Early Start Students

Cornell requires all students to have quality health insurance (see Cornell Requirements) for the duration of their academic program.

The following information explains how these requirements apply to new students in early-start programs that begin before August 1, before the official start of the academic year.

(If you are participating in a summer-only program, like Summer College or Summer Sessions, visit our Summer Students page.)

Automatic SHP enrollment 

Each year, full-time registered students are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) as part of university policy requiring all students to have quality health insurance. (Exception: NY State Medicaid-eligible students may enroll in the Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+) instead of SHP.)

Eligible students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may apply to waive their SHP enrollment.

The SHP academic plan year begins on August 1.

If your program begins before August 1 ...

Automatic summer SHP enrollment:

You will be automatically enrolled in SHP for the duration of your summer program, before the academic-year SHP plan begins on August 1. Your coverage will be active during each month that your program spans (your program will provide you with dates and details).

The $236 / month premium – applicable for the months during which your coverage is active – will be applied to your Bursar bill.

Waiving SHP:

Domestic students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may submit an application to waive your SHP enrollment (not available to international students, who must stay enrolled in SHP.) 

   > Submit a SHP waiver application <

       Deadline: May 30 for May program starts; June 15 for June program starts

Note: Students whose waiver applications are approved pay a summer Student Health Fee, giving them the same pre-paid access to care at Cornell Health as SHP members have.

(IMPORTANT!) Your 2019-2020 SHP enrollment: 

Please be aware that your summer insurance decision will also apply for the coming academic year.

If you choose to stay enrolled in SHP, or to waive SHP in lieue of private insurance, your summer enrollment or waiver status will be rolled over for the 2019-2020 SHP term (you will NOT need to submit a second waiver application). If you want to change your enrollment / waiver status for the coming academic year, please contact us.


Please contact us by phone or email. We are here to help you make the best decisions for your personal health care needs.