Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Policies and Forms


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Important - Cornell students enrolling in non-credit courses will NOT see their registration on the University's "Just the Facts" database.

Payment & Need Based Scholarships

  • Payment must be made in full to reserve a spot on a course. COE accepts check, credit card, or bursar number for payment. Credit card and bursar payments will be processed directly after the semester drop deadline or before the course begins, whichever occurs first.
  • COE provides Need Based Scholarships to a number of students who have demonstrated financial need. To be eligible for a COE scholarship you must currently receive University financial aid, and be enrolled on a COE course (not on a waitlist) and taking the course for PE credit. A Need Based Scholarship application with full details may be found at, or pick one up from the COE Registrar located at B01 Bartels Hall.
  • Award amounts vary depending on how many people apply for aid. Scholarship recipients receive a credit for the award amount on their bursar bill. Students who drop after the drop deadline or do not meet attendance requirements will be subject to the same tuition charges and grading policies outlined earlier regardless of scholarship decisions decisions.

Add / Drop & Refunds

  • Most COE courses have drop deadlines that are EARLIER than the University and the Athletics/Physical Education drop deadlines. Make sure you know the specific date of your course drop deadline. Check the course brochure or our website if you are not sure, or call the COE Registrar at 255-6183.
  • To drop a COE course, you must contact the Outdoor Education Office, B01 Bartels Hall. Office Hours are 9:30-12:00, 1:30-4:30, Monday through Thursday and 9:30-12:00, 1:30-3:30, Friday.
  • If you drop a course after the drop deadline, or fail to attend a course for which you are registered, you will be billed for the full tuition and may receive unsatisfactory credit. If you do not show up for the first class you lose your rights to retaining your spot on the roster, and we may enroll another student in your place. If a student drops a class after the drop deadline, full tuition fees will be imposed.
  • COE Instructors do not have the authority to add or drop students from course rosters, only the COE Office Registrar may confirm your enrollment / drop of a course. You may ADD a COE course anytime after the drop deadline and before the course begins!
  • Our courses involve activities that can be affected by atmospheric conditions. Cornell Outdoor Education will not give refunds for class delays, cancellations, or curriculum changes resulting from adverse weather.

Free Courses

  • Tuition for free courses will be waived if the participant is a Cornell student that needs Physical Education credit towards graduation requirements. Credit students who do not complete or pass the course will be billed the full tuition. Free courses are reserved for credit only enrollment until PE Registration day has ended, at which point non-credit participants may enroll. Non-credit participants will be billed the full tuition rate.

Attendance & Grading

  • COE requires that students attend the first class meeting of their course because of the critical logistics, policy, liability, and safety information that will be covered. If you do not show up for the first class you lose your right to retain your spot on the roster, and we may enroll another student in your place. In this event you will still be held responsible for full tuition fees, and may receive unsatisfactory grading.
  • Attendance policies differ from class to class.  Some classes may allow one absence, others may require attendance on days where critical safety issues are discussed.  You can find the attendance policy in the description of the course on the web.  Missing more than the allowed number of classes or a significant part of your class progression that is deemed essential will result in an unsatisfactory grade.
  • Because COE courses involve participation in activities that require a progression of skills and teamwork, class absence has a negative affect on safety and group dynamics. Thus, if a student misses more than ONE class OR any significant part of your class progression that is deemed essential (i.e. critical skills like belaying), the student will not be allowed to continue in the class due to risk management considerations.
  • Religious and academic excuses will count as absences. Please confirm before enrolling that your course's schedule will not conflict with your other necessary commitments.
  • COE does not have the capacity to offer make-ups. In addition, due to risk management and group dynamic reasons, students are not allowed to attend another section of a class and count it as attendance in the class they are enrolled. Plan to attend every scheduled class of your course section.
  • COE students that have not passed their physical education swim test will receive "incomplete" grading until this requirement is fulfilled.

Alcohol / Drugs / Smoking

  • COE has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol, drugs (unless prescribed by a physician), smoking, and chewing tobacco on all of our courses and field programs. Their use is prohibited. Failure to abide by this policy will result in expulsion from the course. Full tuition fees and/or unsatisfactory grades will be imposed.

Waiting List

  • If a space opens on a course we will contact everyone on the waitlist. The registration spot will go to the first person who contacts us or whom we are able to reach off the wait list.

Medical Information

  • Please fill out a COE medical form and bring it to your first class. Cornell students should call Gannett Health Center if they are missing any required information. Forms may be picked up at COE or found at our website,
  • You must have valid health insurance to participate in a Cornell Outdoor Education course. Please include your insurance carrier name, phone number and policy number on the medical form. Signing the medical form gives a hospital permission to treat you in the event that you are too ill or badly injured to give verbal permission.


  • Cornell students under the age of 18 are not required to have a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to course participation.

Holiday Conflicts

  • Although COE does its best to avoid scheduling classes/outings over holidays, inevitably some of those conflicts exist each semester. The diversity of COE course offerings should allow students to find a course that fits within their personal schedules. Given this, students should carefully review course schedules before enrolling in a COE course.



Important forms to fill out!

Participant Medical Form  To be printed and filled out, and brought to your first class.

PE Participant Waiver To be signed for all PE classes

Financial Assistance Application

  Interested in financial assistance? Download the application to see if you qualify. NOTE: All financial aid grants for this semester are distributed within the first two weeks of the semester.

(Free download)

Details on the Release Form: 

You will be asked to sign a Release form prior to participation in any COE outing. If you are a Minor (participant under age 18), you must have the Release form signed by a parent or guardian.                          

If you will be a Minor as of the start date of the course you are registering for, it is your responsibility to return a signed Release form and medical form from your parent or guardian prior to participation in a COE course.                            

At your first class, you will be informed of any inherent risks and hazards (environmental, technical, transportation, etc.) associated with course activities prior to signing the Release form.              

Parents and Guardians of Minors who would like more information concerning inherent risks may contact the Director of Outdoor Programs and Risk Management or the COE Office Manager.