Scholarships and Endowments

“Scholarships transform the lives of our students every day. They often make the difference in a student having the resources to attend college. Students feel grateful and humble as they are awarded the opportunity of a SUNY Cortland education and look forward to helping others in the future.”

Tina Aversano ’96, Director of Development

SUNY Cortland has a legacy of providing a life-changing education to deserving students regardless of their background or circumstance. Opportunity and honors scholarships will retain high-performing students and meet the growing demand for need-based tuition and non-tuition support.

Scholarships from the Cortland College Foundation recognize students for their academic excellence, extracurricular activities and professional outlook. The nearly 320 donor-funded scholarships established through the foundation are available to students throughout campus.

As part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Cortland receives state funding and student tuition, along with fees to help provide an affordable education. However, many students have unmet financial need and we are fortunate to have donors who are committed to decreasing the financial burden for our students.

There are two options in supporting students through scholarship.

Endowed Scholarship

Endowing a scholarship will ensure it lasts in perpetuity. Donors may endow a scholarship with a minimum gift of $30,000. This will establish a $1,000 annual award. A gift of $100,000 will establish a $4,000 annual award. Endowments can be paid over a five-year period or sooner. Many donors choose to create a legacy at the university by establishing and naming a scholarship after themselves. Some choose to honor a loved one or remember a faculty member. A donor has the ability to work with foundation staff in determining the student selection criteria that will have the greatest impact.

Sponsored Scholarship

A sponsored or term scholarship is a five-year commitment to supporting a student with their cost of attendance at SUNY Cortland. A donor will make a minimum $5,500 gift or pledge. This will provide a $1,000 annual award over five years to a student that meets the selection criteria. The additional $500 is used to support the Cortland Fund in administering the annual scholarship. 

Through the generosity of donors, between $1.2-1.4M in scholarship awards are made each year to deserving students. Some donors are featured, with their permission, in our scholarship portal. For more information on the application timeline for student scholarships, visit our scholarship page.


Aside from creating an endowed scholarship, some donors have chosen to establish an endowed program fund. These types of funds enhance the student experience by providing the resources to faculty and staff in providing a life-changing experience. Some examples of endowed program funds include professional development awards to attend conferences for both students and faculty, or athletic endowments to augment state funding by subsidizing or even covering costs for spring trips, equipment or technology needs. Each year, a percentage of the investment income earned from endowments is made available to the specific purpose designated by the donor.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can establish student scholarships or program endowments, please contact the Development Office at or 607-753-5477.