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Navigating Personal Finances and Debt

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Resources to support you and your family as you manage personal financial challenges.

What To Know

Financial stress can take a toll on your health, performance at work, and relationships. 

There are resources at Cornell to support your financial well-being during times of crisis, as well as to help you with financial planning to be prepared for the future.

Related: Navigating health challenges

Resources In Times Of Crisis

  • Financial advisors can be helpful in analyzing how to balance paying your immediate bills with saving for the future. All of our retirement savings vendors offer free one-on-one consultations on campus to help manage unexpected expenses.
  • Emergency CARE Fund (Cornellians Aiding & Responding to Employees) offers financial assistance to faculty and staff who have experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event. Financial hardships can include catastrophic events, individuals experiencing domestic violence, etc.
  • ClearPoint Credit Counseling  ClearPoint is a non-profit financial counseling organization located throughout Upstate New York, with regional offices in Syracuse and Binghamton. They are certified with a number of state and national credit counseling and consumer educational groups. Cornell signed an agreement with ClearPoint (CCCS) to provide their confidential financial counseling services to employees and their families. Visit the CCCS website for much more information on their qualifications and service offerings.  You can arrange a free counseling session with ClearPoint over the phone, in person or online to discuss your financial concerns.
  • Free Mental Health Counseling  Dealing with debt and financial crisis can be stressful. Take advantage of free, confidential counseling to support your well-being as you navigate financial challenges.
    • Cornell’s Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673 provides free and confidential guidance, resources and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners, including retirees and Cornell employees working in NYC and Geneva, NY. 
    • In addition to FSAP, eni Confidential Counseling Services provides services at no cost to endowed and contract college faculty, staff and retiree. To reach a Confidential Counselor 24/7, call the toll-free number at 1-800-327-2255.

Help With Financial Planning

Ways to Save

  • Employee Perks Employees can take advantage of special discounts offered to Cornell on a variety of goods and services.
  • Cornell Transportation Services  As a Cornell employee, you can ride TCAT buses for free Monday-Friday on campus and between Cornell Tompkins-based facilities where routes are available (a $150 value).  Employees can also choose to forego parking on campus to receive free, unlimited TCAT travel within Tompkins County.  To learn more, go to transportation benefits.

Planning Assistance

  • On your own: Cornell Benefit Services has assembled Financial planning tools and webcasts that you can access at your convenience, including programs emphasizing early/mid-career financial planning.
  • Financial advisors Cornell’s retirement savings vendors offer free one-on-one consultations to help think through your savings and retirement goals and develop a personal plan.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Long-term care insurance covers the costs associated with extended long-term care due to a chronic disease or long-lasting disability. Coverage is available to all benefits-eligible employees, their spouses/domestic partners, parents/parents-in-law, grandparents/grandparents-in-law and retirees and their spouses/domestic partners. You may enroll in long-term care insurance at any time.
  • First Time Home Buyers (Clearpoint counseling)

Financial Assistance


  • Adoption Assistance Program  Reimburses eligible employees for qualified adoption expenses.
  • Cornell Child Care Grant Program Provides grants to eligible employees to be used on qualifying child care expenses (annual application period in September).
  • Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (Flexible Spending Account):  This benefit helps you reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by taking advantage of a tax break when paying for dependent care services covered under the program.
  • Faculty Dependent Care Travel Fund Offers tenure track and tenured faculty up to $1,000 per academic year in dependent-care expenses incurred while traveling for work.


  • Educational Funding for you and your family: From tuition reimbursement for employees to scholarships for children, Cornell offers a wealth of financial assistance for education.