Paying for Study Abroad

Cornell and Education Abroad are here to help you navigate the financial considerations that come into play as you prepare for your semester abroad. 

Finances in Brief
Cornell Tuition + Program Fees

Undergraduates on semester programs pay regular Cornell tuition, program fees, and out-of-pocket expenses. Your program fees and out-of-pocket expenses depend on the program you select, your living arrangement, and other local costs.

Financial Aid Goes with You

If you enroll in a full semester or yearlong program, your estimated family contribution to Cornell does not change. Financial aid awards are adjusted to meet the cost of attendance for your approved program.

Home School Tuition

In fall 2021, semester-long undergraduate study abroad for credit is available through:

  • Office of Global Learning’s approved programs 
  • College/school programs and exchanges

For both options, starting in fall 2021, you pay your normal Cornell tuition (“home school tuition”), in addition to program fees and out-of-pocket expenses. For eligible students, financial aid is portable for a semester or academic year abroad. 

Transfer credit will not be granted for semester-length courses that Cornell undergraduate students take outside the two options listed above, such as while on a leave of absence to study abroad. 

In future terms, as health and safety circumstances permit, the Office of Global Learning intends to create a “special case” petitioning process to allow students to petition to study at non-affiliated programs. Further information will be provided when available.

Get answers to your questions about study abroad in fall 2021. Visit Experience to explore available programs.

What You Pay

Cornell Student Bursar Bill 

  • Cornell tuition, as normal 
  • Host institution program fees, if billable through Cornell
  • Fees may include deposits, housing, activities, supplemental insurance, and other non-tuition costs.

Host Institution Bill

  • Host institution program fees, if not billed through Cornell
  • Fees may include deposits, housing, activities, supplemental insurance, and other non-tuition costs.   

Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

  • Students are responsible for paying all non-billable expenses.
  • Expenses vary by program.
  • Expenses may include, but are not limited to, roundtrip airfare, passport and visa fees, immunizations, housing costs, meals, textbooks, independent travel, and daily living expenses. 

The estimated program budget will indicate which study abroad costs are billable through Cornell, through the host institution, or out-of-pocket. Students with financial aid will have their aid packages adjusted to meet the required cost of attendance and participation. 

FAQs Read All

Why do I pay my Cornell tuition when I study abroad?

By charging tuition for study abroad, the university will secure the sustainability of study abroad for future Cornell students. The university is aligning its practice with that of the majority of our peer institutions.


Cornell is committed to providing high-quality study abroad options to all students and to making study abroad a more integral and viable educational opportunity for undergraduates from all backgrounds and across all areas of study. For study abroad to be equally accessible to all students, the university must be able to provide institutional financial aid matching what students have while on campus. Institutional aid draws from many sources, but the largest fraction is supported by overall tuition revenue.


In addition to the financial aid considerations, students are academically and administratively supported by the faculty, staff, and systems of the university, even when studying away from campus. This now includes the university’s support services through the Office of Global Learning and International Travel Health and Safety, established especially for students who study abroad.

What if the program tuition is less than my Cornell tuition?

Cornell tuition revenue from students studying abroad is used to cover the tuition cost of the programs students attend. To support the portability of institutional financial aid for study abroad, any tuition surplus is returned to the financial aid pool. 

How will my financial aid apply to study abroad?

Financial aid will apply to all approved semester and yearlong programs. The Office of Global Learning or the college or school sponsoring your program will prepare an estimated student budget based on your approved program and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid on your behalf. Financial Aid will use the cost estimates provided to repackage your aid for the semester(s) that you will be abroad.


Financial aid awards are adjusted in line with the higher or lower costs of the program. Your family and student contribution will remain the same as on campus, regardless of the estimated cost of attendance. Your federal work study is converted to a loan when you study abroad. You may choose to take this amount out as a loan or not. If you opt to decline the loan, alternative aid resources will not be available to replace that award. 

Study Abroad Scholarships

There are several types of scholarships available for study abroad: national, program-specific, and Cornell scholarships.

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