FAQs for First Year Students

FAQs for First Year Students

How do I enroll in a class?

Use to enroll in classes. 

Fellowships and Funding

Where do I get my stipend checks?

Direct deposit is available. Paper checks are available at the cashier window in Day Hall. See 

How do I check my bursar bill?

Monthly statements are sent electronically via  You are notified through your Cornell email address. Learn more:

How do I find out the details of my funding?

For students with funding, please review your acceptance letter for details. Funding comes from a variety of sources, including external agencies and the Graduate School.  If you no longer have the letter, please contact your graduate field.  Information can also be found on and sites

How do I apply for a fellowship?

The Graduate School offers a series of workshops on competitive fellowships in which you will learn to identify potential fellowships and write an application.  About 700 of our students win competitive external fellowships each year. Visit


What is the Big Red Barn?

The Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center (BRB) is the hub for graduate and professional students events. A café serves food, and beer is available weekdays after 2:15 p.m., Friday nights for TGIF and on other special occasions.

How do I meet people outside my field and become part of a community?

Embrace the greater Cornell community. Two places to find a community:

How do I find out what’s happening around campus for graduate students?

Read the weekly Graduate School Announcements, emailed to all registered graduate and professional students on Monday evenings. The Big Red Barn sends a weekly event listing via email to all registered students.  Find Graduate School events at

Where can I learn more about diversity and inclusion efforts for graduate students?

The Graduate School actively promotes a diverse and inclusive graduate community. Visit

Academic and Professional Support

What kind of support can I get from the Graduate School?

Each year, the Graduate School offers over 1900 hours of programming designed to support your academics, career and professional development as well as student life topics. We can help with administrative and registration issues, policies and grievances too.

Where can I go for academic help?

Cornell has a wide variety of resources to support students academically, professionally, and personally.

Academic Support:

Support for International Students:

Personal Support:

Transitioning to Graduate School

I am nervous about transitioning to graduate school, where I can get tips on making the adjustment?

The Graduate School offers Transitions, a special pizza and networking series for first year students. Sessions include:  “Tips for Success” and “Time Management for First Year Students”.  Visit:

Is there a comprehensive list of resources about moving to Ithaca? 
 Visit the Graduate School's Guide to Moving to Ithaca. 
How does TCAT (public transportation) work?

TCAT is Tompkins County’s bus system.  Fares are $1.50 with exact change required.  All day Saturday and Sunday, and weekdays after 6:00 p.m. students with a Cornell ID ride free. To view schedules, routes and pass information, visit

What do I need to know about taxes?

At the graduate level, both the Internal Revenue Service and New York State consider all fellowship and assistantship stipends as taxable income.  Generally, fellowships do not have tax taken out at the time of payment. Students are expected to report the stipend and taxable income on their tax forms. Learn more at

How does parking work?

Parking at Cornell is by permit.  Students, faculty and staff must pay to park on campus. To learn about parking and other transportation issues, visit:

What support do you have for my family?

Cornell offers services including grants to offset the cost of day care and health insurance. Listservs geared to student partners, dual career postings, and students with children can help you stay informed. Learn more: