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These gap year scholarships seem too good to be true. Are they?

These scholarships are absolutely, 100% real! You can read through the details for both scholarships below.

Grand Prize
  • Gap year program tuition scholarship up to $10,000 USD
  • Tuition scholarship must be applied to any program offered by a participating organization
  • In-kind mentorship from an expert gap year counselor
  • Selected by gap year alumni ambassadors & Go Overseas
  • Sponsored by Go Overseas
    2nd Prize
  • Gap year program tuition scholarship up to $5,000 USD
  • Tuition scholarship must be applied to any program offered by a participating organization
  • In-kind mentorship from an expert gap year counselor
  • Selected by gap year alumni ambassadors & Go Overseas
  • Granted to an applicant from the state with the highest number of applications
  • Sponsored by Dynamy Internship Year

Go Overseas has helped grant $500,000+ in scholarships over the last decade. Check out videos of our recent Education in Ireland study abroad scholarship winners, Ngozi and Erikah, who both received full scholarships to study in Ireland in 2021!

Are there any costs to apply for this scholarship?

Absolutely not! That would go against everything we believe in here at Go Overseas. We're a very mission driven organization of pretty incredible people (at least we think so).

Who is eligible to apply for this scholarship?

To win our gap year scholarships, you must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 14-25, intending to enroll in a participating gap year program or counselor during the summer 2021, fall 2021, or spring 2022 semesters.

I'm a US citizen, but I attend/attended a high school outside of the US. Can I still apply for this scholarship?

Yes! You’re welcome to apply.

When is the USA Gap Year Fairs scholarship application deadline?

The deadline for the application is Thursday, April 15th, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.

Do I have to finish my application all at once?

No, you'll be able to log in to your account and finish the application later. Just don't forget to submit before the April 15th deadline!

I received an email after completing my scholarship application that says I need to apply for a gap year program. How do I do this?

First, congrats on finishing your scholarship application! To apply for admission to the gap programs directly, head over to our list of Participating Gap Year Organizations. From that page, you can click on the programs you want to apply to and learn about their application requirements and processes.

Does applying for the scholarship mean I'll definitely be accepted to a program?

No. While the scholarship is coordinated by Go Overseas & USA Gap Year Fairs, program applications will be managed by the gap year program provider. Be sure to apply for the program of your choice in addition to applying for the scholarship.

Do I need to be accepted to an eligible gap year program before the April 15th USA Gap Year Fairs Scholarship deadline?

No, but we will take your application status into consideration when deciding who to award with the scholarship. Should you be offered the scholarship, you will need to show proof of acceptance in order to receive the award. It’s recommended that you confirm your spot in a program as soon as possible -- many gap year programs have deadlines in early spring, so don’t miss your chance to apply!

What if I don't win the full scholarship? Can I still take a gap year?

Yes, and we hope you do! After the scholarship application window closes and the winners are announced, we will send you additional information about gap years, scholarships, and more.

We also recommend checking out our Scholarship Application Guide, which mentions other scholarship opportunities from participating programs.

What is technically considered a gap year and do I need to take a whole year off?

Great question. One of the best things about taking a gap year, or taking gap time in general, is that the possibilities are truly endless. This freedom and flexibility also makes it really hard to define, although all gap experiences involve a plan for intentional experiential learning outside of the traditional educational system.

Although most gap year students choose to take a gap year immediately after high school, gap time can also be taken during high school, during college, or even after college. For the purposes of this scholarship, we are embracing a wider definition of taking gap time, so that scholarship applicants between the ages of 14-25 can pursue their gap year goals with financial support and additional guidance from an expert gap year counselor.

And no, applicants do not need to take a whole year “off” for their gap year. The experience can be a few weeks, months, or a year (or more!). However, applicants for these scholarships must plan to enroll in a program with one of the Participating Organizations in order to qualify for the scholarships. Program lengths, locations, and experiences vary, so be sure to register for an upcoming virtual event to learn more about the participating organizations and help find the right program for you!

What if I want to take gap time after Spring 2022?

Keep an eye on our social media or sign up for our mailing list on our USA Gap Year Fairs hub page for future scholarship opportunities! This opportunity is only available to students planning to take gap time during the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 semesters (May 2021 - May 2022). However, we run a USA Gap Year Fairs series every winter -- and we always offer a scholarship during the series!

How long does the essay (manifesto) have to be? Is there a minimum or maximum length?

We've asked applicants to draft their personal gap year manifesto in 1-4 paragraphs. However, there is no hard requirement here regarding the overall word count. Most submissions we've received have been in the 300-600 word range.

How will the applications be evaluated and how will you select the winners?

We’ll use a standard rubric to evaluate all of the completed applications (your gap year manifesto essays and images) based on the following criteria:

1. Relevance
  • Do you follow the prompt?
  • Do you demonstrate your intentions for taking gap time through your gap year manifesto?
  • Does the image include a quote from your manifesto?
2. Clarity & Style
  • Is the manifesto well-written?
  • Is the creative image clear / high quality?
3. Personality & Passion
  • Do we get a clear sense of who you are and why you should be the one to win?
  • Are the essay and image creative interpretations of the prompt?

The essay will be evaluated on a 15 point scale and the image will be evaluated on a 6 point scale, for a combined total of 21 points (but you can earn up to 2 additional bonus points -- scroll down to the next question to find out how!).

The Grand Prize winner will be selected by the Go Overseas & USA Gap Year Fairs team, with help from a group of gap year alumni. The 2nd Prize winner will be awarded to the top applicant from the US state with the highest number of applications to the scholarship.

Can I do anything to help make my application stand out? How can I increase my chances of winning?

Be thoughtful, unique, and authentic! We encourage you to think about why you want to take a gap year, what you hope to experience and accomplish.

Our #1 Tip:

Encourage your friends to apply! Remember, the $5,000 2nd Prize scholarship is going to be awarded to a student from the US state with the highest number of scholarship applications, so you can help increase your chances of winning by rallying your friends together. We'll share which states are in the lead over the next couple months so that you know who needs to hustle on getting that free money towards your gap year!

How to earn extra credit points!
  • +1 pt for attending a virtual USA Gap Year Fair (register today!)
  • +1 pt for post your gap year manifesto with the hashtag, #nofeargapyear

What happens if I win the scholarship and really want to travel internationally, but can't due to circumstances outside of my control (i.e. borders are closed due to COVID travel restrictions)?

Great question. If a scholarship winner has their heart set on an international program, and isn’t able to attend, we’ll work with that individual and program of choice to find an alternative. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to embrace flexibility. Worth noting that there are tons of eligible programs for this scholarship -- international, domestic, and virtual programs that the winner can choose from, all of which can provide incredible gap year experiences!

What happens if I get sick while taking a gap year abroad?

It's important to plan ahead to help make sure you'll be safe and healthy, especially if your gap year involves international travel. You'll certainly want to be prepared for any illness or physical injury, big or small. One of the main benefits of choosing to participate in a structured gap year program through a program provider is that you will have the support of a team of professionals with thorough health and safety protocols. If you have any questions about risk management, first aid, or on-site medical services, please reach out to the program representatives directly to ask about their organization's policies and supports.

Is travel insurance worth it?

We think it can be -- even if you just have it for emergencies. Many structured gap year program providers either offer travel insurance through their organizations or can refer you to trusted travel insurance providers.

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