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Cornell To Match Aid Packages of Other Ivies

There's good news for students who have been cross-admitted to Cornell and other Ivies who would prefer to attend Cornell. Starting this year Cornell will match the parental contribution and loan level amount of any student admitted to any of the other Ivies, as well as Stanford, Duke, and MIT.

-- In order to improve Cornell's competitiveness in the recruitment and enrollment of undergraduate students, Cornell will commit to matching the parental contribution and loan level of other Ivy schools, and will strive to also match the parental contribution and loan levels at Stanford, Duke and MIT.

-- The match policy applies to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents and international students. Please note that since funding for international student financial aid is limited, Cornell may not be able to apply the match policy to all international students.

-- The policy is effective as of July 1, 2010 for new undergraduate students applying for Fall 2011 admission.

Prior to this policy announcement, it wasn't uncommon to hear of students turning down their first-choice Cornell for Columbia or Penn or the like because the financial aid was better at the other schools. Now, Cornell is pledging to meet the financial aid packages of the other Ivies. Provided of course, the student can get multiple acceptance offers on the table.

Given that Cornell is widely seen as the easiest Ivy to gain acceptance to, some might construe this as a merit-based scholarship in disguise. Cornell will give you more money if you get into Harvard (where students with family incomes of less than $200,000 a year only have to pay 10 percent of their income), but not if you were accepted, to say, Georgetown or Northwestern. (Which compete for students much more readily with Cornell than Harvard.)

But it's not really a merit-based program because the student has to qualify for financial aid in the first place. At the end of the day, Cornell will only be giving as much aid as Harvard... or Yale... or Princeton. We've heard this discussion before.

What the program is likely all about is a sly way to get around the Ivy League's crackdown on Cornell's enhanced financial aid program for athletes. Which makes sense, because most of the common-admit battles with Harvard, Princeton, et. al. are likely for athletes.

Because who would want to play hockey in Allston if they can play at Lynah for the same price?

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on August 23, 2010 (#)

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