Cornell Tradition fellows are members of a select group, representing less than two percent of the Cornell undergraduate population. Freshmen are selected for the program during the Cornell admissions process based on their academic excellence as well as expressed or demonstrated interest in work and service. A limited number of students are selected through a highly-competitive application process.

Selection of Tradition Fellows

High School Students

Members of the Undergraduate Admissions Office selection committee conduct a review of all undergraduate applications for consideration. There is not a separate Tradition application. High school students should be thorough when listing their work and service experiences in their Cornell admission application. This will help to support your application and the possibility of being awarded a Tradition fellowship. If you are a prospective student and you have questions about the program, please contact us at

Current Cornellians

Current Cornell students, who were not chosen as entering freshmen to be in the Tradition program, may apply in the spring of their freshman or sophomore year (Transfer students please contact the Program Director)  to be admitted into the program at the beginning of the next academic year. Current students applying for a fellowship need to complete the on-line application and submit two recommendations; one speaking to the student’s commitment to service and one from a recent employer. Student applicants must be U.S. citizens OR possess US permanent resident status OR F1-visa status. Upper-class fellowship selection is competitive, so all students applying for a fellowship should select recommenders who can provide a strong endorsement of their abilities and complete their application by the due date.

Upper-class applications for 2020-2021

We are no longer accepting applications for 2020-2021 academic year. Please come back to this page for information about applying as a rising sophomore or junior for the 2021-2022 academic year in the Fall.

New applicants will not need to gather forms for hours. Please provide two letters of recommendation from someone other than a Cornell undergraduate. The letters should speak to the applicants' commitment to work and address the students' ongoing commitment to service.

**Applications are only available to rising sophomores and juniors.


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