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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


The most significant sources of operating revenue are tuition and fees after institutional grant aid; clinical practice and other income from Weill Cornell Medicine; and government, corporate, or private foundation funding for mission-related activities. 


Operating Budget Revenue table


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

Tuition Rates
College 2022-2023 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-2020
Endowed Ithaca $62,456 $60,286 $58,586 $56,550
Contract College - Resident $41,958 $40,382 $39,244 $37,880
Contract College – Nonresident $62,456 $60,286 $58,586 $56,550
Medical Campus $64,500 $62,650 $61,110 $58,760
Business $76,690 $74,026 $71,940 $69,440
Law $74,098 $71,522 $70,188 $67,748
Veterinary Medicine $39,900 $39,206 $38,250 $37,136

Fall Enrollment Totals

Fall Enrollment
Class 2022-2023 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-2020
Undergraduate 15,735 15,503 14,743 15,043
Graduate 8,146 8,021 7,122 7,169
Professional 3,344 3,429 3,077 3,142
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


The majority of sponsored funding for research and mission-related activities comes from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and non-federal foundations.


External Sponsor Funding by Major Source table

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.

Investment Distribution

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.

Endowment Payout

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)

Payout (Withdrawal) Rates
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


Most of Cornell's budgeted operating expenses consist of salaries and benefits with the rest dedicated to maintaining Cornell's facilities and operations and supporting need-blind admissions. 


Operating Budget Expenses table

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

Academic Workforce Numbers
Academic 2022-2023 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-2020
Full-time Faculty 4,403 4,472 4,376 4,234
Full-time Non-faculty 1,089 927 960 952
Part-time Faculty 239 256 266 291
Part-time Non-faculty 172 167 169 162
Total Academic Workforce 5,903 5,822 5,771 5,639

Nonacademic Workforce Numbers
Nonacademic 2022-2023 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-2020
Full-time Employees 13,715 12,907 12,397 12,208
Part-time Employees 545 545 555 592
Total Nonacademic Workforce 14,260 13,452 12,952 12,800

Financial Aid

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


Family Contribution
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:

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)

Federal (Title IV) Sources
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%
Federal Grants* $18,464,813 4.00%
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%

Non-Title IV or Cornell Sources
Category: Non-Title IV or Cornell Sources Total Percent/Total
NY Grants (HEOP/EOP, TAP, Merit, Excelsior/ETA) $7,052,344 1.50%
ROTC Scholarships $1,185,286 0.30%
Veterans Benefits $2,692,502 0.60%
Outside Grants and Scholarships not Otherwise Categorized $18,520,463 4.10%
Private Loans $15,746,709 3.50%
Total Non-Title IV or Cornell Sources $45,197,303 9.90%

Cornell Grants and Loans
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%
Cornell Loans $3,047,384 0.70%
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.