Who is Eligible?

In order to receive financial aid at The Cooper Union, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans);
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development Certificate (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards established by your state that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a homeschool setting that is treated as such under state law;
  • Be working toward a degree in an eligible program;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Have a valid Social Security Number;
  • Register with the Selective Service, if applicable—you can use the FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or call (847) 688-6888 (TTY users can call (847) 688-2567);
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completing your course of study according to the standards and practices of the school;
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal student grant; and
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid for educational purposes only.

The law suspends aid eligibility for students convicted of certain illegal drug offenses. If you have a conviction or convictions for illegal drug offenses, call (800) 433-3243 to determine how, or if, this law applies to you. You can regain eligibility by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program.

In considering applications for aid, first priority is given to first-degree undergraduates who have exceptional financial need and therefore could not complete their education without such aid. Second priority is given to first-degree students who demonstrate relative need. Second-degree (those already holding a bachelor's degree) students are prohibited from receiving federal grants and are not eligible for institutional grants beyond the half-tuition scholarship. Therefore, second-degree students are referred to the various loan programs for financial assistance.


  • 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.