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Current and prospective Fellows MUST apply every year; once you join, it is our expectation that you will maintain your membership for the duration of your undergraduate years. Applications are due near the end of each academic year. In order to become or remain a fellow, you must:

  • Complete a minimum of 100 hours of legal paid work (no cash or under-the-table work) during the academic year. This can include work done at home over fall, winter, and spring breaks. (Over the past several years, the average number of work hours per student was approximately 300 hours).
  • Contribute a minimum of 100 total hours of service (15 of which must be Community Service)**.
    • **For our purposes, we divide service into two categories: community service and campus service (including varsity and JV athletics). Community Service is defined as volunteer work for which the primary beneficiar(ies) are not associated with Cornell. Campus Service is defined as volunteer work for which the primary beneficiar(ies) are associated with Cornell. Students may choose how to fulfill their total hourly requirement, as long as they complete at least fifteen hours in the community service category. (Over the past several years, students averaged more than twice the number of required service hours.) See our service guidelines for more details.
  • Complete a minimum of 50 "flex" hours (can be either work or service or any combination of the two).
  • Endorsement forms are required for your off-campus work and service hours; all hours performed between the Sunday before classes begin and approximately the end of Spring classes. The exact dates will be announced by the Program Director. IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no endorsement form for on-campus work (including Resident Assistantships) because we can view Cornell's payroll system to see how many hours you worked. You do, however, need to note that you held an on-campus job on your annual Tradition application.
  • Achieve at least a 2.3 cumulative grade point average in a full-time degree program. (The average GPA for the past several years was approximately 3.4.)
  • Attend all required Explore CT events (freshmen fellows only; transfers must attend Orientation).

How can I fulfill these requirements?

Employment positions can be found by:

  • Visiting the Student Employment Office's website.
  • Contacting professors or academic departments; often positions can be developed.
  • Contacting the community work-study program of the Einhorn Center in 300 Kennedy Hall for information about off-campus work-student positions with local service agencies.
  • Checking the CTTALK (the Tradition's email list) or by talking with other Tradition Fellows.

Service opportunities can be found by:

  • Visiting student organizations affiliated with the Einhorn Center; individual volunteer placements and membership in student service groups are available from this office.
  • Contacting Willard Straight all for information on Student Activities. The Straight often holds a Student Activities Fair in early September.
  • Joining a student organization and taking on a leadership role.
  • Joining a University athletic team. Please note participation in intramurals cannot count toward the service hour requirement. See further details in the Service Requirement Guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I take a leave of absence?

Students who take a leave of absence from the University should notify the Director. Students will not have any Cornell Tradition requirements. The student should meet with the Director upon their return to campus.

I will be participating in a Semester Abroad for a semester or a year. What are my requirements?

If a student is away from campus participating in a university-approved experience for one semester, all requirements are waived for that time, meaning that the student will need to complete half of the requirements for the academic year and submit a re-application. If a student is gone for the entire year, all requirements are waived but the student will still need to complete the re-application including an additional essay. Students need to maintain a minimum cumulative 2.3 GPA.

What happens if I don't meet the requirements?

A student can be granted conditional status in the program for either work, service, or flex hours when they have not completed the full requirement. Conditional status is only granted once during a student's fellowship. To meet the conditional requirements, students will need to submit documentation for half of the hours for the next academic year (only in the area which was delinquent) before the start of the Spring semester.

Can I count the hours that I earned in the summer?

Unfortunately, service and work hours are only counted during the academic year including winter break. Exact dates are reflected on all forms.

Do research and activities that count as academic credit count as service?

Activities completed for credit or research opportunities can not be counted for service or work hours.