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New financial aid initiative targets long-time green card applicants

Cornell will enhance the availability of institutional financial aid to admitted and currently enrolled undergraduate international students who are long-term green card applicants but have not yet achieved legal permanent resident (green card) status, according to Senior Vice Provost Barbara Knuth.

The new initiative will enable eligible green card applicants to receive Cornell financial aid through procedures consistent with those applied to undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, through a mix of various grants, loans and student employment opportunities based on a student’s financial circumstances.

The Green Card Applicant Initiative (GCAI), which includes need-blind admissions, will apply to green card applicants who came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 2007, and have waited more than a decade for their green card status to be determined. It would not apply to those who more recently applied for green card status. International student applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for financial aid when they apply for admission.

“Cornell since its founding has been committed to diversity and inclusion, and values the contributions of all our students, faculty and staff,” said Laura Spitz, vice provost for international affairs. “Granting students with long-term green card applicant status the same financial consideration we give to U.S. citizens and permanent residents is consistent with our values.”

To be eligible for consideration under the GCAI, green card applicants to Cornell will need to provide documentation that they meet the following criteria:

  • Born on or after June 16, 1981;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, to the present time;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated high school or obtained a general education certificate (GED);
  • Filed an I-485 application to register permanent residence or adjust status by June 15, 2007;
  • Meet financial aid application requirements.

The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment has revised the financial aid website to incorporate full details of the GCAI, and has dedicated two staff members to assist applicants with a long-term pending green card application through the financial aid process. For information contact Samantha Miller at, 607-255-0047; or Jessica Potter at, 607-255-4772.

Media Contact

John Carberry