FAQ

Programs Details

What are the goals of POST? 

Who runs POST?

What will we be doing for the week?

With whom will we be working in the community?

What is a typical day?

Who comes to POST?

Application/Registration

How many applicants are accepted?

Why do we ask your gender?

I wasn’t involved in community service in high school.  Should I apply?

When is the Registration form due?

When will I know if I am admitted?

Can I participate in more than one pre-orientation program?

Finances

What does the cost of POST cover?

Is financial assistance available?

How does POST financial assistance work?

Will there be any additional costs while I am participating in POST?

Do I send the money now?

If I am a Cornell Tradition/Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars (MFCNS) student, how is my trip paid for?

Do Cornell Tradition/Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars (MFCNS) get their $50.00 deposit back?

Travel

Where will I be staying during POST?

How do I get to Cornell?

Where will I store my things while I participate in POST?

Can I arrive early?

What if I am arriving late?

Other

Who should I contact for more information?

What if my parents need to contact me during the week?

When will I receive more information (what to bring, itinerary, when /where to arrive, move in day information, etc.)?

What are the goals of POST?

POST gives you the chance to meet new Cornellians and get a head start on making friends at Cornell; you perform hands-on community service projects each day, fulfilling the service tradition that is part of Cornell’s mission.  And, POST provides you with the opportunity to get to know upperclassmen and to become familiar with Ithaca, the community of which you will be a part of during your time here at Cornell.

Who runs POST?

The program is coordinated by one full-time Public Service Center staff member, a summer PSC student assistant and 16 upper-class team leaders, all of whom previously participated in POST.

Who should I contact for more information?

Renee Farkas, Associate Director, Cornell Public Service Center, 3rd Floor Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: (607) 255-6006 or 255-0144
post@cornell.edu or rcf1@cornell.edu

What will we be doing for the week?

Monday through Thursday, each POST team and their leaders participate in community service projects in the local community. Projects typically include painting and light demolition work, trail maintenance, visiting with local seniors at area nursing homes, gardening, preparing local schools for fall opening and other projects. Projects vary from year to year, depending on the needs of our community.  Each evening, the entire group comes together to have dinner and participate in evening activities that allow you to get to know other team members and leaders, as well as the greater Ithaca area.

With whom will we be working in the community?

Each year, POST works with approximately 20 different non-profit organizations as well as local school districts.

What is a typical day?

7:45 –9:15 Breakfast/shower/travel to the service site (walk, bus or van)
9:30 Arrive at designated work sites
9:30–12:30 Community service work
12:30-1:15 Lunch/break
1:15–3:00 Continue community service project
3:00–5:00 Return to housing site/free time
6:00–7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:30 Evening Activity (scavenger hunt, bowling, Bar-B-Q, etc.)
9:45 Return to housing site. Relax and rest up for the next day.

How many applicants are accepted?

A maximum of 72 applicants will be accepted before we begin a wait list.  In the event that an accepted applicant drops out, we will offer a space to someone on the waiting list.

Each applicant is assigned to a team for the week of POST that is led by 2 upperclass team leaders. Each team has 8-9 POST participants. There are a total of eight teams.

Who comes to POST?

Participants come from all over the country, typically representing 20-25 states. On ocassion, we have international students in the program but the majority choose the PREPARE program through the International Students and Scholars Office. Mainly incoming first-year students attend but we always have a handful of transfer students as well. And participants represent all 7 colleges.

Why do we ask your gender?

This is an optional question that we use to help guide us when creating teams. You will be assigned to one of eight teams and we try to create teams that are diverse in all ways (gender, ethnicity, college, etc.) and this is just one way to aid us in this process.

I wasn’t involved in community service in high school.  Should I apply?

Yes!  Absolutely no experience is required. We encourage everyone interested in meeting new classmates and participating in community service to apply.

When is the Registration form due?

We will be accepting registration forms on a rolling basis until we are at maximum capacity and have a waitlist established. You do not have to submit all registration forms simultaneously. The absolute deadline for completing all 3 forms is Friday, July 7—however, it's possible a waitlist could be established before this date.

When will I know if I am admitted? 

Once we have received your Registration Form, you will receive an email within 3-5 business days from POST regarding your status (admitted or waitlisted). POST communicates with you via your Cornell NetID if provided (e.g. ABC123@cornell.edu) and only uses the summer email when a Cornell NetID is NOT provided. Be certain to check your Cornell email account for POST communications. Contact us if you have registered but have not recevied a confirmation email.

Can I participate in more than one pre-orientation program?

No, it is NOT possible to participate in more than one program.

What does the cost of POST cover?

The cost of participation in POST is $325 per person (includes the $50 non-refundable deposit fee).  This fee covers the costs of all food for the week, transportation, project and safety supplies, housing, planned evening activities, and staffing costs. Cancellations received after Friday, July 21 will be billed the full cost of POST ($325) as we are already locked into catering, transportation and other monetary agreements based on your attendance.

Is financial assistance available?

We are committed to having a diverse group of entering Cornellians participate in POST and we hope that the cost of the registration will not prevent anyone from joining us. For that reason, financial assistance is available to eligible applicants on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information on financial assistance, please check the box indicating this on the Registration Form.

If you are a Tradition or Meinig student you need only respond to that question and leave the financial assistance question unmarked. If we have questions we will contact you!

How does POST financial assistance work?

Financial support for participants comes from the POST program itself.

  • A specific amount of money is allotted for financial support and is then distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • You must qualify for support to receive it.

Will there be any additional costs while I am participating in POST?

You will be out and about in the Ithaca community throughout the week for which you may want your own money. So we recommend that you bring a minimum of $20 for spending money.

Do I send the money now?

All trip fees, including the nonrefundable registration fee of $50.00 will be billed to your university bursar account. Do not send us any money.

The POST program of the Cornell Public Service Center enables Cornell Tradition and Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar (MFCNS) from the  Cornell Commitment Office with the opportunity to begin earning service hours through participation POST.  In addition, the POST program fee will come directly out of your student service or leadership support account with the Commitment Office (effectively diminishing the amount of money you will have available for future experiences). This will be an accounting transaction between the two offices so you need not send any money. 

Do Cornell Tradition/Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars (MFCNS) get their $50.00 deposit back?

It is included in the trip fee of $325 if you attend. If you don’t attend – you are billed $50.

When will I receive more information (what to bring, itinerary, when /where to arrive, move in day information, etc.)?

The POST website has been developed to successfully prepare you for your trip. You will receive approximately 3 emails from POST, unless we have additional questions for you. Your 1st email will inform you of your registration status, a 2nd email will inform you once you have completed all 3 forms and a 3rd email will be sent mid-July giving you details on where "Check-in" will occur on-campus and other specific program detials. See the "What To Pack" PDF for a detailed list of items needed for POST. If you have questions that are not answered at the site, please email them to post@cornell.edu.

Where will I be staying during POST?

POST provides housing for you in a local middle school, which is just off the Cornell Campus. POSTers should be prepared to sleep in sleeping bags on mats and share living quarters with other POST participants. 

How do I get to Cornell?

For directions/maps to Cornell, click here.  Here you will find directions, airport and shuttle information, maps, local accommodations, and more.

Where will I store my things while I participate in POST?

Review the Program Details page for information on storage and shipping items to Cornell in advance.  

Can I arrive early?

If arriving before Sunday, August 13, you must arrange your own lodging and accommodations until registration begins on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The optimal arrival time is between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 13.

What if I am arriving late?

If you will not be able to arrive between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, you need to check the “Sunday Late Arrival" box on the registration form and compete the details as requested.  If you do not have all of your travel details complete, you can communicate them to us at a later date. We are not able to accommodate arrivals after Sunday.  We begin programming promptly after check-in ends and we will each need to know how and where to find one another.

What if my parents need to contact me during the week?

Should an urgent issue or emergency arise during POST, parents should call the Public Service Center at (607) 255-0144. During business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), they will be able to speak directly to a staff member; after hours, audix will give instructions on how to reach POST staff directly. In addition, Contact/Emergency Information will be available at the POST website and distributed at the POST Check-In on Sunday, August 13.