Dragons offers financial aid to outstanding summer and semester applicants who demonstrate financial need.
The reality of providing the highest-quality and best-staffed cultural immersion experiences in the industry is that the associated costs are high. Although Dragons program tuitions are still competitive with the general market, we recognize that summer and gap year programming can feel out of the realm of financial possibility for some students. To make Dragons more accessible to students/families of all economic means, we offer need-based financial aid. In fact, more than 20% of the students on Dragons programs do so with the assistance of financial aid (Average aid packages generally cover between 20% and 80% of the cost of a program). If you feel certain that Dragons is right for you, then we encourage you, regardless of your financial considerations, to go through our aid application process. Don’t worry: It can seem intimidating at first, but if you have the passion and motivation, we’re here to answer your questions and help you through the process.
The information below is intended for students applying to summer or gap semester programs with Dragons. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship for a college program, please click here.
Who is eligible?
Any student that demonstrates reasonable financial need is eligible to apply for financial aid. When awarding financial aid, we look for applicants who are curious, driven and ready to fully engage with communities around the world. These students are interested in cultivating self-awareness, global citizenship and leadership skills within themselves, and we hope that they’ll inspire others to do the same. Due to the high volume of applicants, the process is competitive. Please note that applying for a financial aid does not guarantee a space on a Dragons program.
How to apply for a financial aid
Step 1 – Fill out an online application.
*Please DO NOT submit a program deposit. The $850 deposit is waived for all financial aid applicants.
Step 2 – Write us a cover letter to accompany your online application.
The cover letter should include:
- Your reasons for wanting to participate in a program, and why we should consider you for 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 you can contribute towards the cost of your program. (It is very rare for Dragons to offer a full tuition coverage). The more you are able to contribute, the greater the likelihood that we’ll be able to support you with aid. Please be precise; if we do not have this information, we cannot consider your application.
- Specific information about any previous financial assistance that you have received for summer programs or school tuition.
- Information about the parent/guardian who will be covering the remainder of your tuition costs.
- Anything else that we should know about your financial situation.
Step 3 – Include copies of your most recent Student Aid Report (SAR), or your parents’ most recent Federal tax return.
*If only one parent is contributing to the cost of the program, please explain the circumstances in your cover letter.
Submit your cover letter and pertinent financial aid information via:EMAIL: [email protected]
MAIL: Where There Be Dragons
741 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
When we have received your completed program application, cover letter, and supplemental financial documents, our Admissions Team will conduct an initial review. If we determine that we may be able to support your financial aid request, we will contact you to schedule an admissions interview. Please note that this is the next step in the process and not a guarantee of receiving aid. Once your file is complete with the addition of the phone interview, teacher recommendation, and counselor form (if applicable), our Review Committee will evaluate our ability to provide you with aid. An offer or decline will be communicated by email.
Aid applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit your request early so that we can consider it in our first round of reviews.
- For SUMMER applications, we will begin our decisions mid January and will accept applications until all spaces have filled.
- For FALL applications, we will begin our decisions mid April and will accept applications until all spaces have filled.
- For SPRING applications, we will begin our decisions mid September and will accept applications until all spaces have been filled.
- Apply Early: We accept students and award aid on a rolling basis. You can apply anytime, but the sooner you apply, the greater the chances funds still remain to be allocated.
- Patience: 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, but also be aware that the process might take some patience before a final decision is reached.
- Flexibility: The more flexible you are in terms of the location and type of program you seek, the more likely we will be able to find a space for you. It’s for this reason we ask you to list your top three preferences for program/location. You can also be open to going on any program!
- Just Apply! When in doubt, just apply! Some students don’t apply for financial aid because they assume they won’t qualify or be selected. But we encourage you to 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.
- Tell us About Yourself: As much as we would like, we cannot award aid to all students. We select students who are the best fit for our programs, students who will bring the most into a course and get the most out of it, and those who take the time and energy to demonstrate that in their application.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I reserve a space on a specific program?
The only way to guarantee a spot is to pay the $850 deposit, which takes you out of consideration for financial aid. Please do not submit a deposit if you are applying for aid!
What happens if my first choice program is full?
We ask that students be flexible in their program choice. Depending on course enrollment, we are able to offer more financial aid on specific courses, and thus we do our best to match your level of financial need, as well as your course area interest.
How else can I support my trip?
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 get a job, to start a Kickstarter or Project Travel account, or research other ways to support your travels abroad.
Can I use my federal financial aid to pay for the program?
Maybe. Please review the answer to this question and other FAQ about tuition and scholarships, please visit our Tuition & Financial Aid FAQ page.
ADVICE FROM PAST FINANCIAL AID RECIPIENTS
There are a number of student alumni who are willing to be touch with prospective students considering applying for aid. If you would like to be connected with any of these past students, just let us know. They are great resources for navigating the application process as well as for tips on how to raise additional funds to cover the remaining costs associated with a program.
“I do not have a lot of money and had doubt if I would get any financial aid at all, but I took the time to tell Dragons about myself, my past experiences, and why I wanted this. I ended up being able to go the Thailand for a month for a tuition that was affordable. It was absolutely worth the 30-mins for the 30-days of incredible experience. Just take the time to apply.”
–THAILAND PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
“I had an idea to write up a brief letter about this trip opportunity and send it to local businesses or organizations and family asking for a donation in a specific amount or for a specific item in return for a presentation (or something less formal for family) on my experiences.”
–NORTH INDIA PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
“What really convinced me was talking with a Dragons Instructor and an alum student. Hearing their perspectives helped me realize that Dragons was the right program for me. I was nervous about the Financial Aid application, but Dragons was very helpful and supportive through the entire process. Being a scholarship/financial aid student was stressful because there was no specific location at first to dream incessantly about, until I was told. In the end, this allowed me to think critically about skills and experiences I wanted to gain as opposed to specific places I wanted to see.”
–SENEGAL PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
“I never thought studying abroad would be possible for me given my family’s financial situation. My mom immediately shot down the idea, but nevertheless I contacted Dragons asking about the financial aid process. They were incredibly helpful. With diligence and hard work, a few months later I got an email saying they would make it possible for me to study in Nepal for the summer. I cannot begin to express what a transformative experience it was for me. The financial help is out there if you have you have a true passion for travel and learning about the world around you!
–NEPAL PROGRAM PARTICIPANT