-bill, like a paper bill, is static. It is a snapshot in time of what your account looked like at the time of the billing date. It will not be updated until the next billing date. You can review current transactions on your bursar account before the next billing date on your student service center or on Net.Pay, Recent Activity. Recent Activity summarizes and lists details of all transactions that have posted to your Bursar/CornellCard account since the last e-bill and provides a revised amount due.

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Finance Charges

If the Bursar does not receive full payment by the due date shown on the e-bill (see the preceding billing schedule), the unpaid portion of the e-bill is subject to a finance charge of 1.25 percent per month (15 percent annually).

Payments to bursar and CornellCard accounts are processed daily. Normally, the bursar will not cancel finance charges resulting from late payments — that is, payments received after the due date. However, if Cornell caused a delay in delivering your money to the appropriate places, such as late processing of payments, graduate support, or a delay caused by the Financial Aid office, the bursar will waive finance charges. If you believe you are eligible for such a cancellation, contact the Office of the Bursar.

If your payment is mailed internationally and is late because of this, you are responsible for finance charges. To transfer international payments online, see our Wire Transfer page.

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Fraternity and Sorority Billing

Charges on the bursar e-bill for room and board in connection with the student's residence in a fraternity or sorority, and other expenses related to the student's participation in fraternity or sorority activities, are billed by Cornell University as a courtesy to and through agreements with the Greek system at Cornell. Cornell does not own, control, or supervise fraternities and sororities. As set forth in the Recognition Policy adopted by the Cornell University Board of Trustees on January 24, 1997 (and revised May 23, 2009), each fraternity or sorority is, and remains, an independent legal entity responsible for its own actions and for meeting its own legal duties and obligations. It is understood that Cornell does not, by providing this billing service, assume any legal responsibility for the supervision or control of fraternity or sorority activities.

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Questions about Your E-Bill

General questions about your e-bill can be answered by the Office of the Bursar.

However, since none of the charges or credits that appear on your e-bill originates in the Office of the Bursar, questions about a specific item should be directed to the office responsible. (See Important Billing Information at the bottom of your e-bill for names and telephone numbers of other offices.)

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New York State Residency

Residency status is determined at the time of admission by the college admissions office. Change in residency status is determined by the university bursar following matriculation. For information, and how to apply, visit our New York State Residency page.

The deadline for submission of your application for a fall semester is June 1, and the deadline for a spring semester is November 1.

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Student Health Insurance

Because of the high cost of medical care, it is Cornell University's policy that every full-time registered student must have health insurance coverage.

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is developed especially for Cornell students and provides extensive coverage at a reasonable cost for most on- or off-campus medical care. Complete and current details of the SHIP, its cost, and population-specific material for undergraduates, graduate and professional students are mailed to fall registrants in July. Late registrants and spring registrants will receive the information after they arrive at Cornell. Please study that material carefully.

For waiver/enrollment deadlines for undergraduates and appeal deadlines for graduate and professional students see the Office of Student Health Insurance's website.

For more information, contact the 

Office of Student Health Insurance
409 College Avenue, Suite 211
Ithaca, NY 14850, U.S.A.

Phone: (607) 255-6363
E-mail: sicu@cornell.edu (All written communications to students are sent to their Cornell NetID.)
Web: www.studentinsurance.cornell.edu

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Registration

Financial Requirements for Registration

Although students register for classes with the university registrar rather than the bursar, their standing with the Office of the Bursar can affect their registration. An individual who has outstanding indebtedness to the university will not be allowed to register or re-register in the university, receive a transcript of record, have academic credits certified, be granted a leave of absence, or have a degree conferred. University policy precludes the use of any current financial aid for payment of past-due charges.

Before any undergraduates or students in the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Law School, or the College of Veterinary Medicine are permitted to register, they must pay the semester’s tuition, the student activities fee, room and board charges, and any previous bursar and CornellCard balances.

Students enrolled in the Graduate School are required to pay the semester’s tuition, the student activities fee, and any previous bursar and CornellCard balances before they register.

In computing the amount a student must pay before registration, the university takes into consideration the following sources of payment:

  • Cash payments
  • Financial aid (both actual and pending as of the date of the statement)
  • Cornell Installment Plan (CIP) credits

The July and December bursar e-bills include the following information:

  • Balance due from the previous semester
  • Current semester charges and credits as of the billing date
  • Financial aid included in the aid package but not disbursed (“pending credits”)
  • CornellCard balance due

“Pending credit” refers to aid that has been included in the student’s financial aid package but has not been disbursed as of the date of the e-bill. Pending credits for financial aid are removed from the e-bill each semester in October (for fall) and March (for spring). Once this happens, students must contact the appropriate financial aid office to resolve any pending items.

Work-study awards will not be deducted from your balance.

Frequently, aid funds such as the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and the New York State TAP award does not arrive at Cornell until after the semester begins. Although “pending credits” have not actually been received by the university, they are used to reduce the amount the student must pay to be financially eligible to register. The amount you must pay to the bursar to satisfy your financial requirements for registration is summarized on your July and December statements.

To avoid finance charges and to prevent delays in registering, please be sure your semester e-bills are paid by the due dates. In addition to finance charges, the university registrar will impose a $350 late fee to any student registering after the third week of classes, or $500 after the sixth week. 

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Payment Methods

Paying Your E-Bill

You can pay online, by mail, or in person. Checks or money orders must be in United States dollars drawn on a United States bank and made payable to Cornell University. Postdated checks and credit cards are not accepted.

  • Electronically, using Net.Pay: Cornell monthly student account billing statements are available electronically only via Cornell Net.Pay. NetPay provides you with the convenience of making secure Web-based electronic payments online using an electronic interface with your bank. There is no additional cost associated with using Net.Pay.
  • By mail: Send your payment stub and a check or money order to the Office of the Bursar, 260 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Please indicate on the stub the payment amount to be applied to each account (the Bursar and/or CornellCard).
  • By wire: See the information on our Wire Transfer page.
  • In person: Bring your payment to the Bursar’s Office, 260 Day Hall, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Because paying in person often involves waiting in line, we encourage you to pay online.

For details on checks or electronic transactions returned by your bank for any reason, see our Returned Payment Policy page.

Note: Checks returned for non-payment will not be redeposited. Returned checks must be replaced by a certified check or money order. Payments returned via Net.Pay are not redeposited.

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The Cornell Installment Plan

The Cornell Installment Plan (CIP) administered by Sallie Mae/TuitionPay offers a monthly tuition payment plan. The plan enables students and their families to make interest-free monthly installments to pay each semester’s tuition and expenses. If enrollment is completed by the deadline, the semester credit for CIP will appear on the July and December bursar e-bills. For more information, see our Cornell Installment Plan page.

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Sponsors

If tuition and fees are to be paid by a third party (such as an employer or other agency), the sponsoring agency must send a letter stating the name and student ID of the student(s) being sponsored, the type of fees being covered, such as tuition, health insurance, housing, dining, etc., and the billing address. This letter must be sent to the Office of the Bursar, 260 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, with the beginning and end date of sponsorship. The student is responsible for fees not covered by the sponsor. If for any reason the sponsor does not pay, the student is responsible for full payment of all charges incurred.

For more information, see our Third-Party Billing page.

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Financial Aid

Undergraduates

All questions about financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment (FASE), 203 Day Hall, Telephone: (607) 255-5145, E-mail: finaid@cornell.edu, Web: finaid.cornell.edu

For federal Direct Loans, first-time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete Entrance Counseling. Loans will not disburse to the bursar account until these two steps are completed.

For federal Perkins Loans and Cornell University Loans, first-time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Loans will not disburse to the bursar account until the MPN is signed. Students apply for alternative loans online through their lender of choice. Funds will be credited to the student’s bursar account once the loan is approved and a promissory note has been signed.

Students who receive New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) will send an e-mail to the e-mail address listed on the FAFSA, directing the applicant to the HESC website and providing a User ID and PIN. The student and parent will then apply for TAP online. Alternatively, HESC will send an Express TAP Application (ETA) to the address provided on the FAFSA. In some cases, HESC is processing TAP applications based on FAFSA data alone, and is not requiring further application data.

Outside scholarship checks from corporations, private parties, or foundations should be sent directly to the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, P. O. Box 752, Ithaca NY 14851-0752. Financial Aid staff will deposit all checks and credit them to student’s bursar accounts.

If financial aid credits from grants, loans, or scholarships result in an overpayment to the bursar account, a refund check is direct-deposited to the student’s bank account.

If your e-bill has "pending credits" (pending financial aid) showing for the fall and spring term, these pending credit will be removed from the e-bill in October (for fall) and March (for spring). After this happens, please contact the undergraduate Office of Financial Aid at (607) 255-5145 to find out why the aid has not been posted to your bursar account.

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Graduate Students

Most financial aid disbursements for graduate students appear on the bursar e-bills in July, August, or September (for the fall semester) and December (for the spring semester). If they do not, contact the director of graduate studies for your field.

If your e-bill has "pending credits" (pending financial aid) showing for the fall and spring term, these pending credit will be removed from the e-bill in October (for fall) and March (for spring). After this happens, please contact the Graduate Financial Aid office to find out why the aid has not been posted to your bursar account.

If you have any questions, call the Financial Aid Office (607) 255-5145. For graduate office contact information, see the Graduate School website.

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Refunds

Financial Aid

If money you receive from awards, grants, scholarships, and loans exceeds the amount you are being charged on your e-bill, the bursar authorizes direct deposit or a refund check.

The message “Refund/Stipend 260 Day Hall” will appear on your e-bill. Checks can be picked up by currently registered students at the Office of the Bursar any time after registration.

When you receive a refund check, look at your e-bill carefully. Be sure that the e-bill reflects all charges for which you are receiving aid, as well as anticipated adjustments in Cornell aid. If, for example, you have not yet been billed for dining and your aid is supposed to pay for dining, your refund check will contain money that should be used to pay for your dining once the charge appears on your e-bill. You cannot subsequently receive additional financial aid to cover that charge.

The Office of the Bursar conducts all its business directly with the student. Just as monthly charges are listed in the student’s name, so are any awards, grants, scholarships, and loans that might produce a refund. Therefore, direct deposits/refund checks are drawn in the name of the student.

The Office of the Bursar reserves the right to withhold any refund check when the student has a bursar/CornellCard or Cornell Installment Plan (CIP) balance. Cornell is authorized to offset any credit balances against any debts owed by the student to the university.

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Electronic Refunds

The primary method for student refunds, assistantship stipends, and fellowship stipends through the bursar’s office for registered full-time undergraduate or graduate professional students will be via direct deposit to the student’s checking or savings account. Students will enter their banking information through the secure Cornell Net.Pay system on the Refund tab. Note: The student must be the primary holder of the checking or savings account. Students will be notified by e-mail when a direct deposit refund or stipend has occurred. For more information on the process, see our Student Refunds page.

Note: Due to federal regulation changes you may receive a refund but have a prior-term balance that needs to be paid. Please check your Student Center or contact the bursar's office to confirm your balance.

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Other Credits

Credit balances on your e-bill that are not related to financial aid will result in a refund only if you request one from the Office of the Bursar. Credit balances due to overpayment by check or ACH transactions will not be refunded for fourteen business days to assure clearance of funds received. If no refund is requested, the credit balance is automatically applied to the next month’s charges. Therefore, a credit balance on one month’s e-bill may be entirely used up in the following month.

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Deposits

Cornell undergraduates make a single deposit to the university: the acceptance deposit. Acceptance deposits will be refunded during the student's first semester at Cornell. The refund will be made as credit to the student's bursar account.

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CornellCard

All full-time Cornell students are encouraged to take advantage of CornellCard privileges. The CornellCard allows you to make purchases at the Campus Store and other participating units across campus. CornellCard accounts and can help you manage your day-to-day expenses without having to carry large amounts of cash.

The university ID card also functions as the CornellCard. Students can use their CornellCard privileges during any semester for which they are enrolled full-time.

Privileges

The CornellCard is valid at several locations on campus, including the Campus Store, several ticket outlets, all Cornell dining facilities, and Willard Straight Hall.

CornellCard accounts can incur a debit balance of up to $950. Students can use their CornellCard privileges during any semester for which they are enrolled full-time.

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Limitations

The CornellCard is nontransferable and can be used only at designated units on campus. Any CornellCard or similar device issued by Cornell remains the property of the university and may be revoked without notice and repossessed at any time.

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Application

To apply for CornellCard privileges, complete an application online. If you are registered as a full-time student and have a current CornellCard application on file, you are automatically qualified for CornellCard privileges.

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Participation Fee

A nonrefundable CornellCard annual participation fee of $12 is charged each academic year and is subject to change. The participation fee is not prorated.

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Billing and Finance Charges

CornellCard transactions are entirely separate from bursar transactions; however, the monthly CornellCard billing statement does come along with the bursar e-bill, and the two sets of transactions can be paid with a single check or online payment.

Note: A credit balance on one account is not automatically applied to the other account. Such a balance transfer may be requested, however, from the Office of the Bursar by phone or e-mail.

To avoid finance charges, payment for all transactions appearing on the CornellCard portion of the e-bill must be received by the payment-due date. Any money still owed after the due date will appear on the next month’s e-bill, along with a finance charge. Finance charges accrue at the rate of 1.25 percent per month (15 percent annually). 

REMEMBER: A student cannot register until his or her CornellCard balance is paid in full.

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Billing

Students are liable for all amounts billed to their CornellCard account, including those in excess of the ceiling limit. They may also be liable for up to $50 worth of unauthorized transactions made to their account. However, students are not liable for such transactions that occur after the Office of the Bursar has been notified-in person, by telephone, or in writing that the holder no longer has possession of a university ID card with CornellCard validation.

During non-business hours students may use an answering service (telephone: (607) 255-6324) to report loss, theft, or unauthorized use of the card.

Since the CornellCard is the university ID card, loss or theft of the ID card must also be reported, in person, to the Office of the University Registrar, B7 Day Hall. The replacement fee for an ID card is $35.00.

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Penalties for Misuse

Students exceeding the $950 credit ceiling on their CornellCard account may have their credit privileges suspended. Privileges may be reinstated when the account is paid in full.

The Office of the Bursar reserves the right to reduce the $950 credit ceiling on individual accounts and to deny reinstatement of charge privileges to anyone who twice exceeds the credit ceiling.

University registration for any subsequent semester will not be permitted, nor will transcripts be issued or degrees released, until all balances are paid in full.

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Credit Reporting

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) forbids release of credit ratings or other financial information without written permission from the student.

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Your Billing Rights

This section contains important information about your rights and our responsibilities under the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Notify Us of Errors or Questions about Your E-Bill

If you, think your e-bill is wrong, or if you need more information about a transaction on your e-bill, write to us as soon as possible at the Office of the Bursar, 260 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2801. (If you are sending a check payment along with your letter, please do not write directly on your statement. Use a separate sheet of paper.) We must hear from you, the student, no later than 60 days after we sent you the e-bill on which the problem first appeared. You may telephone us, but doing so will not necessarily preserve your rights. Give us the following information in your letter:

  • Your name and seven-digit student id number
  • The dollar amount of the suspected error
  • A description of the error and an explanation, if possible, of the reason you believe there is an error. If you need more information, describe the item you are not sure about

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Your Rights and Our Responsibilities after We Receive Your Written Notice

We are obligated by law to acknowledge your letter within 30 days of its receipt by us, unless we have corrected the error by then. Within 90 days of receipt of your letter, we must either correct the error or explain why we believe the e-bill was correct.

After we receive your letter, we cannot report you as delinquent or try to collect any amount you question. We can continue to bill you for that amount, including finance charges, and we can apply any unpaid amount against your credit limit. Although you do not have to pay a questioned amount while we are investigating it, you are still obligated to pay the parts of your e-bill that are not in question.

If we find that we made a mistake on your e-bill, you will not have to pay finance charges related to the questioned amount. If we did not make a mistake, you may have to pay finance charges, and you will have to make up any missed payments on a questioned amount. In either case, we will send you an e-bill for the amount you owe and the date that it is due. If, after receiving that e-bill, you fail to pay the amount we think you owe, we may report you as delinquent. But, should our explanation not satisfy you, and you write to us within 10 days telling us that you still refuse to pay, we must tell anyone we report you to that you have a question about your account. Further, we must tell you the name of anyone we report you to, and when the matter is finally settled, we must indicate that fact to anyone to whom we reported you.

If we do not follow those rules, we cannot collect the first $50 of the questioned amount, even if the original e-bill was correctly prepared by us.

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Special Rule for Credit Card Purchases

If you have a problem with the quality of property or services that you purchased with a credit card, and you have tried in good faith to correct the problem with the merchant, you may have the right not to pay the remaining amount due on the property or services.

There are two limitations on that right: (1) You must have made the purchases in your home state or, if not in your home state, within 100 miles of your current mailing address, and (2) the purchase price must have been more than $50. However, these limitations do not apply if we own or operate the merchant agency, or if we mailed you the advertisement for the property or services.

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Contacting the Office of the Bursar

  • Peter E. Olcott, university bursar: (607) 255-6413
  • Cynthia Morehouse, associate bursar: (607) 255-6413
  • Edward F. Baker, assistant bursar: (607) 255-6413
  • CornellCard: (607) 255-2336
  • Cornell Installment Plan: (607) 255-2336
  • Bursar Account Services: (607) 255-2336
  • Kristin Pennock, assistant bursar: (607) 255-6413
  • Student Loan Repayment/Collections: (607) 255-7234
  • Bursar Systems: (607) 255-6413

Complete contact list

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