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Frequently Asked Questions

Get all the answers to your Gap Semester questions—from how to register to what you’ll do during your volunteer experience. 


how much does the program cost?

The program costs $16,000. There are additional costs to consider including travel and personal expenses.


For Voyage, you will need:
Roundtrip airfare ($300-$1,600)
Visa costs
Extra food and spending money ($250-$400)
Optional excursions on weekends ($200-$1,000)
Optional in-country language classes
Personal expenses

For Launch, you will need:
Breakfast and dinner on weekdays
Spending money for the weekends (meals and activities)
Personal expenses


How do I register?

Simply fill out the registration form and complete a call with one of our enrollment specialists. Your space is reserved when you submit the $1,000 reservation deposit.

Do I have to be a US citizen to apply?

No, Gap Semester is open to participants from around the world ages 18-23.

What happens on the enrollment call?

During the call, we’ll confirm your Voyage destination and share important next steps. Upon completion of the follow up call, you will be approved for participation in Gap Semester at our discretion. Once approved, you can confirm your registration by submitting the $1,000 reservation deposit.


How does payment work?

Once you’ve submitted your registration form and completed a call with our enrollment team, a $1,000 reservation deposit is due to hold your place and confirm your Voyage destination. The remaining balance must be submitted by January 15 or you may sign up for a payment plan by that same date. All payments can be submitted electronically at: http://info.uncollege.org/payment

What is your refund policy?

Before October 31, you have 48 hours from the submission of your $1,000 reservation deposit to cancel and receive a full refund.

Between November 1, 2017, and January 15, 2018, fellows choosing to withdraw their reservation for the Gap Semester program may request a refund of all payments made to UnCollege minus the $1,000 deposit which is non-refundable after November 1.

Between January 15 and February 24, 2018, fellows choosing to withdraw their reservation for the program may request a refund of all payments made to UnCollege minus a late cancellation penalty of $1,500 and the $1,000 deposit (a total of $2,500).

After the first phase of the program begins February 25, 2018, no refund will be made to a fellow who voluntarily withdraws from the program unless it is due to an unforeseeable event, including but not limited to significant injury, physical illness, or psychological illness documented by a physician and requiring medical evacuation, which precludes the fellow from continuing in the program.

Can I extend payments using a payment plan?

UnCollege provides a payment plan that begins January 15. Payments are $1,000 per month. There is a cost to use the payment plan of $500.


How much tuition assistance is available?

Tuition assistance typically ranges from $500 to $2500.

How can I be considered for tuition assistance?

By November 27, submit a statement to hello@uncollege.org of no more than 250 words describing your financial circumstances including specific details where possible.

Can I reserve my spot while I wait for information about tuition assistance?

The only way to guarantee a spot is to pay the $1000 reservation deposit, which is refundable for 48 hours if you submit the reservation deposit before October 31. After October 31, the reservation deposit is non-refundable.

How many fellows does UnCollege support with tuition assistance each semester?

The number of fellows chosen to receive tuition assistance is based on a variety of factors including the number of Gap Semester participants, the number of fellows requesting tuition assistance, the fellows’ financial need, the fellows’ fit with the Gap Semester program.

Can I use federal financial aid like Pell grants and federal direct student loans to pay for the program?

No, traditional federal financial aid available to college students is not available to participants in most gap year programs (unless that program is academically sponsored by an "eligible educational institution" under current federal definitions in the U.S Higher Education Act).

Can I use disbursements from a 529 college savings plan to pay for the program?

In general you won't be able to withdraw 529 funds tax-free unless they are used for qualifying expenses at a higher education institution with a federal school code. Because no academic credit is granted for the completion of our program, UnCollege is not classified as an "eligible educational institution" under current federal definitions in the U.S Higher Education Act. So any money withdrawn from 529 plans to pay for Gap Semester is not a qualified distribution. It’s best to consult a licensed financial planner before making any financial moves with your tax-advantaged college fund.


Who is Gap Semester for?

Gap Semester is for highly capable young people with diverse interests who would like to take a practical approach to exploring who they are, what they like, and how they learn best. We’ve had learners in our program focusing their exploration on fields such as social media marketing, web development, video game design, theoretical physics, commercial real estate sales, fine arts, writing & journalism, community empowerment, and many more interests, including those who are starting their own businesses. Through the coaching process we support each of our fellows as they begin to hone and apply new skills to become more effective at getting where they want to go.

What are the benefits of taking a gap semester off before going (or returning) to college?

There's a ton of good research on this. As a group, participants in gap programs like ours move on to university and do better academically than their non-gap year peers (measured by statistically significant differences in university grade point average), finish in four years more often than their non-gap year peers, and go on to report greater satisfaction in their career choice once they move into their professional lives.

A Personal Coach to help you every step of the way.

Your personal coach will be there for you throughout the program. Coaches help set long-term goals and break them into actionable chunks. Coaches take a holistic approach, helping develop work habits, mindset, and wellbeing. Most importantly, coaches help push you and provide continuous feedback on your growth and learning.

Have a question that we didn’t cover?

Have a question that we didn’t cover? Contact us to learn more about our Gap Semester program.
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