USA Gap Year Fairs $10,000 Scholarship

Grand Prize

  • Tuition scholarship up to $10,000 USD
  • Mentorship from an expert gap year counselor
  • Awarded by gap year alumni ambassadors
  • Deadline to apply: Apr 15, 2021

Virtual Fairs & Events

Find your dream gap year program at an upcoming virtual event. Connect with scholarship-eligible programs and counselors to learn everything you need to know about taking a gap year!

View Schedule

Who can apply for the scholarships?

Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, ages 14-25, intending to enroll in a participating gap year or summer program during the summer 2021, fall 2021, or spring 2022 semesters. Applicants who are under 18 must include an email address of a parent or legal guardian who can review and consent to the Terms & Conditions in order for the applicant to apply.

For a quick rundown on the scholarships and a few pro tips on how to win, check out this video by the Gen Z scholarships expert, Gabby Beckford. She's earned over $100,000 in scholarships to fund meaningful travel experiences, so don't miss out on her insider information!


Starting your application is easy -- just click the link below to get started. Then explore programs, write your gap year manifesto, and submit a creative visualization of that manifesto. Oh, and here's the link to Gabby's vision board template if want some inspiration.


What gap year programs can I choose from?

Whether you're dreaming of an international, domestic, or virtual gap year, there are plenty of program options that are eligible for the 2021 USA Gap Year Fairs Scholarships. Explore all participating gap year organizations' program offerings on the participating programs page, or better yet -- meet them at a virtual event. These are the only gap year programs you can apply the scholarship funds towards.

Some of the participating organizations are offering additional scholarships, listed at the bottom of this page. You will need to apply to those scholarships directly through the organizations.


The winners get to work with expert gap year counselors?

Yes! The two lucky winners will receive 1:1 mentorship from a participating gap year counselor of their choice. Each accredited counselor has 10+ years of experience working with students, helping students of all ages plan meaningful gap years. The best way to get to know our presenting counselors is to register for an upcoming virtual event!

President, Center for Interim Programs

Holly Bull has placed over 3,000 individuals, including her daughters, in vetted programs in the 30+ years she has been counseling students and adults through the gap-year process. She took her own two gap years before and during college. Founded in 1980, her company, the Center for Interim Programs, is the first and longest-running independent gap year counseling service in the US.

Co-Founder, J2Guides

Jane traveled around the world when she was a junior in college, taking her anthropology studies from books to reality in England, India, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand and Colombia. While the countries and cultures were astounding, it was her faculty, and their leadership, that had an even greater impact. While she finished her degree in anthropology, Jane quickly started looking for opportunities to similarly guide students.

Founder of EnRoute Consulting & GYA Board President

Julia Rogers is a traveler, writer, speaker, and professional accredited gap year counselor. She has circled the globe a few times over, always in search of the most inspiring adventures to recommend to gap year students. She believes in the power of intentional travel to transform how we define higher education. Her favorite destinations are Morocco, New Zealand, Laos, and Nepal. When not planning her next adventure, she enjoys playing in the mountains of Stowe, Vermont, where she calls home.

Co-Founder, J2Guides

Jason Sarouhan has offered 20+ years of his professional career supporting students pursuing experiential education opportunities all over the world. Together, he and his wife Jane, co-founder of J2Guides, are the only GYA Professionally accredited gap year counselors that have: taken, led, designed, coordinated and directed gap year programs.

Gap Year Advisor

Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, Marion Taylor is owner of Taylor The Gap LLC and the only GYA accredited gap year advisor between Chicago and California. Prior to founding Taylor The Gap LLC in 2011, Marion worked in Social Work for over 35 years focused on families, women, and children both domestically and abroad. Distinct from other counselors, she offers a unique parenting perspective with all four of her children having participated in a structured and or independent gap experience.


What do I need to submit an application?

Starting your application is really easy, but here are a few tips so that you know what to expect. Once Step 1 is complete, you can edit your application up until the deadline on April 15th.

Step 1: Basic Information

  • Contact Information (+ Parent/Guardian Information required if under 18)
  • High School Information

Step 2: Program & Counselor Selection

  • Gap Year Interests
  • Select your favorite programs & counselors!
  • Apply directly to these organizations to confirm your program eligibility.

Step 3: Personal Essay & Creative Image

  • Personal Essay: Write your gap year manifesto!
  • Creative Image: Create a visual representation of your manifesto.
  • Educational Sponsor Contact Information (optional)

Additional Scholarships

Organization # of Scholarships Amount
Amigos de las Américas Need-based Financial Aid $500–$13,000
ARCC Gap Need-based Diversity, Inclusion & Access Scholarships Sliding scale
Art History Abroad AHA Music Scholarship & Sir Trenchard Cox Scholarship $1,700 - $5,900
Berridge Programs Merit, Financial-Need and Diversity 25% - 100% of tuition
Carpe Diem Education Inclusion & Access Scholarships $1,000 - $5,000
CET Academic Programs Need-based Financial Aid $250 - $2,000
CIEE Global Navigator Various Need-based & Merit Scholarships 10-100% tuition
College Year in Athens Fall 2021 Flight Award $1,000
Cow House Studios 3+ Need-based & Merit Scholarships 25-100% tuition
EF Gap Year 3+ Merit Scholarships $1,000 - $10,000
EnRoute Consulting BIPOC Student Grants $2,500
Global Citizen Year 3+ Merit Scholarships $5,000 - $15,000
High Mountain Institute Need-based Financial Aid $1,000+
InterExchange Christianson Fellowship Up to $10,000
J2Guides (Gap Year Counselors) Explore the Gap Scholarship $500
Masa Isreal Journey Masa Grant Up to $4,300
NOLS Need-based Financial Aid Sliding scale
Semester at Sea 12+ Merit & Need-Based Scholarships $250 - $25,000
The School of the New York Times Diverse Voices Scholarship 100% tuition
Verto Education Verto Opportunity Grants & Leadership Scholarships $1,000 - $10,000
Where There Be Dragons Need-based Financial Aid Sliding scale

These providers and counselors have generously made additional scholarships available to applicants who select their program(s) as one of their top choices for taking a gap year this year!