Financial Aid FAQ

Please select one of the dropdown panels to view our frequently asked questions:

  • What is Financial Aid?

    • The Cooper Union offers financial aid to eligible students to assist them in meeting their educational expenses.

    • Financial aid is awarded for an entire academic year for eligible students, with payments made after the beginning of each semester. Amounts in excess of charges from The Cooper Union may be used to meet indirect costs and will be paid directly to the student each semester.

    • The Cooper Union offers all enrolled, undergraduate students a half-tuition scholarship currently valued at $22,275. We also offer need-based aid to help cover additional costs of attending, e.g., tuition, housing, books, supplies, etc. based on your annual FAFSA application. 

  • Who is Eligible?

    • You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need 
    • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development Certificate (GED), pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or meet other standards established by your state that the DOE approves
    • Be actively working toward a degree in an eligible program
    • Have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
    • A valid Social Security Number
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completing your course of study in accordance with your school
    • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal student grant
    • Certify that you will use federal student aid for educational purposes only
    • For more detailed information regarding: eligibility
  • How do I apply for Financial Aid?

    • The financial aid application deadlines for the 2023–2024 academic year: December 1, 2022 for early decision applicants; March 31, 2023 for regular decision applicants.

      For the 2023-2024 FAFSA, the following is required:
      1) You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with School Code 002710.

      2) If you do not already have an FSA ID, you should apply for one.

      3) If you have already filed your FAFSA, please update it using your parent's 2021 tax information and yours if you filed a return. You will be required to submit a 2021 IRS Tax Return Transcript.

      4) New York State (NYS) residents attending NYS schools can link directly to the TAP Application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page.

      5) All off-campus students may be required to submit a signed, official copy of their lease/sublease. If subleasing, please provide a notarized letter with a copy of the signed, official lease by the person whose name appears on the lease. All required documentation should be received by August 30. Failure to meet this deadline may cause your financial aid application to default to a lower cost of attendance, and your financial aid package may also be adversely impacted.

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

    • If you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you are considered independent for financial aid purposes:

      • Were you born before January 1, 2000?
      • As of today, are you married?
      • At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate degree program?
      • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
      • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
      • Do you currently have children or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024?
      • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2024?
      • At any time since you turned the age of 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, were you a dependent, or were you a ward of the court?
      • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
      • Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
      • At any time on or after July 1, 2022, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
      • At any time on or after July 1, 2022, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
      • At any time on or after July 1, 2022, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
    • If you cannot answer "yes" to one of the above questions, you are considered dependent and must include your parents' financial information when you file your FAFSA. If you are independent under the above guidelines, The Cooper Union reserves the right to request your parents' tax return.
  • I plan to get married during the academic year. Can I file my FAFSA as "married" now, since I will be married in a few months?

    • No. You must indicate your marital status as of the date you complete your FAFSA.

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

    • Students are required to complete the FAFSA each year by our priority dates. If a family's income and asset levels remain unchanged, the parent contribution may be the same as well. 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?

  • 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 reduce your Cooper Union grants in order to comply with federal financial aid regulations. 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 reevaluated.

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

  • 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. However, you will be required to provide an official, signed copy of your lease or sublease. If subleasing, you will need to 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 the required documentation, your financial aid application will default to commuter status.

  • May I request an appeal 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 your FAFSA application; your family’s financial circumstances are complex in nature; or you would like us to review the file a second time with new information or clarification not previously submitted. Complete the appeal process and email us with any additional questions.
  • Is my financial aid taxable?

    • Financial aid for fees, tuition, books, supplies, and required equipment is not taxable. Financial aid for living expenses, room, board, and transportation is taxable. We suggest you consult the IRS, the income tax instruction booklet, the FAFSA instructions, or a professional tax advisor. If you report financial aid on your tax return, be sure to list the same amount on your FAFSA.

  • What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from school?

    • When you withdraw during a period of enrollment or semester, the amount of financial aid that you have "earned" up to that point is determined by a specific formula in accordance with federal regulations—federal regulations require that students who withdraw from school prior to completing 60 percent of the semester will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the semester completed. We recommend students schedule a virtual office appointment with financial aid to determine how a withdrawal will affect their financial aid. Please review our withdrawal policy.

  • Will I be eligible for financial aid if I attend an exchange or study abroad program?

    • If the exchange or study abroad program is approved for credit, you will be eligible for financial aid.

  • What is Verification?

    • Verification is the process used to confirm the accuracy of the data reported on your FAFSA form. If you are selected for verification by the federal government and/or Cooper, we will request additional documentation that supports the information you reported. The office of financial aid will send you an email notification to your Cooper email address regarding any missing documents. You must upload the requested documents via the Student Self-Service portal. Documents submitted via email or by mail will not be accepted. If there are any discrepancies in the information you provide, your FAFSA form may need to be updated.

  • What if my financial aid application is incomplete?

  • What loans are available to Cooper Union students?

  • What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

    • Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to assist students with financial need. They are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Your school, The Cooper Union, determines the amount you can borrow. The loan amount may not exceed your financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Your school, The Cooper Union, determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.

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

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

    • Yes. Please email if you have already received your loan and wish to return a portion of the funds.

  • How do I know if I am eligible for a deferment of my Federal Stafford Loan?

    • Deferments are not automatic. You must request a deferment and provide all the information that your lender requires. Additional information can be found here. We also encourage you to reach out to our office at

  • If I defaulted on my federal student loan, can I get more federal student aid?

  • For information about payment plans, payment schedules, direct deposit set-up, health insurance, your 1098T tax form, etc.

Please contact the office of financial aid at, the office of student accounts at, or schedule a virtual appointment with a financial aid or student accounts team member if you do not find an answer to your question below.

  • 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.