Operating Budget: Sources and Uses
Cornell’s Annual Spending Plan
The Operating Budget report, sometimes called sources and uses, lays out Cornell’s annual spending plan based on its strategic objectives, daily operating costs, and known and anticipated revenue, or income, and expenses. Revenues do not entirely cover Cornell's expenses, so we rely on non-operating revenues, such as gifts and investment income, to bridge the gap, and those transfers to and from operations are also on this report.
Our Income Budget: Operating Budget Revenue
Gross Tuition and Fees: Student Tuition before Financial Aid
Amount: $1,441M (FY 2023)
Gross tuition and fees (student tuition before financial aid) includes amounts charged to students or participants in exchange for instruction or course credit.
This amount also includes mandatory fees assessed to all students such as the undergraduate and graduate student activity fee.
Historical Tuition Rates
|Contract College - Resident||$41,958||$40,382||$39,244||$37,880|
|Contract College – Nonresident||$62,456||$60,286||$58,586||$56,550|
Fall Enrollment Totals
|Total Fall Enrollment||27,225||26,953||24,942||25,354|
State and Federal Appropriations
Amount: $153M (FY 2023)State and federal appropriations are typically awarded based on legislation and not through an application process.
- State appropriations: Funds distributed through the State University of New York (SUNY).
- Federal appropriations: Funds distributed through various federal agencies for land grant institutions like Cornell, used for agricultural education and research, other special research projects, and extension activities.
- Federal financial aid, such as Pell grants and Perkins loans, is “passed through” Cornell and not considered revenue. This funding is recorded as either a payment on a receivable or as a liability.
Sponsored Programs: Grant, Contract, and Other Sponsor Funding
Amount: $996M (FY 2023)Also known as sponsored programs revenue, grant and contract revenue is:
- Generated from an external entity, such as a governmental agency, a corporation, or private foundation.
- Recorded as sponsored revenue when it is for an activity with a defined budget, a period of performance, and a scope of work undertaken by the university. Outcome expected to directly benefits the resource provider.
- Earned and recognized when expenses have been incurred, except as otherwise provided for in the terms and conditions of the award.
Sponsored Funding by Major Source
Contributions: Cash Gifts
Amount: $335M (FY 2023)
Contributions are cash gifts (contributions) received during the period covered by the Operating Budget Activity. Only cash gifts, not pledges, are recorded in the Operating Budget or Sources and Uses statement.
Amount: $398M (FY 2023)
The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the finance committee, is responsible for the university’s endowment payout (distribution) policy.
The board approves the endowment payout for the coming fiscal year at the January meeting.
The payout is set annually by the Board of Trustees within a range of 4.4% of a twenty-eight-quarter rolling average, plus or minus 0.75%. Our target is not to exceed 5% of the twenty-eight-quarter value.
The endowment payout is:
- Calculated and distributed monthly for current use.
- Typically funded with current and accumulated earnings.
- Calculated based on the end of month shares, multiplied by the annual payout rate, divided by twelve.
- Posted as operating revenue to the investment returns, a distributed line on the Statement of Activities.
- Classified as either unrestricted or restricted based on the donor’s designation, or permanently restricted if a donor requested payout be reinvested for a specified period of time.
Historical Withdrawals of the Long-Term Investment Pool (LTIP)
|Long-Term Investment||FY23 Actual||FY22 Actual||FY21 Actual||FY20 Actual||FY19 Actual|
|LTI Rate of Return||3.6%||-1.3%||41.9%||1.90%||5.30%|
|LTIP Annual Payout Rate per Share||$2.57||$2.39||$2.45||$2.45||$2.48|
|LTIP Payout Distributed (millions)||$332.78||$301.84||$300.23||$292.40||$290.40|
|LTIP Admin Fee (millions)||$53.69||$50.02||$49.78||$48.61||$44.30|
|LTIP Special Distribution (millions)||$15.00||$86.30|
|Total LTIP Withdrawal (millions)||$386.47||$351.86||$365.01||$427.31||$334.70|
Medical College Physician Organization Income
Amount: $1,362M (FY 2023)
This amount includes Weill Cornell's Medical Physician Organization clinical practice income from professional services to patients and revenues generated by physician members conducting instructional and research activities.
Auxiliary: Nonacademic Sales and Services
Amount: $203M (FY 2023)
An auxiliary enterprise is a non-academic entity that exists predominantly to furnish goods or services to students, faculty, or staff, and that charges a fee directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the goods or services.
The university’s auxiliary enterprises include housing, dining, conference services, and retail operations (Cornell Store).
Educational Activities: Academic-Related Sales and Services
Amount: $996M (FY 2023)
This amount includes revenues associated with non-credit education-related programs and other sales and service activities that occur in many units throughout the university.
Examples of such programs include executive education programs, Statler Hotel, Cornell University Hospital for Animals, royalty income, athletic programs and ticket revenue, rental income, student health insurance premiums, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.
Our Spending Budget: Operating Budget Expenses
Compensation and Benefits: Employee Salaries, Wages, and Benefits
Amount: $3,483M (FY 2023)This amount includes salaries, wages, other compensation, and benefits for all non-contract college employees.
The State of New York pays the benefits for all contract college employees.
Historical Workforce Numbers
|Total Academic Workforce||5,903||5,822||5,771||5,639|
|Total Nonacademic Workforce||14,260||13,452||12,952||12,800|
Amount: $640M (FY 2023)
This amount represents the financial support awarded by the university on the basis of financial need to individual undergraduate students to offset some portion of the amount of tuition and/or room and board billed to the student. Merit scholarships are not awarded.
For graduate students, the amount of financial aid awarded may be based on financial need and/or student merit.
This amount also includes the stipends awarded to students, typically as a component of a fellowship award or appointment as a graduate teaching or research assistant.
Cornell Undergraduate Financial Aid Goals
- Strengthen the economic diversity of Cornell’s student body.
- Provide access to education for deserving students, regardless of their ability to pay.
- Enable students to pursue studies and careers that match their skills and interests, rather than careers that ensure they will be able to repay their loans.
- Maintain competitiveness of Cornell’s financial aid package vis-à-vis peer institutions.
- Support need-blind admissions: Undergraduate students are admitted without regard to their ability to pay.
- Provide need-based financial aid: Institutional methodology is used to determine financial need based on information from students and parents (no merit scholarships; no athletic scholarships).
- Meet full need: Cornell is committed to assisting undergraduate students in meeting their full financial need.
- Family responsibility: Students and parents/families should have a significant stake in their Cornell education. Financial aid is a partnership between the family and the university.
- Flexibility: Need may be met through various types of financial aid packaging (combination of work, loan, and institutional grant aid).
- Sustainability: Use a sustainable balance of restricted to unrestricted funds for financial aid; manage financial aid programs so the university budget remains within balance.
How Aid Packages Are Constructed
Cost of Attendance (Financial Aid Budget)
Tuition + Room/Board + Books + Travel + Misc. Expenses
Student Contribution+ Parent Contribution
(+Non-Custodial Parent Contribution, if applicable)
Student’s Financial Need
Differences Between Undergraduate and Graduate Aid
Undergraduate student demonstrated financial need is met with grants, work-study, and loans.
Graduate students are eligible for federal student loans and receive department awards and research stipends: https://gradschool.cornell.edu/policies/funding/
Doctoral students (Ph.D.) receive competitive funding packages that include tuition, fees, Student Health Plan (SHP), and a stipend. Nearly 97% of Ph.D. students are fully funded through fellowships, assistantships, and generous supplements for certain types of external funding that the students may receive.
Master’s degree students receive limited financial assistance although this can vary widely by department and degree. Master’s students may be eligible for conference travel grants from the Graduate School, educational loans through the Financial Aid office, and competitive awards offered through their graduate field.
Sources of Undergraduate Financial Aid
Total Undergraduate Financial Aid: $456,117,658 (FY 2023)
|Category: Aid from Federal (Title IV) Sources||Total||Percent/Total|
|Fed Work Study Awards (includes institutional matching funds)||$7,753,247||1.70%|
|Fed Direct Loan Subsidized||$9,161,439||2.00%|
|Fed Direct Loan Unsubsidized||$7,384,973||1.60%|
|Total Aid from Federal (Title IV) Sources||$42,764,472||9.40%|
|*Federal Grants Breakdown||Total||Percent/Total|
|Fed Pell Grants||$15,527,896||3.40%|
|Federal SEOG Grants (Federal share only)||$2,936,917||0.60%|
|Total Federal Grants||$18,464,813||4.00%|
|Category: Non-Title IV or Cornell Sources||Total||Percent/Total|
|NY Grants (HEOP/EOP, TAP, Merit, Excelsior/ETA)||$7,052,344||1.50%|
|Outside Grants and Scholarships not Otherwise Categorized||$18,520,463||4.10%|
|Total Non-Title IV or Cornell Sources||$45,197,303||9.90%|
|Category: Cornell Grants and Loans||Total||Percent/Total|
|Unrestricted Funds Grants||$307,773,668||67.50%|
|Endowed Funds Grants||$49,511,298||10.90%|
|Restricted Gifts Grants||$7,823,533||1.70%|
|Total Cornell Grants and Loans||$368,155,883||80.70%|
Supplies, Services, and Other: Operational Costs
Amount: $1,261M (FY 2023)
General expenses are the costs necessary to maintain the university’s daily operations and administer its business. Purchased services are expenses associated with services contracted for and performed by a third party rather than the university’s internal staff.
Examples of general expenses include office supplies, laboratory supplies, communication, travel, insurance, etc.
Examples of purchased services include search firms, technology companies, independent consultants, caterers, performers, etc.
Repair and Maintenance
Amount: $81M (FY 2023)
This amount includes the cost of maintaining and operating the university’s physical plant.
Examples of such costs include utilities, routine and preventive maintenance, and lease rental costs.
Debt Service: Repayment of Debts
Amount: $115M (FY 2023)
Debt service is an internally billed amount covering the repayment of principal and interest on loans the university provided to individual operating units.
Debt proceeds from external borrowings are typically managed as a university pooled resource (a.k.a., the university bond pool) and allocated out to specific units for specific projects.
Operating units repay these loans to the university bond pool through the debt service accounted for in the operating budget. Resources within the university bond pool are used to pay principal and interest to external bond holders, but this activity is not reported through the university operating budget.
Qatar Operational Costs
Amount: $135M (FY 2023)
These expenses are personnel and non-personnel costs associated with all educational program and research operations of the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in Qatar.
Amount: $5M (FY 2023)
A reserve amount established to satisfy unexpected obligations.