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Marla Love hands out hydrangeas near Willard Straight Hall during the first day of classes for Fall semester.

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.

On Campus

QUESTIONS? Please direct any questions to

Access Fund

The Access Fund provides enrolled full-time undergraduate, graduate, and professional Cornell students who qualify as low-income based on their financial aid package with up to $500 of financial support to help mitigate on-campus barriers, access basic necessities, and assist with unexpected expenses not covered through financial aid, health insurance, or other university resources. Access Fund requests must meet the application guidelines before they are processed and approved. Processing, approval, and funding priority will be given based on the urgency of the situation. Because of the Access Fund guidelines, students may be referred to additional resources, including financial aid to explore loan options. Please review the information carefully prior to submitting an application for the Access Fund.

  1. What type of expenses may the Access Fund provide aid for?
    This is not an exhaustive list. Expenses may include Cornell gym membership, unexpected catastrophic costs for medical, vision, or dental expenses not covered by insurance, professional interview attire, certain personal hygiene products, certain winter accessories, laptop repairs, professional conference registration, approved costs associated with a summer internship, and transportation costs to attend a funeral of a family member.
  2. Who can apply for the Access Fund?
    Current enrolled Cornell Students who qualify as low-income per their student financial aid package. The Access Fund is not available for partners or spouses.
  3. When is the Access Fund available?
    The Access Fund is available in the Fall and Spring semesters for a total of up to $500. The Access Fund is not available for the Summer or Winter terms.
  4. What type of expenses are not approved by the Access Fund?
    This is not an exhaustive list. Expenses not approved for the Access Fund include tuition, university fees, classroom supplies, a meal plan, groceries, food and beverages, rent and utility expenses, parking tickets, late fees, Cornell ID replacement, credit card debt, hotel costs, storage, fees associated with graduate school, textbooks, transportation, or other expenses calculated into the cost of attendance as part of the student’s financial aid package. Funding will not be approved for expenses for spouses or partners. Funding is not available for travel, new laptops, academic supplies, or furniture.  If you are local and need support for groceries, we encourage you to visit the Cornell Food Pantry webpage to learn more and submit an application.   
  5. How do students apply for the Access Fund? 
    To apply for grants through the Access Fund, students must complete the Access Fund Application. Applications should be submitted at least four(4) weeks or 30 business days before the funds are needed. 
  6. What is the approval process?
    The Access Fund is not an emergency fund. Applications are first reviewed and, if approved, are submitted to the business office for disbursement. The student will be notified by email within two weeks (14 business days) upon receipt of the application. If the application is not approved or pending further documentation, the student will be notified by email within two weeks (14 business days) upon receipt of the application. In certain situations, the student may be referred to additional resources, including financial aid to explore other options.
  7. What if I have more questions?
    Contact us at

To make a gift in support of the Access Fund, please visit our online giving page.

CU Impact Fellowship

The CU Impact Fellowship is an experiential learning program focused on creating transformative and enriching experiences for Cornell University undergraduate students with undocumented status. In collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean of Students for Student Empowerment, and campus partners, 

  1. What are the requirements?
    Fellows are required to commit 20 hours per month to their project and report progress to their assigned mentor on a regular basis. Students may not have more than one CU Impact Fellowship per semester. Fellows may complete their fellowship within a professional environment on or off campus. Applicants must identify and collaborate with a fellowship host to develop a specific project. 
  2. What are the CU Impact Fellowship application requirements?
    Currently, enrolled undergraduate students with undocumented status are eligible to apply. Applications must include the following:
    • Fellowship project description (max 500 words)
    • Statement of Interest explaining how the fellowship project will contribute to your academic and professional goals (max 500 words)
    • Resume
    • Please submit application materials to by the following deadlines: 
      • January 15 for a spring fellowship (February – May)
      • August 15 for a fall fellowship (September – December)
  3. What are the requirements for hosting a CU Impact Fellowship?
    Fellowships may take place within Cornell University or with an external organization. Because Cornell University is holistically committed to supporting students with undocumented status, University departments, faculty, and staff hosting CU Impact Fellows contribute 50% of the scholarship award. For external organizations that are unaffiliated with Cornell University, fellowships are fully funded by the Office of the Dean of Students. Hosting organizations, in collaboration with the student candidate, develop a fellowship project description. In addition to outlining project goals and tasks, the project description establishes a commitment to the project and anticipated student enrichment.
  4. What do fellows receive?
    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. 
  5. How are fellowship funds received?
    Fellowship funds are deposited to your Bursar account. If there are any outstanding balances on your Bursar account, the funds will first be applied toward that balance, and you will receive any remaining funds through direct deposit. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

Swipe Out Hunger

Cornell Dining helps to promote food security on campus through a partnership with the Office of the Dean of Students to provide supplemental meals to students while they secure more permanent options. 

  1. What is Swipe Out Hunger? (SOH)
    Swipe Out Hunger is the leading nonprofit addressing hunger amongst college students. Founded by a group of friends at UCLA in 2010, it has grown campus by campus into a national movement serving more than 1.5 million nutritious meals to date. SOH has partnerships with 62 college and university partners, including Cornell University.
  2. What is food insecurity?
    Food insecurity is defined as “the condition of not having access to sufficient food, or food of an adequate quality, to meet one's basic needs.” According to the USDA, someone is experiencing food insecurity when they lack “consistent access to enough food… to live an active healthy life.” Among college students, food insecurity is on the rise, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 college students. 
  3. What are the causes of food insecurity?
    A number of factors may affect food security ranging from being low-income to having a chronic health condition. A person is at a higher risk of facing food insecurity when they at times run out of money to buy food, or they sometimes run out of food before they can get more money. 
  4. How is Cornell promoting food security for its students?
    Cornell Dining and the Peggy J. Koenig ’78 Associate Dean of Students for Student Empowerment and Director of First-Generation & Low-Income Student Support have partnered with Swipe Out Hunger to provide temporary support to students who are food insecure. Through Swipe Out Hunger (SOH), Cornell students have the opportunity to donate one of their bonus meals to the Swipe Out Hunger fund. 
  5. How does Swipe Out Hunger work?
    Cornell students who meet eligibility requirements receive a determined number of SOH bonus meals to their account. Participating students can use the SOH bonus meals in any of Cornell Dining’s Dining Rooms. 
  6. What are the parameters for the SOH bonus meals?
    • SOH is not a replacement meal plan. It is a temporary supplemental solution while a student establishes a permanent option with Cornell Dining.
    • The SOH bonus meals cannot be used for a guest, do not carry over past this semester, and do not come with Big Red Bucks.
    • The SOH bonus meals are not accepted at restaurants and cafes on or off campus.
  7. How do students apply for SOH?
    Students experiencing food insecurity during the academic year should complete the Bonus Meal Distribution Form.
  8. How do students donate bonus meals to SOH?
    You can also donate a meal swipe by visiting