Understanding Your Financial Aid Award

Your award is based on a number of factors. Assuming you’ve completed the FAFSA for this year, your EFC, number of credits, your eligibility for state and institutional aid, and your year in school, are all taken into account.


Your EFC represents how much money the federal government has determined you can contribute towards your education based on the results of the FAFSA. The cost of attendance (COA) is calculated by the school and is based on tuition, fees, books, supplies and living expenses. It is an estimated cost, and is not meant to indicate an amount due to Cornish.


Financial aid is calculated by subtracting your EFC from the COA here at Cornish. This leaves us with your financial need – this number can’t exceed your COA. Need based aid includes things like grants, work study and subsidized/unsubsidized loans.


Keep in mind that work study doesn’t apply directly to tuition. This is a need based award that is treated more like an actual part time job, where you apply, interview, and get paid on a monthly bases.


Institutional merit scholarships are awarded to new and transfer students based on their audition or portfolio review. Your department scholarship is renewable for four years if you begin at Cornish as a freshman and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 67% pace of progression annually.


If you are receiving any outside scholarships, notify us at the financial aid office and be sure that the organization you are receiving the scholarship from has the school’s information so that the check can be mailed to us and applied to your financial aid award.


In subsequent years of attendance, a Cornish student may qualify for a merit-based or endowed scholarship based on donor criteria and department requirements for demonstrated artistic and academic excellence.

If you have any questions or concerns, or if your FAFSA doesn’t reflect your current financial situation due to exceptional circumstances such as the loss of a job or the death of a parent, please contact our office at [email protected] or 206.726.5014