Support & Resources
Cornell University offers a vast amount of resources to help students succeed and thrive. First-Generation & Low-Income (FGLI) Student Support empowers students to navigate and access essential resources for short-term relief and long-term planning to address their basic needs. In addition to the resources listed above, FGLI collaborates with campus partners to offer workshops and educate students with undocumented and DACA status on maintaining financial sustainability, food security, stable housing, and overall wellness. Please review the information below for more resources.
Below are some resources and programs offered through our campus and community partners.
QUESTIONS? Please direct any questions to FGLIempowerment@cornell.edu.
Cornell strives to alleviate barriers to student success, particularly when it comes to food security. Students have access to the following programs and resources:
- The Cornell Food Pantry is a Free, permanent option for students facing food insecurity. Located at 109 McGraw Place, the Cornell Food Pantry is an initiative to help provide food security at Cornell. Click here to register and learn more information about the Cornell Food Pantry.
- Anabel's Grocery: student-run grocery store offers fresh, nutritious, and affordable food for all Cornell students,
- Swipe Out Hunger: students not on a meal plan can request emergency meal swipes, and students who are on a meal plan can donate bonus meals to be distributed to students in need. For more information, review FAQ’s.
- Healthy Eating: nutrition counseling is available for students seeking information about dietary needs.
Cornell offers a variety of resources for on-and off-campus housing needs.
- If you have an urgent housing crisis and need an immediate housing solution, call Cornell University Dispatch at 607-255-1111 and request to be connected to the Administrator on-Call.
- If you would like to live on campus, Cornell offers a range of housing options beyond traditional residential dorms. Browse expansive on-campus housing options and learn more about the multiple community centers where you can get a bite to eat, find a place to study, work out, or just hang out with friends.
- For those who are considering off-campus housing, we encourage you to get answers to your questions about leases, landlord disputes, renter’s insurance, or other off-campus housing issues by contacting the Office of Off-Campus Living. Off-Campus Living provides housing assistance, education, and referral services to the Cornell community that lives off-campus. They are committed to providing information and services that result in informed housing decisions.
- It is also important to consider the legal implications of signing a lease. Ithaca Tenants Union offers many resources, including the Tenants Legal Hotline. Call 607-301-1560 for free legal advice about housing law violations in Tompkins County.
Health & Wellness
Cornell requires quality health insurance for all students. Student Health Benefits provides the information you need.
- Need guidance or advice about a physical or mental health concern? Cornell Health can help. Or, call 607-255-5155 to speak with a health care provider 24/7 if you need guidance or advice about a physical or mental health concern. For emergencies, call 911.
- Your mental health and emotional well-being are just as important as your physical health. Find a multitude of resources or connect with a Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) counselor to support your mental health at Cornell. Check out programs like Let’s Talk drop-in sessions and Let’s Meditate virtual sessions.
- Here are additional campus-wide Mental Health Resources.
- The Access Fund provides financial support for students with low-income status. Students with undocumented/DACA status who are low-income can also apply for the access fund. The Access Fund provides up to $500 per academic year (Spring & Fall semesters only) to aid with expenses such as professional or academic conference registration, a Cornell gym membership, unexpected catastrophic costs for medical, vision, or dental expenses not covered by insurance, or approved winter accessories. For more information about the Access Fund, including the application and process, please review FAQ’s.
- For funding to support transformative experiences beyond the scope of the Access Fund, review these opportunities offered across Cornell’s colleges and schools.
- If you have unexpected costs for an emergency, the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment administers three (3) separate funds that provide assistance to students with necessary emergency expenses: the CU Emergency Fund, the Students Helping Student Fund, and DACA Renewal Fee Emergency Funds. For questions about your financial aid package or any of these funds, Schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor.
- Looking to earn extra money and build skills? Review postings for available student jobs here.
Student support & advocacy services
The Office of Student Support and Advocacy Services assists students in navigating difficult life events and crisis situations that impact their ability to be successful. They utilize a student-centered and individualized approach to support and empower students. The office serves as the central point of contact for students, families, and community members and collaborates with campus partners to holistically support students.
- The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives offers general advising on personal and academic support, as well as planning for future academic and professional aims and referrals specifically for undocumented students as part of the trailblazers program.
- The Office of Global Learning assists international students, academic staff, and their families by advising on U.S. federal immigration and other issues, and through web resources, information sessions, and events. They also provide counseling on personal, academic, and cultural matters. To speak with a staff member directly, email email@example.com.
Clinical faculty at Cornell Law School may provide, free of charge, confidential legal assistance and/or referrals to undocumented Cornell students, including DACA students.
- For assistance with undocumented/DACA-related legal matters, contact Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer, associate clinical professor of law, Cornell Law School: firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-255-9898.
- For assistance with immigration legal issues other than DACA, such as an immigration court proceeding or criminal/immigration law matter, please email email@example.com to reach the team of Cornell Law faculty working on immigration issues. If you are an international student or have questions about a student visa, please contact the Office of Global Learning.
- The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School is a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them without cost. They publish law online and create materials that help people understand the law.
- Emergency Funds for DACA Renewal - Cornell University offers funding for enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students) to renew their DACA.
- CU Impact Fellowship - The CU Impact is an experiential learning program focused on creating transformative and enriching experiences for Cornell University undergraduate students with undocumented status. In addition to the opportunities to increase their professional development, career exploration, and community engagement, students are awarded a $1,250 scholarship for the semester-long fellowship. Please see our FAQs for more information.
Sanctuary City and County Resolutions
"Cornell will continue to vigilantly protect the privacy of student information and records from any unauthorized or unlawful intrusion. Although Cornell representatives, including the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD), will comply with lawfully issued subpoenas and warrants, it is neither the University’s practice nor expectation to function as an agent of the federal government regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws. This means that CUPD will not honor a civil immigration detainer request from a federal agent unless accompanied by a judicial warrant except in the narrow circumstances delineated in Tompkins County Resolution 2017-21.
CUPD will not seek immigration status information of any individual in the course of its law enforcement activities unless necessary to investigate criminal activity by that individual or required by law. (They are required, however, to ask the citizenship of arrested individuals.) Cornell Police have always acted, and will continue to perform their duties, in a professional manner and in the spirit of rules established for officers in the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County.”
— Cornell’s joint statement affirming support for DACA students, April 10, 2017. Read the full statement here.
The Tompkins County Legislature passed a resolution making the county a "sanctuary county." This resolution serves to "maintain a safe, inclusive government and ensure the protection, order, conduct, safety, health, and well-being of all persons in Tompkins County." The city of Ithaca has a similar resolution. Like all such sanctuary resolutions across the country, however, the local resolutions cannot legally bar federal immigration officials from entering the county and city. For more on immigration sanctuary policies generally, see the Searching for Sanctuary Report and the National Map of Local Entanglement with ICE both from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
QUESTIONS? Please direct any questions to FGLIempowerment@cornell.edu.
- Office of Off-Campus Living
The Office of Off-Campus Living provides housing assistance, education, and referral services to the Cornell community that lives off-campus. They are committed to providing information and services that result in informed housing decisions.
- Ithaca Tenants Union
The Ithaca Tenants Union offers many resources, including the Tenants Legal Hotline. Call 607-301-1560 for free legal advice about housing law violations in Tompkins County.
- Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga
Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga provides a coordinated network of human services dedicated to serving low income and vulnerable people in Tompkins County. It works in partnership with local human service agencies, community coalitions, local faith communities and interfaith groups, addressing gaps in service in a collaborative fashion, to respond to urgent needs of individuals, families and the community.
New York State
- New York State Youth Leadership Council
The NYSYLC is the first undocumented youth-led organization in New York and works to empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and self-expression. It provides legal, educational, and professional resources for undocumented and DACA individuals at different stages of their personal, educational, and professional journey.
- New York State Dream Act
The NYS Dream gives undocumented and other students access to New York State‐administered grants and scholarships that support their higher education costs.
- Make The Road New York
Make The Road New York offers an array of services to both members and non-members in New York City on issues ranging from housing, immigration, youth education, and beyond.
- President's Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration
The President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration is an alliance of American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities. It provides access to different resources on a wide array of topics ranging from higher education to immigration policy.
- Immigrants Rising
Immigrants Rising, formerly known as Educators for Fair Consideration, is a San Francisco-based organization that supports undocumented and DACA students. It provides undocumented and DACA individuals with legal and educational resources and support to help them access higher education, pursue careers, and build a brighter future for themselves and their community.
- Immigration Advocates Network Legal Services Directory
Immigration Advocates Network Legal Services Directory provides access to immigration legal services providers by state, county, or detention facility that are free or low-cost.
- National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Law Center is one of the leading organizations in the US exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants. It provides access to trainings and different legal resources to help provide guidance on multiple aspects of immigration policy.
- United We Dream
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. It provides legal, educational, and mental health resources amongst others to support undocumented and DACA individuals.