Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience : Office of Student Life
Pay It Forward

Get Involved / Join Pay It Forward

Join Pay It Forward

Join the Pay it Forward Cohort

Are you passionate about service? Do you want to engage in personal and professional development opportunities related to service, civic engagement, and leadership? Do you want experience planning and running large-scale events?

If so, apply to join the Pay It Forward Cohort!

Applications are now open! CLICK HERE to applyor read more about the cohort here: Pay It Forward Cohort 2018-2019 Application Information

Email the Pay It Forward Advisor, Kate Hildebrandt (

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pay It Forward cohort? What is the cohort experience like?
Pay It Forward is a cohort in the Office of Student Life that seeks to create easily accessible service experiences for Ohio State students within the Columbus community. Pay It Forward members work in teams to plan service experiences throughout the year, ranging from frequent events with a small number of participants to one-time events with over 1,000 participants at a time. The time commitment for Pay It Forward ranges from 5-10 hours a week, depending upon the chair position you hold and time of year. In addition to organizing service and civic engagement opportunities, cohort members meet weekly on Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 pm during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semester (this meeting time is required) to engage in professional and personal development experiences such as leadership development, service opportunities, planning meetings, and hearing guest speakers. You can read more about the cohort positions and requirements here: Pay It Forward Cohort 2018-2019 Application Information

Do I need prior experience to apply?
No experience with Pay It Forward is necessary to apply! We always look favorably on demonstrated commitment to service and civic engagement.

How much service is involved in membership?
Cohort membership focuses on planning service experiences and doing behind-the-scenes work such as building relationships with community partners, so we encourage and support students in finding their own volunteer opportunities outside of cohort membership. Depending on your chair position, you may be expected to accompany student volunteers on service experiences planned by your team. Additionally, the cohort works to spend time volunteering together a few times a semester during cohort meetings.

Can I apply if I'm going to study abroad next year?
Unfortunately, no; cohort members are required to be students at Ohio State - Columbus campus during their entire tenure in the cohort.

Are recommendations required? Who should write my recommendation?
Yes, recommendations are required for all new cohort members. Your recommendation can be written by anyone who can speak to your skills and experiences relating to the mission of Pay It Forward, specifically your skills around team work, organization, and time management. This person can be a staff or faculty member of OSU, a Columbus community member, or a student leader of a group you are a member of, such as an advisor, professor, mentor, organizational leader, work supervisor, coach, or religious leader. You will submit this person's name and contact information in your application, and they will be emailed a short form with 3 questions to answer relating to your skills and character. Please direct any questions about recommendations to Pay It Forward advisor Kate Hildebrandt at