1. Earn as much as possible
2. Work the dollar
3. Seek out grants and charities
Many organizations such as Rotary Club, Lions Club International, and local woman’s and religious groups will award grants to students who meet specific criteria and support project goals.
4. Personal fundraising
Instead of a new laptop or cell phone, request monetary donations to support your trip. FundMyTravel and KickStarter are great resources to raise funds.
Gap Year Association offers a list of scholarships to earn based on merit, need, program-specific, or work-study for such industries as videography, medicine, or environmental issues.
6. 529 funds
College savings funds, also called 529 plans, can be used toward a gap year. However, earning college credit is required and not all programs have the ability to offer credit. According to Gap Year Association, the credits should support the experience (minimizing classroom time) and the student should be aware that earning college credit isn’t a guarantee to transfer; students should contact their receiving colleges to verify.
Some programs offer stipends to take the financial edge off of young students. City Year, a program of Americorps, offers participants a modest living allowance, health insurance, and access to the Segal Education Award upon completion (valued at $5,920) which can go toward pursuing further education or to pay off existing, qualified student loans.
8. Get frugal
Do you have friends that live abroad and may have a guest room? Can you sell your car for a year to save on expenses and insurance? Do you really need that frappuccino? Get creative about saving money both before and during your trip.