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.

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 November 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 $800 deposit, 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

    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 up to five scholarship opportunities per semester to students 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].

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:

Through our partnership with Portland State University and the Gap Year Association, students have the option to receive up to 16-quarter hours of college credit during their gap semester with ARCC. This program allows our students to complete the required assignments while remaining fully engaged in the trip and group dynamics. These credits are affordable ($1,800 flat fee), when compared to standard college credit tuition, and also unlock the use of 529 education funds that can be applied to the ARCC Gap program tuition.

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.

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