Student News

Gap Year Scholarships You Need to Know About

Numerous scholarships specific to the gap year exist.

Shawna Newman

May 19, 2020

You don't have to be wealthy to take a gap year. These 10+ gap year scholarships total more than $75,000 in financial aid.
Gap Year Scholarships You Need to Know About
There’s a lot of buzz about the gap year. Once only a concept for wealthy college students, this new-to-many opportunity has changed to fit most students. While it’s a nice idea to travel and explore new cultures after high school or college graduation (originally students in the United States would choose this as their plan) – travel is not an option this fall due to the Coronavirus outbreak, as public health is still a major concern for the Centers of Disease Control. Concerned students are considering taking a gap year before college. Both students and parents are looking for a smart way to defer college for the fall semester—at least until a COVID-19 vaccine has been created and it feels safer to be a part of the college atmosphere. According to U.S. News, 16% of students planning to enroll at a four-year college are now considering a gap year. Social distancing is not an easy task on a busy college campus. Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here. Did you know Malia Obama took a gap year in 2016 before going to Harvard as a college freshman? If you don’t understand what a gap year is, that’s okay. Many American students are hearing about it for the first time. There are a lot of students that don’t know everything there is to know about the gap year (AKA: the year of purpose)! A gap year is a time to pause; it’s a period of curiosity, self-discovery, and enlightenment. According to a Go Overseas blog post, your “...break is an intentional one, with clear guidelines and timelines.” You can actually make a gap year practical and affordable by making a few modifications. Seniors from the Class of 2020 are now considering community college courses a part of their gap year plans. And, many gap year programs are adjusting to offer virtual, gap year experiences. Plan your gap year carefully to get the most out of it. We’re talking about setting clear goals, timelines, as well as making and saving the money you earn to help you pay for college. Also, a hidden perk of the gap year? There gap year scholarships out there to help you through. Make your break even more valuable with the help and financial aid from these scholarships below:

CAPA Scholarship

Deadline: 5/27/20
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $500 - $5,000 The CAPA Scholarship is open to currently enrolled students looking to study abroad. Selection is based on financial need, as well as your reflection on identity, program goals, personal investment, and location choice. Learn more about the CAPA Scholarship.

Gap Year Scholarship

Deadline: 5/31/20
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $3,000 The Gap Year Scholarship is available to students who plan to take a gap year between May 2020 and May 2021. You must participate in at least one USA Gap Year Fairs Keystone Program or with an advisor in order to qualify for this award. Learn more about the Gap Year Scholarship.

EF Global Citizen Scholarship

Deadline: 6/30/20
Available to: High School Seniors through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000 - $10,000 The EF Global Citizen Scholarship is open to students who show great enthusiasm, aptitude, and commitment for learning and growing in a global community and are enrolled in a Gap Year or Gap Semester program. You must submit a 400-500 word essay or a 2-5 minute formal video presentation on how you have already demonstrated a global mindset in and out of the classroom and how your upcoming EF Gap program will help you to become a better citizen of the world; and how global citizenship will help you achieve your future goals in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the EF Global Citizen Scholarship.

EF Global Influencer Fellowship

Deadline: 6/30/20
Available to: High School Seniors through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000 - $10,000 The EF Global Influencer Fellowship is open to students who are willing to share their experiences during their time abroad via various online and social media platforms. The Fellowship includes mentorship from marketing professionals at EF Gap Year to transform your story ideas into published work. You must submit a one-page proposal on the topic: "In today’s world, information can be shared on a global scale in an instant. Influencers have the responsibility of setting a great example for those around them. As an EF Gap Year Fellow, what kind of stories would you share with the world?" Your proposal should outline your key messages and mediums, your influencer messaging strategy and examples of your storytelling via links to writing or social media posts. Learn more about the EF Global Influencer Fellowship.

Christianson Grant

Deadline: 7/15/20
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $2,500 - $10,000 The Christianson Grant is available to students seeking to pursue work abroad. You must have arranged for your own international program with an emphasis on a work component. Your program must be at least six months in duration. You must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident between the ages of 18 and 28 to be eligible for this award. Learn more about the Christianson Grant.

Sol Education Abroad Scholarship

Deadline: 7/1/20
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $100 - $750 The Sol Education Abroad Scholarship is open to students currently enrolled in an accredited university or college. You must be accepted into any of our programs, staying for a least three weeks, have a minimum 2.5 GPA and keep a current blog while they study abroad in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Sol Education Abroad Scholarship .

Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship

Deadline: 11/15/20
Available to: College Freshmen through Seniors
Award Amount: $1,000 The Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship is available to full - time undergraduate students. You must have applied to or been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit by your college or university to be eligible for this award. Learn more about the Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship .

Study Abroad Scholarship

Deadline: 10/1/20
Available to: College Freshmen through Seniors
Award Amount: $10,000 The Study Abroad Scholarship is open to full-time undergraduate students at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) that is a member of HACU. You must demonstrate leadership through participation in community service or extracurricular activities in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Study Abroad Scholarship .

Access Scholarship

Deadline: Priority 5/1/20
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000 The Access Scholarship is open to students pursuing a gap year program through Carpe Diem. You must be eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant through a FAFSA submission and be a participant in a Fall group semester or the Latitudes Year program in order to be considered for this award. Preference is given to students of color and first-generation college students. Learn more about the Access Scholarship .

College Partner Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Seniors through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000 The College Partner Scholarship is open to students who have been admitted to and decide to defer from one of our partner colleges in order to take a gap year. You must demonstrate academic merit in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the College Partner Scholarship .

United World Colleges Davis Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Seniors through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: Varies The United World Colleges Davis Scholarship is open to students attending United World College who are planning to travel abroad during their gap year. Selection is based on financial need. Learn more about the United World Colleges Davis Scholarship .

Winterline Full Tuition Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $25,000 The Winterline Full Tuition Scholarship is open to students who have been accepted into a Winterline Global Education program. Selection is based on financial need and academic merit. Students must show exceptional promise. This award may not be combined with other discounts or scholarships. All tuition/program costs are covered but the student is responsible for covering the costs of travel, food, lodging, and related expenses. Learn more about the Winterline Full Tuition Scholarship .

Access Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000 The Access Scholarship is open to students pursuing a gap year program through Carpe Diem. You must be eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant through a FAFSA submission and be a participant in a Fall group semester or the Latitudes Year program in order to be considered for this award. Preference is given to students of color and first-generation college students. Learn more about the Access Scholarship .

Inclusion Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000 - $2,000 The Inclusion Scholarship is open to students pursuing a gap year program through Carpe Diem. You must be without familial financial support, students whose families are experiencing financial hardship, low-income international students, etc. in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Access Scholarship .