Loan Programs

Like any other major investment, the financial implications of pursuing an MBA should be evaluated carefully. Be sure that you understand the financial impact of tuition and living expenses when considering a student loan. Education loans represent a serious debt obligation and the monthly payments that will be encountered upon graduation should be considered. Manageable education loan repayments represent 6.5 to 12% of after-tax income or 5 to 9.5% of gross starting salary. Cornell promotes responsible borrowing and you should never borrow more than you need.

Please note: A significant amount of your student aid will be in the form of student loans, it is imperative that you establish and maintain a clean credit record. If you have had credit problems in the past, it is important to take steps to improve your record. All aid applicants should request a free credit report annually.

Johnson MPS in Management and MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization students apply for financial aid via the Graduate School.

Federal Student Loan Application Process – for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents

Full-Time MBA and Cornell Tech MBA students should follow these steps to apply for Fall/Spring federal student loans for the 2024-2025 academic year:

  1. Complete the required 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
  2. Complete and upload the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Application.
  3. Lift any credit freeze you have with the various credit agencies in order for the PLUS loan credit check to process.

Cornell Tech MBA students who wish to apply for summer semester loans must also complete the steps for 2023-2024 academic year aid. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

  1. Complete the required 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Complete and upload the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Application.
  3. Lift any credit freeze you have with the various credit agencies in order for the PLUS loan credit check to process.

For all borrowers:
All first-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers (current program) are required to complete loan Entrance Counseling and sign Master Promissory Notes (MPN)for Graduate/Professional Students.

Here is some general information to keep in mind as you complete the application:

  • The federal school code for Cornell University is 002711.
  • Loans are processed on a rolling basis; however, to ensure your fall loan disbursement is on time we suggest filing your FAFSA by June 30.
  • You may borrow up to the published cost of attendance less any scholarship or other aid.
  • Students can borrow through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan ($20,500 maximum annual amount) and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan (request can be made up to the cost of attendance less other aid received).
  • Rates for the 2023-2024 academic year, disbursed July 1, 2023 -June 30, 2024, are noted below. Origination fees are valid October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024, for loans, first disbursed during the same timeframe. Terms and conditions can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Federal Direct Loan Program Fixed Interest Rate Loan Origination Fee
Unsubsidized Loans 7.05% 1.057%
PLUS Loans for Graduate or Professional Students 8.05% 4.228%

The Johnson School Financial Aid Office begins processing federal student loan requests in May. Loan award notifications are emailed to your Cornell University email account. In order to be considered for federal student loans, students must have accepted their offer of admission and completed the FAFSA and the federal loan application request form.

Contact the Financial Aid Office at with questions regarding the federal loan process and eligibility.

Private Education Loans

Private loans may be borrowed in place of the federal loan programs, or in conjunction with, and are available from various private lending institutions. Private loans require a separate loan application through the lender. Interest rates vary based on fixed and variable rate offerings and the borrower’s credit score. Loan amounts are limited to the published total cost of attendance, as determined by the educational institution, less other aid.

Cornell does not recommend any lenders. You are encouraged to compare lenders and loan terms to select the loan that best fits your needs. Students are responsible for researching and applying for their alternative loan. You may visit Johnson’s FASTChoice web tool to view a list of lenders students have used in the past. FASTChoice is not a lender; it is an independent, online loan comparison tool. This interactive program provides loan counseling and basic information about borrowing for students interested in private lender options. Students can apply online for loans directly from this site. Students are free to select any lender they choose, including those not presented through FASTChoice.