Female Catalyst participants sitting at the bowling alley

FAQs | Application Process & Decisions

For questions regarding travel and activities during the Academy, check travel and program FAQs.

Online Application

Can I save my progress and come back to the application later?

  • Yes, but only if you are using the same computer.  You can also can move forward and backward within the online application.
  • Remember to press SUBMIT on your application to ensure it is recorded.
  • If your application remains incomplete for two (2) weeks after the last activity, it will be recorded in our system. If you still wish to apply, you will need to begin a new application. Incomplete applications are not reviewed.
  • We highly recommend reviewing the Apply page for the essay prompt and other information you will need ready to enter and or upload.

For the math and science course history section, do I note courses complete, in progress, or planned? 

  • Select the course if completed previously or in progress during the current school year. If you plan to take a course in the future, you can note it in the essay or “other” section in course history. Example: AP Calculus AB (senior year)

I attend a school where my grades are on a different grading scale (other than a point system).  

  • Please submit an official translated version of your transcript along with official documentation that explains your school’s grading scale in relation to that of a 4.0/5.0 grading scale. The grades should be translated by a school official.

Cohort Size

How many participants are admitted to the Academy?

  • Up to 54 students for the summer 2024 cohort.
  • Waitlisted students will be invited to participate should places become available.

Applying After the Deadline

I was not able to submit my application by the deadline. Can I still submit it?

  • All applications and supporting documents must be submitted online by February 15.  Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted or considered.

Can I still apply for financial assistance after the deadline?

  • No, financial assistance applications must be submitted by February 15.
  • Scholarship awards are included in the acceptance email so that participants and their families may make an informed decision whether to participate.

Application Status & Notification

I have submitted all my application materials. When will I receive a confirmation email with my status?

  • You should receive an automatic confirmation upon submission of the application and supporting documents. You will also receive an email when your recommender submits their form. If you did not receive an automatic email, check spam or other folders.
  • If you have questions, please contact us via email dpeng@cornell.edu, or by phone at (607) 255-6403.

When will I find out whether or not I was accepted into the Academy?

  • We anticipate admissions decisions to be released in early April.

Admission Decisions

Can you tell me why I was not admitted to the program? I’d like to improve my chances in the future.

  • Unfortunately, due to the significant number of highly competitive applications we receive each year, we cannot offer feedback to individual applicants.  Some general tips for submitting excellent applications are: Write a strong essay. Pay close attention to the questions and make sure to answer them. Be authentic about your interests. If unsure about your interest in engineering, acknowledge this within your essay.


Do I have to be a US Citizen or permanent resident to apply to the Academy?

  • No, but you must be residing in the United States.