Financial Assistance

Choosing to travel with ARCC during your gap year is a big decision and we’re glad you’re considering us! The semester you take with us is no doubt going to be a life-changing one full of new cultures, friends, experiences, and accomplishments.

A gap year is something that we hope to make accessible for all students and ARCC works to level the playing field so that all applicants may have a successful opportunity for education, travel, growth, and self-discovery post-high school. We strive to uphold these pillars of our organization through a variety of means.

*Please note that ARCC Financial Aid and related scholarships are only available to students applying for and participating in an ARCC Gap semester program.

ARCC Gap Financial Aid Application Steps

To be considered for financial aid, all application materials (including the financial aid application, detailed application, references, and interview) must be completed by May 1st for Fall applicants and October 1st for Spring applicants. ARCC sends out Financial Aid Awards by May 15th to Fall applicants and October 15th for Spring applicants. ARCC will consider financial aid applications submitted after these deadlines but aid will be more limited.  

  • Fill Out our Brief Online Application

    Select “paying by check” to waive the $200 application fee, which is not required to begin the financial aid process.

  • Complete Full Program Application

    Upon receipt of your online application, an ARCC staff member will reach out to discuss Next Steps. You will be sent ARCC’s financial aid application, detailed student application, and references. These will need to be completed and returned to ARCC.

  • Complete Financial Aid Application

    You can access ARCC's Financial Aid Application HERE. Craft a cover letter and procure a copy of your parents’ most recent Tax returns OR a copy of your FAFSA. Your cover letter should include: 1) Your reasons for why you’d like to participate in an ARCC Gap Semester and why we should consider you as a financial aid recipient. 2) How you think ARCC would benefit from your participation. 3) How much tuition you and your family can contribute toward an ARCC program. 4) A parent statement explaining why you are requesting aid. 5) Anything else we should know about your family’s financial situation.

  • Send Us All Documents

    Submit all materials listed above to [email protected].

  • Schedule an Interview

    Once we have received your application materials, we will reach out to schedule your video interview.

  • Get Approved

    After our interview, the Gap Team will determine ARCC’s ability to provide an aid award and will follow up via email.

Additional Information


All financial aid applications will be kept in strictest confidence. Only senior staff will evaluate them. They will be destroyed at the end of the season. No participants on the program will know of the financial aid awarded to your family.

ARCC Voyagers Scholarship:

ARCC is committed to increasing accessibility for our programs and supporting socioeconomic diversity within our community. ARCC’s Voyagers Scholarship provides scholarship opportunities to students applying for an ARCC Gap program who identify within the BIPOC community. These scholarships can range anywhere from $5,000-$8,000, and also includes gear lending and mentorship support throughout the gap year experience. The Voyagers Scholarship can also be combined with ARCC Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to [email protected].

Binkley Foundation Grants & Scholarships:

ARCC is excited to highlight a wonderful scholarship opportunity to our applying gap students through the Binkley Foundation. Here is a bit more information about the foundation as well as the financial assistance available:

“The Binkley Foundation was established by Frederick M. Binkley and Marian F. Binkley in 1987.
The primary objectives and purposes of this corporation are to provide funding for education
and charitable assistance to the general public by granting academic scholarships and funding
various educational endeavors. The Foundation has routinely made distributions to the
University of California Berkeley and to the Vascular Surgery Department at the University of
San Francisco.

Today, Sharon Binkley Straus, the founders’ daughter, is the Director of the Foundation.
In addition to supporting the above entities and others, Sharon has created a Scholarship
Program specifically for individuals from historically marginalized communities. This includes,
but is not limited to, people of color, those from under-resourced municipalities, women and
girls, LGTBQ+ persons, and individuals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The
Foundation wishes to assist such individuals if there is financial need in order to create, attend
or to participate in programs designed for personal or community growth in terms of academic
or work-related advancement or cultural awareness. You can access the full eligibility criteria HERE.

The number and amounts of individual awards will vary from year to year. It is anticipated that
2-12 awards will be given out annually and that the dollar amount will range from $500 to
$10,000. Scholarships will be granted on an annual basis and will be renewable based upon
need and successful completion (passing) of the program attended or a positive reception
(majority approval) of the event/creation.”

A Binkley Scholarship can be combined with ARCC Financial Aid on any ARCC Gap semester. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to [email protected]. 

Further Outside Financial Assistance:

We recommend exploring outside options alongside your ARCC financial aid application! Students have found many creative ways to fund their experience with ARCC, including Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Letter Writing Campaigns, and much more. For a list of outside scholarships, we invite you to visit our list of independent Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Assistance.

If you have any questions about ARCC Gap’s Financial Aid process, please call (415) 332-5075 ext 2 or email us and we’ll be happy to support you!

College Credit:

Please contact the ARCC Office at [email protected] to learn more about our college credit option and the use of 529 funds.

Payment Plans:

We offer students and families the option to pay for their semester tuition in small increments over a period of time to lessen the burden of having to pay for the tuition in full upfront. Please ask us for more information regarding this option.

Gear Lending Program:

Gear for a semester abroad can end up amounting to a large financial commitment for some families. ARCC has a gear lending program where students can borrow certain items that we have in-house for the duration of their program, which are then returned at the end of the semester for use by another student. Gear available includes backpacking packs, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and mess kits. Please send gear requests to your Gap Director by July 15th/January 1st. Please note that gear lending is only applicable for financial aid recipients.

Furthermore our packing list includes a list of online discount gear options to help ease that financial burden as well.