Frequently Asked Questions



What is the application process?

Learn more about the application process and access our online application at our LeapYear Admissions page. 

Can I get help paying for LeapYear? 

Yes! LeapYear, being a fully accredited year of college, gives you access to Federal Financial Aid as well as LeapYear and third-party scholarships. More details about Federal, LeapYear, and private scholarships and loans are available on our Financial Aid page. Naropa and LeapYear are very committed to our programs being accessible to people of all socioeconomic situations.

can I use leapyear to complete high school?
Yes! For details, please visit our Curriculum page and reach out to LeapYear at for more details. 
Do you accept international (non-US) students? 
Yes! We welcome international students. Participants are responsible for any additional visa requirements and are not eligible for US Federal Financial Aid. If you are an international student, please apply early so we have time to help you complete all the necessary steps. Past LeapYear students have come from Japan, Eritrea, Honduras, Singapore, India, Switzerland, Guatemala, Ecuador, Canada, Mexico, England, and Iran. 


College Credit

Can I get college credit for LeapYear? 

Yes! Participants in LeapYear are enrolled at Naropa University as full-time undergraduate students and earn a full year of college credits.  LeapYear is considered an alternative first or second year of college at Naropa University. 

Will my LeapYear credits transfer to my next college? 

LeapYear credits transfer to a broad range of colleges, as LeapYear students are enrolled as full-time students at Naropa University. These credits generally transfer as electives. However, it is at the discretion of each accepting institution how and whether transfer credits are accepted. Please reach out to the admissions office at your institution of choice to inquire about their acceptance of Naropa’s transfer credits. To support you in this inquiry, our office can provide you with LeapYear course descriptions and syllabi, and college admissions offices can preview these materials to determine the exact number of Naropa University credits they will accept.  

What colleges have LeapYear students matriculated to after their LeapYear?  

A partial list of the colleges that LeapYear graduates have attended after LeapYear include:  

Antioch University 
Ball State University
Bard College 
Belmont University 
Brandeis University 
California College of the Arts 
California State University 
Catholic University 
Clark College 
College of Charleston 
College of the Atlantic 
Colorado College 
Davidson College 
DePaul University 
Duke University 
Evergreen State University 
Elon University 
Fort Lewis College 
Gaia University 
Georgetown University 
Global College - Long Island University 
Goddard College 
Goucher College 
Green Mountain College 
Guilford College 
Hampshire College 
Hunter College 
Indiana University 
Lehigh University 
Lewis & Clark University 
Lesley University 
Loyola Marymount University 
Mills College 
McGill University 
Middlebury College 
Mount Holyoke College 
Murray State University 
Naropa University 
Newbury College 
North Carolina State 
Occidental College 
Ohio Wesleyan University 
Oregon State University 
Portland State University

Prescott College 
Quest University 
Reed College 
Rutgers University 
Scripps University 
Seattle University 
Sierra Nevada College 
Simmons College 
Smith College 
Spelman College 
Southern Oregon University 
Stanford University 
Sterling College 
St. Edwards University 
Swarthmore College 
Texas Tech University 
Trinity College 
Trinity University 
University of Alaska 
University of Arizona 
University of California 
University of Chicago 
University of Colorado 
University of Delaware 
University of Georgia 
University of Illinois 
University of Massachusetts 
University of Michigan 
University of Oklahoma 
University of Redlands 
University of San Diego 
University of Texas at Austin 
University of Vermont 
University of Washington 
University of Western Oregon 
University of Wisconsin 
Vassar University 
Warren Wilson College 
Weber State University 
Wesleyan University 
Western Oregon University 
Western Washington University 
Whitman College 
Willamette University 


Travel & Retreats

Who leads the group travel in South Asia and Latin America?

 LeapYear hires leaders each year to lead the first semester of group travel to South Asia and Central America. We select our leaders from an annual pool of more than 150 applicants, including returned Peace Corps volunteers, AmeriCorps leaders, graduates of master's and PhD programs, and phenomenally experienced international educators. Each leader has direct experience in their program’s region, extensive group leading experience, and foundational practices in Naropa’s contemplative education approach. Leaders hold certifications in Wilderness First Aid or higher. Our leaders begin their year with an intensive training retreat at Naropa to compliment the experience they bring.  

How is the second semester internship chosen and how much structure is provided?  

Beginning even before meeting in Boulder, students begin consideration of the internship process. During the first retreat, students work closely with the LeapYear staff, Naropa’s internship specialist, and groups leaders to further develop their internship ideas. Over the course of the first semester, with this support, students hone their choices to ultimately decide on their internship upon their return to Boulder. Final arrangements for internships are made over the break in preparation for the start of second semester. 

LeapYear has been sending individual students abroad since 1994 and has made more than 1,500 successful internship placements. Students partner with organizations to complete social service, educational, environmental, expressive arts, medical, outdoor recreation, and public health work. The solo internship is designed to be a structured educational experience and LeapYear staff intimately supports our students throughout the full internship time.