Large group of students on field participate in icebreaker activities

FAQs | During the Academy & Travel

During the Academy


Staffing & Supervision

Will there be adult supervision?

  • Yes, the Academy is staffed full-time by a Residential Hall Director (RHD) who supervises at least 7 program assistants (PAs). The RHD and PAs all reside in the residence halls and provide round-the-clock guidance and supervision to Academy participants.
  • The RHD and PAs report to the Assistant Director of Diversity Programs in Engineering.


Is this a residential program?

  • Yes, all participants stay in Cornell’s on-campus housing.

Will my child share a room and if so with whom?

  • Young women and men are roomed separately. Participants are paired in a double room with another same-sex participant.

Are there washing machines available?

  • Yes, participants may access washing machines and dryers in the residence halls. There is no cost to use the machines.

Medical & Health Insurance Coverage

My child does not have medical insurance. Can they still participate?

  • Medical Insurance is mandatory for participation in the academy.
  • If participants do not have medical insurance, we suggest visiting the sites below on your own with your parents/guardians or guidance counselor. The sites and companies below are NOT endorsed by the CATALYST Academy nor Cornell University. These are not advertisements or endorsements. Be sure to carefully read their coverage and policies prior to purchasing and/or enrolling in a plan. These types of plans are typically inexpensive and only cover the duration of the camp/program. Participants may also want to check with their state’s department of human/health services for medical benefits for children.

Meals & Spending Money

Will my child need money for meals and activities?

  • Participants are provided with dinner on Sunday, three meals and snacks Monday through Friday; and breakfast on Saturday.
  • Participants may want to bring money for souvenirs, incidentals, and meals while traveling.
  • Tuition covers materials and supplies for the week’s activities.

Travel & Reimbursement 

Traveling to Ithaca

How far are the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH), Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), or the Greyhound Station from Cornell?

  • The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport and Greyhound Station are both approximately a ten-minute drive from the Cornell campus.
  • The Syracuse Hancock International Airport is approximately a 65-minute drive from the Cornell campus.

Who will pick up my child at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport or Greyhound Station?

  • If flying into Syracuse, a Cornell staff member with a program sign in hand will meet participants at their baggage claim within 20-30 minutes of the participant’s arrival.
  • For those taking Greyhound into Ithaca, a Cornell staff member with a program sign will meet participants at the bus terminal within 20-30 minutes of arrival.

Who will pick up my child if s/he flies into an airport other than the Syracuse Airport?

  • We strongly encourage participants traveling by plane to fly into Syracuse.  If you choose to fly into Ithaca, Elmira or other area airports, you are responsible for your own ground transportation to and from CATALYST Academy.

My child may need to arrive early to Ithaca. How do we make accommodations?

  • If you choose to arrive early, you are responsible for your personal lodging, accommodations, transportation, and supervision.  CATALYST Academy assumes no responsibility or liability for students prior to registration on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Travel Assistance and Reimbursement

How and when are travel reimbursements issued:

For questions regarding the application process, check application FAQs.