How can I pay for my gap experience?

Fundraising options for gap students include: scholarships, university-based financial aid, and private funding opportunities. You’ll find a few of these listed here. Another great resource is the Gap Year Association: At EF, we offer a limited number of scholarships to qualified students (see below).

EF Gap Year - Fundraising - scholarships

EF Gap Year scholarships

EF Gap Year - Fundraising - Financial aid

University-based financial aid

EF Gap Year - Fundraising - Private funding

Private funding

EF Gap Year - Fundraising - Ideas

Fundraising ideas

EF Gap Year Scholarships

Consider applying for an EF Gap Year scholarship! We currently have up to $20,000 available in grants, and several ways to be awarded this funding. Feel free to apply to any or all of them.


Available awards:

$2,000 Gap Year (2 total)

$1,000 Gap Semester (6 total)


We’re looking for skilled writers to chronicle their EF Gap experience and share it with the world. To apply, please send a writing sample of no more than 750 words and a short essay describing your writing experience and vision for this project (500 word maximum).


We’re looking for skilled photographers to capture their EF Gap experience and share it with the world. To apply, please send 4 to 7 photographs demonstrating your photography ability along with a short essay describing your vision for this project (500 word maximum).


We’re looking for skilled videographers to record their EF Gap experience and share it with the world. To apply, please send a compilation of your video work (maximum 5 minutes total) demonstrating your videography ability along with a short essay describing your vision for this project (500 word maximum).


Available awards:

$5,000 Gap Year (1 total)

$2,500 Gap Semester (2 total)


We’re committed to helping our very best candidates join our program. To apply, please submit a written essay (1,000 word maximum) or 5-minute video outlining your reasons for choosing EF Gap Year and how this scholarship will help you reach your goals of becoming a leader in a more globally connected world.


To apply for any of our scholarships, you will first need to submit an enrollment application. Once you have been pre-accepted, you can complete the assignment outlined for each of the scholarships above and email them to Please use the name of the scholarship for your email’s subject line.


The deadline for all Gap Year or Semester applicants with a September start date is June 30. Select applicants will be interviewed within a week. Award recipients will be notified by July 15.

The deadline for all Gap Semester applicants with a January start date is October 30. Select applicants will be interviewed within a week. Award recipients will be notified by November 15.

Please note: Any content you generate for one of these scholarships would become the property of EF. Other restrictions and eligibility criteria may apply.

Please read the following Terms & Conditions carefully.

University-based financial aid

Several U.S. colleges offer financial aid specifically designed for gap year students. If you have been accepted into one of the following colleges, take a look! If you haven’t applied to college yet, these are worth keeping in mind.


From UNC’s website:

“Interested students can now combine their love for travel and commitment to service by applying for the new Global Gap Year Fellowship, which is open to students who apply for our Early Action deadline and are admitted to Carolina

... The fellowship is made possible by an anonymous donation of $1.5 million aimed at students who would be otherwise financially unable to fund a gap year. UNC will be selecting seven incoming first-year students for a Global Gap Year Fellowship. The fellowship provides $7,500 to each student for use toward a gap year that is committed to service abroad.

Gap Year Fellows will receive support from staff and students as they prepare for their year abroad. Fellows will then integrate their experience into their education when they return to campus with the support of GAPPL, a student community dedicated to advocating gap years and supporting gappers and GGY Fellows upon their return.”


Visit UNC's website.


From the Gap Year Association’s website:

“FSU is proud to be one of the few universities in the country (and the second public university) to offer financial assistance to students taking a gap year. Students applying for a gap year deferment will automatically be considered for a scholarship of up to $5,000 to support their gap year. FSU is committed to helping make the transformative opportunities afforded by a gap year accessible to students regardless of their family’s income.

... Students undertaking a gap year will be invited to participate in structured group activities and reflection upon returning. Once matriculated at FSU, gap year students will be encouraged to build on their gap year experience and connect with the vast curricular and co-curricular programs of FSU, with assistance from offices such as the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change and the Center for Undergraduate Research & Academic Engagement. Other requirements for students granted a deferment of matriculation can be found online.”


Visit FSU’s website.


From Warren Wilson’s website:

“Awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership capacity or commitment to their community, including involvement in some form of volunteer activity. Students may also be considered who have excelled in extra-curricular activities, including athletic teams, student governance, gap-year programs, semester schools, Outward Bound and more.”


Visit Warren Wilson’s website.

Please note: All of these opportunities are
included based on public information on the
internet at the time pf printing. We do not
have any connection to these programs and
cannot provide any guarantee as to their
continued availability or applicability.

Private funding

Many private organizations offer scholarships and funding. Check out Rotary International and Lions Club, or ask other community service clubs in your area if they would be willing to sponsor you. For help creating a proposal, ask your EF Gap Year Advisor. Keep in mind that every bit helps, and don’t be discouraged from applying for scholarships that might seem small. They all add up!


Check out this extensive link on the Gap Year Association’s website. The link also walks you through some other creative options.


Try fundraising! Write members of your community, try crowdfunding, host a talent show, or hold a bake sale. You might even ask your employer if they’d be willing to match every dollar you earn with a donation for your gap year. Let us know what works for you!


The experts at the Gap Year Association have a great web page describing some tried and true fundraising methods.

Travel Access Project Gap Year Grant

Travel Access Project awards up to ten $3,000 scholarships annually for Gap Year travel and education. The grant money can be used toward travel or educational costs associated with your Gap Year.


Check out the Travel Access Project website for more information:

Questions? Speak with an EF Gap Year Consultant.


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