School of Architecture and School of Art Admitted Student FAQ

Our general student FAQ is located here. Please select one of the content tabs, and associated dropdown panels to view answers to our frequently asked questions:

Contents

  1. Orientation
  2. Registration
  3. Housing and Student Life 
  4. Enrollment, Policies, Etc.
  5. Financial Aid
  6. Work Study
  7. Health Insurance
  8. International Students
  9. Key Contacts

1. Pre-arrival and Orientation

  • I was told I need to set up my unique CooperID. How do I go about that?

    • Set up your unique CooperID by following the instructions here. Please be sure to activate this account as soon as possible as you will receive important communications from financial aid, the registrar, and student affairs through your cooper.edu email. The guide to using our student portal is here.

      If you have any difficulty, contact itsupport@cooper.edu. If you use a different name than the one that appears on your Cooper Union email, contact grace.kendall@cooper.edu in the office of student affairs. 

  • When is orientation and what parts of orientation do I need to attend?

    • The Cooper Union orientation is a mandatory program for all new and transfer undergraduate students. 

      The office of student affairs will be in touch regarding orientation over the summer. During orientation, you will learn about your academic program, meet key faculty and staff, meet your classmates, and learn important information that will be essential to your studies at Cooper. International students will attend this orientation in addition to an international student orientation (see international student FAQ below).
       

  • For the 2022 – 2023 academic year, The Cooper Union will require all students, faculty, and staff, except for those with a medical or religious exemption, to be vaccinated with an FDA-authorized or World Health Organization (WHO)-listed vaccine.  

2. Registration

  • How and when do I register for my courses?

    • The registrar will enroll students in courses this summer. Course schedules will be available on August 15. You can look up your schedule in the Course Plan tab in student self-service

      Transfer students will receive a preliminary transfer evaluation letter. You can consult with your advisor and then create your course schedule. You will register for your courses during the first week of classes.

  • How do I submit my final transcript?

    • If your final transcript has not been submitted by the end of your current school year, a hold may be placed on your account. Your high school guidance counselor will need to submit the transcript to us through the Common Application, Naviance, or Parchment. If we do not receive it we will notify you. We do not accept mailed copies. Emailed copies may be sent to admissions@cooper.edu, though we strongly prefer they be uploaded to the Common Application, Naviance, or Parchment. 

3. Housing and Student Life

4. Enrollment, Policies, Etc.

All school policies relating to the code of conduct, alcohol, drugs, smoking, copyrights, sexual assault, non-discrimination, and anti-harassment can be found on the Cooper Union website here. Please ensure that you read these policies before classes begin as you will be responsible for abiding by those policies.

  • Who is my academic advisor?

    • School of Architecture: Monica Shapiro (monica.shapiro@cooper.edu) is the academic advisor. She will guide you regarding issues with scheduling, course sections, and any other aspects of your academic pursuits.

    • School of Art: Frances Northcutt Green (frances.green@cooper.edu) is the first-year advisor. She will guide you regarding issues with scheduling, course sections, and any other aspects of your academic pursuits. 

    • School of Art Transfer Students: Doug Ashford (doug.ashford@cooper.edu) is your academic advisor. He will guide you regarding issues with scheduling, course sections, and any other aspects of your academic pursuits. 

  • Where do I go to find School of Architecture registration and advisement information?

    • If you are a first-year student or a transfer student admitted into first-year, you will be pre-registered for your first two semesters. Click here for information pertaining to transfer student advising and credit evaluations. For post first-year registration instructions click here.

    • Masters of Science in Architecture students work with the School of Architecture office to prepare a course plan/registration for each semester of study. You can find the degree requirements here

  • Where do I go to find School of Art registration and advisement information?

    • If you are a first-time student, we will register you for your first two semesters.

    • If you are a transfer student, we will contact you to discuss your prior work and an appropriate schedule for your first semester.

    • If you are an exchange student, we will contact you to discuss your preferences for classes.

    • For general School of Art advising questions, please visit the Academic Advisement FAQ webpage.

  • What is the policy regarding academic standards and academic probation?

  • What if I need a disability accommodation?

    • Students seeking accommodations due to a condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are required to formally self-identify through the office of dean of students. The dean of students will work with the student to clarify requested accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to speak directly with each of their faculty members to see how their accommodations can be met in each unique classroom and/or laboratory setting. The dean of students, Chris Chamberlin can be reached by e-mail at christopher.chamberlin@cooper.edu

  • What if I need to take a leave of absence?

  • When are club hours?

    • Club hours are every Tuesday from 12 – 2 pm. Use of club hours for academic purposes is strictly forbidden.

  • Can I receive credit for internships?

  • What do I do about courses taken at other schools?

    • School of Architecture students complete electives in their 3rd, 4th, and 5th years of study. For more information click here.

    • School of Art students need to get permission from their instructor and/or the appropriate administrator. Your advisor will inform you of specific classes that are open to School of Art students and the process to request a seat. You can also take the initiative and seek classes aligned with your interests.

  • What is the Humanities and Social Sciences program? 

    • Cooper Union is comprised of four faculties—Art, Architecture, Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Adding, dropping, or section changes of humanities courses, require the approval of the humanities faculty. The HSS dean’s office is on the 3rd floor of 41 Cooper Square.

  • How can I address safety, security, and campus emergencies?

    • Cooper Union is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students, staff, and faculty. All Cooper personnel and professors will review safety procedures before you start working with them.

    • If you witness any safety violations while on campus, you are strongly urged to report them to the supervising staff member and/or professor. Remember, you are an integral part of keeping our campus safe and secure. Every active student will be provided with a photo identification card that must be swiped to gain entry into 41 Cooper Square, the Foundation Building, and the Residence Hall. Visitors can be signed in through the dean’s office. Host students must accompany their guests at all times. Visitor(s) passes are issued in the dean’s office, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.
       

5. Financial Aid

  • Will my financial aid eligibility be the same all four years?

    • Students are required to complete the FAFSA each year by our priority dates which will determine eligibility. Some common causes for change in future financial aid awards include a change in family income, a change in the number of family members in college, and a change to household size.

  • Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to remain eligible for financial aid?

    • You must maintain a 2.00 GPA per semester and be registered full time to receive Institutional financial aid. 

  • Will my financial aid change if I had originally planned to live on campus for fall and now will be living at home?  

    • It depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA. For more detailed information, please schedule an online meeting to speak with a financial aid officer. 

  • Will I lose my financial aid if I my GPA is below 2.0?

    • Yes. Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress which means they must maintain a minimum GPA and be considered a full-time student. Students on academic probation for two semesters are ineligible for federal financial aid. All Cooper Union scholarships and grants require a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Students who fall below 2.0 will be notified and offered a range of support based on the challenges they are facing. Please review our satisfactory academic progress policy here

  • How do outside scholarships affect my Cooper Union financial aid award?

    • The impact of external scholarships on your award depends on the conditions or requirements of the donors. In certain cases, your outside scholarship may impact your financial aid package.

  • May I request a re-evaluation of my financial aid package? 

    • You can submit a request to have your financial aid award reconsidered for one of the following reasons: 

      • Your family’s financial circumstances have changed since you originally submitted the FAFSA application

      • Your family’s financial circumstances are complex in nature, and you would like us to re-review the file with new information or clarification not previously submitted.

    • As appeals vary and can be sensitive in nature, we recommend that you review our appeal process and complete the financial aid appeal process form.

  • What if my financial aid application is still incomplete?

    • If your financial aid application was incomplete at the time of admission, you can still complete it in a very timely manner and receive a financial aid evaluation. Please upload and attach the documents via your student self-service account. We no longer accept any required financial aid verification documents to be sent via email. If you have any questions regarding any verification-related questions, please contact faverify@cooper.edu or schedule an online meeting to speak with financial aid officer.

  • Will I lose other financial aid if I receive a scholarship?

    • All financial aid is based upon your financial need. Since a scholarship reduces your need, you will require less financial aid to meet your educational expenses. You must notify the office of financial aid if you receive any scholarships, loans or grants from any source so that your need may be reappraised.

  • What are the requirements to accept a Federal Stafford Loan?

    • You need to accept the loan through the student self service portal. You will also be required to complete federal entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note.

    • For the parent plus loan, parents must complete the plus loan application and sign a Master Promissory Note.

  • I do not want to borrow the full amount of Federal Stafford Loan. Can I ask for less? 

    • Yes. When you receive your Federal Stafford Loan Acceptance Agreement, request only the amount you will need for the academic year. Please contact the office of financial aid if you have already received your loan and wish to return a portion of the funds.

  • Can I receive financial aid to live off-campus even though my parents live within commuting distance to the school?

    • Yes, you may opt to live in off-campus housing near school. You will be required to provide a copy of your signed, valid lease or sublease. If subleasing, please provide a notarized letter with a copy of the signed lease by the person whose name appears on the lease; the landlord must also sign the lease. If you do not submit required documentation your financial aid application will default to commuter status.

  • Can I file my financial aid application independent of my parents?

    • All applicants for federal student aid are considered independent or dependent. For detailed information on your dependency status, please visit here

  • What is Verification?

    • Your application may be selected for a review called "verification". We will ask you to provide certain types of financial documentation to verify that the information you provided is correct.
      The verification documents can be viewed via your student self-service portal. Forms are also available here. You will need to upload required additional documents via your student self-service portal. We will compare both the FAFSA and the worksheet. If there are differences, your FAFSA information may need to be corrected.

  • What will my bill look like?    

    • We do not send paper bills. You can view your bill by logging in to the student self-service portal after July 5. All Cooper Union students will receive a billing notice via email. Students must review the bill and make their payment by the due date.  

  • Does Cooper Union offer a payment plan?

    • Yes. The payment plan starts August 5 and ends April 5. Payment plans are per semester, the first payment for fall is August 5. 
       
      There is a $50 enrollment fee per semester, per enrollment plan. This fee will be charged to your account at the time of your payment plan enrollment. 

  • How do I enroll in direct deposit?

    • Please review detailed instructions for direct deposit sign up here

  • What is the difference between subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans?

    • The federal government pays the interest for a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled. With an unsubsidized loan, the student is responsible for the interest while in school with the option to defer payments until after graduation. The interest on the unsubsidized loan starts accruing as soon as the loan is disbursed.

  • What loans are available to Cooper Union students?

    • Loan information is available here

  • How do I retrieve my 1098IT tax form?

    • You can retrieve the 1098IT tax form online by logging into your student self-service portal under tax information. Please contact bursar@cooper.edu for questions.

6. Work-Study

  • What is Federal Work-Study?

    • Federal Work-Study is a program based on financial need that allows students to work part-time. Funds earned through employment will assist students with their educational expenses and will be paid to the students for hours worked. Cooper does not apply money earned through work study to tuition payments. Please review Federal Work-Study information here.

  • How do students apply for a campus job?

    • There are two types of jobs available, one paid by various departments/schools at The Cooper Union and the other is paid through the Federal Work-Study program. Eligibility for Federal Work-Study is determined by the FAFSA. The financial aid award will indicate whether a student is eligible for Federal Work-Study. Students must meet with a financial aid counselor regarding the hiring process. Students are paid directly; their earnings are not applied toward their tuition bill. Students who are not eligible for Federal Work-Study can search and apply for campus jobs here. Contact Jaya.Patel@cooper.edu to start the process. 

7. Health Insurance

  • How do I submit the immunization form?  

    • The deadline for submitting medical visit forms is June 5 by 5pm. Those that have not submitted forms by the deadline will be assessed a $100 fee. There are no exceptions. Contact Eric Conley at eric.conley@cooper.edu with any questions. Student health forms are required for all new incoming students. Completed forms must be submitted through the applicant portal or emailed to eric.conley@cooper.edu

  • How do I notify The Cooper Union that I have health insurance through my parent(s)?

    • Health insurance is automatically billed with your tuition on every student bill. If you wish to decline coverage you must request the insurance waiver through the health insurance company. If you do not decline coverage by October 15 you will be responsible for the charges. If you are planning to use your own insurance, you will need to submit proof of coverage and should ask your provider if you are covered in New York state. For additional information, please visit the health insurance company website.

    • International students, please see FAQ below for more information.

  • What mental health resources are available to Cooper students? 

    • During the academic year we offer several different types of mental health resources, drop-in and scheduled sessions with Cooper counselors are available. We also have short-term counseling with our network of off-campus counselors via www.CooperCare a tele-health service that is accessed through their website or phone app and provides services for physical health issues, brief and immediate mental health support, and ongoing, scheduled therapy sessions. 

8. International Students

  • As an F-1 student, must I have health insurance and purchase it through Cooper? Is the insurance I already have from my home country not good enough? Where do I go to see a doctor or find more information about medical issues and health?

    • All F-1 students must have medical Insurance prior to their arrival in the U.S. Cooper provides health insurance for all students through Wellfleet. Students who are covered under their own or their parent's insurance policy may choose to waive The Cooper Union Accident & Sickness plan if their insurance plan is active and verified to encompass all requirements. To enroll or waive the health insurance plan, you must access the plan at http://www.wellfleetstudent.com using your Cooper Union ID number. If you do not waive it by the deadline provided, you will be automatically charged for the year. For further information, please contact studentaccounts@cooper.edu.
  • What is a DSO?

    • The U.S. government calls university staff members that can update SEVIS and issue I-20’s DSOs or PDSOs, which stands for “Designated School Official” or “Primary Designated School Official”. DSOs can answer your questions and guide you through the process of studying in the United States. All SEVP‑certified schools are required to have DSOs that are certified to communicate with SEVP, update your student record, and have the knowledge to help you maintain your student status by providing advice or helping you fill out important government documents.
  • What is an I-20?

    • All F and M students that study in the United States need a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” Once accepted into a school such as Cooper, international students will need to submit a request for an I-20 from their designated school official (DSO). You must also obtain a I-20 form for any eligible dependents you plan to bring to the United States with you. Financial documentation that provides proof of support is required to obtain an I-20.
  • How do I request my I-20? 

    • The international students and scholars office (ISSO) will email you next steps once you are admitted to Cooper. If you have questions or misplaced that email from ISSO, please visit this webpage or contact ISSO at international@cooper.edu.
  • When will my I-20 arrive?  

    • The usual process for an I-20 request is 2-3 weeks after all completed documents have been submitted and verified. If you have any questions about your I-20, please contact ISSO at international@cooper.edu.
  • I have a visa interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but I don’t have my I-20 yet. What should I do? Will I still get the visa?

    • You can schedule your visa appointment as soon as you receive your SEVIS number from your DSO but you must have your emailed I-20 with you when you attend the interview appointment. For all U.S. visa questions, please visit www.travel.state.gov.
  • When can I enter the U.S.?

    • Students may enter the U.S. in “INITIAL” F-1 status (as new international student, not a SEVIS transfer student) up to 30 days before the program start date on their I-20. The earliest date to enter the U.S. is always printed on the I-20 document.
  • May I Enter before the 30-day window? (not recommended!)

    • Entering the U.S. earlier than the 30-day window, before your program start date is not recommended.  Customs and Border officers will NOT accept an I-20 and matching F-1 visa before the 30 days unless:
      • Students are transferring their SEVIS record from another school, such as a high school or community college, and received a “transfer pending” I-20. They may enter the U.S. anytime prior to the I-20 start date.
      • Students that show either a valid tourist visa or permit to enter under the Visa Waiver Program. However, this student will be required to exit and re-enter the U.S. again using the F-1 visa and I-20 to “activate” F-1 status prior to the start of their program date.
  • Am I allowed multiple exits and re-entries to the U.S. during the 30-day arrival window (not recommended!)

    • Making multiple trips in and out of the U.S. during the 30-day arrival window is not recommended. Students who try this often find that reentry at the U.S. border is very difficult. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials expect new students who just arrived to be on campus, attending orientation and starting classes. When a new student leaves the country and tries to reenter, CBP officials may ask many questions about class enrollment, the orientation schedule, and why “you are not” at school.
  • What documents do I need to show to enter the U.S.?

    • Students should have the following documents in their carry-on bag. Do not put these travel documents in checked suitcases:
      • Passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future)
      • F-1 (Canadian citizens exempt)
      • SEVIS Form I-20 (F-1) signed by your DSO and you
      • SEVIS fee receipt
      • Supporting financial documentation (most students use the same documents submitted for their visa application)
      • Cooper’s letter of acceptance and financial aid document
    • It is also recommended to review the travel.state.gov website for up-to-date information on travel to the U.S. and visa information
  • I am new to Cooper Union and have questions regarding the various Orientations. Which do I attend? 

    • The Cooper Union orientation is a mandatory program for all new and transfer students. Fall dates will be posted in the spring and emailed to all new students. During orientation you will learn about degree requirements, meet your classmates, meet faculty and staff, and learn about campus. This is your opportunity to ask questions you may have before the semester starts. For further information about orientation, please contact studentaffairs@cooper.edu.
    • International Orientation is a separate session with a mandatory check-in that must be made with your DSO. ISSO will send you all the information prior to your arrival to the U.S. Our ISSO orientation will prepare you for the cultural transition and provide you with very important information on how to maintain your visa status while you’re in the U.S. You must bring your passport and provide your local N.Y. address and phone number during this session.   
  • How can I pay tuition and how much is tuition?

    • For questions regarding your tuition bill, please contact the office of student accounts at studentaccounts@cooper.edu.  International students who do not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency are responsible for an additional nonrefundable international student fee of $1,005 per semester. The fee will be charged once you are registered for classes and is due with your tuition bill.   
  • How can I obtain a document to prove I'm a student at Cooper Union?

  • I attended an International High School abroad for over three years, can I request a waiver on my English Language Proficiency exam? 

    • If you have attended 3 years of an American or International High School where English is the primary language of instruction, contact admissions@cooper.edu to request a waiver. You might be asked to take the DET English proficiency exam. That can be done online with results available within 48 hours. For further information on English language proficiency requirements, please email international@cooper.edu
  • What does an International Student transfer mean exactly?

    • Students who are currently studying in an F-1 status at another school in the U.S., no matter what degree level, need to have their SEVIS record “transferred” to The Cooper Union. Only one school at a time is allowed access to a student’s SEVIS record. In order for The Cooper Union to issue a new I-20 for a student, the current school of attendance must transfer the student’s SEVIS record to The Cooper Union. The Cooper Union’s DSO is the only one that is able to process a transfer. For further information, please email Hala Alkasm, director of ISSO at hala.alkasm@cooper.edu
  • While attending The Cooper Union on an F-1, can I work or find a paid internship? Where can I learn more about F-1 employment regulations and options?

    • It is possible to be employed on campus for less than 20 hours per week while school is in session, and up to 40 hours per week when school is on break. Off-campus employment is only allowed with prior authorization from either your DSO or USCIS. Review the F-1 employment options here for more information about employment eligibility and be on the lookout for organized ISSO employment workshops available at Cooper throughout the year. 
  • How do I get a social security number or driver’s license so I can work on or off campus?

    • Talk with the DSO about working and training in the United States. You can review information regarding international student employment here. The DSO will provide important information and required documents that are needed to qualify for a social security number or driver’s license.
  • How can I learn more about the F-1 regulations? 

    • The ISSO will provide information sessions throughout the year. Make sure to check your Cooper email for all campus notices and emails from your DSO or go to: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov and view our ISSO website.
  • I am an exchange international student.  What do I need to know?

    • Exchange international students will receive their student handbook by email, and an orientation meeting will be scheduled within the first two weeks of classes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Beth Slack in the engineering deans’ office at beth.slack@cooper.edu or Frances Green in the art deans' office at frances.green@cooper.edu.

9. Key Contacts at Cooper

Office of Admissions – admissions@cooper.edu
Office of Financial Aid – financialaid@cooper.edu
International Students and Scholars Office – international@cooper.edu
Office of the Registrar – registrar@cooper.edu

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.