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Tuition and fees are due in full on the due date unless the account has an approved payment plan. It is the student’s responsibility to pay tuition and fees regardless of attendance. Students may either:

  • Pay semester tuition and fees in full before the due date of each semester, or
  • Enroll in the Online Compass Payment plan deferred payment plan.

The Payment plan is designed to finance all, or a portion of, tuition not covered by financial assistance such as grants, loans and scholarships. Contact Student Accounts for more information. After a student has registered for a course, Cornish has committed space in that course for that student, regardless of attendance.

Cornish College of the Arts reserves the right to withhold grade cards, academic transcripts, diplomas and letters of recommendation until all charges have been paid and the student’s account is cleared. Student Accounts reserves the right to suspend the student privilege of participating in Commencement/Graduation Ceremonies if the student has an unpaid student account balance. Failure to pay tuition and fees can result in cancellation of registration and financial aid.

Tuition Past Due

Cornish College will consider the tuition past due if payment in full is not completed within 10 days of the tuition due date. Cornish charges late fees for past due accounts at the rate of $10 for each $1000 past due. The minimum late fee is $25. The late fees are charged on the first day of class and every 30 days from that point. In special cases Cornish may cancel enrollment if the account is not paid by the due date. Cancellation for non payment is not automatic: to avoid charges for the semester, students must formally withdraw prior to the first day of class.

Additionally, Cornish reserves the right to withhold academic transcripts for past due student accounts or Perkins Loan accounts. Collection costs are added to the debt when it is necessary to refer the account to a collection agency. Contact Student Accounts for more information. When a student leaves school or fails to register for the next semester, recipients of Federal Stafford and Perkins loans must schedule an exit interview with Financial Aid and Student Accounts. Students graduating from Cornish must complete their exit counseling and have a paid student account before participation in commencement ceremonies is permitted.

Refunds & Adjustments

Refunds and adjustments are available for college-credit courses 15 weeks or longer. Lack of attendance does not cancel a student’s incurred financial obligation. Adjustments and refunds of tuition and fees are permitted only when a student officially withdraws from Cornish or completes change-of-registration procedures. The withdrawal process is not complete until it is signed by the Director of Registration and Records.


Tuition refund calculations are based on three factors.

  1. The date that either an Add/Drop or Complete Withdrawal Form is received and dated in Registration & Records;
  2. A predetermined refund schedule;
  3. The dollar amount a student has paid toward tuition (cash and/or financial aid). If a credit balance results from a drop or withdrawal and is determined to be owed back to the student, a refund check will be mailed to the student. It may take up to two weeks for a refund check to be processed. Cash refunds are not available for courses taken for non-credit.


Recipients of federal financial aid who drop below 6 credit hours or completely withdraw from Cornish during the established refund schedule will have their financial aid recalculated according to federally regulated guidelines. Depending on the outcome of a recalculation, students may owe:

  • all or a portion of their federal loans (to be paid back to their lending institution), and/or
  • all or a portion of the tuition and fees for which they were originally charged.

Regulations also allow an institution to retain, deduct, or charge a “reasonable administrative fee” not to exceed the lesser of 5 percent of the total institutional charge or $100. Additional recalculation information can be obtained from Student Accounts.

Tuition Refund Schedule

College Credit Courses: 15 Weeks or More

On or before the first day of class: 100%
Remainder of first week of semester: 75%
Second week: 50%
After the second Friday of semester: No refund
Third and following weeks: No refund

Summer & Special Courses: 5 – 14 Weeks

Before the first day of class: 100% refund
First day through end of first week: 40% refund
Beginning the second week: No refund

Summer & Special Courses: 4 Weeks or Less

Before the first day of class: 100% refund
Beginning with the first day of class: No refund

Summer at Cornish and other special programs may employ special refund dates. Please check your registration information for more details.

Students who have withdrawn under exceptional circumstances may petition for a full or partial refund. Exceptional circumstances must be carefully documented on a Refund Petition. Refund Petitions must be filed with the Student Accounts by the last day of the eighth week of the semester for which the student is petitioning for a refund.

Cornish College of the Arts reserves the right to change tuition rates and fee schedules at any time without prior notice.