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 bring them to campus before the start of the academic-year.

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

The academic-year SHP plan year begins on August 1. 

Early start students:

  • If your program begins before August 1, 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 program will provide you with dates and additional information about your enrollment. See summer rates here.
  • Domestic students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may submit an application to waive their summer enrollment (not available to international students, who must stay enrolled in SHP.)  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: Students who waive their summer SHP enrollment must ALSO waive their academic-year SHP enrollment if they wish to retain their own insurance for the upcoming academic year. You will be automatically re-enrolled in SHP in late June, and billed in July. To waive SHP for the upcoming academic year, you must submit a second waiver application (deadline: July 31).


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