Tuition Reset FAQ

Q: What is a tuition reset?
A: A tuition reset is an adjustment in tuition down to prior levels. This means that we have simplified financial aid packages so that no current student will pay more next year than he or she paid this year.

Q: Why did Cornish decide to reset its tuition to prior levels? Why now?
A: The Cornish leadership team made this bold decision to increase access to Cornish, strengthen diversity among our student body and address the challenges of long-term student-loan debt. With the cost of higher education continuing to climb around the country, the president and his cabinet took a swift but deliberate approach to implement a concrete change that will make Cornish more accessible.

Q: Who will be impacted by the new tuition structure?
A: The tuition reset will take effect in the 2019-2020 academic year. The new tuition structure will apply to all students – new and returning – who are enrolled in the fall of 2019.

Q: What is the new tuition price?
A: Cornish is resetting the cost of its tuition to $32,160, which is a 20 percent adjustment from current tuition levels. Ninety-five percent of Cornish students receive grants, scholarships and other tuition adjustments that lower the overall cost of attending the school. The tuition reset will lower the price of tuition, and the final cost to students depends on multiple factors, including financial aid. Cornish has financial aid team members available for counseling students and their families to understand how this reduction affects their individual situation.

Q: When will students get their updated financial aid information?
A: Students who are returning for the 2019-2020 year will receive updated financial aid information during the last week of January and the first week of February. If you have any questions regarding your financial aid letter, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance at We have counselors available for individual meetings with students and their families.

Q: How can I learn more about the impact this change will have on my financial situation?
A: If you have any questions regarding your financial aid letter or the tuition reduction, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance. We have counselors available for individual meetings with students and their families.

Q: Is this change permanent, or will tuition increase next year?
A: In resetting its tuition to prior levels, Cornish does not have plans to increase tuition at this time.

Q: How is Cornish able to reset tuition?
A: Cornish’s operating budget comprises several factors, including tuition revenue and generous support from donors. The Cornish president and his cabinet took a diligent and disciplined approach to the reset to ensure it is consistent with the institution’s mission, strategic plan and budget. Cornish expects the tuition reset will make Cornish an option for more students, increasing the overall revenue brought into the institution through student tuition.

Q: Will cuts be made to existing programs or services as a result of the tuition reset?
A: No. Cornish is committed to providing its students the training, education and opportunity they need to be empowered professionals and competitive job seekers. Cornish is reviewing its curriculum to identify areas where it might adjust current offerings to ensure students receive training in emerging professional fields that are well-suited to arts-educated professionals. Paired with the tuition reset, this curriculum analysis will strengthen the academic offerings available to students and further enhance the instruction and support provided to a diverse student body.

Q: Are you changing admissions requirements to attract more students?
A: The Cornish admission process will not change as a result of the tuition reset. Cornish will continue to seek out a diverse group of highly accomplished, capable and promising young artists who will enrich our community and contribute to society. Cornish is proud of the high standards and nuanced perspective we bring to the admissions process, and this approach will not change.