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Cornell University

Meeting Basic Needs at Cornell University

As a caring community, we look out for each other. First-Generation & Low-Income Student Support (FGLI) helps students access both short-term emergency relief and long-term essential services and resources to address their basic needs—financial sustainability, food security, stable housing, health and wellness, and more—so that they can benefit from a transformational educational experience.


Cornell strives to alleviate barriers to student success, particularly when it comes to food security. Students have access to the following programs and resources:

  • Cornell Food Pantry: offers free food and personal care items to the Cornell community. Located on campus at 109 McGraw Place. Enroll to participate.
  • Anabel's Grocery: student-run grocery store offers fresh, nutritious, and affordable food for all Cornell students
  • Swipe Out Hunger: students donate bonus meals to be distributed to students in need
  • Healthy Eating: nutrition counseling is available for students seeking information about dietary needs

Are you eligible for SNAP?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal program aimed at combating hunger and food insecurity. Learn more about the SNAP program, your eligibility, and who to contact with questions here.


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

Looking 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, find a place to study, work out, or just hang with friends.

Questions about leases, landlord disputes, renter’s insurance, or other off-campus housing issues?
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.

Need housing legal advice?
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.


Cornell requires quality health insurance. Now what?
Know your rights, eligibility, rates, and important dates. Student Health Benefits has all the info you need. If you are eligible for NYS Medicaid, Cornell’s Student Health Plan Plus could be a good option for you. Find out what you qualify for by emailing

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.


Need help paying for basic necessities?
First-Generation & Low-Income Student Support administers the Access Fund to provide financial support for students with limited-income status. The Access Fund covers basic needs expenses such as professional or academic conference registration, a Cornell gym membership, unexpected medical expenses not covered by insurance, and winter gear. For funding to support transformative experiences beyond basic needs, review these opportunities offered across Cornell’s colleges and schools.

Unexpected costs for an emergency?
The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment administers three 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.

Questions about your financial aid package?
Schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor.

Looking to earn extra money and build skills?
Review postings for available student jobs.


Looking for one-on-one help navigating a challenging issue?
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. We 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.


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