Ithaca Students

Information for distance-learning students

Students participating in distance learning this fall are required to have insurance that meets Cornell’s requirements, and will be enrolled in SHP. However, a temporary SHP waiver may be available to some students: see details here.

Cornell requires all students to have quality health insurance (see Cornell's Requirements). The following information explains how these requirements apply to students on Cornell's Ithaca campus. 

Automatic Student Health Plan (SHP) enrollment 

Students enrolled in a full-time (non-distance learning) Cornell program are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) each year to ensure that they have health insurance that meets the university's requirements. 

Automatic SHP enrollment takes place each June for the following academic year, and each December for students starting in the spring.


About SHP

SHP is a platinum-level plan designed with input from Cornell students to support your health care needs at Cornell Health, in the Ithaca area, and anywhere else in the United States and abroad. Learn more about SHP's benefits.

Waiving SHP

Eligible students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may apply to waive their SHP enrollment. For academic-year students, the waiver application period begins in June and ends on July 31. For spring entrants, the application period begins in December and ends on December 31. 

Students must submit a SHP waiver application annually to demonstrate that their insurance meets the university's requirements. Learn more about waiving SHP.


Student Health Fee 

Ithaca students whose SHP waiver applications are approved pay a Student Health Fee. The health fee gives students the same pre-paid access to care at Cornell Health as SHP members have (most visits / services have a $10 visit copay), and helps support public health initiatives on campus. 

Additional coverage (optional)  

  • SHP+: Some students may be eligible for Cornell's Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+). (Students who enroll in SHP+ are exempt from the annual SHP enrollment / waiver process, and do not pay the Ithaca Student Health Fee.)
  • Dental & vision coverage: Students may also choose to enroll in Cornell's Dental Plan and / or Vision Plan, whether or not they enroll in SHP. (Note: SHP+ enrollment includes dental and vision coverage.)
  • Enrolling dependents: Students with partners or families can enroll dependents in SHP, or in Cornell's Dental Plan and / or Vision Plan (students must be enrolled in the respective plan before enrolling spouses, domestic partners, or children).  


Please contact us by phone, email, or by stopping by our offices at Cornell Health. We are here to help you make the best decisions for your personal health care needs.