Financial Aid & 529 Funds
To make Dragons more accessible to students of all economic means, we offer need-based financial aid
Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?
Any student that demonstrates reasonable financial need is eligible to apply. Like all Dragons students, we are looking for applicants who are curious and excited to engage with communities around the world. Applying for financial aid does not guarantee a space on a Dragons program.
Financial Aid Process
Aid applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Submit your request early so that we can consider it in our first round of reviews.
Step 1: Apply for a Program
Fill out a standard online application. Please do not submit a program deposit (the $850 deposit is waived for all financial aid applicants).
Step 2: Prepare a Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter to accompany your online application. Be sure to include the following:
- Your reasons for wanting to participate in a program, and why you’re a great candidate to received financial aid
- Your top 3+ program choices. We cannot guarantee a spot on your first choice program, and being flexible will increase your chances of receiving aid.
- The exact amount of money that your family can contribute towards the full cost of your program.
- Specific information about any previous financial assistance that you have received for summer programs or school tuition.
- Information about your parent/guardian who will be covering the remainder of your tuition costs.
- Anything else that we should know about your financial situation. For example, if only one parent or guardian is contributing to the cost of the program, please explain.
Step 3: Gather Supporting Financial Documents
Acquire a copy of your parents’ most recent Federal tax returns or your FAFSA or SAR. Please be sure that your family income information is available on the document.
Step 4: Submit Cover Letter & Supporting Financial Documents
Email all of these documents to [email protected]
Step 5: Interview Selection
If our admissions team determines that we may be able to support your financial aid request, we will contact you to schedule an admissions interview.
Step 6: Final Review
After an interview, our Review Committee will evaluate our ability to provide you with an aid package. An offer or decline will be communicated by email.
Other Information & FAQs
Please Be Patient. It can take time for the Financial Aid Committee to make a decision as the enrollment and fund allocation process involves many moving variables. Feel free to check in on the status of your application by getting directly in touch.
Just Apply & Describe Your Financial Situation! When in doubt, just apply! Some students don’t apply for financial aid because they assume they won’t qualify or be selected. Take the chance and time to apply, regardless of your personal questions and concerns. If you feel strongly that Dragons is right for you, we want to hear from you. If you’re awesome and psyched about how we travel, let’s talk!
Can I Use 529 Funds To Pay for the Program? Sometimes! A 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution. These plans are designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. Some students have been able to use funds for for-credit college courses that can be opted into on all Gap semesters, Independent Spring Experience, and some summer programs. Please review the answer to this question and other FAQ about tuition and scholarships, please visit our Tuition & Financial Aid FAQ page.
How Else Can I Support My Program? If we are unable to accommodate your level of financial need, don’t give up. Students fund their experiences with Dragons in many ways. This could be a good reason to start your own fundraising campaign and research other ways to support your travels abroad. You can also consider external scholarships, private loans, or 529 educational savings funds. Some examples of external scholarships to check out include:
- HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarships
- Rotary International
- Brower Youth Awards
- USA Gap Year Fair Scholarship
Can I Use My Federal Financial Aid To Pay for the Program? Sometimes. Please review the answer to this question and other FAQ about tuition and scholarships, please visit our Tuition & Financial Aid FAQ page.