Financial Aid & 529 Funds

Widening access for students of all economic means

Who is Eligible for Financial Assistance?

It’s simple: if the tuition price of a program on our website is beyond what your family can afford, you are eligible to apply for financial assistance! Interested students from all nationalities are eligible to apply. To make our programs more accessible to many types of families, Dragons offers two types of financial assistance: Sliding Scale Pricing and Scholarships. Learn more about these tuition levels on our Tuition Transparency page. 

The application process is the same for both Sliding Scale Pricing and Scholarships. Please follow the instructions below to apply. Applying for financial aid does not guarantee a space on a Dragons program.

Great Wall of China

Financial Assistance Application Process

Assistance 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 (Sliding Scale applicants will be invited to submit a deposit if their application is approved. The $850 deposit is waived for all Scholarship applicants).

    Please be detailed when answering the short answer questions in the application. This is your chance to express why you are a great fit for Dragons! As with all Dragons students, we are looking for applicants who are curious and excited to engage with communities around the world, and who meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Summer, Gap, IIP Application

Financial Aid Application

  • 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. While you are not required to submit your documents with your financial aid application, you must be able to provide them at Dragons request. 

  • Step 4: Dragons Confirmation and 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.

    • If you have requested a tuition reduction of 20% or less, you will hear back from Dragons within five (5) business days. If we are able to offer you an award, you will be invited to submit your program deposit first; once your deposit is received, you will receive an interview invitation.
    • If you have requested a tuition reduction of more than 20%, it will take longer for Dragons to determine whether an award may be possible. You will not submit a program deposit.
  • Step 6: Final Review

    After an interview, our Review Committee will issue an admissions decision and financial assistance offer via email. You will also be notified by email if you are not accepted or an award cannot be granted.

Other Information

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 on our our 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: 

Can I Use My Federal Financial Aid To Pay for the Program?

Unfortunately, Dragons is not eligible for the federal school code required for the application of federal financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions